What is Airway Orthodontics?
For our practice, Orthodontics is a lot more than just straight teeth and a beautiful smile, we also are focus on other health aspects including Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB). Airway Orthodontics refers to orthodontic treatment methods used to help in treating OSA and SDB.
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB)?
Obstructive Sleep Apnea occurs when the airway closes off sufficiently during sleep that breathing stops. This triggers release of cortisol (the “fight or flight” or “survival” stress hormone) that increases heart rate and activates muscles to force breathing. Although the person doesn’t actually wake, they are driven from deep restorative sleep to “catch their breath”. Once they begin to relax to the deeper levels of sleep, it happens all over again.
This is hard on the body – like running a race all night long. You wake up exhausted and unrested, but more importantly, prolonged levels of increased cortisol negatively affects the immune system, normal hormone production, insulin function, gastric acid production, learning and memory retrieval, and a host of other organs and body functions.
Please visit Snoring & Sleep Apnoea page of the British Orthodontic Society to learn more.
Symptoms of OSA & SDB
- Mouth Breathing
- Enlarged Tonsils/Adenoids
- Facial & Jaw Deformities
- Restless Sleep & Drowsiness During the Day
- Short Attention Span or ADD/ADHD
- Bed Wetting
The most common and significant are:
- Obstructive tissues (enlarged tonsils, adenoids, turbinate bones (in the nose), deviated septum)
- Lack of room for the tongue (narrow jaws, recessive upper and lower jaws, tongue-tied)
Treatment of obstructive sleep apnea requires cooperation between different medical specialists, dentists and orthodontists. One of the available options is the Obstructive sleep apnea appliance, growth-oriented orthodontics appliances such as jaw expansion, advancement of upper and/or lower jaws to create room for the tongue and open the airway) rather than pulling teeth.
Obstructive sleep apnea appliance are wearable appliances that can help by repositioning the jaw slightly to help oxygen flow properly. Our specialist orthodontist is a certified user of one of the most popular obstructive sleep apnea appliance (Sleepwell).
Other methods to treat OSA that are provided by the medical specialist are reduction of obstructive tissues (Remove Tonsils/Adenoids, allergy correction or naturopathic).
Orthodontics with Dr Mo
If you’re looking for an orthodontist near me in Edinburgh, our specialist Orthodontist, Dr Mo Almuzian, has 20 years of experience. Dr Mo is passionate about basing his treatments on producing a healthy foundation with functional aesthetic orthodontic outcomes. All suggested treatment plans are based upon researched evidence and customised according to the difficulty and aesthetic result required.