Posture and Your Oral Health

November 29, 2020
Avatar for Kelley MingusKelley Mingus

Our posture says a lot about ourselves. When we stand straight and hold our heads high, we project an image of confidence. We look better, we feel better. On the other hand, when you have poor posture, it can cause a lot of problems. For example, it can cause you to look insecure or older than your years. It can also cause head, neck, and backaches. Poor posture can even cause oral health problems.

There are four main types of poor posture. They can range from genetics to lifestyle. Here are the causes of poor posture, and the problems they may cause.

Forward Head Posture

Forward head posture is when your head pushes forward and your ears are ahead of your vertical midline. If properly aligned, your ears should be in alignment with the vertical midline.

Causes of forward head posture can include aging and hunching over electronics. Many people develop what is known as “tech neck” from always looking down at their tech devices.

Flatback Posture

Flatback posture occurs when your lower spine straightens, causing you to lean forward. You can be born with flatback posture, or it can develop due to spine conditions like ankylosing spondylitis, degenerative conditions, disk and vertebrae conditions, or certain types of back surgeries.

Swayback Posture

Swayback posture causes your hips and pelvis to jut forward from your body’s midline. Swayback can be caused by sitting for long periods of time, weakening the muscles of the abdomen. Other causes may include injury, obesity, neuromuscular disorders, and other spine and vertebrae conditions.

Kyphosis Posture

Kyphosis occurs when the upper back and shoulders become hunched or rounded forward. This is also known as having a hunchback. Kyphosis can occur due to osteoporosis, and spinal or vertebral degeneration. It can also be caused by chemotherapy, polio, or Scheuermann’s disease.

How bad posture affects oral health

Bad posture can affect your oral health by putting a strain on your temporomandibular joint. This can be one of the causes of temporomandibular joint dysfunction (aka TMJ dysfunction). TMJ dysfunction can cause headaches, neckaches, backaches, jaw pain, jaw clenching, ear ringing, and damage to your teeth including chipping, cracking, and uneven wear.

If you have poor posture or any of the symptoms above you could be suffering from temporomandibular joint dysfunction. If you suspect you could have TMJ dysfunction, contact Dr. Mingus for an evaluation. He can help treat your TMJ dysfunction and restore wellness to your jaw.