If You Snore, Have Trouble Breathing At Night Or Wake Up Tired
Over the last decade, some of us in the orthodontic profession have begun treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). A prominent Harvard-trained sleep physician, Dr. John Remmers, states that OSA can be related to improper jaw position and reduced tongue space. A study from China has shown that the airway space is reduced following bicuspid extraction orthodontic treatment for “bi-maxillary protrusion”. We do not condone any treatment that reduces your airway space even a little bit. We believe there is always a better way to achieve your treatment goals.
We would not, under any circumstances, allow a member of our family to undergo a treatment that involved the risk of airway space reduction. And, if a treatment is not good enough for our family members, we won’t recommend it to you or anyone in your family.
When permanent teeth are removed and the remaining teeth (and jaws) are pulled back into the face, there is less room for the tongue. Where is the tongue supposed to go after the space for it has been diminished? In order for the tongue to avoid falling back into the airway after retraction has taken place, it either needs to shrink or hang out of the mouth. The human tongue apparently does not shrink and it cannot hang outside the mouth in polite society.
Patients routinely tell us that their tongue “doesn’t fit” properly in their mouth after they’ve had extraction orthodontic treatment. They tell us that they cannot close their back teeth together without squishing and contorting their tongue to make it fit inside their mouth. In an effort to get comfortable, they posture their jaws in unnatural positions – often sandwiching their tongues between their back teeth.