Jaw Joint & Posture

Breathing/Voice, posture/balance, jaw and tongue are interactive through the extrinsic muscular frame which links them all together. The lower jaw (mandible) is one bone and has a complex jaw joint on each side which comprises of a network of muscles and ligaments to move and house it.  Opening the mouth involves three main stages with each joint which should ideally work in unison, the impulse to open, the rotation and then translation of the jaw.  The functional movement of the mandible, head and body posture all have a very close association with the functional activity pharynx, larynx and the orofacial muscular system and therefore the vocal tract. Disharmony within this complex will also effect voice and speech.

In voice and speech it is important to isolate the jaw and tongue movements as with many people the jaw may try to do the work the tongue should be doing.

Articulation of vowels and constants need the body of the tongue to move forward and as the tongue is attached into the hyoid this also pulls forward.  Every forward movement of the tongue pulls the larynx up as the hyoid bone is the top of the larynx, the only way to compensate for this is to release the jaw, having the tongue and jaw move independently of each other.  A high larynx is often associated with tense vocals however relaxing the jaw allows a more neutral position of the larynx and reduced tension in the system enabling a more vibrant free sound in voice and speech.

Clinicians at MyoDynamics are trained to identify orofacial myofunctional disorders including tempromandibular joint disorders (TMD) and how these may affect the voice and full body posture.