|Don’t Lose Sleep From Airway Blockage|
|Sleep Apnea is a condition causing paused breathing during sleep. Each time this happens, your body wakes you up to continue breathing. The repeated sleep interruptions prevent good sleep, leaving you feeling tired and worn out during the day.|
Although it is widely believed that facial profile and beauty are directly related to genetics, this is only partially true. The development of a person’s facial, jaw, and airway structure begins very early on, and is largely based on the environment in which growth is taking place. Facial growth includes the individual growth of each bone that makes up the face. Healthy facial development is the product of normally functioning muscles, proper nutrition, and fully developed airways and nasal passages. But what happens when one or more of these factors is compromised? Well, when one factor is compromised, it impacts the others. This domino effect often leads to significant development and health problems down the line. Headaches, snoring, fatigue, and insomnia continue to drive patients to the doctor, but the treatment recommendations are often “band-aid solutions” that treat the symptom and ignore the root cause: oxygen deficiency from airway blockage.
Healthy facial and jaw development supports deep sleep. But when development is compromised, airways become compromised, leading to breathing issues that disrupt sleep. Proper oral resting posture, exclusive nasal breathing, and eliminating any damaging parafunctional habits are critical to proper growth, airway development, and overall health. When the jaws are underdeveloped, there is insufficient space for the tongue to properly rest at the roof of the mouth, forcing the tongue into the airway during sleep. When the tongue is blocking the airway, Obstructive Sleep Apnea tends to follow. When Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is left untreated, it can contribute to more serious health problems like heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure.
Sleep Apnea is a condition causing paused breathing during sleep. Each time this happens, your body wakes you up to continue breathing. The repeated sleep interruptions prevent good sleep, leaving you feeling tired and worn out during the day.
Some signs and symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea include:
- Daytime Sleepiness/Fatigue
- Difficulty Staying Asleep
- Gasping/Choking During Sleep
- Short-term Memory Loss
- Difficulty Concentrating
- Decreased Libido
- Dry Mouth
- Bladder Urgency During Sleep
Often, doctor recommended treatment options mask the symptoms of OSA. Breathing masks (positive airway pressure devices) are the most recommended form of treatment, forcing air into your lungs to prevent pauses in breathing during sleep. Oral appliances that shift your bite during sleep to open the airway. Nasal decongestants to help improve airflow through the nose. Whatever gets you through the night, right? However, not one of these treatment options addresses the reason for the airway blockage. In other words, the most commonly recommended form of Sleep Apnea treatment doesn’t actually cure the Sleep Apnea, only manages the symptoms.
Fortunately, we have a solution for patients of all ages. An oral growth appliance that focuses on the root cause of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. If you are suffering from one or more of the above signs and symptoms, ask about oral growth appliances at your next visit, or schedule a time for an at-home sleep test.
Proper Oral Resting Position
The tongue is one of the strongest muscles in the human body and helps to shape the palate and jaws during early development by applying constant force/pressure to the surrounding structures. Because the jaw bones make up quite a large portion of the face, underdevelopment in this area can cause unpleasant physical features.
The proper oral resting position when not eating or talking should be:
- Tongue to the roof of the mouth
- Lips sealed with teeth lightly touching
- Nasal breathing
Improper tongue resting position often results in underdevelopment of the upper arch/palate. When there is not adequate space in the upper palate, teeth can become crowded and/or crooked, and the lower jaw often becomes forced downward.
Thank you for being a valued member of our dental family. Please give us a call if you have any questions or if we can be of any assistance whatsoever.