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smiling faces

We live in a highly charged cosmetic society. We publicly hold physical beauty in very high regard, and a case could be made that straight, white teeth sit somewhere near the pinnacle of basic beauty requirements. Let’s look at the journey of the pretty smile. On one hand, you have the” up front”, first thing you see”, display of straight, perfectly formed, natural white teeth. Teeth are a complex composite blend of melding shapes, colors, opacities, translucencies and textures. What brings together the picture of beauty though is the partnership with the sharply defined, rhythmic scalloping of moist pink healthy gums and the dynamic picture frame of reddish moist lips positioned in any one of a number of emotion bearing poses. It is tempting to think of this scenario as the health and beauty end zone, the end-all-be-all! But, a surprising number of these people suffer tremendously from a wide variety of jaw pain, head, neck and shoulder pain, and breathing and sleeping issues that would seemingly have origins well beyond the store front display of beautiful teeth. How did this come about? What went wrong? Why is this beautiful gateway associated with such imbalance underneath?

First of all, most folks in Western society, or its equivalent elsewhere, did not develop in their “growing up” as you see them with their beautiful smile. A dentist helped them get there. Teeth had to be aligned because they were not coming in straight or had already come in crooked, with the solution being the field of modern orthodontic tooth movement (braces, Invisalign, clear aligners). In addition to making teeth look straight, the “bite” had to be re-created 3 dimensionally. This allows the top and bottom teeth to come together so that other “outlier” bone of your body, your lower jaw, knows where to situate itself, or literally “hang out”.

The root cause of this dilemma is well described in the Washington Airway & Wellness Center material – Upper jaw underdevelopment. Our upper jaw is shrinking, so the teeth have no room into which to position themselves correctly. You cannot get 10 people comfortably seated into a row of seats built for 7. Not going to happen! It’s just that simple. Jaw underdevelopment influences the shapes of all the vital structures and bodily functions associated with the mouth and its surrounds. The upper jaw is the keystone of your face and the laws of form and function abound.

So, what’s to be done about it? How does one pave the way for nature to express itself so there is room for teeth to be positioned as the natural genetic blueprint was written? Up until now, frankly, there really was no solution other than to just accept defeat and employ the orthodontic endeavors that have become standard practice.

But now we are now experiencing a paradigm change where, in both developing children and already developed adults, the upper jaw can be stimulated to continue growing towards the original genetically destined position. This calls for early evaluation and guidance in children almost from birth and in adults where circumstances warrant. (Hold that thought).

The key concept here is that, as concerns ones overall health, crooked teeth are not the problem. It might be a problem for the individual wishing to achieve straight teeth because of cultural norms, but science has clearly established that crooked teeth are really nothing more than a glaring sign that our jaw did not develop. So, in many individuals, the pretty smile can be a smoke screen over a much greater problem, one that can seriously effect overall health rather than just satisfy a sense of beauty on the surface.