Sleep Apnea Dental Relationship To Cancer and Other Chronic Conditions
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is an effect of impaired oral function as it relates to the jaw, tongue, throat relationship. This, in effect, determines whether we can breathe and how we breathe.
The domain of dentistry is the teeth, jaws and associated structures. These control the posture and position of the tongue, which moves in and out of the throat controlling the airway “Stress” and OSA.
Breathing is controlled by airflow through our airway. This is controlled by dental structures that influence the posture and position of the tongue, which is the gatekeeper of the airway.
Because these dental relationships control breath and breathing, they have the greatest influence on our survival, our “fight or flight” reactions also known as our “stress” responses and release of our “stress hormones”, likely, the only cause of what is loosely referred to as “stress”.
Stress has been customarily referred to as descriptions of sensations of the rhythm and tempo of our heart beating effect of these stress hormones. Other references to stress are about “stressors” that influence and trigger the release of stress hormones.
Medicine attributes stress to having a major influence upon pain and all acute and chronic disease and dysfunction conditions including cancer. The primary influence is compensations and adaptations of our body's functional design to survive. A threat to the airway and airflow causes immediate anatomic compensations including
Clenching and grinding the teeth to change tongue position in the throat, and,
Postural changes, like forward head posture, to create more room in the throat behind the tongue.
Long term habits, including tongue sucking, finger sucking or tongue thrusting, influence the tongue position. So can spacing or crowding of teeth or the shape and size of the jaw. Growths within the jaws called torus or tori can also have an effect.
Our bodies are constantly compensating and adapting to manage imbalances. It is not a great stretch of our imagination to consider that our bodies may compensate for long term chronic challenges for our cells receiving oxygen, from regular and basic routine chronic interferences with airflow by adapting to less oxygen by needing less oxygen or even no oxygen, as do cancer cells.
Adaptations throughout the body are reactive and not associated with long-term consideration of their impacts upon the rest of the body. That is how they can lead to our numerous, unwanted chronic conditions, even cancer.