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teeth and physical chikara???

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so I at my neiborhood watering hole the other day when an interesting conversation brewed...and I need your help to settle a bet....


apparently, Japanese believe that if you do not have proper, straight teeth, you can not exert your full chikara potential in sports...so japanese atheletes, and those aspiring to reach the next level in their sport of choice, make an effort to get good dental work??


sure...Itiro has nice teeth, but I don't think I have ever heard anything more rediculous in my life...is this only a japanese thing, or have some of you other world citizens heard anything about this...


I have a beer riding on this one, so your help is needed!





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I saw something similar on TV. It said that if you have tooth decay on one side of your mouth, the alignment of your spine will change to minimize the discomfort. One manifestation of this is a marked difference in comfort when carrying a shoulder bag on one shoulder as opposed to the other. I don't remember any mention of sports, but surely this kind of thing would affect performance at the top level.


The program was Japanese and who knows, the Dental Association may have been behind it. Aiko Uemura still has fangs, if I'm not mistaken.


I have often heard Japanese people say that carbonated drinks lower your "shunpatsuryoku", which refers to the strength of the quick-twitching fibres in your muscles (or something like that). The muscles used for speed out of the blocks, punching strength, weightlifting, etc. as opposed to marathon running. It's why Pocari Sweat and drinks of that ilk (the latest being named "Concept San"??) are all non-carbonated. I never heard anything like this before coming to Japan.


Regardless of his teeth, Ichiro's a bit of a freak in that his dad taught him batting from a very young age. Kind of like the two-year-old Steffi Graf with her cut-down racquet. His dad forced Ichiro to bat left-handed to get an extra step on first base, which helps him get all those infield hits.

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That's getting cause and effect mixed up.


What happens is this - those who succeed at sports can get sponsorships, ie money, so they can_afford_dental work. Having white teeth is also necessary for TV commercials and shows. Their celebrity also means that they can get everything fixed up at one sitting instead of having to obey the 'rule' that says you have to go to the dentist three times in Japan for any work.


Of course, not having teeth that hurt or fall out is going to have some impact on your overall physical condition, but straightness has surely got nothing to do with it. Ogiwara the flyboy has a fang, but his chikara didn't seem to have been much affected by it.


danz, I reckon you're going to have a hard time getting that free beer though. Your acquaintance will prolly refuse to accept any counter arguments. Oh, and eating seaweed is what makes Japanese hair black - they're not eating so much these days, that's why there's so many chappatsu about.

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I don't know the answer to this question to

be sure, but I do know there is an

important link between healthy teeth and

(especially) gums and a healthy heart.

Every study I have read about it cites

an unhealthy mouth as the cause and

increased chances for heart disease as the



it seems strange, but if you think about it,

there are a whole lot of blood vessels in

your mouth, and alot of tension in the

teeth/gums area. if the blood flow in this

area gets screwed up, there will be changes

in blood pressure, blood flow etc.


so it makes sense that if you have horribly

crooked teeth, gingivitis, and a generally

unhealthy mouth, you will be more prone to

heart problems.


but as for perfect teeth vs. slightly

crooked, i don't know.

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Pull 'em all out. Nothing cleaner than a set of bald gums, and there's no fear of breaking your teeth if you ain't got none.


The other Ogiwara just announced his retirement I saw in today's newspaper. Maybe his fang is giving him too much gip lately? At least there won't be any more of that 'conflict of interest' reporting where the sportscaster Ogiwara goes to interview the sportsman Ogiwara and fails to ask the obvious question - "Why'd you lose again, bro?"

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I have the definitive answer, 'cos I also saw a simple report about a year ago on TV.


the argument goes that if the brain detects a sudden pressure increase between the lower and upper teeth, it interprets this that our body is under stress, and it should start dumping out endorphins to help us cope.


If your mouth is a mess with crooked and missing teeth, the surface area of contact between the upper and lower teeth is reduced, thus the 'signals' that go to the brain are reduced, and the less endorphins the brain starts dumping out.


Now the fun part, to test this theory! Find a grip guage similar to the one in your local GP's clinic. Grit your teeth and squeeze that guage, and get a reading for your grip strength. Now: get an A4 sheet of paper, fold it in half 4 times. Then stick in your mouth like a gum shield, and repeat the test. People find that they can get anywhere from zero to 20 percent increase in their grip strength.


The reasoning behind the test is that the paper is increasing the area of surface contact between the teeth, and the greater the 'warning' signals being sent to the brain.




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Which is all well and good, and very interesting, but do these athletes remember to clench their jaws to get the maximum performance from their now perfectly arrayed teeth?


Could this be why chewing gum is somewhat effective as a stimulant (even when the caffeine and sugar has been chewed out of it?)


There seems to be a consensus forming that there is a link there. danz, your beer is receding fast.

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