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functional orthodontic


What sort of problems do we see that can be helped with Functional Orthodontic treatments?

Essentially issue where there are limitations in structural movement and asymmetries in the skeleton and the muscles that attach to them. This includes headaches, tooth grinding (bruxism) and clenching. It includes the issues connected to cranial growth and that of course is orthodontics and related face growth and face shape. Rarely is a distorted face attractive.

Even the Mona Lisa has uneven cheekbones and while interesting, nobody would call her attractive.

Head position

As the posture changes, the head, which is quite heavy, is held offset to balance the body. This leads to problems for the muscles of your neck as every inch your head is held forward it adds 2cms for every 5 kg of extra weight to your neck and the muscles have to hold it. (Headaches that recur in the same area).

Size of the airway, which is dependant on the position of the jaw. A blocked or compromised airway means you have to hold both your jaw forward and your head projected forward. . This causes problems in the neck bones as they were not designed for such forces and will often develop arthritis.

As the head shifts, the blood vessels, muscles and nerves coming through the region from the base of the skull to the top of the ribs will be affected. This includes all the major nerves to the lungs, heart and gut. It influences the nerves from the top three bones in the neck in particular. These are the Cervical vertebrae C1, C2 and C3. The nerves from here go into the base of the brain and connect or ‘Converge” with the largest of all the Cranial nerves, the 5th nerve and that allows the nerve supplying sensation to the surface of the eyeball to swap messages with the nerve from halfway down your neck. This can lead to a great deal of confusion in the interpretation of where pain comes from and what it does.