A recent study from the Tokyo Medical and Dental University provided evidence to support the claim that a bad bite, known as a malocclusion, can affect the body’s digestion and gastric function, according to a report from WXXV TV in Mississippi.
Dr. Christopher Frigo, a columnist for the news outlet, wrote that the university study “provides conclusive evidence for the first time that orthodontic treatment of a patient’s malocclusion will definitively improve the patient’s gastric function.”
The questions surrounding malocclusions have been around for years, with Frigo noting that experts have long believed that a person’s ability to bite and produce saliva is directly linked to how effectively the person is able to digest food.
“Based on this mechanism, it has been suggested that problems with the bite or saliva production may cause impairment in the bolus formation and overall digestive disorders,” he said.
“Several studies have long supported the relationship between poor mastication and digestive disorders in the past including a study in performed in 1992 showing that patients with no teeth reported digestive complaints, such as burning sensation, bloating, cramps, constipation, and diarrhea. These complaints improved in 85% of the patients after insertion of dentures.”
The study highlights the importance of chewing, and how structural problems in the oral cavity can lead to digestive problems.
A 2002 study in The Angle Orthodontist, an international orthodontics journal, made a similar conclusion.
“Malocclusion negatively affects subjects’ ability to process and break down foods,” the study reads.
The findings stress the importance of visiting a dentist if you suspect that you or your children are suffering from stomach problems that may be related to a malocclusion, as a dental professional will be able to find treatment options to improve your bite so your digestive function is improved.