Are you listening?
Did you know that of all your body parts, your teeth are of the most sensitive?
They will tell you if there is a raspberry seed caught in them.
They will tell you if the drink you are drinking is too hot or too cold.
They will tell you if you need to brush.
But did you know that teeth help your brain determine where your jaw is in space? They help you orient your head in the middle… and if your head is in the middle, there’s a good chance your body will be in the middle too.
But what if it isn’t?
It’s a known fact that the body is asymmetrical: from the placement of our organs to the left and right sides of our brain. This asymmetry is by design… to help us weight shift and to move.
However, if we tend to get into habits where we always move the same way, our asymmetry can become extreme and can alter our spontaneous posture. If we tend to always weight shift to one leg, or reach with the same arm, or chew food only on one side, over time certain muscles will become stronger and the opposite muscles will become weaker. The brain’s perception of the center will be altered and eventually our system’s asymmetry will be pushed to the limit. It is this muscle imbalance and extreme asymmetry that leads to compensations and pain.
- One thing is for sure, teeth should touch on both sides!
- Teeth should only touch though when you are swallowing or chewing – if you find your teeth together or clenching at other times during the day or night, you likely have dysfunction.
- Do you chew equally on both sides?
- When you close your jaw, do you sense the right teeth the same as the left teeth?
- Do you tend to slide your jaw to one side or the other more frequently?
If you do, your brain may be perceiving that you are too asymmetrical. If your sensation of your teeth is too asymmetrical, chances are your brain’s perception of weight through your right leg is different than the left in standing…. And the perception of weight through your left sit bone might be different than your right in sitting.
Your asymmetrical sensation of your teeth could be part of the reason your right low back or left knee, or right upper neck hurt! At Advance Physical Therapy we understand these concepts as critical to curing your pain, not just masking it. Feel free to call our clinic today to speak to one of our uniquely trained therapists.