With Mouth Guard:
The alignment of the teeth (occlusion) can impact the overall health of the entire spine. Changes that occur through tooth loss or modification of the teeth (e.g., fillings, crowns, orthodontics, partials, bridgework etc) can throw the cervical, thoracic and lumbar vertebrae out of alignment, placing tension in the muscles (hypertonicity) and fascia.
Two-thirds of the cranial base is formed by the maxillae. Homeostasis of the cranial base is maintained by the occlusion. An imbalance in the cranial base/sutures, which are dynamic in nature (Ref.1-8) or the occlusion (e.g., Class II or Class III malocclusion) can lead to structural instabilities peripheral to the cranium. For example, an occlusal misalignment can result in a nutated pelvis.
Oral Night Splint (See photo below) are used to temporarily rebalance the occlusion. Once the occlusion has been stabilized, a more permanent correction might be required (e.g. orthodontically rebalancing the occlusion).
1. Michael, David, K., and Retzlaff, Ernst, W.: "A Preliminary Study of Cranial Bone Movement in the Squirrell Monkey, The J. Amer. Osteopathic Assoc., Vol. 74, May 1975.
2. Tettambel, Melicien, et al.: "Recording of the Cranial Rhythmic Impulse," The J. Osteopathic Assoc., Oct. 1978.
3. Upledger, John E., Retzlaff, Ernest W., Vredevood, M.F.A.: "Diagnosis and Treatment of Temporoparietal Suture Head Pain," Osteopathic Medicine, pp. 19-26, July 1978.
4. Behrents, R. G., Carlson, D.S., Ardelnous, T.: "In Vivo Analysis of Bone Strain About the Sagittal Suture in Macatta Mulatta during Masticatory Movements," J. Dent. Res., Vol. 57, No. 9-10, pp. 904-908, 1978.
5. Retzlaff, Ernest, et al.: "Aging of Cranial Sutures in Humans," Anatomical Records 92nd Session of the Association of Anatomists, p. 663, 1979.
6. Foley, W. J., Kokich, V. G.: "The Effects of Mechanical Immobilization on Sutural Development in the Growing Rabbit," J. Neurosurg., Vol. 53, pp. 794-801, 1980.
7. Meikle, M. C., Sellers, A., Reynolds, J. J.: "Effects of Tensile Mechanical Stress on the Synthesis of Metalloproteinases by Rabbit Coronal Sutures in Vitro," Calcif. Tissue Int., Vol. 30, pp. 77-82, 1980.
8. Babler, W. J., Persing, J. A.: "Experimental Alteration of Cranial Suture Growth: Effects on the Neurocranium, Basic Cranium, and Midface," Factors and Mechanisms Influencing Bone Growth, Alan R. Lias, Inc., New York, NY 10011, pp. 333-345, 1982.
Alternatively, in less severe cases, oral activators can be used to rebalance the bite without the further need of orthodontic intervention (e.g., braces).
However, if the Oral Night Splint (mouth guard) or oral activator is fabricated incorrectly, it can actually increase the postural distortion (See Animation Below).
The Importance of Dental Alignment