What We Treat

We diagnose and treat health concerns caused by underdeveloped jaws.

SLEEP APNEA

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a common and serious medical condition that causes a multitude of negative health problems and drastically decreases the quality of life. This disorder causes you to stop breathing during sleep and limits the amount of oxygen that reaches your lungs. It also inhibits your body’s ability to get into the most important REM and deep stages of sleep that allows your mind and body to repair itself. Many people try to adapt and deal with the consequences of their untreated sleep apneas 80-90% of patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea remain undiagnosed. Sleep apnea doesn’t improve itself without treatment. In fact, sleep apnea is a progressive disease that gets worse over time if the root cause of the sleep apnea isn’t addressed. 
 
Some of the common signs of sleep apnea are snoring and choking noises while you sleep.  If you don’t have these symptoms you may still have sleep apnea. 

Traditionally, the only non-surgical options to treating sleep apnea were CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) and Oral Appliances that just hold your airway open at night. Both tend to have just a band-aid effect as the condition still gets worse over time. At the Breathing and Sleep Center, we have better options that can permanently grow your airway that improves sleep apnea and your ability to breathe, not just at night, but all day for the rest of your life. 

Man Snoring, mouth breathing while sleeping
Man Sneezing from Allergies

ALERGIES & ASTHMA

Seasonal allergies are often considered to be a normal part of life that can only be treated with a daily pill, shots, or nose spray. 

Many times, though, seasonal allergies are a result of improper breathing. Proper breathing is through the nose, which filters and humidifies the air you are breathing in.  This filtration process protects your respiratory system, decreasing and preventing airway and lung inflammation, ultimately decreasing the incidents of allergies. 

Asthma is another symptom of poor nasal breathing. Both adults and children experience asthma, or a form of exercise induced asthma. Without the filtered air through the nose, the lungs become inflamed which makes breathing difficult, and often results in the diagnosis of asthma.  

Mouth breathing is most prevalent when we sleep, often caused by a restricted airway or obstructive sleep apnea. This makes it is difficult to breathe through the nose and the body compensates by mouth breathing. When you add allergies, that leave your nose stuffy and more difficult to breathe through your nose, this cycle is perpetuated, and you experience prolonged discomfort.

Inflammation of the respiratory system is a painful problem.  At the Breathing and Sleep Center we can improve nose breathing and open your airway.  We see that our patients suffer less from allergies and asthma when they are able to breathe through their nose.  

BEDWETTING

For the first few years of childhood, bedwetting can be a normal and common occurrence. But, what if it continues beyond that? If the problem persists after about age 6, it could be caused by sleep disordered breathing.

Sleep disordered breathing makes it harder for a child to achieve deep sleep. During deep sleep, the body produces a hormone that decreases bladder production. If this hormone isn’t produced the body continues to produce urine, making the need to urinate greater and may result in bedwetting. 

Sleep disordered breathing, or a restricted airway makes it difficult for the child to breathe at night and the body suffers from it. If a child does not sleep well at night the heart rate will stay elevated and keep the body’s blood pressure elevated. The body tries to lower its blood pressure by eliminating fluids, which leads to an increased need to urinate. 

Lastly, when a child suffers from sleep-disordered breathing the brain does not function properly and receives less oxygen. This causes the body to behave in a “fight or flight” mode, and the body reacts by eliminating fluids. 

Mother talking with daughter about bedwetting
Breathing and Sleep Center Colorado Springs

CHRONIC HEAD PAIN

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CROOKED OR CROWDED TEETH

The most common treatment for crowded and crooked teeth is realignment devices, such as braces or clear alignment trays. However, sometimes the issue goes beyond the teeth and is actually the result of underdeveloped jaws. 

When the jaws are not fully developed, there is generally insufficient space for all 32 adult teeth, causing the teeth to crowd and become misaligned. It is common practice to remove the wisdom teeth and sometimes the bicuspids to make room for the remaining teeth.  The orthodontic devices then align the teeth, typically pushing them back towards the airway. 

Recent advances in dentistry and technology have given us a new perspective on aligning teeth.  At the Breathing and Sleep Center of Colorado Springs we have the unique opportunity to evaluate the patients’ entire cranial structure, to include teeth, jaws and airway.  We identify the root cause of a patient’s crooked or crowded teeth and provide treatment to resolve these concerns permanently.  Our non-surgical treatment grows the jaws, providing space for the adult teeth, eliminating crowding and perhaps even straightening the teeth without the need for additional orthodontic treatment.

girl wearing braces

HYPERTENSION

Sleep is a very important component of your body’s natural process to lower its blood pressure. During the deep phases of sleep, the body receives a reset to the cardiovascular system, which in turn lowers your blood pressure, as well as your heart rate. 
 
Sleep apnea is caused by an obstructed airway which causes you to stop breathing while sleeping.  In response, your brain tells your body to wake up so you will start breathing again.  Most people who suffer from sleep apnea experience several apneic episodes per hour throughout the night, causing you to wake frequently and prevents adequate rest and reboot. 

During these sleep apneic episodes your body believes it is in danger, pushing it into a fight or flight response.  This causes your body to wake, and also increases your heart rate and blood pressure.  This response multiple times per night, night after night, keeps your blood pressure and heart rate elevated and over time leads to hypertension, also known as high blood pressure.  Hypertension commonly leads to further cardiovascular problems such as heart attack, stroke, and coronary artery disease. 
 
Furthermore, when you suffer from sleep apnea you likely do not breathe through your nose consistently or constantly. Nose breathing generates nitric oxide within your body, which opens up the blood vessels and acts as a natural vasodilator. Vasodilation lowers blood pressure by widening the blood vessels, allowing for better blood flow.  
Young man measuring his blood pressure at home
frustrated mother with hyperactive child

HYPERACTIVITY

Your child’s hyperactivity and inability to focus might be a direct result of their lack of quality sleep.  Contrary to what parents think a tired child’s behavior would be: lethargic and a lack of energy, they actually become hyper when they are very tired. 

When a child does not have restful, deep sleep every night, it begins to accumulate, and the hyperactive behavior often becomes a regular behavior. 

Hyperactivity affects multiple aspects of a child’s life: 

  • At school, they can’t focus and learn.
  • At home, they might be more prone to roller-coaster behavior or aggression.
  • In both environments, they struggle to sit still or pay attention long enough to absorb important information.

When we observe these behaviors in our children, we seek help, and frequently our children receive a diagnosis of ADD/ADHD. 

At the Breathing and Sleep Center we evaluate children for sleep disordered breathing, which may be the root cause of your child’s lack of quality sleep and hyperactive behavior.

Breathing and Sleep Center Colorado Springs

TMD

Temporomandibular disorders are disorders that can develop as a result of improper occlusion between the teeth and jaw, and all the muscles surrounding the jaw in that section of the face. These disorders can include teeth grinding, facial area inflammation, jaws which get stuck, and clicking or popping sounds. People afflicted by TMD may find it difficult to chew or feel pain and discomfort when doing so.

The connection between obstructive sleep apnea and TMD is becoming more and more apparent, as the epidemic of misaligned jaws and dental occlusions increase. It has been determined that neither of these conditions occurred prior to the Industrial Revolution.  The reason they are so prevalent now is largely because many children are not breast-fed. Breast feeding is a tremendous aid to the development of the upper jaw, and since most babies receive either none or too little of this care, that development is lacking. 

These individuals will frequently have under-developed upper jaws, narrow nasal passages, and teeth which are either crooked, misaligned, or over-crowded. When the upper jaw fails to develop appropriately, the lower jaw is impacted as well, and the child begins life with a set of problems that will likely not be overcome for years, if at all. 

With the lower jaw being restricted, it affects the proper development of the teeth, and when the teeth don’t fit together properly, it causes the jaw to slide back abnormally. This in turn, restricts breathing and results in either TMD or sleep apnea, or both. The problem has grown so prevalent in society today, that experts now believe a majority of people on medications for ADD/ADHD, hypertension and diabetes are actually oxygen-starved individuals who never had a chance for proper jaw development and good oral health.

SNORING

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Woman covering her ears with pillow while man is snoring
Bathroom Scale & Measuring Tape

WEIGHT GAIN & RETENTION

Sleep apnea and the lack of restful sleep have a direct link to weight gain, obesity and the inability to lose weight.   

When your body does not receive the rest it needs, it increases the production of Ghrelin, which is the hormone that makes you feel hungry.  Your body also produces less Leptin, which is the hormone that makes you feel satiated. So your hormones are telling your body it is hungry and never satiated, causing you to eat more than you might typically eat.

In addition to your body feeling hungry, it is likely feeling tired and in need of energy to keep going.  When looking for a quick energy boost, our bodies will crave foods high in sugar and carbohydrates.  When you eat sugar and carbohydrates your body creates insulin, which also makes you feel hungry.  Your body is ultimately going in circles, telling you it is hungry and tired, so you feed it carbs and sugar, which in turn makes you feel hungry, while your Leptin is not kicking in to tell you it is satiated. 

Without a good night’s sleep, our bodies remain tired and unrested.  Finding motivation to exercise is difficult and reduces calorie burn all while calorie intake has increased, resulting in weight gain and/or retention. 

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