Shoulder and Back Pain
How your bite causes back pain
A “bad bite” (in dental terms called a malocclusion) often causes an imbalance in the jaw-to-skull relationship, in turn placing the jaw into a strained position that sends pain to the muscles in the neck, shoulders, and back. (Pain may occur in the upper back as well as the lower back.)
Your muscles work as a team – a single muscle seldom works without other muscles in the team joining in. The bones in the neck, especially the atlas and axis, are intimately involved with the muscles for chewing, biting, talking, breathing, and head posture. Sore, tight, contracted muscles of the jaw tilt the head and shoulders in a forward position, resulting in neck, shoulder and back muscles compensating.
A general dentist who has expertise and experience in neuromuscular dentistry solutions like Dr. Siman, understands that the bones, joints, muscles, and nerves in the face and neck have a complex, intricate relationship. They work to correct the bite, relieving strain on the jaw and surrounding muscles.
Unbalanced posture can cause big problems
Back pain may also be caused by unbalanced posture. Standing, walking or sitting in an uneven position causes the jaw muscles to function ineffectively and inefficienctly–the surrounding tissue may shows signs of stress, including pain, swelling and discomfort. Because the jaw muscles run from ear to ear, symptoms of jaw distress can also appear in the head, neck, shoulders. These painful symptoms are a common sign of a TMJ / TMD problem as the neck muscles become overworked and fatigued because they are trying to balance the head posture, which is thrown off by stressed/fatigued bite muscles. Once the bite has been aligned, pain in many areas of the body disappears.
Millennium Dental can determine if you have a bad bite and whether it could be the cause of your shoulder and back pain.