Dental Relationship To Breathing, Oxygen, and Cancer
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is an effect of impaired oral function as it relates to the jaw, tongue, throat relationship, which actively determines the passage of air from the nose and mouth to the lungs, thus our ability to breathe.
The domain of dentistry is the teeth, jaws and associated structures, which control the posture and position of the tongue, which, as the front wall of the throat moves in and out controlling the size and shape of the airway and OSA.
Breathing is controlled by airflow through our airway, which, at the level of the throat, is controlled by dental structures that influence the posture and position of the tongue. So, the tongue is the gatekeeper of our airway.
One's unique anatomical dental structural determines the opening and stability of one's airway and the “ability” to breathe. It has the greatest influence on our survival, thus the “fight or flight” or “stress” response through the release of stress hormones into one's bloodstream. This is what scientists refer to as “stress”.
Medicine attributes stress to having a major influence upon pain and both acute and chronic disease and dysfunction conditions including cancer. The second influence, compensations and adaptations, is from “our body's functional design to survive”. A threat to the airway and airflow causes immediate compensations including
The Stress Response to enhance muscle tone in the airway and throughout the body, enhance breathing effort for airflow and speeding circulation of oxygen to all cells.
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, 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 tors can also have an effect on the jaw-tongue-throat relationship.It's not a great stretch of the imagination to consider that the body may compensate 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.
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