A Better Bite Equals Better Balance
Barcelona, SP- A pair of recent studies conducted by the University of Barcelona and University of Innsbruck has determined that there is a direct link between one’s balance and posture and the straightness of their teeth. Malocclusions, including bad bites (overbites, underbites, and crossbites) crowding, and crooked teeth have been shown to negatively affect balance in physically active individuals – especially when they’re already tired.
The first of two studies followed ten physically active adults and tested their balance and coordination before and after moderate exercise. The subjects were evaluated based on which type of malocclusions they have, and whether or not they’d received orthodontic treatment for those malocclusions. Those with orthodontic corrections performed below those who required no orthodontic treatment.
The second study was conducted under the same conditions (physically active adults, immediately following moderate exercise), however, unlike the first study, the subjects had untreated malocclusions versus treated malocclusions. In this study, the subjects who had received prior orthodontic treatment performed better than those with crooked teeth, crowding, and bad bites, and had not received any orthodontic treatment.
The study concluded that to improve athletic performance, athletes should consider orthodontic treatment if malocclusions are present. Correcting a bad bite was also determined to improve overall body posture in those treated. The findings also indicated that the negative effects of crooked teeth on one’s balance were found to be worse on those who are fatigued, or who have physical conditions that negatively affect balance to begin with – such as obesity.
These results are thought to be due to a link between the trigeminal nerve (the nerve which allows us to chew food) and the vestibular nerve, which is responsible for balance control. Dentist Dr. Jack Bodie of Richardson, TX suggests speaking with your dentist to see if you’d benefit from orthodontic treatment. “This study confirms that oral health care affects far more body systems than just the mouth,” said Bodie. While the study also noted that the difference in balance would probably not be noticeable to the average person, according to Dr. Bodie, “orthodontic treatment is still a wise investment in your overall health. Improved balance is just one more added plus to having a beautiful, healthy smile.”
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