What if I told you that it not only could, it likely already has. Let’s discuss this. Consider this, between the ages of 4 and 12, your face grows the most. And because of dietary and environmental changes over time, your face and jaws may not have grown to their fullest potential or in the proper direction. May not? I should probably say, have not since 85% of Americans via three different studies have deficiently sized midfaces.
That’s the first thing to keep in mind, our faces are not growing enough, and becoming too small.
Let’s discuss what this looks like and how it happens. When the face develops without the proper forces, the upper jaw begins to drift down. We call it maxillary drift. When the maxilla drifts down and back, so too will your lower jaw in most circumstances so you can keep your top and bottom teeth in contact, which helps if you like to chew food. These changes will begin to appear as gummy smiles and weaker or softer chins. But a secondary effect of this is a change in your airway size. When the upper and lower jaw rotates back, so does the tongue, as space normally wants, it didn’t get. So it hangs out further back in your airway.
That’s the second point to remember: a deficient midface leads to a smaller airway.
This reminds me of John Remmer’s quote, who was the physician who coined the term “obstructive sleep apnea,” said, “Structural narrowing of the pharynx plays a critical role in most, if not all, cases of OSA. This is due to upper and lower jaws being recessed in the face. OSA would not exist if the upper and lower jaws were ideally placed in the face.”
Now, here’s where your posture comes in. When your midface is smaller and your airway is now too, you have to compensate to breathe. So the easy fix is this, tilt your head up and lean forward a bit more. Now you can breathe again, but your posture just got much worse. And the smaller the midface or the more “drift” it has, the more forward the head must remain in order to open the airway. Think of a CPR class, remember how to open the airway? That’s right, tilt the chin up. Sure you can have braces to fix the crowding, (another result of a deficient midface) but that doesn’t mean you did anything for your airway, your posture, and all the other related symptoms of midface deficiency (check our website for more).
So there we go; poor development results with a deficient face and smaller airways and that will result in poorer posture.
But what’s all the fuss about posture? Well, forward head posture has been related to all of these changes:
- TMJ Issues
- Shoulder and rotator cuff problems
- Chronic Cough
- Upper Back Pain
- Lower Back Pain
- Neck Pain
- Degenerative Disc Disease
- Acid Reflux
- Sleep Apnea
- Carpel Tunnel Syndrome
- Chronic Fatigue
- And Vision Problems
That’s a lot to suffer from. It’s time we begin to address posture from the top down. So let me remind you that simple braces don’t correct faces. Explore more and get more than straight teeth at Breathe Modern Dentistry. No matter what age you or your children may be, we can help tackle the whole of the issue. So straighten up, in more ways than one.
Jordon Caine Smith, DDS