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

Once upon a time, humans had more fully developed jaws. Their smiles were broad, showing straight, healthy teeth. As they shifted to softer diets that included more refined grains, starches, and sugars, this began to change.
Jaws began to narrow, providing less space for the teeth and tongue. Crowded, crooked teeth and misaligned bites became more common. So did tooth decay, gum disease, and many other health problems.

That includes snoring and sleep apnea.

Why Are Snoring & Sleep Apnea Such a Big Deal?
A snore is the sound of air trying to get through an airway that’s obstructed by something, such as excess tissue around the top of the windpipe or the tongue or jaw falling backward, partly covering it.

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.

What Treatment Is There Besides CPAP?
For years, CPAP – a device that uses gentle air pressure to keep your airway open – was considered the only treatment option for OSA. Today, there are dental appliances that can help keep the airway clear and, in some cases, even help remodel the airway itself.

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.

Vivos Oral Appliance Therapy at New Earth Dental
Vivos is so new and so innovative that there are only a handful of Bay Area dentists who are certified to provide it. Dr. Saffarpour is one of them, helping patients from San Jose and around the South Bay improve their mouth/body health through better breathing.
She and her New Earth Dentistry team would love to help you – or a loved one – on your way to getting a better night’s sleep and enhanced health and well-being. Give us a call now to get started.