You’re probably thinking this is some weird voodoo shit but literally everything in the human body is connected. Hear me out. Have you ever been diagnosed with TMJ dysfunction? Prescribed a mouthguard to wear at night? Been told by your dentist that you grind your teeth? What about a chronic history of headaches?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, you may also have a pelvic floor dysfunction!!
Listen to me, I’ve been fascinated with this connection recently. Close to 90% of my patients that I have diagnosed with an overactive pelvic floor have answered yes to one or more of those questions asked above. That’s A LOT!
We have three diaphragms in our body:
All are responsible for maintaining pressures throughout our body and if one is dysfunctional or not doing its job, the other may suffer along with it. Think about it.. if you are clinching your jaw or grinding your teeth, you’re building up pressure in the glottis which will also affect how the pelvic floor responds…usually with increase in tension as well...leading to an overactive pelvic floor.
Do an exercise for me. Find the muscles around your jaw and rub them for me. Are they tender? Does one side feel different than the other? Do you have clicking or popping when you move your mouth?
Find the position of your tongue? Is it pressed against the roof of your mouth? Lightly or firmly?
Ok, try another exercise for me. Go ahead and try and clinch your teeth against each other. What happens to your belly or your pelvic floor? Mine automatically tightens. We usually grind our teeth without the awareness. Hence holding unnecessary pressure in the pelvic floor.
How do I know if I have an overactive pelvic floor?
With an overactive pelvic floor you could be experiencing pelvic pain in the vaginal or rectal region, have pain with sitting on a toilet or with riding a bike (sitting for prolonged periods in general), have shooting pain down your leg, urinary or fecal incontinence, difficulty emptying your bladder, among many other symptoms.
The take away: Become more aware of your tongue position throughout the day. It should be gently pressed against the roof of your mouth and slightly against the back of the top of your teeth. See if that changes any tension or anxiety you may be experiencing.
As always if you have more questions, I’d love to jump on a call with you or meet with you for coffee.
Love, Dr. Andrea