Breathing is the most important thing you do.
The air you breathe supplies your body with the oxygen you need to survive, function, and thrive. Millions of people aren’t breathing well because of airway insufficiencies. These insufficiencies can cause disordered breathing, resulting in an inadequate oxygen supply to every cell in your body.
As Dr. Klein says, “When you breathe better, you sleep better, and when you sleep better, you feel better. When you feel better, you live better!”
Optimizing your breathing is key to improving your health. Airway insufficiencies and disordered breathing patterns can impact existing conditions, including TMD, sleep apnea, snoring, bruxism, mouth breathing, and pain. When left untreated, these conditions can cause serious health complications, raising your risk for a stroke, cardiovascular events, high cholesterol, diabetes, and more.
Airway dentistry can help address key airway insufficiencies and disordered breathing patterns. Taking a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach, the Spring Oaks Dental team will conduct a careful evaluation to determine the cause of any airway issues. Using advanced dental techniques, airway dentistry helps restore functional breathing patterns, benefitting your overall health in the process.
Getting an accurate picture of your airway is the first step to better health.
Cone-beam computed tomography quickly and easily captures this data.
A cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) scan is a digital, 3D image of your head and neck region taken in our office. Using this image, we can see your airway in its entirety to determine if and where there is narrowing and to what degree. CBCT imaging can also see potential issues with sinus cavities, nasal passages, the temporomandibular joints (TMJs), and the tonsils and adenoids. In addition to analyzing it in-house, we will also send your CBCT scan to a radiologist for interpretation to ensure that we leave no stone unturned regarding your health.
When disordered breathing is getting in the way of your rest, airway dentistry can help.
A sleep study can help us gather the insight we need to get you sleeping well.
When patients come in experiencing sleep apnea or other disordered breathing conditions interrupting their rest, getting to the bottom of it is essential. At Spring Oaks Dental, we use in-home sleep tests called VivoScore and WatchPAT ONE. The VivoScore is an easy-to-use ring worn at night on the finger. Available in adult and pediatric sizes, patients can rent one from our office for three nights. The WatchPAT ONE is a single-use device that looks like a watch and has two leads attached. One is a pulse oximeter for your finger to monitor your oxygen levels, and the other is a heart monitor that sticks to your chest and monitors your heart rate and rhythm and how they relate to your oxygen levels overnight. If these devices cannot capture the level of detail that we need to adequately assess the root cause of your disordered breathing, we are happy to send in a referral for an in-office sleep study.
With airway dentistry, you will
Sometimes, facial structure may inhibit proper airway function.
Luckily, no one has to settle for disordered breathing.
Proper functioning of the soft tissue may be prevented by what are known as the tongue-, lip-, and buccal ties. These are tissue restrictions that inhibit optimal mouth and breathing development. Once a patient undergoes myofunctional therapy to retrain the muscles around the face and mouth to function more adequately, they may be eligible for release of these restrictions. At Spring Oaks Dental, we recommend releasing the restrictions around age 7 and up. To do this, we use a top-of-the-line Solea CO2 laser. Using this tool, we can quickly and easily complete the treatment.
Snoring doesn’t have to be permanent.
With Solea Sleep, you can be confident that your rest will be quiet and healthy.
Research shows us that snoring may be caused by collapsing or obstructed nasal passages that lead to the individual breathing through their mouth instead of their nose. When this happens, the tongue may drop to the back of the throat and obstruct the airway, the vibration of the soft palate and uvula, or a combination of these. Solea Sleep is a specific mode of the Solea laser used to tighten loose tissue. This treatment noninvasively reduces palatal snoring and helps patients maintain a more open airway and sleep more soundly.
Your mouth needs enough space to function at its best.
Clear aligners and dental appliances can gently expand your dental arch.
Clear aligners and appliances are another set of resources our team may use to improve your airway. These include the CandidPro clear aligners, which discreetly shift the teeth. These aligners can subtly expand the dental arches, creating more tongue space for better breathing. Other removable and fixed appliances can also expand the dental arches in cases that require more significant adjustment. We’ll work with you to develop a customized treatment plan tailored to your unique needs.
You deserve the best specialists to ensure functional breathing.
Our referral network can provide the expertise you need.
At Spring Oaks Dental, we have the expertise to tackle your airway dentistry needs, but we know that improving this critical system may require treatment beyond our scope. That’s where our network of experts comes in. There are several airway practitioners that we know and trust. We’ll refer you to the professionals in this network when needed, working with you every step of the way to make sure you feel comfortable. Below are some of the common therapies or practices that we may refer patients to as part of our airway dentistry work:
- ENT evaluation: The entire airway must be adequate and clear to breathe correctly and receive the oxygen your body requires. If we suspect a blockage that is not directly related to the mouth, we will refer you to an ENT for evaluation.
- Myofunctional therapy: This is possibly the most crucial piece of the airway puzzle. The mouth’s soft tissues must perform properly and be balanced for adequate breathing and function. When they are out of balance, there can be developmental issues with the jaws and beyond. Also, when we treat the “architecture” of the mouth and do not address the soft tissues’ function, patients will relapse after treatment. Addressing the soft tissues through myofunctional therapy addresses the root cause of why the issues started in the first place.
- Chiropractic care and bodywork: Your body must be aligned to function optimally. The cervical vertebrae support the posterior portion of the airway, so an aligned neck means better airway anatomy. Chiropractic care can also improve the position of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). If there are restrictions we are working on or we are restructuring the dental arches in any way, we need to make sure the rest of your body is keeping up with the changes, and chiropractic care helps us do that.
- Craniosacral and massage therapy: This closely follows the recommendations for bodywork and chiropractic care. Craniosacral therapy releases tension deep within the body and can improve your overall health and well-being. Massage therapy is also great for releasing tensions and improving blood flow and healing of your tissues. This can be an essential step along the healing journey of improving breathing, sleep, and airway issues.