Sleep Disorders such as snoring and sleep apnea are a serious medical problem with a orthodontic solution.
At Bhatia Orthodontics we offer a unique combination of Airway-focused Orthodontic techniques thus providing comprehensive holistic treatment for both children and adults.
Airway Orthodontics is not just about straightening the teeth. It also attempts to Recreate the Harmony of the Craniofacial System.
Progressive Orthodontic Philosophy attempts to address and treat the underlying CAUSE, not just the symptoms. Extensive research has shown that any initial signs of misaligned, crowded teeth or incorrect bite, means that the jaws are not growing properly. Misaligned teeth is only ONE of the many symptoms that signal a poor growth and development pattern. The underlying causes can be improper oral habits such as breathing through the mouth instead of the nose and an incorrect swallowing pattern.
Mouth-Breathing vs. Nasal Breathing:
The upper jaw grows properly when one breathes through one’s nose and the tongue positions naturally in the roof of the mouth. The properly positioned tongue is the actual physical scaffolding for a full wide upper jaw to develop and allow all teeth to come in straight. On the contrary, when breathing is out of the mouth, the tongue automatically drops down and hangs low to draw air. It does not push against the upper jaw during swallowing and the upper jaw width narrows and the arch “collapses.” The teeth then have less space available in the dental arch and become misaligned and crowded.
Moreover, if an upper jaw is narrow in width, it traps the lower jaw and keeps it from achieving its natural forward growth. This constricts the airway behind it.
The bones of the face are connected to each other, and when one bone is out of balance or not growing correctly, it can have a domino effect on the other bones and structures of the face. For example, the roof of the mouth (palate) is also the floor of the nose; they are, in fact, the same bone. Harmful, common behaviors like mouth-breathing, thumb-sucking lead not only to narrow, collapsed palates & crowded teeth but also directly affect the space, size, and shape of the nasal cavity. Constricted, narrow nasal cavities make breathing through the nose more difficult. This compromised nasal airway affects everything from daytime cognitive performance to nighttime sleep quality because the body cannot properly oxygenate the organs.
In addition to mouth-breathing, another harmful oral habit that should be addressed while in orthodontic treatment, is an acquired incorrect swallowing pattern, termed a “REVERSE SWALLOW.” An indication that a Reverse Swallow exists is when the lips “purse” together, while the chin strains and becomes “dimpled” in appearance during a swallow of food or drink. When this swallowing pattern happens repeatedly, about 2000 times per day, the muscles of the lips and chin put so much “inward” force on the upper and the lower teeth, that the teeth get “pushed backwards” and become crowded. In addition to the teeth being affected, this repeated “backward” muscle force inhibits or “holds back” the proper “forward” growth of the lower jaw and thereby leads to a constricted and compromised airway space and size.
You can now understand that the foundation of a healthy airway should be the goal of all orthodontic treatment and why addressing the CAUSE, and not just the symptom of crooked teeth, is important to the child’s smile AND general health.
Airway orthodontics coupled with Oral sleep devices can provide many benefits including the relief of:
• Chronic rhinosinusitis
• Jaw pain
• Facial asymmetry
• Obstructive sleep apnea
• Chronic digestive disorders
• Upper airway resistance
In children and adolescents:
An Airway – focused treatment plan can recreate facial harmony & optimize nasal airway breathing using orthopedic modalities along with orthodontic techniques.
Healthy Airways = Healthy Kids that grow into Healthy Adults