By: Kenny Hackett, Communications Director
There are many obvious benefits of straight teeth. Better chewing, a more esthetic smile, and better oral hygiene are well-known benefits of properly aligned teeth. A new study from both the University Barcelona in Spain and the University of Innsbruck in Austria show that our posture and balance are also affected by the relationship of our upper and lower jaws while biting. The alignment of our jaws when we bite is called our occlusion. When there is a misalignment of the occlusion, it is known as a malocclusion.
Sonia Julia, a researcher from the University of Barcelona, states ” Postural control is the result of a complex system that includes different sensory and motor elements arising from visual, somatosensory — denoting a sensation such as pressure, pain, or warmth — and vestibular information — regarding motion, equilibrium, and spatial orientation. Malocclusion has also been associated with different motor and physiological alterations, especially when people were fatigued. But postural control was shown to improve — both in static and dynamic equilibrium — when different malocclusions are corrected by positioning the jaw in a neutral position.”
She continued “This relationship can play a crucial role in athletes in how well they ultimately perform as well as in the prevention of injuries such as sprains, strains, and fractures caused by unexpected instability as fatigue increases and motor control capacity decreases.”
“Therefore, it would be helpful for both the general population and athletes to consider correcting dental occlusions to improve postural control and thus prevent possible falls and instability due to a lack of motor system response,” she concluded.
Orthodontists specialize in the occlusion and correcting malocclusions. If you feel like your bite may be misaligned you should schedule a complimentary consultation with experts such as Dr. Paul Yurfest and Dr. Kristin Huber of West Paces Ferry Orthodontics.