Did you know that bad posture can lead to a variety of health issues, including poor circulation, chronic back pain and headaches? While poor posture can be caused by muscle imbalances, occupational activities and extra weight gain, you may be surprised to find that problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ)
can also contribute to bad posture, and vice versa. So, if you have noticed that you slump frequently or have discomfort in your jaw joint, it may be time to schedule an appointment with your dentist.
Small Muscles, Big Effects
The muscles surrounding the temporomandibular joint are quite small when compared to the muscles that contribute to good posture, but they can have a huge effect on the rest of the body. When an individual has temporomandibular disorder (TMD), the imbalanced jaw muscles can affect muscles in the back, neck, pelvis and even the legs. It’s like a waterfall that trickles down from the jaw to the rest of the body.
The way you hold your head is influenced by the position of your bite and the tightness of the muscles in your jaw. If you have TMD, you may hold your head slightly off-center, which forces other parts of your body to compensate for the imbalance. Since the imbalance can be slight, you may not even realize you have a problem until you begin to experience pain throughout the body. However, if you know what to look for, you can recognize signs of poor posture, which may include:
- One shoulder or hip appearing higher than the other
- A jutted-forward head
- Rounded shoulders
- “Sway back”
- Back pain
- Muscle fatigue
If you experience several of these symptoms, you almost certainly have poor posture. If you also have discomfort in the jaw joint, frequent tinnitus (ringing in the ears) or popping sensations or sounds with jaw movement, you may have TMD as well.
Schedule a Consultation
Dr. Ashlyn Price and Dr. Autumn Mayers are compassionate dentists skilled in diagnosing and treating TMJ issues. To schedule a consultation and find out if your bad posture is linked to TMD, call Allgood Family Dentistry today.
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