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   Mind     Body     Mouth

Issue #6, November 2016

Sleep Apnea & Grinding Can Be a Thing of the Past – & You Can Thank the DNA Appliance for That!

What do sleep apnea and tooth grinding (bruxing) have in common? They’re both signs that you’re not getting enough air.

With apnea, you’re repeatedly choking and jolting awake – the body’s emergency response to a blocked airway. With bruxing, you’re often just trying to get your jaw into a position that lets you take in more oxygen.

No oxygen, no life. (Check out the sidebar for more.)

Typically, apnea treatment includes either wearing a CPAP device during sleep or an appliance that keeps the tongue from falling back into the airway. Bruxers are given nightguards. While these all can improve sleep to varying degrees, neither addresses the root of the problem.

DNA applianceBut recent technology has brought us a new kind of therapy that actually lets us treat the cause and provide long-term relief: the DNA appliance.

This device takes advantage of the wealth of stem cells you have in your jaw joints and tooth sockets. By stimulating these cells, we can enlarge the oral cavity and airway, making it easier for you to breathe freely and consistently during sleep.

The added benefit is a boost to your overall health. Research has consistently shown a relationship between sleep disordered breathing and problems such as chronic pain, high blood pressure, stroke, depression, memory issues, lower immunity, and stroke. It’s also shown a lowering of risk when the body gets more oxygen.

We’re proud to offer this cutting edge technology in our office. Ask us about it at your next appointment!

Improving Health by Widening the Airway

In his forthcoming book Six-foot Tiger, Three-foot Den, biological dentist Dr. Felix Liao shows how a pinched airway can have serious, long-term effects on your overall health.

The title describes the effect of a mouth too small to comfortably fit the tongue. The tongue is forced into the throat, where it “becomes a ‘tiger’ stressing the body, the mind, and the teeth. This obstruction causes cumulative oxygen deficiency day and night, and poor sleep year after year, until it leads to various symptoms throughout the body.”

OSA symptoms

According to Dr. Liao, turning an impaired mouth into a Holistic Mouth may be the missing link in treating a wide variety of chronic health problems besetting Americans today. DNA appliance therapy is a key part of the process.

Here’s a brief excerpt, which Dr. Liao graciously allows us to share with you ahead of print:
 

One Dental Trouble After Another: The Case of Avis

Sixty-three-year old Avis…had come in for an initial consultation regarding two other dental treatment plans totaling $29,000 and $19,000, respectively.

Avis kept her teeth and gums spotlessly clean. “But each time I go the dentist,” she said, “there’s something else wrong.” Daily, she walked 5 to 7 miles for exercise, and she had lost weight since changing her diet. She had been doing her part, yet her teeth keeping having costly troubles. How could that be?

Our Chair Side Investigation revealed an important clue: Avis seldom woke up feeling refreshed – “less than twice a week since forever,” she said. A 3D CT scan revealed an airway the width of angel hair. I gave her an overview of impaired mouth as a problem and Holistic Mouth as a solution. Then I asked her, “Would you mind telling me what you learned from coming to see me?”

“First, having a six-foot tiger in a three-foot den creates an airway issue. Secondly, airway comes before dental work.”

“You’ve got it. Airway dictates, and the rest of the body adapts to a pinched airway by paying a price.”

dental imaging

“I wonder why my dentists always found problems whenever I went back for checkups and cleanings, even as they complimented me on my home care. But I kept getting cavities just the same. I’ve been dealing with my teeth since my 20s.”

“Poor dental hygiene is not your problem. Sleeping with a normal size tongue inside a half-sized mouth is. Each time you sleep, your body experiences an oxygen deficiency that threatens life. Higher body acidity is a ripple effect of oxygen deficiency. To neutralize that acid, your body robs calcium from wherever it can, mainly bones and teeth. Another reaction to airway obstruction is teeth grinding, which can damage natural teeth and loosen dental work.”

“Really?! That’d explain why I kept getting cavities over the past 30 years, even after I stopped all sweets. Apples and baked potatoes are the only treats I get. So where do I start?”

“You should still get your cavities treated to keep your teeth. But before your next dental reconstruction, let’s fix your airway to avoid further damage from the same old pattern.”

Avis frowned. “How come I never heard about Holistic Mouth before?”

“Dentists’ eyes are trained to see teeth and gums, whereas a Mouth Doctor looks at the airway, the neck, the jaw joints, the tongue space between the jaws. Airway blockage by the tongue starts as a mouth problem that creates teeth problems later.

“Here’s the good news: Deeper sleep without airway obstruction and more energy without body acidity is still possible because you still have enough good teeth in the right places. And redeveloping your airway costs much less than a third of dental reconstruction.”

“Really? I can’t wait to wake up feeling great for once in my life!”

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Seattle Magazine cover

Why Oxygen?

You could go days without food or water. Maybe not comfortably. But you’d live.

Not so with oxygen. Even just 3 minutes of deprivation starts killing brain cells. Your brain, in fact, is the biggest user of oxygen, consuming about 20% of the more than 400 liters of the stuff you inhale each and every day.

But why oxygen?

For one, it’s critical to your body’s ability to generate energy in the form of ATP. This molecule is formed mainly in the mitochondria of your cells, and it’s what transports chemical energy within your cells. Without it, cells die. No oxygen, no ATP. It’s that simple.

Insufficient oxygen also means a more acidic environment in the body – a condition that fuels chronic inflammation and all manner of ills that arise from it. Think heart disease. Think stroke. Think rheumatoid arthritis. Think cancer.

And it means that many pathogens – harmful bacteria and other microbes – can flourish, since these bad bugs tend to be anaerobic (flourishing in the absence of oxygen). This is one reason why ozone therapies can be so helpful: the flood of super-charged oxygen decimates pathogens.

Image by Jerome Walker, via Wikimedia Commons

Meet Our Newest Team Members!

Since our last issue, we’ve had a number of staff changes here at the office. If you’ve been to see us lately, you’ve met them. If not, some quick introductions:

  • Brad does a little bit of everything here at Green City Dental! You may find him assisting chairside, supporting patient care, or even installing a new piece of dental equipment! That’s why we like to call him our “Brad of All Trades.”

  • Matt is our DNA/mRNA appliance specialist. His passion for holistic oral medicine is deeply rooted in his sincere desire to help others achieve their highest quality of life. He believes that a healthy mouth helps create a healthy human, and healthy humans make a healthy world.

  • Aimee is our biological hygienist, born and raised in Yakima. Her career in dentistry began while volunteering in Jamaica with a local nonprofit. Periodic volunteer work abroad with dental charities lets her also indulge in one of her favorite activities: travel!

  • Our new office administrator is Heather – an Edmonds native who also happens to be a Registered Dental Assistant. “I love seeing people smile at the end of their treatment,” says Heather, “when they feel good about their teeth and smile.”

  • Patient Care Coordinator Shelby grew up right here in the Pacific Northwest and loves to help people better themselves and achieve their optimum health. In her spare time, she likes to work out, play soccer, dance, hike and go camping. And she’s a major Seahawks fan.

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