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What Can a Picture Say?

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but what if a picture could diagnose you with sleep apnea?

According to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, it may be possible.

The study, conducted by researchers at the Center for Sleep Science at the University of Western Australia (UWA), found that 3D photographs can help physicians determine if a patient is at risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea.

Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, is the most common type of sleep apnea, a sleep breathing disorder.

More than 22 million people in the United States are living with a form of sleep apnea, but around 80 percent have OSA.

"OSA develops when the airway is blocked," said Dr. David Buck, a Seattle epigenetic orthodontist.

Researchers used 3D photography to determine how geodesic measurements (the shortest distance between two points on a curved surface) can translate to increased sleep apnea risk.

Using this approach, the team was able to predict with 89 percent accuracy which patients in their study were living with sleep apnea.

This method was more accurate than traditional 2D linear measurements, which had an accuracy of 86 percent.

The study included 300 participants with sleep apnea levels ranging from mild to severe; 100 study participants did not have sleep apnea.

The participants were from a local hospital and the Raine Study, a longitudinal cohort study of Western Australia. All participants were required to complete an overnight sleep study. They were also required to take 3D photos using a craniofacial scanner.

The researchers analyzed the photos in conjunction with computer scientists at the school, identifying the most common facial features associated with sleep apnea.

These features included the level of lower-jaw setback compared to the upper jaw, as well as the circumference of the neck.

The study found that the width and length of the lower jaw, along with the width of the face and the distance between the eyes, may indicate the presence of OSA.

The researchers hope that 3D photography, combined with a patient's health history, will be used to screen individuals with sleep apnea.

"Other indicators of sleep apnea include unexplained weight gain, irritability and migraines," Buck aid.

When sleep apnea goes untreated, severe health issues can develop, including chronic health conditions, including diabetes, stroke and heart disease. Sleep apnea has also been linked to increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

Source: American Academy of Sleep Medicine. "3D face photos could be a sleep apnea screening tool." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 April 2020.

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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!​