05/03/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

How Dental Problems Affect You Head To Toe

When you look at the body as a holistic whole, the old '50s folk tune "The hip bone's connected to the thigh bone" makes critical sense. Researchers and medical providers are learning that that old song was true: problems at the bottom of the body (feet, legs) affect everything above, and seemingly innocuous dental problems seriously impact on everything below. One thing for sure...they are all connected. So much so that doctors and researchers are busy making those necessary and wholesome corrections to problems from head to toe.

Dr. Jay Neuhaus of Gramercy Dental Arts, uses neuromuscular dentistry to measure...and if needed, correct...imbalances in the balance and efficiency of the teeth in your mouth. His advanced practice uses a Tekscan tooth pressure medical device which precisely measures the pressures exerted by each individual tooth. This device is similar to the devices used at the Hospital for Special Surgery to measure foot dynamics when evaluating painful foot, ankle, knee, hip and back complaints for a prescription foot orthotic. Measuring individual tooth pressure seems rather radical, at first bite. But there is genuine concern among such medical professionals.

Why such a concern? "Well, just as a misalignment or imbalance in our feet cause ascending problems in our knees, hips, back, shoulders and neck, so can a poor (unbalanced) bite cause descending problems affecting our TMJ (such as pain, locking jaws) and our ears (tinnitus, loss of hearing)," says Dr. Neuhaus.

And it also affects how we look, and hence, how we feel about ourselves. Dr. Neuhaus also advises that "underlying muscular pathology" (bad bite, etc.) not only break down our natural teeth, but continue to attack the crowns, filings, veneers and on lays we implant to replace the destroyed teeth...what he calls "noxious forces." Noxious forces can be harmful, indeed. Such forces have reverberations which can genuinely damage your well being even if seemingly minor in nature.

Of major concern is the TMJ area, with the problematic areas of myofascial pain (pain in neck and jaw), internal derangement of the TMJ "joint," and inflammatory joint disease, arthritis and synovitis

TMJ pain and dysfunction can be devastating, and if the remedy is based on proper diagnosis (hence the devices Dr. Neuhaus uses), this malady can be corrected.

How we we feel. Unless we examine proper and efficient bodily function as a whole, we can't fix what ails us or troubles us. So keep that '50s folk tune in mind. The body is indeed a whole.

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