Because the body is a complex system with many factors that we need to understand,which impact breathing and sleep, a proper patient evaluation is critical for establishing the best treatment protocol for our patients.
“Unfortunately, many times the airway tube does not form properly. A malformed airway can wreak havoc with muscle tone and head position. Research has clearly correlated head posture with mandibular position and temporomandibular joint disorders. Many of your patients will likely have these problems. They may complain of pain in the following muscles: masseters, sternocleidomastoid muscles (SCMs), trapezius, scalenes, splenius capitis and cervicis, medial and lateral pterygoids, temporalis and even the muscles of the low back. Simply put, if an airway is obstructed, a person will instinctively modify their muscle function to optimize or open the airway.”
Ron Hruska, M.P.A., P.T.
The Homeoblock™ protocol, which treats craniofacial dystrophy has been shown to improve malformed and underdeveloped airways. The Homeoblock™ appliance works with the body so that physiological changes occur naturally. When wearing the Homeoblock™ the appliances’ design sends a cyclical intermittent light force signal to the periodontal ligament, which surrounds the root of the teeth. The Homeoblock™ unique Unilateral Biteblock® technology simulates the body by replacing the missing hard food in our diet. Epigenetic signaling generates new bone growth and positional changes in the facial bone structure. These craniofacial changes occur due in part to each person’s genetic potential. My years of treating patients, has shown that the development of the bones of the face, results in better jaw alignment, improved head posture and the strengthening of the muscles for swallowing and breathing.
Treatment with the Homeoblock™ results in remodeling the maxilla (upper jaw) and provides proper jaw positioning and more room for the tongue. When you wear the Homeoblock™ the only way you can swallow is the correct way, by pressing the middle third of the tongue flat against your palate.
As the American Association for Orthodontists white paper has stated, the etiology of sleep apnea is Airway collapsibility.
Some of the contributing factors that we should be aware for our patient treatment are:
- Hyoid position; The geniohyoid muscle brings the hyoid bone forward and upwards. This dilates the upper airway, assisting respiration and reducing collapsibility.
- Inflammation; Epigenetic changes are a driver of airway inflammation. Inflammation contributes to airway These changes have been shown to be reversible.
- Airway tone; It has been demonstrated that the airway can be toned and collapsibility can be reduced.
- Airway size; Minimum airway area dimension influences the severity of sleep apnea. The oropharyngeal airway is a muscular tube; minimum airway size have shown that it can be increased
With this awareness we need to direct our treatment to these causative issues.
The results shown below are of patients treated with the Homeoblock™ therapy protocol and are generated from CBCT scans and “Analyze14” software.
Thoracic shape during respiration was assessed using 23 markers on both the upper and the lower thorax and compared between the 2 postures. [Results] Forced vital capacity, expiratory and inspiratory reserve volumes, forced expiratory volume at 1 second, and the peak flow rate observed with the forward head posture were significantly lower than that with the neutral head posture.
Improved airway symmetry allowing for better airflow
Red shows the increased airway volume
Airway Development and improved airway symmetry with Homeoblock™ treatment
fig. 4AP airway and axial airway size has improved and axial symmetry has improved after 24 months treatment with the Homeoblock™ therapy protocol
Improved axial airway symmetry
Fig. 5 Increased axial airway after 24 months
Shows bone growth, bone repositioning, sphenoid changes and mandibular repositioning Which results in proper jaw alignment
Improved condyle position right jaw joint
Facial Development; improved facial symmetry
Results below show face and airway changes.
Reduction of pus and granulation tissue could indicate improved breathing
Fig 5 More prominent cheekbones and improved facial symmetry
Red shows increased airway volume
Yes, breathing allows us to hack into our own nervous system, control our immune systems, and restore our health. Yes, changing how you breathe will help you live longer.
James Nestor “Breath A new Science of a Lost Art”