Section 3-5. Enough chewing brings about health but be careful about one-sided chewing.

The above-stated vivid elderly person underwent gastrectomy to lose half of the stomach during his middle age days. It seemed to be serious once half of the stomach was resected because rough chewing of foods caused vomiting and could not pass through the foods through pharyngeal region. Due to lost pleasure of enjoying foods, he tried to commit suicide. He might be enlightened by Fletcherism and then, he practiced to chew one spoonful boiled rice 100 times and then swallow it. As you can imagine, it was very hard to chew a small amount of boiled rice 100 times soon after commencement of this hard practice; however, patience brought about resuscitated health and he was accepted as a member of the vivid elderly group. Subsequently, it was heard that he propagated importance of chewing foods to his acquaintances. Like this case, even if one loses half of the stomach, one can become a member of the vivid elderly group due to “chewing”effects. Chewing well is associated with recovery of health. However, we must be careful about one-sided chewing. One-sided chewing means chewing foods only on unilateral teeth.
Previously, Kyushu University Health Science Center made a questionnaire survey on the outpatients’ clinic. As the results, as high as 80% of them was found to “chew” foods unilaterally (Figure 49). Taking into consideration the trend that the outpatients for Health Science Center are careful about their own health conditions, we can anticipate that the general public might rely on unilateral chewing at higher incidences.
Judging from right- and left-handedness of the general public, you might consider that there would be persons with right- and left-handedness for their jaws. We must say that such a unilateral chewing is very dangerous. By such a bad habit, biting features become distorted while biting power of right and left sides obviously varies. In most of them, the biting power of teeth without being involved in chewing tended to be remarkably weaker (Figure 50). As the results, trabecular bone supporting eye balls becomes different on each side, resulting in some shift of optic axis. It has been reported that such an abnormal shift causes abnormalities in optic functions. Needless to say, bad posture is induced together with asymmetrical profiles of the face. To prevent such an outcome, one must chew foods symmetrically with bilateral teeth to transmit the relevant information to the brain. If possible, you are recommended to give mental seasoning by expressing thanks to the foods. The followings have not yet been confirmed, but when cerebral limbic system and the mental area in matrix in the brain are activated by thankful feeling, it would appear likely that stimulatory information to the brain might be enforced.
As stated in the previous chapter, physical practice with use of chewing muscles is accompanied by occurrence of simultaneous involuntary electric discharge in skeletal muscles in respective parts of the body. It was reported that electrical discharge occurred in extensor muscle of the forearm and gastrocnemius musle which are remote from teeth. Clamping our teeth tightly is associated with concerted induction of electrical changes in muscles in the whole body, followed by occurrence of increased tension in the whole skeletal muscles. Furthermore, the firmness and cold/warm sensation which occurred in teeth by chewing are to be transmitted to cerebral cortex via cerebral limbic system as their electric signals. Chewing seems to be only a partial physical movement but it stimulates the systemic parts including brain and peripheral areas because “Hazo” exerts its central importance affecting the vital central functions. In other words, chewing is recognized as the systemic physical practice for both heart and body. It also plays a role as the excellent physical apparatus to stimulate the whole body effectively and simply, together with accompaniment of satisfaction and pleasurable sensation. Even if one becomes confined to bed, chewing efforts might provide the equipotent physical activities as did the whole body exercises. Accordingly, we must be careful to keep our teeth in good conditions until our death.
As explained above, presence of teeth and chewing with them are indispensable for maintenance of our health and enhancement of the whole functions. However, in case of easy fatigue of jaw upon chewing, suspicious sound in jaw or difficulty of chewing with bilateral jaws, it means that their functions are not satisfactorily operated. In addition, unilateral chewing results in unexpected shift of the optical axis or occurrence of unfavorable influences. Even if we have enough teeth or we have our own will to bite foods, that is inadequate. In such cases, there is a possibility of the distorted bites. Improvement of the bites is important to chew foods well.

Figure 49
Incidence of unilateral chewing in the outpatients’ clinic
This is obtained in the questionnaire survey in Kyushu University Health Science Center. To our surprise, as high as 80% of them was found to “chew” foods unilaterally. The incidence of right-sided chewing was about twice higher than those of left-sided chewing.

Figure 50
Unilateral biting coincides the difference in biting powers on right and left sides
The biting power of the usually using side is considered to be stronger. However, when the biting power of the unilateral biting cases is investigated, there exists clear difference in biting powers on right and left sides. We can say with almost 100% probability that unilateral biting coincides the biting powers.

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