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2 minutes reading time (430 words)

What is Epigenetics?

Professionals in oral health do much more than clean and straighten your teeth. Facial orthopedists like Dr. Buck are using epigenetics to address budding issues and set your body up for success. Rather than manipulate the function and appearance of the body with surgery, epigenetics can help the body grow to create those changes itself.

So what is epigenetics?

Epigenetics is the study of gene expression and its changes or modification. Depending who you ask, that may seem complicated or straightforward. To get a better understanding let's look at some examples below.

Epigenetics doesn't change DNA, rather it changes how your DNA is expressed.

Here's a fun example: At a young age, you walk into a cloning machine and BAM! Now you have a genetically identical copy of yourself. You and your clone will go on to live completely different lives and, after 40 years, you finally meet again. Though you and your clone still have (and always will have) the same DNA, you don't exactly look the same after all these years. Why is that? This is because over time, your clone's DNA changed the way it expresses itself.

During those 40 years apart, your clone ate a low-nutrient diet, so they are noticeably shorter than you. However, your clone is also a very active swimmer, so their muscles developed to make their shoulders and back appear much broader than yours. Your clone also works a high-stress job, which resulted in them having more gray hair and dark under eye circles. Appearances changed, but your DNA still remains identical.

An epigenetics analogy

Look at your DNA as a panel of switches and turning knobs, like a circuit board of sorts. Each switch/knob is a gene. As you go through life, external factors will determine whether to flip some of those switches or turn those knobs. The circuit board itself never changes. Doctors who focus on epigenetics work to control that circuit board.

How can epigenetics help me?

Facial orthopedists like Dr. Buck utilize epigenetics in children to correct facial growth patterns that could cause problems as they age. The goal is to target active growth centers in the face and set the body on the proper trajectory for development. Without this intervention, the patient would lack optimum airway performance, posture and facial symmetry. Epigenetics in adults is facial orthopedics is effective in adults as well, but most effective in childhood when growth centers are active.

For more information on epigenetics in facial orthopedics or to schedule a consultation, call us today at 206-316-8286.

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DR. BUCK'S PHILOSOPHY

Epigenetic Orthodontics can open and protect the airway enhancing breathing both during sleep and awake activities.

Dr. Buck practices a philosophy that integrates airway into all diagnosis and treatments. Dentistry has traditionally not considered the airway when planning dental treatments. Fortunately, today there is a rapidly growing movement that now recognizes how dentistry can have an impact on the airway which affects breathing during sleep. If dental treatments, including TMJ, orthopedic and orthodontics are well planned the result can be that the airway is protected or even enhanced. There is a clear link between underdeveloped and retruded jaws together with narrow dental arches that puts a patient at risk for sleep breathing disorders.

Please visit this site for more information; Airway Health

WOW! A 54% decrease in forward head posture; 164% increase in the antero-posterior size of the airway; 176% increase in the lateral size of the airway all from epigenetically centered jaw development orthopedics. This is the future of orthodontics!​
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