One of Dr. Friedman’s passions is to help people breathe better. By redirecting the growth of jaws in children, or even just reducing crowding for adults to make more room for their tongues, she can make the airway larger, allowing her patients to receive more oxygen and live a better quality of life.
How is this done?
There are several jaw movements that help open the airway. One of these jaw movements is the expansion of the upper jaw. Because the roof of the mouth is the same bone as the floor of the nose, when you expand the upper jaw, you are also increasing the size of the nasal cavity.
It is extremely important to be able to breathe through your nose. Every living tissue in the body requires oxygen to survive. There are hormones that are released from the sinuses into the air you inhale that help to deliver oxygen to your entire body. If you breathe through your mouth, the sinuses are being bypassed, and therefore the hormone is not injected into the inhaled air, so oxygen is delivered to the body less efficiently.
Another jaw movement that opens the airway is to bring either the upper or the lower jaw forward. If a child’s jaw is not growing properly, where it is too small and too far back, it can make the airway too small, making them susceptible to Obstructive Sleep Apnea, even if it’s later in life.
Dr. Friedman is an excellent and experienced provider of jaw orthopedics for children. Orthodontic appliances can help redirect the growth of the jaws forward in growing children. By doing so, Dr. Friedman can help open the airway for the child’s entire life, thus preventing illnesses like Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
In adults, while you can no longer do jaw orthopedics, there are surgical options for severe cases requiring jaw changes, or dental tooth movement options alone. In the tooth movement-only-options, Dr. Friedman can often increase the space for the tongue in the mouth, allowing it to come more forward, which also opens the airway.
Alternatively to orthodontic treatment for airway purposes, if you have been diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), we also make Sleep Apnea appliances to help open the airway at night while you are sleeping. Please See our page regarding Sleep Apnea mandibular advancement devices.