Epigenetics refers to the study of changes in organisms caused by modification of gene expression rather than alteration of the genetic code itself.
This relatively new field provides dentists with advanced tools to treat individuals who suffer from sleep apnea, TMD, snoring, stiff joints, or other health issues.
Sleep apnea is a disorder characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep for 10 seconds or more at a time. These pauses are called ‘apneas’ followed by loud gasps for air which often wake the sufferer up.
The individual then resumes normal breathing while sleeping. As oxygen intake is reduced throughout these periods without restful sleep, other health problems can arise, including high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, and more.
What Is Epigenetic Dentistry?
Epigenetic dentistry allows individuals who suffer from sleep apnea to find relief and help restore balance in their bodies. Epigenetics helps scientists diagnose and treat various dental issues such as:
- Sleep apnea
- craniofacial development issues
- Tooth defects
- and more
Through epigenetics, scientists are able to diagnose and treat dental issues.
How Can Epigenetic Dentistry Help With Sleep Apnea?
When it comes to sleep apnea, many patients have to turn to CPAP machines to help them get through their nightly routine. These devices can be cumbersome, and often, individuals will end up not using the device at all.
Epigenetic dentistry allows patients to explore alternative methods such as oral appliance therapy or growth appliance therapy to help them find the relief they deserve.
Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral Appliance therapy is a way for individuals to receive dental treatment for individuals with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This therapy requires no surgery and will not leave any lasting effects on the body.
During this therapy, an epigenetic dentist will custom fit a mouth guard designed to shift the individual’s jaw forward while they are sleeping during the night.
Benefits of oral appliance therapy include:
- easy to wear
- and more!
Growth Appliance Therapy
Growth appliance therapy helps to stimulate the remodeling of the jaw and face to correct the upper airway. In turn, this will keep airflow open during sleep. This also improves the stability of upper cervical complex C-1 and C-2, which helps the alignment of the patient’s spine.
Sleep apnea treatment requires a neuromuscular dental professional. Sleep apnea can cause a broad spectrum of symptoms making it difficult to diagnose and treat. Dr. Firouzi at the Center for Exceptional Dentistry specializes in TMJ and sleep apnea treatment making his office an excellent resource for those in need of relief. Visit our contact page here or call (412) 274-1126 today for more information.