Based on Dr. Tammy Chen’s NY Occasions column, dental sufferers are affected by an “epidemic of cracked enamel” due partially to posture. How can we keep away from the same destiny? Picture courtesy Engin Akyurt on Unsplash.

I just lately got here throughout a New York Times column by Tammy Chen, DDS, a prosthodontist with a apply in Manhattan, describing the “epidemic of cracked enamel” she’s seen in her sufferers through the COVID pandemic. Dr. Chen names two suspected culprits: the slumped posture many individuals undertake whereas working from dwelling with improvised furnishings, and extreme nervousness and stress. Each of those culprits result in jaw clenching and tooth grinding.


This man’s C-spine — an intensely rounded higher again and tucked pelvis — are all too widespread in folks working from dwelling and on laptops. As Dr. Chen identified, such postural habits can have deleterious results on the jaw.

The hazards of a C-spine
Whereas working remotely, individuals are slumping and hunching at their computer systems greater than ever earlier than. For a lot of unaware of learn how to sit healthfully, lack of entry to workplace workspaces (and in some instances, ergonomic furnishings) has been tough to regulate to. Anybody affected by a C-spine — with an intensely tucked pelvis under rounded, hunched shoulders — is doing themself some actual harm in the event that they don’t be taught new methods of utilizing their physique. I’m all the time calling out the unhealthy stresses this places on discs, nerves, bones, and ligaments within the again and neck, however the penalties of poor posture do not cease there.


Gaming posture additionally typically tends towards a C-spine, to the detriment of players’ long-term spinal well being, in addition to jaw well being.

As Dr. Chen factors out, nerves passing by the neck and shoulder lead on to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). TMJ dysfunction is a widespread drawback in our tradition and might result in ache, clicking, and popping within the jaw. So it stands to motive (and I’ve seen in my a long time educating) that hunched, slumped posture in the upper body, together with the neck and shoulders by which nerves move, has detrimental results on the jaw.


The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects the jaw to the cranium. Authentic picture courtesy Wikipedia consumer Jmarchn underneath CC BY-SA 3.0.

More healthy posture = more healthy enamel
Fortunately, studying new and healthful methods of utilizing the higher physique whereas sitting and sleeping is inside all of our attain. When sitting, the choice to collapsing right into a C-spine is to first repair the muse of the backbone, which is the pelvis. When the pelvis is tucked under, it offers a wonky base for the backbone to relaxation on. Like a constructing with poor foundations, the backbone is then distorted as a consequence, rounding out the again to then cantilever ahead with the higher physique. This obliges the muscle mass within the neck and shoulders to do time beyond regulation supporting the substantial weight of the top, creating rigidity and compression all over to the jaw.

The treatment is to be taught to place the pelvis nicely by stretchsitting or stacksitting — so named as a result of they both permit the backbone to stretch out straight (stretchsitting), or for the bones of the backbone to stack upright and relaxed (stacksitting). Each allow sustainable shoulder placement, and a nicely positioned neck and head. Bingo! Their harmonious association of bones and delicate tissues provides our nerves the area and pathways they should operate fortunately.


Our jaws and enamel are among the many physique components the place nervousness and stress most noticeably take their toll. Picture courtesy Nhia Moua on Unsplash.

Anxiousness and stress have an effect on the jaw
Jaw clenching and tooth grinding at evening whereas sleeping are usually the results of nervousness and stress, each of that are more and more widespread in 2020. This added strain and friction on the dental surfaces are one other issue Dr. Chen suspects within the excessive variety of cracked enamel she’s seen in her apply since June. How can posture assist right here?


Studying stretchlying brings our college students a degree of consolation and relaxation many have by no means skilled earlier than. Picture courtesy Minnie Zhou on Unsplash.

The luxuriously comfortable and relaxed postures we teach for sleep assist relieve rigidity all all through the physique and enhance sleep high quality. Higher, deeper sleep provides us a extra steady footing on which to satisfy the day, even in disturbing settings, and can assist our psychological well being significantly. Why not take steps to enhance our sleep high quality if it may possibly assist our well being, each psychological and dental?

We advocate stretchlying on the again as a result of it helps and gently tractions the physique in ways in which permit muscle mass which have been overworking to lastly calm down, releasing their grip on the again, the neck and, sure, the jaw. It could appear stunning to hyperlink wholesome posture and dental well being, but it surely really makes good sense that jaw rigidity and enamel grinding can have positional causes.

In the event you’d wish to revamp your understanding of consolation and maybe put money into one thing aside from your dentist’s subsequent trip, try an Online Initial Consultation with one of our online teachers. We even have a new Free Online Workshop all about how you can use posture to relieve stress! We look ahead to supporting you (and your pearly whites) in these difficult occasions.