Solutions for Sleep Apnea &
Other Airway Problems
(And No, We’re Not Talking About CPAP)
Most people don’t think of a dental office as a place to go for help with snoring or sleep apnea, but in many ways, it’s the most logical place to start.
The Incredible Shrinking Jaw
That includes snoring and sleep apnea.
Sometimes the obstruction is so severe that you actually stop breathing over and over, throughout the night. In this case, the snore is a sign of obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA for short. Other common signs include bruxing (clenching or grinding your teeth during sleep), daytime sleepiness, and morning headaches.
When these episodes occur, your brain is deprived of the oxygen it needs to survive. Your body shifts into red alert mode to get you to resume breathing. It remains in a constant state of stress, fueling chronic inflammation.
This is one important way in which OSA raises your risk of many systemic health problems, from hypertension to stroke to cognitive decline.
The good news? Addressing the OSA can help lower your risk. The better news? CPAP isn’t the only option you have.
It was long thought that this was only possible for children, whose jaws and skulls continue to grow throughout adolescence, making it easier to guide proper growth with palate-wideners and other orthotropic devices. Today, we have the Vivos (formerly DNA) appliance, which works by stimulating stem cells within the jaws and tooth sockets to help reshape the arches at any point in a person’s life.
Where CPAP treatment is for a lifetime, remodeling the airway with Vivos means that treatment ends once it’s been enlarged enough.
All it takes is enough healthy teeth to support the therapy. And where Vivos isn’t an option, other devices may be used to help keep the lower jaw forward and the airway open.
Research suggests that such devices are as effective as CPAP for the treatment of mild to moderate sleep apnea and are better tolerated by patients.