Orthodontic Treatment of Sleep Disorders

Dr. Shapira

What do I do about sleep apnea and snoring?

dna-appliances

Do you have trouble sleeping and stay awake at night for hours, or find yourself waking up suddenly, gasping for breath? You may have a sleep disorder like sleep apnea. If you have a sleep disorder you may have one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Loud and persistent snoring
  • Persistent sleepiness during the day
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Decrease in work efficiency.

These symptoms could be due to sleep apnea. This sleeping disorder happens when you are unable to breathe easily while asleep because your airway is obstructed in some way. Not getting sufficient oxygen while you are sleeping means you haven’t achieved the deep sleep that is required for normal functioning during your waking hours.

You may be unaware of your night time breathing problems, since you seem to sleep through the night. This often results in feeling tired even though you got a good amount of sleep. There are some new orthodontic treatments for sleep apnea which may help to alleviate these symptoms. These are called epigenetic orthodontics.

Epigenetic Orthodontics for sleep disorder treatment

Epigenetic orthodontics is a treatment specifically designed to grow jaws orthopedically and to grow airways pneumopediclly to prevent airway obstruction.  This is different from typical orthodontics because it does not use heavy mechanical forces to move your teeth. Instead, a removable device called Daytime-Nighttime Appliance™ (DNA appliance™) is placed on your teeth throughout the evening and night, which lets the body alter the positions of your teeth more naturally and gently.

Genetics is the study of genes and our genotype describes the actual genes in an individual.  Phenotype is a description of how our genes are expressed.  Epigenetics is the study of how environment changes our gene expression.  The DNA appliance is used to correct acquired deformities and to bring out the ideal form and function.  Dr Shapira recently lectured (March 2014) at the ICCMO meeting in Buenos Aires on the common developmental pathways of TMJ and Sleep disorders and the epigenetic causes of these problems.

It has become common for children to do two step orthodontics with expansion (growth) being done as a first phase and braces or invisalign as a second phase of treatment.  This has not been possible in adults until now.  The DNA appliance allows us to grow and expand adults today .

These newly developed DNA appliances™ don’t depend so much on the continuous force that traditional orthodontic braces use but instead they help to move the teeth, the jaws, the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), the face and the airway into better relationships which help to ensure adequate sleep and correct breathing. The DNA appliances™ are made with special  3-D Axial springs™, which do not require any adjustment on a regular basis but puts vibrations into the system which greatly enhances treatment.

The RNA Appliance is a combination DNA growth appliance and a Mandibular advancement sleep apnea appliance.  There are published case reports of sleep apnea cures from treatment with DNA and RNA appliances.

The Epigenetic Orthodontic treatment Difference

Typical force orthodontics is a 4 step process.  The force is appliaed leading to inflamation (and pain) which causes the bone to resorb, the teeth move into the area of resorbtion and consolidation occurs.

Epigenetic Orthodontics eliminates the inflammation and pain by the gentle vibrations and the fact that movements are only 250 microns per adjustment.  This eliminates most or all of the pain associated with orthodontics.

Discover the DNA device

The DNA device is the most recent non-surgical device now in use to help address the causes of sleep apnea. As an alternative to other forms of sleep apnea treatment, it works by naturally remodeling your airway. It widens your arch while altering your oral cavity’s shape. Its aim is to improve your breathing.

Many people depend on other devices, such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), which pushes oxygen into the lungs by force, but it is hard for many people to use. As well as helping to change the way you breathe, DNA straightens your teeth while creating more aesthetic facial features.  A wide full smile is one benefit of the DNA Appliance but it allows us to permanently correct growth discrepancies without surgical intervention.

 Find out if it’s right for you

While you may be excited about the creation of this new sleep apnea treatment, you should get an evaluation of your health status in relation to your snoring and breathing problems which will determine if DNA or RNA appliance is right for you.

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