Naturally Treating the Silent Crisis Among America’s Children
What is the silent crisis among our children today? An estimated 9 out of 10 of our kids in America suffer from one or more of the following symptoms on this tree:
With such a high number of children in our communities being affected by these symptoms, doctors started to look at what could be the root cause. Sleep disordered breathing (SDB) is an all–inclusive term for breathing difficulties, which can range from mild snoring to severe obstruction during sleep. When your child’s breathing is impeded, their body recognizes it similarly to choking and the brain sends an automatic response to wake up to breathe ultimately disrupting their sleep cycle. The effects of poor sleep show the next day, and over time will lead to other symptoms such as difficulty in school, chronic allergies, and even misdiagnosis of ADHD/ADD.
Why would SDB affecting my child?
To answer the why, we turn to research by Dr. Robert Corruccini. In less words, Dr. Corruccini did a lot of research on the development of the human skull. He found that human skulls from 400 years ago had bigger upper and lower jaws and had room for all 32 teeth in their jaws. There was very little incidence of crooked or crowded teeth. Today we often don’t even have room for 28 teeth without them being crowded. In medicine, we call crooked and crowded teeth malocclusion. Dr. Corruccini then studied isolated, rural populations all over the world. These were groups of people who were not exposed to things like baby formula and processed foods. He found that these populations breast fed for many years, usually 2-3 years. And their diet from infancy was made up of hard, tough foods like root vegetables and dried meat. After looking at his findings, he came to 3 conclusions:
Next, Dr. Corruccini asked what happened to the rural populations as western culture and soft diets were introduced into them. He found dramatic changes. In the first generation after processed foods and soft diets were introduced, 50% of the population began to experience an increase in crooked and crowded teeth (malocclusion). After another generation, this rose to 70% and after the third generation, this jumped to 85%.
What’s the significance? Normally it takes 27,000 years for a genetic mutation to express itself in 51% of the human population. So how did malocclusion show up in half of the rural populations in just one generation? This tells us that malocclusion is not inherited, but acquired. To bring this home, crooked, crowded teeth are not caused by genetics, it is caused by cultural changes.
We are coming to what this all has to do with the childhood problems on the symptom tree. The key to why an early soft diet and lack of longer breastfeeding is harmful is that it doesn’t allow for the development of the tongue’s muscle fibers. This results in a weaker tongue which can not force the primary teeth out into a spaced relationship with fully developed U-shaped dental arches. This leads to crowding of the permanent teeth. When the tongue is not strong, a child will end up with a V shaped, gothic arch and crowded teeth. But when their tongue is strong and functions correctly, they will have a proper U-shaped arch that has room for all their adult teeth to move in without issues.
Now let’s connect everything together. Below is an image of the airway, mouth and nasal cavity. You can see that if the upper jaw is not fully developed, it will affect the nasal airway (the upper jaw is the floor of the nasal airway). Second, an underdeveloped upper jaw keeps the lower jaw from fully developing because the upper teeth trap the lower teeth from forward growth. When this happens the lower jaw cannot expand forward to its correct position. And when the lower jaw cannot expand forward to where it needs to be, the child’s airway will not grow as it should. Over time, sleep problems will appear along with other issues on the symptom tree. The underdeveloped airway leads to restless sleep and insufficient oxygen for normal bodily function.
We can now make a direct connection to how some of the symptoms on the tree are related to sleep disordered breathing. But, what about ADD/ADHD, chronic allergies, bedwetting and delayed growth?
A child who doesn’t get a proper night’s sleep with a good quality of breathing throughout the entire night is going to wake up unrested. When a child has poor sleep quality coming from poor breathing all night for years, the result is a child who will have trouble learning in school or sitting still. Not soon after the phone call to the parent is made saying your child is disruptive in class and we want you to have them evaluated for ADD/ADHD. They’re going to be diagnosed with ADD/ADHD and the doctor’s solution is pharmaceutical. A stimulant is prescribed that pushes them over the edge to bring them back to a “so called” calm state, but that does not make the child a better learner. They might be sitting still because they are more numb but it does not improve their academics because the underlying problem (restful sleep) was not addressed. The interesting thing about current and past research is that children who are sleep deprived produce the exact same symptoms as children diagnosed with ADD/ADHD. One study showed that when you mix kids with SDB and kids with ADD/ADHD, a difference can not be made between the two. A second two year study followed children with SDB and 50% of the kids were diagnosed with ADD/ADHD.
In general, allergic reactions interfere with normal, healthy sleep. Allergies create nasal congestion and nasal congestion can dry out your child’s mouth or block their airway. Both of these factors can lead to “apneas” which is when breathing temporarily stops at night and is the basis of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). To sum this up, allergies and SDB/OSA can be connected if allergic reactions are interfering with your child’s breathing during sleep on a regular basis. Allergies can have other effects on restful sleep like swelling the tonsils or adenoids from mouth breathing. When a child breathes through their mouth, incoming pathogens are collected by the adenoids and tonsils, causing them to swell and possibly leading OSA and sometimes removal surgery. A healthy child however breaths through their nose which produces nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is also anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-parasitic, and antibacterial!
As the brain prioritizes maintaining necessary oxygen levels, it shifts focus away from controlling other bodily functions, including bladder control. This is why bedwetting is a common symptom in children and even adults with OSA.
Any sleep disorder that disrupts deep sleep may decrease growth hormone secretion.
Whats the Solution?
Vivos Therapeutic Therapy: The solution to Childhood Sleep Disordered Breathing
The Vivos Therapeutics System for children directs proper upper and lower jaw development as they grow. It helps plan for newly erupted and future teeth ensuring that they have enough room in the mouth. Once your child’s upper and lower jaws are properly developed, their airway is able to properly develop. The treatment is a clinically effective non-surgical, non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical, and low-cost solution that is FDA approved and has over 15,000 successful patients worldwide. The treatment itself consists of special removable retainers that are worn at night (and day if desired for faster results) for 12 to 24 months.
Now there is a way to achieve natural jaw and airway growth through the Vivos oral appliance that has the additional benefits of correcting your child’s smile (no need for braces) and the other issues we’ve discussed that can be solved when a healthy, oxygen rich airway is achieved. The first step to treatment is analyzing your child’s airway and working with you to find a financial and insurance plan that works for your family. If you have questions or want an airway analysis for your child or maybe yourself, you can call us at (704) 900-5284 or email us at [email protected]