Why Does the Mouth Matter So Much to Health?
Dr. Felix’s Whole Health approach bridges the gap between the mouth and the rest of the body, uniting them in accordance with Nature’s laws for health.
Your mouth is the beginning of your respiratory and digestive tracts and sits just two inches from your brain. Once you recognize these physical relationships, it’s easier to see how a structurally impaired mouth can undermine whole body health.
Consider also that your mouth is much more than teeth. It also encompasses your jaws, jaw joints and muscles, your tongue, saliva, cheeks and lips, nerves and blood supply, and the billions of bacteria that make up the oral microbiome. And you use it constantly – to eat, speak, swallow, smile, and more.
Many patients do all the right things – eat organic, exercise, have perfect dental checkups – yet still struggle with things like head/neck/back pain, fatigue, depression, and more. Often, it’s because the mouth’s structure has been overlooked. Yet when a misaligned bite is corrected or the airway is no longer being blocked by the tongue, such symptoms can and often do go away naturally.
An Airway-centered Mouth Doctor like Dr. Felix is just the kind of practitioner who has the knowledge and skill to address such structural problems so that your mouth becomes a health-maker instead of a health-destroyer.
What Are Dr. Felix’s Holistic Mouth Solutions?
Dr. Felix’s Whole Health approach involves first understanding your specific health situation and needs. No two people are alike. What works for one might not necessarily work for another. Sometimes, simply bringing the jaws into proper alignment can be enough. In other cases, a pinched airway needs to be enlarged to resolve issues with sleep apnea and its associated health woes.
In most cases, some form of appliance therapy is used to address the structural impairments. One that Dr. Felix turns to quite often is the Vivos DNA appliance, which works by stimulating stem cells in your jaw joints and tooth sockets to actually grow underdeveloped jaws, completely remodeling the airway. It’s an excellent solution for sleep apnea that actually addresses a common cause of OSA, freeing you from the need to be tethered to a CPAP machine all night.
While oral appliance therapy can do wonders, it can do even more when supportive therapies are brought into play, particularly nutritional improvements and myofunctional therapy. You can think of the latter as a kind of physical therapy focused just on the mouth. For when a bite is off or an airway is too small, you learn to adapt in ways that aren’t always healthy for your teeth or the rest of you, for that matter. “Myo” helps retrain your mouth and face muscles so you use them properly. And it helps the structural changes last.
The other thing it involves is your own commitment, motivation, and dedication to following through with the treatment and recommendations. The more active a role you take, the better the results.
From Impaired Mouth to Holistic Mouth: A Brief Case History
A.S.B. was a 37-year old man who had been diagnosed with sleep apnea. He had undergone orthodontic treatment twice, with four teeth extracted during the first round. He came to our office with complaints of fatigue, daytime sleepiness, and erectile dysfunction.
Dr. Felix quickly recognized that those problems stemmed from his mouth, not his teeth, and got him started on oral appliance therapy. Here’s the progress report he gave us after just 6 weeks, with Dr. Felix’s commentary in bold brackets within it:
I have been having great results with my appliance. Since I started wearing the appliance about 6 weeks ago, I have never felt better.
I don’t snore anymore, and I wake up feeling more refreshed than I used to and on fewer hours of sleep. My sleep apnea that I was diagnosed with 1 year ago feels to have dissipated. [This was because the appliance kept his tongue from falling back and blocking his throat during sleep.]
I am able to work out and run much longer with more intensity than usual. My breathing is so much more comfortable, as I can breathe through my nose again. [Credit the patient for his compliance to recommended diet change of avoiding dairy, wheat, and processed foods!]
My bite feels aligned to where it should be because of the new bite provided by the appliance. I am no longer grinding my teeth. [Again, this is due to having a clear airway, as grinding is actually a survival reflex. Think of it as the body doing CPR on itself by thrusting the jaw forward and sideways to get the tongue out of the throat.]
Going forward, I will concentrate on improving my diet and lifestyle. [Success comes from a patient’s self-motivation to work toward health.] I’m doing well in the exercise department, but it’s not enough. [The appliance alone is not enough. Whole Health = Mind + Body + Mouth + Nature.] I will start eating at regular intervals and not sporadically during the day. [The appliance only jump-starts the process toward health-by-mouth. Again, the patient needs to do the rest.] Being single in the last few years has made it a challenge for me to eat proper at times. However, I’ll be getting married in 6 months! [Taking responsibility for his own health is a sign of maturity. His bride is lucky!]