We gravitate toward people with better posture. It speaks to confidence, good health, honesty, and respect. On the opposite end, slouching can come off as unprofessional, less serious, and lazy. So we have a social preference, but just how preferable is posture? Airways, posture, and treatment all come together here.
Imbalances and Compensating
The body’s systems work together. Each system relies on its neighbor for support, but also to fulfill its purpose to run effectively and efficiently. Because when one piece of the puzzle falls short on its end of the bargain, its neighboring systems are forced to compensate.
For example, there is a direct relationship between the lower jaw’s position and the posture of the upper neck. If the lower jaw is retruded or rests further back in the face than it should, it can force the tongue back further in the mouth and ultimately the throat. This less than optimal position can result in difficulty breathing, swallowing, and sleeping.
Poor Posture Meets the Airway
A lower jaw that’s set further back on the face impacts more than their appearance. Sure, many people prefer the look of a more balanced, fully developed jawline but when it’s set back, it also restricts the airway. This prevents a person’s ability to breathe normally.
When the jaw is set further in, it forces the tongue farther back in the mouth which narrows the airway and encourages the head to slouch forward to compensate in an attempt to open the airway more. Here are two important consequences to consider:
- Potential for obstructive sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is often the result of poor posture. One of the most common airway obstructions that gives the condition it’s name is the tongue.
- Trouble breathing exacerbates poor posture. As a person continues to experience difficulty breathing, the head continues to shift forward. When the airway becomes narrowed, we respond by trying to open it as much as possible, and in this case, it forces us to slouch.
Posture and Airway Treatment
Protecting the airway is a primary focus of our practice at Balance Epigenetic Orthodontics. Through strategic growth guidance, our patients breathe better and stand taller against health issues like sleep apnea. After all, one of the biggest issues in sleep apnea treatment is getting treatment at all. To schedule your consultation with Dr. Buck, call our offices at 206-316-8286.