Have you ever woken up feeling tired? One morning feels bad, two even worse – but if you’re experiencing this often debilitating feeling every morning, something must be wrong.
Do you often:
- Wake suddenly at night for no real reason?
- Struggle to wake up properly in the morning without caffeine?
- Find your sheets and bedding in a tangle when you wake?
- Fall asleep in the evening while reading or watching TV – only to struggle to get to sleep at your normal bedtime?
- Breathe through your mouth when you sleep?
- Feel sleepy during the day?
- Have difficulty concentrating?
- Struggle to lose weight?
- Crave sugar and carbohydrates?
- Lose interest in sex?
- Have dark circles under your eyes?
If so, you may benefit from the AirwayCentric® approach.
Dr. Howard Hindin and I formulated the AirwayCentric® way of thinking when we discovered the same patterns over and over in practice – our patients were feeling more rested and healthy after certain changes and treatments. We had discovered a central yet often forgotten focus of systemic health: the airway.
What Is AirwayCentric® Dentistry?
AirwayCentric® is a new way of thinking about your health and the condition of your mouth. While functional medicine and dentistry have a much needed individualized approach to health, practitioners often ignore the importance of an open airway, breathing properly – and the relation to sleep.
You know how important breathing is – if you stop you die! But if you don’t breathe well it can have a huge impact on your health. And if your airway is compromised while you sleep, your breathing is impacted for a third of your life! This often results in exhaustion, lack of focus, and difficulty thriving in your daily life.
Too often these airway issues go undetected – and untreated. Instead, you try to treat the results of an airway sleep disorder – headache, depression, anxiety, obesity, insomnia, high blood pressure, diabetes, or autoimmune disease. But by ignoring the root cause, you ignore the underlying damage provoking these conditions.
The AirwayCentric® approach helps healthcare practitioners and patients understand the impact of a narrowed airway – and also that you need to treat an airway sleep disorder before tackling Temporomandibular disorders (TMD), teeth grinding or clenching, bite and occlusion. It focuses on a multidisciplinary approach – a collaboration between doctor, dentist, orthodontist, and ENT at the very least. Even more excitingly, it’s never too late to take action. We’ve seen great improvements in all age groups – from toddlers to those in their tenth decade.
Why Choose an Airwaycentric® Dentist?
An AirwayCentric® dentist, doctor, or orthodontist has specifically trained with us in order to change the lives of their patients – they want to make a difference.
Your AirwayCentric® dentist or doctor:
- Understands sleep and breathing function
- Uses the most up-to-date technologies in diagnosis and treatment
- Understands the anatomy of your airway and how it relates to TMD or obstructive sleep apnea.
- Integrates the AirwayCentric® approach into your diagnosis and treatment plan.
Airway centred dentistry revolves around more than just looking at your mouth. Your practitioner may need to look at your posture and ask you lifestyle questions – including if you suffer from any chronic pain. Your body is an amazing combination of systems, but everything has a knock-on effect – your poor breathing at night might be causing issues elsewhere in your body.
The structure and function of your airway has an impact on every aspect of your life – from your early development, through your behavior and academic career during school, and to your adult achievements. Your airway issues can cause forgetfulness, fatigue, and brain fog in middle age – even leading to dementia. Opting for an AirwayCentric® approach to your health is a way of looking after more than just your mouth and airway. It’s a chance to optimize your overall health, making sure you can rest and live your life to the fullest.
How Does the AirwayCentric® Approach Work in Treatment?
No two patients are the same – your AirwayCentric® treatment is individualized to you and your specific needs. Your multi-disciplinary team tailors your treatment depending on their findings – but it’s important to check and open up the airway first of all.
Here is an example of how treatment may work – bearing in mind that it’s impossible to include every possible scenario:
- Examination – Your dentist may check the movement and position of your jaw and whether your facial muscles are tender or tight. Your ENT specialist can check the health and position of your tonsils in relation to your airway, and assess how narrow your nasal airway is. Your orthodontist can assess the width and height of your palate and how it relates to nasal resistance. Your doctor can order allergy tests.
- Imaging – A dental CBCT is essential as it shows not only your teeth, but your soft tissue, airway, and bone – the best way to assess the width of your airway and if you have any TMD issues.
- Sleep study – If a sleep disorder is suspected, a sleep study should be undertaken to assess the number of respiratory events you experience overnight.
- Airwaycentric® orthodontic appliance – Night appliances are designed to wear during sleep, and they open up the airway to allow increased airflow and a night of more restful sleep. Day appliances can be useful to counteract TMD.
- Treat TMD – The oral appliances may have done some of the heavy lifting, but in some cases further treatment is needed, including botox or trigger point injections, functional manual therapy, posture correction, the Alexander technique, heat therapy, cold therapy, chiropractic treatments, muscle relaxants, NSAIDs, or neuropathic medicines.
- Orthodontics or restorative dentistry – to increase airway size and properly support the airway and temporomandibular joints.
Yes, it is possible to feel better in yourself – no more waking up gasping for breath or feeling terribly tired after sleep.
Yes, you can beat your daily morning headache and become the focused productive person you’ve always wanted to be.
No, you don’t have to fight insomnia or anxious feelings every night.
AirwayCentric® allows you to breathe again.
Are You Looking for an Airwaycentric® Practitioner in the New York Area?
If you’re struggling with poor sleep or a sleeping disorder in the New York area fill out our contact form or call to make an appointment with Dr. Gelb on (212) 752-1662. If you’d like to learn more about our AirwayCentric® approach, pick up a copy of GASP!: Airway Health – The Hidden Path To Wellness by Dr. Michael Gelb and Dr. Howard Hindin.