Your teeth and Posture… what’s the link?

Is it possible that your occlusion (manner in which the upper and lower teeth come together when the mouth is closed) contributes to your posture? The answer is a resounding YES!


One of the body’s main and primal needs is the necessity for oxygen. Oxygen fuels all cells and allows for proper metabolism. Air needs to travel from the nose (ideally) to the cells via a specific pathway. This pathway is airways.

The airways need to be free flowing. The body will, involuntarily, position the head and neck in order to allow optimal passage of the oxygen thru this airway. One component that affects this relationship is the teeth!

The concept to focus on here is VDO: Vertical Dimension of Occlusion. What this fancy term means is the vertical distance from your lower teeth to your upper teeth. This distance can vary. With age and clenching, most of us wear out the enamel of our teeth. This happens to be the protective and most superficial layer of the tooth. As it wears out, this critical distance between the two sets of teeth diminishes and it can lead to forward head posture. The reason for this is simple: As the teeth come closer and closer together, the head tends to tilt forward and to stabilize it, the muscles in the back of the head tighten up. This leads to a classic postural imbalance: FHP – forward head posture.


In order to avoid this mishap, develop strategies that will empower you to reduce the amount of clenching you do in a day, or at night. Yoga and meditation are 2 top choices, as well as psychotherapy as clenching is a physical interpretation of emotional issues, very often.


If you would like to discuss this topic or any other in relation to posture and performance, feel free to contact me at!

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