I recently wrote a short article about how the way your teeth bite together has a big impact on your posture. Although most people can easily understand that “the hip bone’s connected to the knee bone”, the connection between the teeth and the pelvis is less obvious.
Last year two colleagues of mine, Dr. Curtis Westersund (neuromuscular dentist) Dr. Jeff Scholten (upper cervical chiropractor) collaborated with a university professor/researcher (Ray Turner) to publish a study. This study was attempting to answer whether an upper cervical adjustment (NUCCA) of the uppermost bone in the spine would influence the bite. Dr. Westersund uses a device called a T-Scan to measure how evenly pressure is distributed when a person’s teeth come together. The study compared T-Scan measurements from before and after a NUCCA adjustment of C1. The one clear conclusion from the study was that NUCCA adjustments do cause change in the bite.
A year and a half ago I began collaborating with Dr. Westersund and Dr. Scholten. What we have found over that time is that changing the position of the pelvis directly impacts the alignment of both the neck and the jaw. Since I started working with the Diers 4D Formetric scanner I have been reminded multiple times a day how big these changes can be.
Today I’m going to show you two different scan comparisons. The only difference between each of these scans is a dental orthotic. This particular style of dental orthotic is a high-tech piece of plastic that is custom-fitted to your bottom teeth. The T-Scan is then used to fine tune the bite by pinpointing what adjustments need to be made to the orthotic. At Dakin Rehab our role is to use the Formetric scanner to find out what needs to be adjusted in the posture to support the new and improved bite. Does that make sense?
Look at this! These two scans were done only two minutes apart! The first scan includes the dental orthotic and the second scan was done without the dental orthotic.
Look at the horizontal alignment of the pelvis! Up until this scan I would not have believed that removing the dental orthotic could possibly create such a huge difference. The first of the two large changes was that the right side of the pelvis rotated backward over 13 degrees! The second dramatic change was that the torso twisted over 10 degrees to the right! Incredible. Do you think these postural changes might impact this gentleman’s biomechanical health and comfort? Undoubtedly. And consider for a moment that this is an otherwise healthy, athletic person who is receiving care to optimize his posture! Imagine for a second what changes might be brought about in a person who is more sedentary and less proactive regarding improving their posture!
This second scan comparison illustrates very clearly how different each of us responds biomechanically to any given intervention. No wonder research often fails to reveal clear black and white relationships between pairs of physical variables. The human body is so incredibly complex, it does not lend itself well to A+B=C explanations.
These scans were taken 4 minutes apart. Again the first scan was done with the dental orthotic and the second was done without it. You can see that in this case the withdrawal of the orthotic had very little impact on the pelvic position. However, it had a significant impact on the curvature and rotation of the spine! This is another person who is working daily on corrective exercise to improve her posture and her quality of life. And like the first subject, she is also experiencing success in her efforts.
Who would have thought a person’s bite could have such a dramatic effect on posture!
To win at this game you don’t need an amazing therapist, you need an amazing team of experts. Thankfully at Dakin Rehab we are part of such a team. Contact us for your complimentary Discovery Session and find out if the Alignment First Protocol © is right for you.
Yours in health,
Geoff Dakin BPE RMT
Calgary Registered Massage Therapist