Friday, November 4, 2016

Bad eyesight? Back Hurts? Your mouth may be to blame.

Italian researchers reviewed studies that show a relationship between the health of the mouth and the health of the eyes. The mouth and eyes share a complex nerve pathway that runs through the head and neck. This nerve connection is a main reason for the relationships they found.

The studies revealed a strong correlation between Class II malocclusion, known as overbite, and myopia, near-sightedness. People with this dental condition were more likely to be nearsighted than people with other types of crooked teeth or people with straight teeth. Astigmatism (overall blurry vision) was also found to be associated with crossbite - teeth that don't fit together properly when the mouth is closed.

Research also showed that the pupils of people with jaw pain, like that caused by TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) disorder, react differently to light than people without jaw pain. People with TMJ disorder were more likely to have poor posture and back problems, too. This is because the alignment of the jaw and muscles affects gaze and line of sight which can affect how people stand. Dry eye was also associated with TMJ difficulties.

So, in the future don't too surprised if your dentist asks you about your eyes and your eye doctor asks you about your teeth!

(The research review article was published in The Open Dental Journal, Volume 10, 2016, Oct. 31.  2016 Aug 31;10:460-468. eCollection 2016.
Dental Occlusion and Ophthalmology: A Literature Review.
Marchili N1Ortu E1Pietropaoli D1Cattaneo R1Monaco A1.)

This blog is not intended to treat or diagnose any medical or dental condition. For good health - see your dentist and doctor regularly - your eye doctor, too!

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