Temporo-mandibular-joint (TMJ) - The role of teeth is considerably underestimated by doctors and the public ignore the important relationship between sane teeth and a healthy body. The jaw is an integral part of the tonic postural system.
Posturologists are trained in a brief evaluation of the jaw. They observe the mechanics of the jaw as well as the presence of metals that could create a neuromuscular and vascular deficit. This being said, although they can educate patients on proper TMJ behavior (free of clenching) and suggest exercises to promote better muscular balance of the jaw, they are told to refer to specialists of neuromuscular dentistry in order to obtain a full correction of the patient’s posture.
The important role that teeth play in our lives is finally being recognized and hopefully more people will benefit from a more global and structured analysis, enabling less stress and pain, allowing people to enjoy healthier lifestyles.
The jaw is an integral part of the tonic postural system. It shares relationships with:
The muscular system
The jaw is directly connected to the muscular system via the muscles responsible for opening the mouth and the hyoid bone. As well, it is connected to the antagonists of occlusion and deglutition (SCM, trapezius, pectorals).
The oculo motor system and components of the higher centers
Modern neurophysiology allows us to understand the relationship of the jaw to the superior colliculus, the higher part of the cerebral trunk, the grey central nuclei and striatum. Via the fasciculus longitudinalis medialis, there are associations between various nuclei including the nuclei for the III, IV ,VI and the V.
This explains the association between the jaw and the oculo motor muscles.
The nucleus of the XI
Asymmetrical trigeminal information projects to the nuclei of the XI, creating asymmetries of tension in the muscles of the neck and shoulders.
The cranium as a whole
The movements of the bones of the cranium can be affected by a TMJ dysfunction.
Healthy teeth are essential for good posture and stress control. Resistance against somato-emotional problems can insure high quality performance for athletics.