Question: Hi Dr. Izaky.
Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with MotherToday. We’re really interested in today’s topic, namely how dentistry can help people not only breathe but also sleep better. I am sure this will interest our readers greatly!
Answer: Well, thanks so much for taking the time to speak with me. Yes, the all important issue of getting a good night’s sleep! It feels like we could all use more quality sleep these days, right? It’s obviously one of the most essential things we need to function. Especially for kids. They need sleep in order to reach their full potential during the pinnacle of their physical and mental development stage. And so now that dentistry is becoming more and more evolved, everyone is starting to talk about what is commonly referred to as Airway Orthodontics. Now, if you haven’t heard of it, you’re not alone and you’re probably thinking, “How does a trip to the dentist help my child sleep better?” Right?
Question: Absolutely! Thanks so much for filling us in on this issue. So what are the signs that your child may be struggling with an airway obstruction?Answer: Grinding their teeth and mouth breathing are your first tell signs that there isn’t enough room for their airway to function properly. There are a few treatment options, but as I tell patients the most important is to not “ignore the snore!”Find a doctor that you trust, and feel confident in knowing they understand how to treat your child with every aspect of their health in mind. That’s a parents job after all!
Question: Exactly. So please tell us more.
Answer: Sure thing. Airway Orthodontics studies have established a link between optimal breathing and long-term health benefits. Certain oral habits and breathing obstructions can force the body to compensate for lower oxygen levels and Airway Orthodontics has a world of benefits besides aesthetics and alignment. As a mom, my first instinct is to do anything I can to keep my kids healthy, and I am sure is the same as many of your readers. For example, when I noticed my son was experiencing restless nights, that raised real concern for me. I want him to feel awake and focused during school and to enjoy growing up without being exhausted all the time. The good news is that I have a doctor here at my practice, Tribeca Dental Studio, who specializes in this treatment right in my office. Her name is Dr. Lena Sapozhnikoff and she treats children and adults with sleep disordered breathing through orthodontics. We decided together to treat both my son and daughter with a Maxillary Skeletal Expander MSE, also known as an MSE. The appliance that we use is built in the office and installed on the upper palate of the mouth to make more room for the teeth. It can also increase nasal volume by up to 20%. So you can imagine the benefits!
Question: That’s amazing. So what was the result?
Answer: Let me tell you how much of a difference it has made in his overall health! And I can sleep better myself knowing that my son won’t have to sleep with machines, or be bothered by oxygen restriction. And in another case, my PR Director struggled with severe sleep apnea for years. When she told us she would wake up gasping for air because she would stop breathing altogether, that was a no brainer for me and Dr. Lena to get involved with her care. And merely weeks into her treatment, she told us, “It’s like I can feel an extra ten pounds of oxygen coming in”. Now she says she can wake up in the same position she fell asleep in, and she’s never felt better.
Question: These real patient experiences are great to hear about. It sounds like these patients have made great strides in their quality of life.
Answer: Exactly! Granted the treatment can be done as an adult, we really like to put an emphasis on children. During their most important stages of growth, it’s important that they get a full night’s rest. Sometimes we forget that their temper tantrums and lack of focus are often products of sleep disruption or lack of proper oxygen intake. It can even affect their posture, induce anxiety, make it hard to concentrate, and impact their speech. It’s both bewildering and rewarding knowing this appliance can really impact someone’s life in a major way.
About Dr. Izhaky: