What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Why do Humans get Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
What does diet have to do with Sleep Apnea?
Our ancestors nursed their young much longer ans often for as long as 2 years. This nursing forced the infant to work harder to receive nutrition which helped develop the hard palate lip tongue muscles. This development enlarged the hard palate of the upper jaw making it larger. In addition our ancestors ate more raw foods, and they did not have many sharp utensils like knives, forks etc to cut food into nice little bite sized chunks. Their food had no refined starches, and sugars so they had to eat more to get energy. This eating exercise helped to continue developing the jaws as they had to tear the food with their teeth and chew much harder and longer to break it down. Our jaws and in particular our upper jaw fail to grow to their full potential. the net result is malocclusion (improper bite), impacted teeth (wisdom teeth etc.), speech problems, reverse swallows, plugged eustation tupes resulting in earaches, mouth breathing, enlarged tonsils, upper airway infections including sinus problems, allergies, swollen inflamed tonsils and adenoids, and the tongue forced to take a more rearward position in the throat pinching off the airway.
Our "modern" diets are very high in calories which leads to a larger frame and more weight. In addition, our "modern" lifestyle of convenience and fast food that tastes great tends to cause obesity. Obese people have more fat deposits in their tongue, neck, and every other body tissue. These fatty tissues encroach on the airway when lying down further decrease the airway when sleeping.
Can't the Orthodontist help with the tooth crowding?
This made the teeth look straight but further forced the teeth back into the face leading to a dished in face and a tongue position even further back in the throat. In essence this treatment of the teeth can lead to TMJ symptoms and makes Sleep Apnea even worse.
What can be done?
We recommend evaluating a child as early as possible and developing a program or interceptive orthodontic care. The goal is to help get the child's jaws "growing normally as early as possible" We take necessary records, and recommend a series of oral guides "that the child can easily wear to encourage proper growth and development of the face and jaws. In addition, these appliances can reduce or eliminate the need for braces later on. The appliances lower the overall cost of orthodontic care by as much as 66 percent.