Jaw Function

Take a look at this animation which explains how an study showed that the way your spine works influences the function of your jaw.

A transcript of the video follows.


Jaw Strength & Chiropractic Care Study Video Transcript

The head, the neck and the jaw are closely linked biomechanically and neurologically. Biomechanically, the jaw is attached to the head, and the head is attached to the spine. Neurologically, if you clench your teeth, research has shown that your neck muscles will also contract at the same time. And when you contract certain shoulder and neck muscles, like your trapezius and sternocleidomastoid muscles, research has shown that jaw muscle contractions will also increase.

This suggests that the brain sends paired commands to both jaw and neck muscles at the same time. This probably helps to maintain Jaw, neck and head stability together.

But what happens if your neck is not working properly?

And what happens to the jaw when a chiropractor adjusts someone’s spine to improve neck function? Can this also influence TMJ function as well?

This is exactly what a group of scientists looked at in 2018. Scientists from New Zealand worked with a jaw expert and his team in Turkey and looked at what happened to the jaw strength immediately following a chiropractic adjustment session. And they measured the strength again one week later.

Because there are hardly any chiropractors in Turkey, they could also test the effects of pretend or sham chiropractic. So this group of researchers studied 28 people and split them into two groups of 14. One group that received chiropractic care and one group that received pretend chiropractic care.

Each participant bit down on a mould of their own teeth, and their maximum bite force was measured by a strain gauge. The subjects teeth were embedded in these individual moulds so that all their teeth could contribute to the total bite force. What the scientists found was that after the real chiropractic session, the subjects were able to bite with over 10% more force.

And this increased jaw strength was still significantly greater after a week, while nothing changed after the pretend chiropractic care session.

This study shows that the way your spine works influences the function of your jaw.

Although this was only a small study, this was a really interesting finding and it might mean that the jaw and the spine influence each other more than we have previously realized.

Keep this in mind next time you have any neck or jaw issues.


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© Haavik Research

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