Dr. Sharona Dayan’s functional approach to treating gum diseases addresses breathing, nutrition and swallowing habits that play a role in the symptoms associate with gum diseases. Dr. Dayan is a Harvard-trained, Board-certified periodontist who treats gum diseases with modern comfort-enhancing technologies like lasers along with functional, nature-based therapies and traditional wisdom. She is an airway-centered periodontist who understands that form follows function and the successful treatment of gum diseases will also serve the fundamental need to breathe and swallow properly. This approach can not only heal your gum disease but can dramatically improve your health.
How Does A Functional Approach To Treating Gum Disease Benefits You, The Patient?
While many patients come to Dr. Sharona Dayan for the specific complaints of gum recession, gum disease, missing teeth or infected dental implants Dr. Dayan will take a more comprehensive approach than just treating these symptoms. Gum diseases may be related to a tongue thrust dysfunction that has developed from a mouth breathing habit. Plaque buildup may be related to the diet. Poor sleep and fatigue caused by mouth breathing can increase chronic inflammation and compromise the body’s ability to fight gum disease. Your maximum potential for healing gum diseases can only be reached if you also treat any underlying airway dysfunctions and mouth breathing. She will therefore approach your gum disease treatment by making functional improvements in the way you breathe, swallow, eat, drink and sleep.
Why Treat Gum Disease?
Gum diseases are pro-inflammatory and can contribute to to other illnesses by means of the inflammatory cascade. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, is said to have cured arthritis by removing an infected tooth. So this idea that there is a mouth-body connection goes back 2000 years. In the year 2000, the American Surgeon General made the first ever report on oral health when he stated that a healthy mouth is a necessary requirement for a healthy body. You can read the Surgeon General’s report here. Dr. Dayan takes a serious approach to reducing chronic inflammation not just in the mouth but in the entire body. Her blog posts offer helpful advice on how a functional approach to treating gum diseases can dramatically improve your health.
Why Are We Seeing So Many More Airway And Sleep Disordered Breathing Issues?
If we look at the skulls of ancient Egyptians, we see that they had very healthy dentitions and almost no crooked or crowded teeth. Back then, the children were breast fed for longer periods of time than they are today and they also ate a much coarser diet. We know today the jaws and airway develop as a result of muscle function. The act of breast feeding not only provides nutrition for the baby, but helps to develop healthy tongue, lip and cheek muscle function. These muscles, in turn, guide the jaws into a healthy growth pattern with a good airway, strong jaws, good head and neck posture and straight teeth.
The babies in theses ancient societies were weaned from breast feeding to coarse adult food and the muscles continued to develop because they were exercised. Today, our children eat softer, processed sugary foods and we wean our babies very quickly from breast feeding to bottle feeding and sippy cups. In western industrialized nations this has created several generations of children with small jaws, crooked teeth, small airways, open mouth breathing and poor head and shoulder posture. To hear world-renowned Dr. Brian Palmer and Dr. Steven Park’s supremely informative discussion of the negative impacts of our modern lifestyles on our health, listen to this podcast.
Mouth Breathing In Children
Dr. Christian Guilleminault was a world-renowned sleep physician at Stanford University who coined the term sleep apnea. He found that children who mouth breath do not adequately develop the face and airways and develop crooked teeth. They are also more likely to have ADHD from poor sleep. Children who snore or mouth breath are more likely to develop sleep apnea as adults. A small jaw and underdeveloped jaw will not not give the tongue enough space and the tongue can fall back into the throat at night resulting in snoring or sleep apnea.
What Do Small Jaws And Crooked Teeth Have To Do With Gum Disease And Airway And Sleep Issues?
Small jaws create less room for the tongue. The most important action of the tongue is to dilate the muscles of airway and make the throat wider for breathing. Breathing is the most fundamental function of the body. When there is less room for the tongue and you go to sleep, the action of gravity causes the tongue to fall back and block the airway. These blockages can cause snoring, upper airway resistance syndrome or sleep apnea. You will likely start mouth breathing during your sleep and thrusting your tongue against your teeth during every swallow in order to open the airway and open the blockages, contributing to gum recession and gum disease. Mouth breathing, whether during sleep or while awake, is one of the biggest reasons why people develop gum disease. Remember that if you snore or have sleep apnea you are mouth breathing! You can also watch a fantastic You Tube interview with Patrick McKeown on the harmful effects of mouth breathing, underdeveloped jaws, crooked teeth and sleep apnea. Click here to watch this awesome interveiew.
What Do These Airway Issues Have To Do With Gum Diseases?
Gum disease is an inflammatory condition that leads to tooth loss. It starts when certain disease-causing bacteria collect along the gumline then go deeper and deeper inside the pocket and cause the supporting tissues and bone around the teeth to dissolve. Mouth breathing is a risk factor for gum disease. Mouth breathing changes the pH of the mouth to be more acidic which promotes overgrowth of the bad germs. Mouth breathing also causes the mouth to dry out. Saliva provides a lot of natural immunity. When the mouth is dry the teeth don’t have the natural protection from saliva. In addition, many people with sleep apnea also have reflux that introduces acid and stomach bacteria into the ears, sinuses and mouth. This adds to the acidity in the mouth. The stomach bacteria like H. pylori don’t belong in the mouth and can disrupt the healthy flora of the mouth and cause gum disease.
For these reasons, Dr. Dayan suggests undergoing gum disease treatment in conjunction with a sleep appliance and orofacial myofunctional therapy to promote nasal breathing. If you were born with a tongue tie that is causing mouth breathing you may also need a simple laser facial release of the frenum to allow the tongue to have full function and promote nasal breathing. This is an example of a comprehensive, functional approach to treating gum diseases.
If you have been told you have gum disease or need to have your teeth or dental implants removed, read about LANAP laser treatment, the most advanced treatment for gum disease. You can read more about it here. Don’t take the drastic step of removing your teeth or dental implants before you click here to book a 20 minute video consultation with Dr. Sharona Dayan to see how she can help. You can also call the office at (310)205-0900 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mouth Breathing Can Lead To Tongue Thrusting and Gum Recession
Sleep and breathing disorders can also cause the tongue to thrust during the swallow in an attempt to dilate the airway and create more airflow. We swallow more than 1000 times per day and the tongue is a very strong muscle. This is why a tongue thrust dysfunction can cause orthodontic relapse and gum recession. Dr. Dayan’s orofacial myofunctional therapy program can retrain your tongue so that is functions properly during the swallow. After the tongue is repatterned for a correct swallow you can request gum recession treatment using AlloDerm and the results will last much longer. If you need a retainer to keep your teeth straight or you have gum recession, you may have a dysfunctional swallow and mouth breathing habit. If you wake up in the morning with a dry mouth and feeling tired, click here to book a 20 minute video consultation with Dr. Sharona Dayan to see how she can help. You can also call the office at (310)205-0900 or email us by filling the contact form on the bottom of this page.
Dr. Dayan is passionate about helping her patients keep their own teeth in a state of health, function, comfort and beauty while reducing chronic inflammation in the mouth and body. She is a teacher and an oral health advocate who takes a comprehensive approach not just to treating gum diseases but also transforming her patients by healing the underlying causes.
Do You Think You Might Have An Airway and Sleep Issue?
Why not take a quick quiz to find out? The Foundation For Airway Health, a wonderful non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public about airway related disorders has developed a quiz to help you figure out if you are at risk. You can go to their website by clicking here.
We hope that after reading this page you have a better appreciation for gum disease as a symptom of dysfunctional mouth breathing and tongue thrust swallowing and why the functional approach to treating gum diseases will give you the best possible chance for healing your body. Don’t delay in getting the necessary help you need to work toward a healthier mouth, body and mind! Click here to schedule a Video Visit with Dr. Dayan to find out how she can help.