By Dr Cristina D Bender DDS & Dr Kari Chellis DDS
Last August, we introduced the transformation of Pearl Care Dental to becoming an airway centered practice, where we diagnose and treat a second type of pandemic that we see in today’s population: the pandemic of crooked teeth. Crooked teeth is more than cosmetics. Crooked teeth in kids, impacted wisdom teeth in teens and sleep apnea in all ages are symptoms of skeletal underdevelopment and collapsed airways.
There is a direct correlation between collapsed airways and a person’s overall systemic health. Not breathing properly leads to chronic systemic inflammation, which is the root cause of stress on the heart, hypertension, heart disease, poor sleep, mood disturbances such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, poor judgement, daytime sleepiness, impaired concentration, memory loss, snoring, diabetes, obesity, GERD, and sexual dysfunction.
A person with an underdeveloped airway does not get enough oxygen which prevents the health-restoring sleep stages called deep sleep and REM sleep. Without proper deep sleep, the body doesn’t repair well; without REM sleep the brain doesn’t repair well. An oxygen-deprived brain can hugely affect cognitive function, academics, and behavior.
Mouth breathing, allergies, crooked teeth, clenching or grinding teeth, chronic headaches, migraines, neck aches and back aches can be symptoms of the underlying root cause of narrow jaws and underdeveloped airways.
During the pandemic, we have been helping our patients Breathe New Life into their bodies with removable sleep appliance therapy to expand airways over time and physiologically remodel jaws. Removable sleep appliance therapy is a non-surgical, non-drug solution to developing the jaws thus creating a wider airway. This allows a lifetime of healthy breathing and avoids the ever-increasing cascade of negative health effects which results from improper breathing and small airways. Removable sleep appliance therapy also offers a permanent solution to mild to moderate sleep apnea sufferers and can be alternative to CPAP therapy.
We want to share an example of some of the amazing results our patients have been getting this last year with removable sleep appliance therapy. In 6 months, our patient had her airway increase in size from a total Volume of 11.5 cc to 20.5 cc and increased her smallest diameter of airway from 43.6 mm2 to 151.0 mm2. (Normal minimum diameter of the airway should be >180 mm2). Since starting removable sleep appliance therapy, she has started dreaming nightly, feels more rested in the morning and feels like she can breathe easier.
At Pearl Care Dental, we thrive on a quote from Maya Angelou: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better. “