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Sleep Apnea

Airway Centered Dentistry

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After a comprehensive examination, a patient once asked us: “why am a grinding, despite no stress in my life?”  The answer to this question was not so simple, so we had to review a little history lesson with our patient.

Human body has changed drastically in the last 400 years ago. Anthropologists and researchers have spent many hours studying each part of our bone structures over the years, which we will only focus on the oral cavity at this time.

The study and research on the oral cavity began by Dr. Robert Corruccini, an anthropologist with 30 years of research and several books, who completed hundreds of published articles. He studied the fossils, completed population studies, and also homozygous (identical) twin studies, in which we will focus on his research on the development of the human skull.

When Dr. Corruccini studied human skulls from 400 years ago – he found out that those skulls had bigger upper and lower jaws and that there was room for 32 teeth in those jaws. There was very little incidence of crowed or crooked teeth – and there were no orthodontists around to make that happen.  In present time, very few people have their wisdom teeth and we don’t even have room for 28 teeth without them being crowded and crooked. Dr. Corruccini also studied isolated rural populations – groups of people who were not exposed to things like processed foods and formula.  What he found was that these populations breast fed their children for many years – at least 2-3 years. And that they ate a diet that was comprised of hard, tough foods – dried meat and hard root vegetables.  In these populations, they have very little incidence of crowded and crooked teeth and they had perfectly formed upper and lower jaws. He then concluded that dietary consistency and toughness promote proper bone growth, when nonresistant processed food became ubiquitous after industrialization malocclusion (crooked teeth) show a rapid rise. Most importantly, soft diet or processed foods increase underdevelopment of upper and lower jaws and malocclusion or crooked teeth. Dr. Corruccini observed as western culture was introduced into these isolated populations and here is what he observed – in the first generation after processed foods and soft diets were introduced, 50% of the population began to experience an increase in malocclusion – crowed, crooked teeth. After another generation, this increased to 70% and after the third generation, this jumped to 85%. It takes 27,000 years for a genetic mutation to express itself in 51% of the human population. So how did this happen in just one generation? This tells us that malocclusion is not inherited – it is acquired.  This means that crowded, crooked teeth is not caused by genetics, it is caused by something else. It is caused by cultural changes.

We no longer breast feed our babies for 2-3 years and we no longer eat a hard diet.  Instead, we nurse our babies for 6 weeks or 6 months if we can and then we give them bottles and soft food – like baby food, macaroni and cheese and chicken nuggets. So, here is what we now know – most malocclusion is acquired, not inherited.  Malocclusion is unique to western culture and that the present of malocclusion is a key indicator of an underdeveloped airway.

Dr. James Wallace, a dentist, also completed research regarding development of the jaw. He concluded that, an early soft diet prevents the development of muscle fibers of the tongue resulting in a weaker tongue which cannot drive the primary dentition out into a spaced relationship with fully developed arches which will lead to more crowding of the permanent teeth.

This is the concept of epigenetic generational nutritional injury, meaning what your grandparents ate or did not eat, might eventually affect you as it can show in the next 3 generations! Thus, let’s recap why we reviewed all this history with you regarding airway centered dentistry. As the research has suggested crooked and crowded teeth are a common anomaly. Parents these days automatically assume their children need orthodontic treatment, more known as ‘braces,’ to fix their children’s crowded teeth. Many people will need their wisdom teeth extracted as their jaws are underdeveloped and they don’t have enough space to accommodate all 32 teeth. There has been more research on how underdeveloped jaws and airway can cause severe back and neck problems which were rare 400 years ago. Unfortunately, as Dr. Corruccini’s research has suggested, our airway and jaws are collapsing, which is not only concerning for our teeth, but also it has an effect on our overall systemic health. Research is suggesting that due to the obstruction of airway, most commonly known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), we have visible symptoms such as bed wetting in childhood, snoring in adulthood, chronic allergies, difficulty in school for children such as ADD/ADHD, sleep issues, nightmares, aggression and mouth breathing. All these symptoms also are evident as we grow older on our systemic health in ways of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and many other diseases which could be avoided by fixing our airway. In 2017, the Mayo Clinic’s article, “Sleep Apnea” stated, “1 in 5 people have shortness of breath and also According to the Journal of Sleep Medicine, “38,000 annual cardiovascular deaths [are] related to sleep apnea.”

So, let’s go back and answer our patient’s question: “Why am I grinding despite no stress in life?” This is one of the classic signs of our patient’s airway collapsing. In order to be able to breathe, our patient tends to grind, bringing his jaw forward to create space and get more oxygen. Children also tend to grind their teeth due to obstruction of their airway. Night terrors, bed wetting, difficulty in school, and ADHD are common symptoms of kids who have obstructed airway. Statistics show that “100% of American’s [are] directly or indirectly affected by snoring and sleep apnea.”

To put all of this together, Dr. Nasim Saeedi is among one of the few San Diego dentists to become educated on the effects of an ineffective airway on our overall health. She has undertaken the continuing education that is necessary to be able to diagnose and treat airway insufficiencies, and what that means is not only a focus on oral health, but also on systemic health. At your comprehensive appointment with Dr. Saeedi for your dental needs, the exam will also include airway assessment and if she finds compromised airway, Dr. Saeedi will educate you about treatment options, which may include DNA/mRNA appliance, by Vivos Life.

How does Vivos Work?

The Vivos experience begins with a consultation with Dr. Saeedi, a Vivos Certified healthcare provider, who has completed extensive training regarding airway and is a specialist in this matter. Your Vivos appliance is a custom-made appliance by Dr. Saeedi made to treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea. This device is very similar to a mouth guard and it is meant to be used mainly at night while sleeping for a duration of 12-24 months. The system works by helping prevent soft tissues in the throat from closing, hence, keeping the airway free of obstruction.

If you would like to learn more about vivos, please click here and link to the following website: https://www.vivoslife.com 

Treatment with CPAP and Other Appliances:

CPAP has been the main standard for treating OSA for many years, which involves a mask over the nose, mouth or both to treat the patient with continuous positive pressure oxygen during the night, which is effective, however, it is not a cure. Unfortunately, CPAP is a band aid for sleep apnea and the patient needs to constantly wear the device in order to see the results. Even one night without the CPAP can be detrimental to the overall health. Many patients only wear the CPAP a couple nights per week, or worse, not at all as it is extremely difficult to sleep with during the night.

Other devices such as snore guards and other oral Mandibular Advancement devices also exists for patients diagnosed with OSA, however, that is also not a cure, but a simple band aid, clearing the airway when the device is being used.

Vivos oral appliance therapy is all natural, non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical solution effective in addressing underlying causes of OSA. This FDA-cleared device not only helps adults with expansion of their soft tissue and palate, adding to their quality of life, but it also remedies the jaw problems children are having at a young age, by naturally expanding and widening their jaws, hence creating more space for their teeth and clearing the airway, and in return resulting in straighter teeth, minimizing orthodontic needs.

Benefits of Vivos Appliance Therapy

Oral appliance therapy such as Vivos has been proven to be the most non-invasive treatment for OSA and has been successful in curing snoring and sleep apnea in majority of cases. Our objective is to help people seek medical attention after airway assessment. We work closely with our patients to insure they are educated on the concept and are aware of the condition of their teeth, jaw, and also their airway. We evaluate the overall condition and understand our patient’s desire for alternate, yet, effective therapy and determine if they are a candidate for the Vivos appliance therapy.

Would you like to learn more?

We understand you may have more questions regarding the Vivos appliance therapy, and we are available to help you. Made and fitted especially for you, our safe and effective dental device has excellent patient approval. Contact our office today and ask for an evaluation from Dr. Saeedi to see if you are a candidate for the treatment at (858) 487-7766 or by emailing us at sdoralhealth@gmail.com

Live question and answer?

If you would like a webinar registration and also a live question and answer by Dr. Saeedi, please register above by clicking “Register for Vivos Webinar” or email us at sdoralhealth@gmail.com

 

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