Snoring, Sleep Apnea and Human Health
I have shared in many articles how snoring and sleep apnea are symptoms of round-the-clock airway airflow limitations from impaired oral function as it impacts our ease of swallowing, speaking and breathing. This is a function of the jaw-tongue-throat relationship, as the size, shape and position of the jaws (including teeth and gums) impacts the posture and position of the tongue in the throat, the dynamic portion of an otherwise static semi-rigid airway.
I have pointed out how we are wired to survive. And I discussed how a perceived threat to our survival triggers our fight or flight response with release of adrenaline type stress hormones into our bloodstream to facilitate breathing and circulation of oxygen to, and carbon dioxide from our cells, most important, of course, are those most immediately impacting our survival.
Our body survival priority, according to medicine, is that of cardio-pulmonary-resuscitation, referred to as CPR. This must be addressed in the sequence of airway, then breathing, then circulation, which is abbreviated as A-B-C. Medicine recognizes this in life threatening emergency situations, however, in my opinion, it does not recognize this as the all the time priority of our body functioning to keep us alive and manage balance (homeostasis) through our autonomic nervous system (ANS), which controls this stress response.
There may be a critical oversight in our understanding of how the body works. The specialization design of medicine, including dentistry, can lead to a fragmented view of a fully integrated system that, most likely, functions according the ABC of CPR.
From this perspective, we will persistently ask why the body is behaving in this way or that way to keep us alive (survive) and how it impacts our vital aliveness our health.
My prior discussions relating to the priority of survival show how the body continually compensates to keep us alive, beginning with airway/airflow management through
- Going into a fight or flight state with adrenaline type hormone release,
- Forward head and other postural changes, and,
- Clenching and grinding of teeth.
I believe these compensations lead to many unwanted chronic conditions. Minimally, because the intimate relation of the stress, which is really the stress hormone sensations we are both conscious and unconscious of, and beyond that the impact of this upon the endocrine glands (hormone system) that integrates with all other body systems.
Health is thriving, not just surviving. Manage the airway for ease of swallowing, speaking and breathing to minimize the need for compensations. I believe this is the key to health; this is the focus of Oral Systemic Balance, (OSB).
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