For the past few years I’ve been talking to various people about my story and how your dental occlusion relates to your posture. They invariably are almost always skeptical at first and so I’ve learned not to even try and convince them. But rather challenge them to make a few observations and let them convince themselves of the relationship.
One of my favorite such challenges was to look at a person’s jaw angle from a profile view.
If it is long and horizontal (like the girl below) the person will almost always have a good body. But if it drops off a lot on a slant as if they have no chin, then often they will not have a very good body. From nearly three years of observing this single thing in thousands of people I feel pretty comfortable saying it is true at least 98% of the time.
But the thing was… I never really understood why.
I had some theories yes… but never truly understood it. However lately one piece of the puzzle was filled in for me by Marcello and I have a very strong feeling I understand the direct correlation now.
So what are the various pieces of the puzzle?
- There is a natural ‘molar lever’ in the mouth of people that have developed correctly. The lever is on the lingual cusp of the first molar and the fact that the upper teeth extend beyond the lower front teeth is what allows the lever to work when you chew.
- Now imagine the first molars as the fulcrum in a lever like a seesaw. Every time you bite down the upper front jaw and lower front jaw will get pushed towards each other but the teeth will not hit each other in the front as there is a slight overbite. Instead the upper front teeth will push down on one side of the seesaw pushing the other end up. And that other end is the cranial base. It is this upward press upwards that puts a constant tug upwards on the spine when you are chewing and swallowing.
- What I learned with Starecta is that this upwards tug on the cranium can actually pull the spine straight with time. And so in a natural mouth I think that is exactly what happens to keep you in good posture. Your spine probably goes into various subluxations due to minor injuries, sleeping the wrong way, etc. But if you have a proper bite with a lever on the first molars, the spine will get pulled upwards correcting itself. And if you don’t than your problems will deepen.
- So back to the maxilla.. If you accept everything above as abiding by the laws of physics and your jaw basically works like a class 1 lever (ie. like a seesaw) on the first molars than you will also accept that the longer the board the more leverage there is. Thus if the front part of the board is longer, than you will have more downward force with each bite. And voila you have it! A person with a properly developed maxilla will have a very long board. And thus with each chew they are putting more downward force on the front part of the seesaw, which then puts more upwards force on the back part (which pulls up the cranium). And by pulling up the cranium they are keeping the spine straight, thus allowing muscles to continue to develop properly and not go into a twisting pattern as what happens with most obese people.
And there you have it!
Longer maxilla = longer front part of seesaw = more downward force on front part of seesaw when biting = more upward force on cranium = pulling of the skeleton upwards = body stays in good shape.
I’m not 100% its true… but sounds damn logical!