A number of years ago, I was made aware of the work of Dr. Weston A. Price. Dr. Price was a dentist from Cleveland, Ohio area and has been called the “Isaac Newton of Nutrition.” In his studies, the world became his laboratory as he searched for the causes of human decay and physical degeneration – things that he observed daily in his dental practice.
Dr. Price traveled the world to study isolated groups in Switzerland, the Eskimos and North American Natives Tribes, African tribes, the Australian Aborigines, and the Indians of South America. He found that these populations had beautiful, straight teeth were free of decay, had great physical bodies and were resistant to disease. The common characteristic was that they consume a traditional diet, rich in essential food factors.
This research led to a classic book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. Nutrition seems to play a pivotal role in the development of faces and bodies. He also identified that the consequences of a “modern” diet with refined sugars, white flour, and other highly “manufactured” foods led to narrower faces and bad bites.
This work was further confirmed by the work of Dr. Francis Pottenger in his study of cats. Pottenger stated “If proper nutrition and exercise are absent when facial structures are developing, dentition always suffers. The kitten kept on a deficient diet for 10 months has an inadequate jaw with crowded, irregular, and poorly aligned teeth.”
So, what does this mean for us? Epigenetics is the study of changes in organisms caused by modification of gene expression rather than alteration of the genetic code itself. How we live, drink, eat, and sleep can stunt or promote growth and development. Nutrition plays a pivotal role in this.
The child that presents with crowded teeth, a retruded chin, mouth breathing, allergies and a host of other factors usually leads us to ask about sleep and development. The 4-year-old that sleeps restlessly, still bed wets, and snores have probably got some development challenges that should be addressed.
There are two times in the development of a child’s face and mouth when it appears that we can significantly affect the growth patterns and the epigenetics. Those are age 4 and age 7. Using development directing appliances, teaching the kids to correct and tone tongue posture, and placing the tongue in the correct place in the roof of the mouth will widen the upper jaw and the floor of the nose. This, in turn, opens the airway allowing proper nasal breathing and lip seal. By intervening early, the possibility exists that orthodontics later may be limited.
As these areas are addressed and airways are developed properly, children become adults with a better chance to limit or avoid airway and breathing issues in the future.
Contact the Open Airway & Breath Institute today, Dr. Robin Steely, DDS and our team are ready to help you find renewed energy and health. Together we’ll find the right solutions to help you address your overall well-being. We welcome patients from Battle Creek, Bedford Charter Township, Kalamazoo, Portage, Marshall, Richland, Holland, Grand Rapids, Hastings, Charlotte, Springfield, and Coldwater. Please contact us or call 269-968-8151, we look forward to working with you!