As we have written previously, part of the scientific literature shares the theory according to which there is a relationship between occlusion and posture. As a result, this branch of the literature recognizes the problems hidden in a false craniomandibular alignment.
A false craniomandibular alignment, in fact, leads to “D.C.C.M.” (Ital.) = craniocervical mandibular disorder (Eng.), or, for short, TMJ or TMD, in the United States, which in consequence transfers postural problems of a descending type to the entire organism.
According to the theory that I am promoting there is a fundamental relationship between occlusion and posture.
The method that saved my life is in fact based on such a principle. According to this method, the skull is supported by the dental arches in front as well as by the atlas in the rear (first cervical vertebra). This means that if the dental arches, through which the forces created by the act of occlusion are relieved, do not have adequate dental height, the skull finds no support and tends to sink downwards, as it has nothing to lean against.
The skull can lean, get twisted, then fall to one side, it can sink, or, as what often happens, all these changes can happen at the same time.
Such a relationship between occlusion and posture is not easy to make out. In fact the relationship between teeth (occlusion) and posture is very difficult to make out because the support which the jaw offers at the moment of occlusal contact is only momentary. This contact serves to transfer the shapes to be taken on to the adjacent and underlying musculoskeletal structures.
In practice the skull rests on the first cervical vertebra as well as on the dental arches. Thus, there are 4 points of support (we can say approximately that there are 3, given the proximity of the occipital condyles); if one of these is missing, then the skull sinks.
That said, we can say that the reason why the skull might come to sink, in the case of a lack of dental support, creating a bad posture, is due to two forces:
1) the force of gravity
2) the muscles of chewing and swallowing, which pull it downward.
Let’s look at this in more detail:
1) The skull, like any other body, is subject to the force of gravity. Whenever it doesn’t find the right support, it tends to fall.
2) The muscles of chewing and of swallowing push the teeth into a forcible contact with one another. Where one dental arch (or both) is not sufficiently extruded or solid, the skull sinks until it finds stable contact.
The failure of the teeth to extrude depends on various factors which we will look at later. For now we can say that teeth that are not adequately extruded do not create sufficient pressure to keep driving the skull upwards during the phase of occlusal contact.
It is evident that, if the skull sinks forward, it loses its center of gravity. To cope with this the human organism looks for compensatory mechanisms in the entire body to bring the weight of the head back in line with the center of gravity.
These mechanisms translate into poor posture, muscular asymmetry along the entire body, pathology of the spine, and other things as well.