We want people to move. Movement is what we are designed to do. At SHDC, we see the detrimental effects that poor posture and a sedentary lifestyle has on our patient’s every day. What has posture got to do with dentistry you may ask? Well, poor posture can create tension in the muscles of the head, neck and jaw. This can create a pattern of pain that leaves you susceptible to clenching and grinding your teeth during the day and at night. The result of this can be headaches, neck aches and jaw aches which greatly effect quality of life.
What many people don’t realise, is that the mouth is one of the most sensitive parts of the body and that headaches, neck aches and jaw aches may be coming from the teeth and jaws. Our teeth are meant to be slightly apart when we are not using them or at most, lightly touching. We can create up to 1000lbs of force through our jaw muscles and by doing so when we should be giving our teeth and jaw a rest, we can stir up so many of the muscles that can cause chronic pain.
Some of the best ways to treat this problem is to move your body and break the sedentary pattern. Running on the beach is a great way to do so! Other useful things to consider in trying to alleviate clenching and grinding and associated muscle pain is to do yoga or pilates; have regular Epsom salt baths; see a chiro/physio/osteo and get regular massage. It may also be appropriate to have a custom made dental nightguard made to help maintain the muscles of the head, neck and jaw in a balanced position, relieve tension, protect the teeth from wear and improve the way you breathe at night.
On another note, the most common form of chronic inflammation in the world is unhealthy gums. Gum issues are now linked to a huge range of systemic problems including heart disease, diabetes, pre-term birth weights, cancer, stroke and problems with conception. The common denominator in these problems is chronic inflammation. Therefore, by looking after your gums you will reduce your risk significantly. We know that flossing and brushing are important in reducing inflammation and maintaining gum health, but did you know that there is some early research out there that High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) may reduce your risk of gingivitis!? We believe there is no better form of HIIT than sprinting repeatedly on the soft sand at Bondi Beach!
On Sunday, 24 September 2017 the SHDC participated in the 4km Bondi Barefoot. Dr Lewis took out first place in the 4 x 200 metre corporate relay with 3 patients.
This blog post was written by Dr Lewis Ehrlich.