Genesis Family Dentistry

Airway Orthodontics in Uptown Charlotte, NC Near Plaza Midwood

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AIRWAY ORTHODONTICS – ADULTS AND CHILDREN

At Genesis Family Dentistry, Dr. Stacey Alston is passionate about helping children develop and grow. We aim to ensure that each child’s growth and development is not disrupted due to poor air flow. Our goal is to;

  1. Treat the foundation by understanding the development & structure of the jaw, tongue or oro-facial muscles.
  2. Treat the patient early. Treat early with Myofunctional therapy, treatment, and orthodontics.
  3. Treat the root cause of the symptoms with clear aligner treatment, Airway and facial esthetics, and more.

WHY AIRWAY ORTHODONTICS?

Crooked and crowded teeth may be the result of a more pressing underlying issue.

Airway Orthodontics delves deeper than traditional orthodontics, seeking the root cause behind crooked teeth. Through a comprehensive assessment of your child’s anatomy, breathing patterns, physiology, and neurology, and tailor a treatment plan that prioritizes whole body well-being.

Incorrect bite positions can originate from habits like mouth breathing or an incorrect swallowing pattern and can impact proper growth. Airway Orthodontics focuses on safeguarding and nurturing airway health through orthodontic treatment, aiming not just to correct but to promote strong airways. Improved airways not only enhance your child’s immediate health but also lay the groundwork for a healthier adulthood.

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AIRWAY ORTHODONTICS TREATMENT GOALS

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BALANCED BREATHING

With proper nasal breathing and tongue placement, the upper jaw naturally expands forward and widens, creating space for straight teeth. Most importantly, this alignment permits the lower jaw to find a balanced and forward position. This illustration shows a great comparison of the effects of having a very narrow upper arch and how it can change the development of the face to create a longer face, with a lower jaw that sits back, impinging on the airway space. 

HEALTHY JAW

When the lower jaw is pushed back into the skull’s base, it can trigger headaches, backaches, ear discomfort, and poor posture. This issue is known as Temporomandibular Joint dysfunction (TMJ). Our orthodontic approach, which widens the upper jaw, allows the lower jaw to move and grow freely. This helps support the health of the jaw joints, enhancing their function and flexibility.

BEAUTIFUL & LASTING SMILES

Over 80% of patients exhibit an underdeveloped upper jaw and midface. This imbalance often triggers an underdevelopment in the lower jaw.

To create beneficial orthopedic changes, we employ a comfortable appliance that targets the palate, facilitating the comprehensive remodeling of the midface and the upper jaw. This process not only changes the upper jaw but also gently and safely stimulates the lower jaw through an orthopedic approach.

EPIGENETIC APPROACH

The path of change follows a stored epigenetic blueprint for optimal development of the face in children. 

Once the new bone has been formed and the jaws are more fully developed, the following orthodontic treatments can correctly straighten the teeth into the newly developed bone provided by orthopedic stimulation.

CAN AIRWAY ORTHODONTICS HELP MY CHILD?

Sleep apnea is a serious condition that can affect your child’s brain and cause them to experience cognitive decline. In fact, Obstructive Sleep Apnea – sometimes referred to as OSA – affects as many as 5% of children and causes repeated obstruction to a child’s airway during sleep.

Airway orthodontics is essential when your child experiences disrupted breathing during sleep, often caused by partial or complete upper airway blockages. Although commonly associated with adults, Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) affects up to 5% of children. Disrupted sleep patterns pose significant risks, potentially leading to severe medical conditions and hindering learning and behavior development.

The goal is to mitigate the risks of severe medical and behavioral issues by restoring unobstructed airways during sleep. Airway Orthodontics is not only about smile enhancement. Improved dental alignment only enhances appearance and also plays a crucial role in optimizing airway function and overall health.

Mouth breathing is VERY unhealthy and affects how oxygen is used throughout the body! It’s important that mouth breathing be addressed as soon as possible to prevent serious health issues.

Dentist 28204 Alston Airway Tree

APPLIANCES USED TO HELP MANAGE OR TREAT SLEEP APNEA OR SMALL AIRWAY PASSAGES:

Several methods have been developed to treat airway obstruction, yet they are designed to provide immediate relief of the symptoms associated with OSA. There is an oral appliance therapy system called Vivos, which we are proud providers of, that is designed to expand the anatomical features of the airway and it may provide long lasting results. This system is noninvasive, nonsurgical, non-pharmaceutical, virtually pain free and can help treat both teens and adults. Vivos also has an oral appliance therapy system that will treat children, called the Vivos Guides. These appliances are used to help correct problems in the upper and lower jaw, thus encouraging proper growth and development so children can reach their full genetic potential. Our aim is to be more PROACTIVE in order to help prevent children from having the health issues that we already know are associated with OSA.

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MANDIBULAR ADVANCEMENT APPLIANCES TO HELP MANAGE SLEEP APNEA AND SNORING

A Mandibular Advancement Appliance used to promote open airways during sleep

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EMA mandibular advancement appliance.

What is Myofunctional Therapy?

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Myofunctional therapy is essentially physical therapy for oral structures. The therapy targets facial, neck, and mouth soft tissues to bring your tongue and jaw into a more ideal position. The treatment targets those with orofacial myofunctional disorders. These types of disorders can affect people of all ages and treatment can be customized to fit unique needs.

Myobrace is a natural way to straighten teeth and is highly effective for children between the ages of 6 and 16. Myobrace is designed to help children grow to their full genetic potential by assisting with habit correction, arch expansion, and dental alignment. It is a system of 3 appliances, as seen in the image below, and can be tailored to specific age groups.

There is also an adult series of Myobrace appliances which assist with habit correction rather than arch development. Many adults undergo orthodontic treatments at an early age, and their teeth can relapse due to inconsistent retainer use. The relapsing of the teeth is primarily due to the push and pull of their facial muscles and tongue on their teeth. Once these habits are broken, the teeth have a better opportunity to stay where they should be.

MYOBRACE APPLIANCES – A NATURAL WAY TO STRAIGHTEN TEETH WITHOUT BRACES


COMMON SYMPTOMS RELATED TO POOR SLEEP & OBSTRUCTED AIRWAYS

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There is a relatively broad spectrum of sleep-related breathing disorders. Snoring has become a societal norm, however, if someone often snores during sleep, it’s important to know that snoring is just on one end of the spectrum of sleep-related breathing disorders. Our goal is to help you or your child from moving down the spectrum of sleep-related disorders and developing OSA.

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  • ADD/ADHD
  • Hyperactivity
  • Inattention
  • Impulsivity
  • Oppositional behavior
  • Difficulty waking up in the morning
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Moodiness and irritability
  • Bedwetting (enuresis)
  • Academic problems and poor cognitive performance compared to peers
  • Insomnia
  • Restless sleep patterns
  • Chronic upper respiratory infections
  • Enlarged tonsils and adenoids
  • Asthma
  • Immune suppression
  • Night sweating
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Fatigue
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Insulin resistance and pre-diabetes syndrome
  • Slowed growth patterns

Your dentist will check your child’s mouth for several things when diagnosing sleep apnea, most notably including an enlarged and elongated uvula, enlarged tonsils, and an enlarged tongue: It’s important to note that enlarged tonsils can affect your child’s airway – the extent to which your child’s tonsils are enlarged and their breathing capacity during sleep are directly correlated.

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