"Your teeth are one of the most sensory-rich areas of your body. Think about how annoying it is to have popcorn stuck in your teeth in a movie theater or a piece of steak stuck in your teeth after a nice dinner. Our body relies on feedback from our teeth and jaw to determine the position of our head, neck, and other parts of the body down to the feet. Try standing and chewing gum or brushing your teeth on your left side, you should feel yourself shift to your left leg and vice versa on the right side.s we walk and shift our weight from side to side, our jaw must move with the rest of our body. When standing on the left leg, we should be able to touch our left molars together. This concept of our teeth touching on the top and bottom is called occlusion. When you lose your ability to touch your teeth together, this can lead to something called malocclusion (mal = bad, occlusion = teeth touching). Malocclusion can occur anywhere in the mouth including the front teeth or the molars on either side. If you lose the ability to feel your teeth touching on one or both sides, you also lose the ability to stabilize the bones of your head and skull when performing tasks such as walking or standing. In order to stabilize your body, you must utilize some sort of alternate strategy to accomplish this task. This can sometimes cause excessive stress on joints and muscles, leading to pain that can happen anywhere. We"ve seen cases of altered bite patterns leading to hip, knee, or even ankle and foot pain.Try touching your teeth together and gently biting down. Can you feel all of your molars (including the ones in the back) on the right? What about on the left? Can you feel your front teeth touching at the same time? Can you feel your teeth touching while holding your tongue on the roof of the mouth? If your answer is no to any of these questions and you have chronic pain, it may be time to see a physical therapist who can determine if dental integration will be useful to address your issues. Usually, it is unnecessary to see a dentist or orthodontist, but for some extreme cases, pain doesn"t go away until an appliance is utilized to restore proper jaw position."
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