DNA Appliance For TMJ Disorder and Sleep Apnea in Rockville MD
The Daytime Nighttime Appliance (DNA) is a removable appliance that is worn by children and adults during the evening and night to correct underdevelopment in the craniofacial region. This minimally invasive appliance remodels the bones in the craniofacial region and corrects airway structure over time, without the use of drugs, medication, or injections. Many dental appliances rely on continuous force, which can damage sensitive tissue. But because the DNA appliance is worn during the evening and nighttime (during the body’s natural circadian rhythm), it gives tissues a resting period between use.
DNA uses the principles of Epigenetic Orthodontics to activate naturally occurring genes over time. Epigenetic Orthodontics is a field of dentistry that provides non-surgical options to help correct irregularities in facial symmetry, improper bite, and underdeveloped palates of the mouth. For many years, it was assumed that the only way to correct any kind of craniofacial developments was through corrective surgery. Through years of practice and research, it appears that a patient’s genes can be stimulated to change the biological structure of the teeth. As these genes change, it can allow correction and straightening of the teeth without wires, brackets, or surgery.
The DNA appliance is worn much like a traditional dental retainer. It works by gently expanding the upper arch in three dimensions while also balancing the bite.
This shifting and expansion helps:
- Increase the size of the nasal passageways
- Expand the upper jaw
- Eliminate tooth crowding
- Shift crooked teeth naturally back into their proper position
- Move the lower jaw forward
- Increase the available space in the mouth for the tongue and soft tissues
- Reduce airway obstructions
- Improve breathing and sleep patterns
One thing most patients with Sleep Apnea, TMJ, Orthodontic and Posture Problems have in common is that they all have a small mouth. Individuals with small mouths and crowded teeth often do not have enough room in their mouth for their tongues. Small mouths also do not have enough room for proper breathing at night – everything really gets tight, crowded and obstructed, including the upper airway. The mouth is the base of the nose, meaning small, stuffy nasal passageways. Sometimes “seasonal allergies” can be improved by creating more room for seasonal irritants to drain and pass through the mouth and nose.
DNA Appliance Therapy gently expands the upper jaw while keeping the bite balanced. The DNA is unique in that it treats the bite and the airway at the same time. The 3D expansion increases the size of the nasal passageways and the mouth. As the upper jaw expands, the lower jaw enlarges and moves more forward into a more natural position. As the lower jaw moves forward, the tongue and soft tissue follow and have more room to exist, thus creating a larger and less obstructed upper airway. The result is improved breathing function, resolution of clenching/bite problems and improved posture. Have you ever wondered why you can’t breathe well through your nose? Sinus pain and pressure is caused by small sinuses and poor sinus drainage.
The DNA appliance is incredibly unique because of it’s wide range of benefits.
With all the shifting and creation of additional space, DNA appliance patients find relief from many conditions and symptoms, including:
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
The floor of the sinus is the same bone as the roof of the mouth. Jaw expansion through DNA appliance therapy increases the size of the airway which can effectively prevent and treat many airway problems, including sleep apnea.
Many times, TMJ disorders are caused by improper bite alignment, clenching, grinding, or other issues related to positioning and size of the oral structure. DNA appliance therapy shifts the jaws into proper alignment and creates space for function, providing many patients relief from TMJ symptoms.
Clenching, grinding, and other misalignment issues can cause severe chronic headaches. The shifting from the appliance relieves these symptoms, and many patients get fewer headaches or migraines during and after DNA Appliance Therapy.
Often, when an airway is obstructed, a person will modify their muscle function to optimize breathing, creating postural issues. Reshaping and opening the airway through DNA appliance therapy can correct these postural issues.
Improved Athletic Performance
An athlete who wants peak performance wants to be getting as much oxygen and sleep as possible. If your airway is only half the size it “should” be, you are only getting half the oxygen, and often may not be getting adequate sleep. Opening the airway will dramatically increase your oxygen intake and improve your sleep, which should help maximize athletic performance.
Improved Nasal Breathing
When a patient cannot breathe through his or her nose due to lack of space and small airways, it creates mouth breathing. Mouth breathing drops the tongue and forces the mandible to a down and/or forward posture. This strains muscles and jaw joints which can cause headaches, sleep apnea, pain, and other issues. As the DNA appliance opens and re-structures the airway and nasal passageways, nasal breathing can be relearned.
When you doze off to sleep, the muscles in your mouth, tongue, and throat relax. If these muscles relax enough, they can partially block your airway and may vibrate which is when snoring occurs. The narrower your airway, the more forceful the airflow becomes, and the louder the snoring. Expanding the airway through DNA appliance therapy can reduce or even resolve snoring.
Patients with a small mouth and crowded teeth often do not have enough room in their mouth for their tongue during sleep. During deep sleep, the tongue relaxes into a comfortable position. For patients with smaller mouths, the tongue “fits” better at the back of the throat, blocking the airway. This disruption in airflow causes many sleeping problems. As the DNA appliance expands the upper palate, the tongue can rest at the roof of your mouth, keeping the airway open. This means less sleep disruptions due to breathing, and in turn, improved sleep.
Every breath you take converts to energy that fuels cell function, meaning less oxygen equals less energy. Airway expansion with the DNA Appliance increases your oxygen intake, which equals more fuel for your cells, and increased energy.
A traditional dentist might often contribute clenching and grinding to “stress” or “anxiety.” While for some patients this may be the case, it is important to consider other factors when searching for a solution. When you have difficulty or stop breathing, your brain makes you clench/grind to open your airway by pushing your jaw forward. While a traditional bite guard may help to protect the teeth from damage done by clenching/grinding, it does little to nothing to help correct the source of the problem: oxygen. The DNA appliance helps to correct airway structure and balance the bite, improving airflow, and preventing clenching and grinding.
Oxygen increases circulation and speeds up your metabolism. Therefore, increasing your oxygen by expanding the airways with DNA, can help improve your metabolism.
A small mouth means a small nasal and sinus area, which creates stuffy nasal passageways and can make drainage difficult. Creating more space can improve allergies and other sinus issues by promoting drainage and healthy nasal breathing.
Bite Balance and Alignment
Improper or under development of the jaws, arches, and airways can cause teeth and jaws to become misaligned, creating a “bad bite.” A bad bite can cause chipped or worn teeth, pain, and other issues. The DNA appliance shifts the lower jaw forward and properly aligns and balances the upper and lower jaw, eliminating these issues.
Improve Facial Symmetry and Aesthetics
During facial development, airway factors can affect the shape of your jaws. The underdevelopment of jaws can cause facial asymmetry or other facial esthetic issues. Over time, through DNA Appliance Therapy, bones in the craniofacial region are remodeled. As the DNA appliance gently expands your jaws and airways, it encourages a more natural facial structure, increasing facial symmetry, and improving overall facial aesthetics.
While there are many appliances that might help one or more of these conditions, there are a few key factors that set the DNA Appliance apart from traditional appliances and orthodontics:
- While many appliances need to be worn 24/7 to be effective, the DNA appliance is worn only in the evening and at night. This makes it an ideal appliance for both working adults as well as school age children.
- The DNA appliance can be retired once treatment is completed. It does not need to be worn forever, as some appliances do.
- Most appliances “work” by simply masking a problem or preventing additional damage. The DNA Appliance works to correct or dramatically improve TMJ, Sleep Apnea and several other conditions.
- Traditional orthodontics pull the teeth backwards to close spaces and straighten teeth, which can negatively impact jaw position, leading to other problems. DNA Appliance Therapy promotes growth and gently guides your teeth and jaws into their optimal position without the force of traditional orthodontia.
- DNA Appliance Therapy works for adults too, not just for children like some appliances.
As you can see, DNA Appliance Therapy is incredibly unique. Each individual patient’s needs are also unique. Though many patients may present with common symptoms, there is no one-size-fits-all treatment plan. Which is why the first step to beginning DNA Appliance Therapy is with a consultation with a well-trained and licensed DNA Appliance provider.
Here is a look at what to expect during your DNA Appliance Treatment Consultation at Natural Dentist Associates:
- Preliminary Health Questionnaire & Screening
- Head & Neck Examination
- CBCT Scan
- Intra-Oral Photos & Measurements
- At Home Sleep Test (when necessary)
- Complete Assessment & Evaluation
- Treatment Goals
- Treatment Plan
- Insurance & Financing Options
Due to the fact that the DNA Appliance treats a variety of dental and health issues, your DNA provider will need to diagnose your specific needs and design a DNA appliance to correct the existing jaw and facial bone problems. At Natural Dentist Associates, we find that DNA Therapy works best when a Dentist and skilled Physical Therapist work together to treat posture and breathing problems present throughout the body. Because of this, we have a Physical Therapist in our Rockville office for a seamless treatment process. Give our office a call today to see how DNA Appliance Therapy can change your life.
We primarily serve Rockville, North Bethesda, Silver Spring, Wheaton, Potomac, Washington DC, Gaithersburg, Kensington, Germantown, Burtonsville, Laurel, Columbia and Northern Virginia (Mclean, Tysons Corner, Great Falls, Arlington ) but people travel from all over the country for our specialty and holistic dental services.