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The position of the mandible… what and how it affects us?

The position of the jaw … where and how does it affect?

The jaw is a mobile joint that can be adjusted. Normally changes in it causes cervical discomfort, and vice versa.

Before telling you everything, I leave you the comic that Marta of @arteconeme (a famous spanish illustrator) has made for this article. If you need the translation from the comic, please, let us know.

A way to know about what we are talking about, in a funny way

And now, the theory behind sweethearts.

How does it work our mandible?

The jaws have a joint on each side, each one of it (we have two). This joint is cushioned by a disc just like those in the spine. The disc can bother you if you have stress, if you have bruxism, bad cervical or bad sleeping postures, a long-term dentist work like appliances, or a repetitive and daily movement. Two examples can be brushing your teeth each day abruptly, or eating pipes only in one side each night.

It is then, when you notice tension under your earlobe, where it would almost touch your earrings.

Exists a “temporary mandibular syndrome”, which, usually, it happens when you have several symptoms at once.

These symptoms could be:

– Jaw pain.

– Grinding sound in the jaw.

– Bruxism, especially at night.

– Neck Pain.

– Headaches.

– Ringing in the ears and not tinnitus.

– Inability to open or close the mouth completely: dental malocclusion.

– The mandible turns to the side when you open or close it: dental malocclusion.

– Chronic misalignments of the neck.

– Muscle weakness in the jaw. You get tired of chewing normally.

– Eye movement problems.

There are people who go through surgeries and several doctors of different types for all these symptoms, without thinking, before, that everything could be linked.

In the end, it is quite typical to know that the first week that you put appliances, it hurts a lot among other things, your head. And that happens because the mandible is connected with all the joints and nerves of the cervical part and because the head is being forced to have a position that is not the usual one. That translates into discomfort.

In order to help those discomforts, it is important to check the body from top to bottom.

So, realigning the jaw, whether with your new devices or without them, if you don’t carry it, it’s important.

The goal is to put everything in its place so that the nervous system does function at its 100% and does not get subluxated in the process. 

Getting Subluxated,

it means that, whether you feel a symptom or not, things are changing inside that should not change. And these, in the long run, could cause health problems. It happens many times beyond what we are really aware.

In Spain we have not been educated to prevent. We have been educated to cure, instead.

That’s what we’ve been talking about in various of our articles, the importance of taking care of yourself.

But, the mandible and its own changes is a well-known topic, the issue of wearing devices and having bruxism, is more common than, we, sometimes know.

Nowadays many people wear transparent devices during the day or they wear it at night to not feel observed by other people. And also, nowadays, brakes are also more affordable and more popular. 

Before, two generations ago, or they had no solution, or they could not afford it, or they were such appalling devices (never better said) that many people did not wear it the necessary time to work properly.

That left the mandibular modification halfway, and the cervical and nerves of that area made a mess.

These two jaw muscles, you don’t have to notice them. There are people who open and close or squeeze their mandibles to strain, and it is something that does not have to be tense. Like … like the elbows!

And everything has consequences, because if you have bruxism and you do not look for the cause to put a solution, the dental pieces will wear out and that would leads you to dentist issues that, in turn, will change your bone structure.

If you have arthritis or osteoarthritis, the jaw may also be affected as well.

Testimony Example: 

A 33-year-old woman sought orthodontic therapy for an overbite and severe crowding of the lower teeth. She reported on her history bilateral and jaw headaches.

The orthodontic examination revealed degenerative changes in her right mandibular joint and restricted opening of her jaw.

During the treatment, the patient began to experience severe joint pain and pain in the neck and lower back, which convinced her to accept chiropractic care.

In her initial evaluation, it was found instability of the sacroiliac joint with Category II weight support, specific thoracic and cervical vertebral subluxations, cranial suture restrictions and mandibular dysfunction. Cervical radiographs revealed absence of the anterior cervical curve.

Apart from the relevant change done by her dentist, at an orthodontist level, the patient was, also, adjusted every fifteen days. The position of her head returned to normal normal position, and her jaw and teeth stopped bothering her. 

Conclusion:

The position of the mandible, the head and the neck are closely linked.

It is important to find a dentist who knows and wants to work with the whole body, because we are not individual parts, we are a whole system.

We always have professionals from certain fields to recommend to our patients.

In addition to orthodontic treatment, the patient also received biweekly (then bi-monthly) adjustments of the spine, neck and cranial sutures. This work approach eliminated pain while improving the position of the head, jaw and teeth.

How?

The entire human nervous system is based on receptors.

The sensory nerves of the articular mechanoreceptors are the basis for maintaining the nervous system’s ability to function as an integrated unit: we are a whole!

In addition, the upper extremities have a higher neurological priority than the lower extremities, so all structural changes in the mouth directly affect the cervicals and the entire neurological field.

So,

If you think you may be suffering from mandible joint dysfunction, you should see a chiropractor!

We have many patients who came for other reasons, and suddenly they realized that bruxism is something that diminished in them  We will wait for you!

You can also gossip our instagram, there are little things like these almost every day, with cartoon!

 Illustrations: Collaboration with Marta, creator of Arte con M.

Thank you, @arteconeme !

There are more studies, written in writing by Megan Churchwell and Marissa Luck that may interest you on this subject. For example this.
References:
*Piekartz H, Hall, T. La terapia manual orofacial mejora el deterioro del movimiento cervical asociado con el dolor de cabeza y las características de la disfunción temporomandibular: un ensayo controlado aleatorio. Terapia manual 10 (1016).
*The joint y NCBI.

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