The DNA Appliance and Epigenetic orthodontics is a recent development. I embrace it because it coincides perfectly with Dental Sleep Medicine, Neuromuscular Dentistry and the treatment of TMJ disorders (TMD) and the treatment of headaches and migraines. Judith is a long time patient who we have recently started treatment. She is an excellent writer and I am letting her describe her experiences. Prior to Judith’s story I have some information from the DNA Appliance website that should be read first if you are not familiar with the concepts of Epigenetic Orthodontics. My practices is located in Gurnee, Illinois 60031 and Highland Park, Il 60035. Contact me in Gurnee at 847-623-5530 or Highland Park at 847-533-8313 for more information. Visit my new website http://www.thinkbetterlife.com
The following questions and answers are from the DNA Appliance website which is an excellent site for more information. https://dnaappliance.com/index.html
Q: What is Epigenetic Orthodontics?
A: Epigenetic orthodontics uses a person’s natural genes to correct and straighten the teeth without the use of force brackets.
What is Pneumopedics™?
Pneumopedics™ is the process of non-surgical airway remodeling that may result from treatment with a state-of-the-art biomimetic DNA appliance® System.
How does Pneumopedics™ work?
The DNA appliance® System uses principles of Epigenetic Orthodontics to activate a person’s naturally occurring genes to correct underdevelopment in the craniofacial region. The bones in the craniofacial region are slowly remodeled over time making a foundational correction to the structure of the airway non-surgically. It is a pain-free minimally invasive process which uses no drugs/medication or injections.
Q: What is Epigenetic Orthodontics?
A: Epigenetic orthodontics uses a person’s natural genes to correct and straighten the teeth without the use of force brackets.
Click here to see the video-interview with Dental Economics
Click here to listen to an Interview with the Australian Dental Association
Q: What is Pneumopedics™?
A: Pneumopedics™ is the process of non-surgical airway remodeling that may result from treatment with the DNA appliance® system. The pair of images below shows a comparison of a person’s airway before and after Pneumopedic™ treatment with a DNA appliance® system. Note that results will vary for individual cases. read more
Q: Are genes involved in the treatments in any way?
A: Yes,in the sense that the human genome is implicated during orthodontic, orthopedic and/or pneumopedic™ (non-surgical airway remodeling™) airway treatments, and that certain devices or appliances,such as the (Daytime-Nighttime Appliance™ DNA appliance®) can upregulate or modulate gene expression during orthodontic, orthopedic and/or pneumopedic™ (non-surgical airway remodeling™) airway treatments. However, no artificial genes or gene-transfer is used at all. Only the patient’s naturally-occurring genes are implicated in Dr Singh’s Epigenetic orthodontic concept. In other words, new, orthodontic, orthopedic and/or pneumopedic™ devices or DNA appliances® are involved in a system that has been specially-designed by Dr Singh to bioengineer craniofacial, dental, and airway structures so that natural developmental processes are evoked by Dr Singh’s orthodontic, orthopedic and/or pneumopedic™ devices or DNA appliances® to enhance the teeth, jaws, TMJ, face and airway into more optimal relations for functions, such as sleep and breathing.
Q: How does Epigenetic Orthodontics work?
A: Dr Singh believes that by changing the spatial relations of crooked teeth, using a new generation of orthodontic-orthopedic-pneumopedic™ DNA appliances® , which can be worn similar to removable orthodontic retainers, the various genes that control tooth position will be activated so that orthodontists and dentists can enhance dental and oral health, including non-surgical airway remodeling™ . Some evidence for these ideas is already available in the dental, orthodontic and medical literature. These new DNA appliances® rely less on the continuous force exerted by conventional orthodontic braces, but help to guide the teeth, jaws, TMJ, face and airway into more optimal relations for functions, such as sleep and breathing. Specifically, these new DNA appliances® consist of 3-D Axial springs™ that are specially made from Do-Not-Adjust wire™ or DNA wire™ which, as its name suggests, requires virtually little or no adjustment by the dental professional.
Q: What does Epigenetic Orthodontics mean?
A: Epigenetic orthodontics means that various human genes or combinations of the patient’s naturally-inherited genes are harnessed in combination or independently with various orthodontic, orthopedic and/or pneumopedic™ devices or DNA appliances® to modify, change or attenuate the physical location of natural teeth, jaws and airway in 3-D space during orthodontic, orthopedic and/or pneumopedic™ treatments, based on the concept of ‘temporo-spatial patterning.’ The term “temporo-spatial patterning” like Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) implies that the spatial organization of the teeth, jaws and airway can be mapped in 3-D space at known anatomical locations using x, y, z coordinates. The pattern in 3-D space of craniofacial structures are encoded within the patient’s genome. Dr Singh believes that DNA appliances® are capable of modulating genetic pathways, which are effectively dormant or inactive, and are capable of restarting craniofacial development in adult patients as well as in children. In addition, abnormal patterning is corrected, in part, through the deployment of orthodontic, orthopedic and/or pneumopedic™ devices or DNA appliances® , which may evoke natural developmental processes that improve a patient’s airway and thereby ameliorate or prevent airway issues such as snoring and other forms of sleep-disordered breathing through non-surgical airway remodeling™ .
Q: What makes Epigenetic Orthodontics different?
A: Traditionally, specially-trained orthodontists use fixed braces to apply forces to straighten crooked teeth. While many of these cases are initially treated successfully, few patients know that relapse can occur after treatment. Relapse means that a patient’s teeth will move back after treatment has been completed. The reasons for relapse are complex and remain incompletely understood. However, the entire human genome has now been sequenced, and we now know that certain genes are involved in moving teeth. Teeth are naturally-designed to move, for example, tooth eruption in a normally-growing child. In addition, the teeth in some people erupt in a specific arrangement, producing a beautiful smile. Dr Singh believes that the specific arrangement of teeth is due to certain genes. In fact, a natural process called ‘temporo-spatial patterning’ is at work. This process is the blueprint or body plan that is encoded by genes. In other words, the right and left sides of the body, the top and bottom of the body as well as the front and back of the entire body is under the control of a genetic body plan, including the teeth. Sometimes, however, the plan gets disturbed, producing crooked teeth, for example. The Daytime-Nighttime Appliance™ system uses DNA appliances® to address these issues.
My DNA Appliance Experience – Getting Started
By Judith Joy
My DNA appliance began with a visualization. My teeth were collapsing inward. So, I visualized how to correct this…appliances that fit over the teeth, were removable and gentle, and helped to erect the teeth.
A week later, I went to see Dr. Shapira, my dentist. He mentioned that he was doing this new thing, a DNA appliance. Based on my past history, he didn’t know if it would work, but since braces hadn’t (as they were forceful and I don’t like anything that’s forceful), maybe this would, because it was gentle. “No guarantees,” he said. But what he showed me was EXACTLY what I’d visualized, so I knew it would work.
This article is the first in a series of my experiences with my DNA appliance. After molds were taken, pictures snapped to record progress, and the appliance was made, I put it in. It wasn’t too bad…a little tight, but not that uncomfortable. Dr. Shapira showed me how to adjust it. Cool. I could adjust it on my own. I’d only need to come into the office every four to six weeks.
And I could wear it eight to sixteen hours a day, but they didn’t have to be in a row. I wear it while sleeping and a little bit during the day while doing activities that don’t require talking. My family makes fun of my trying to talk with it in, but we all laugh about it.
Dr. Shapira warned me that I’d drool a lot at the beginning. But I knew I wouldn’t because I was used to having an appliance in my mouth 24/7. And I didn’t drool. Although swallowing while wearing the DNA appliance takes a little practice. (The previous appliance was a placeholder between the braces, which didn’t work, and until something new could be invented, as I knew it would be. I just didn’t think it would take 25 years.)
At the beginning of the week, the appliance was tight when I put it in. (I’m saying “it” even though there is an appliance over the upper teeth and a separate appliance over the lower teeth.) However, after a few minutes any tightness disappeared. I have noticed that at the beginning of the week, it feels tighter and by the end of the week, it goes on more easily. I did get my cheek caught in the appliance a few times. Ouch. But I figured it out eventually.
To keep track of my hours, I made a chart of every half hour in a day. Then I put seven days on a piece of paper. It was easy to keep track of the hours the appliance was in my mouth by using a highlighter to mark the hours I actually wore it.
I’ll keep you up to date on the improvements as they happen. I know this will work. I just have the knowing feeling.
The first month passed quickly and the improvements began immediately. After a few nights, I realized that I wasn’t waking up with headaches. This is HUGE. Twenty-seven years ago, Dr. Shapira assured me that moving the jaw would eliminate many of my headaches…or at least the ones that were caused by stress from the jaw’s structure and muscles. I knew he was right. But my teeth weren’t cooperating at that time.
I’ve noticed other improvements also after only a month. There is more room in my mouth for my tongue. My posture is better. My scoliosis seems to be self-correcting (according to my massage therapist). My face is looking smoother and younger. And I’m happier because I’m not in as much pain. An added bonus is that my sex life is getting better because I feel great.
On the downside, there is some discomfort. The muscles in my jaw were tender and my right ear hurt a bit. But two visits to the acupuncturist eased this. My cranial bones (the plates in my head) are shifting and causing some pressure. My low back aches and interferes with my sleep a bit. The chiropractor has been able to help with the cranial and low back. Also, if I sleep with a 12-inch square pillow against my stomach, it keeps my hips positioned in such a way that it eases my back, because I don’t twist them while I sleep.
My nutrition-supplement-energy doctor has noted that I need more manganese and calcium and some organs are a little bit stressed. I’m also dehydrated. Dr. Shapira says the dehydration is because the nasal passages are opening and more air is going through.
After the first month, I’d have to say, that the DNA appliance is a great success. But then I knew it would be. I’ll keep you up to date with my progress.
Judith has had long term relief with neuromuscular dentistry but we are both hoping that Epigenetic Orthodontics is the final piece of her puzzle.
Dr Shapira’s Notes: Judith had previously attempted orthodontics with an Orthodontist and standard techniques, it was a total failure. Calcium and Magnesium supplements may be a good routine because we are growing bone which requires calcium and the muscles need magnesium to relax. Dehydration is common for many oral appliances and the best recipe for success is to drink lots and lots of water. When Judith describes “a great success” it is really meaningful because she is very aware of treatment effects and sensitive to any problems, even when minimal.
MY DNA APPLIANCE EXPERIENCE – 2nd MONTH
By Judith Joy
I can breath in both nostrils! This is amazing. I don’t know what I’ll do with all this oxygen. But seriously, I can now breath in both sides of my nose. Dr. Shapira says this is only the beginning and it will get even better.
As an added bonus, I don’t seem to have hay fever this spring. At first, I wondered if it was because I gave up eating grains and legumes about six weeks before starting the DNA appliance. Knowing that my sister also gave up grains, I asked her how her allergies were. “Worse than ever,” she replied. “Give me the name of your dentist.” My theory is that the air passages are bigger, so they aren’t getting clogged up as before. I may be right or I may be wrong.
I’ve also started exercising more and longer. Before, my muscles would tire (probably lack of oxygen) and I’d get a headache. Now, I can exercise easier and the rest of the day is even better because I feel so good.
On a negative front, twice this month I noticed that the lower appliance pressed into the inside gums of the lower teeth in a few spots. I talked myself into “it will be fine.” By the third day, I said, “never mind” and contacted Dr. Shapira and three hours later he adjusted the appliance. He said he’d been expecting this. But he didn’t tell me ahead of time. (I know that if you say the negative, the patient may “make the problem come true” when in fact, he doesn’t need to do so.) But still, now I know to ask about a problem earlier.
One thing that did help the pressure point pain was that I dabbed it with my boyfriend’s burn cream. Yes, my boyfriend is an inventor and had made and patented a burn cream two years before he was severely burned (1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree burns from the waist up). Luckily he had the cream and only has one small area that wasn’t covered as well with the burn cream. (There isn’t any remnant of the formerly, burned skin.)
One final “negative” is that my L5 vertebra got tweaked so my lower back and left groin hurt. Two trips to the chiropractor seems to have solved this (along with applying Biofreeze and Traumeel). Dr. Shapira says this could be because as the jaw adjusts, the spine moves and unwinds old patterns, which causes the muscles around the spine to move.
Some hints to help you:
Hint one: Dr. Shapira suggested easing the muscle pain by looking at hip height and adjusting the height to make it even. He measured my hip level (by looking at it and putting his hands on my hip bones). One was lower than the other. I added a little bit of a paper towel under the heel of the leg with the lower hip. I walked down the hall. He re-measured. We added more paper towel. I walked down the hall again. He re-measured. We took out the second paper towel. I repeated the walk down the hall. He was looking for the hip level to be consistent at the beginning and end of the walking. Since we just did this today, I’m not sure if this will work, but I’m willing to give it a try. (There is also a way to do this with a plumb line in a mirror, but I don’t know this one.)
Hint two: I’ve noticed that when I sit at my desk and use my laptop computer, my head is a bit forward and down. This causes my teeth to clench and I feel tense overall. However, when I remember to wear the appliances while I write, I’m more relaxed, my posture is even better and my neck doesn’t get as tired.
Hint three: Don’t eat or drink with the appliances in your mouth. (Except for water.) The reasoning is that it’s not necessary AND the food or drinks will stain the appliances. Also, be sure to brush the appliances after every use. This removes the bacteria that is transferred from your mouth to the appliances when they are worn.
Hint four: Finally, slow is the way to go. If you adjust the appliances too fast, the teeth may become unstable. (Yikes. I just learned this one today.) A possible indication of moving too fast is that the teeth may become sensitive to hot or cold.
So, how do you know when to adjust the appliances? I use a muscle testing method and listen to what my body is telling me. I also pay attention to my intuition. I ask my body if the appliances should be adjusted. Then I pay attention to how I feel. If they are ready to be adjusted, I feel open and expansive in my chest. If this doesn’t feel right, my chest will feel as if it’s closing and is constricted.
Of course, you can also adjust it when it feels looser and easier to put on. Move from tight to loose, adjust. It will be tight again. Wait for the loose feeling, before adjusting (probably a week later assuming you are wearing the appliances 10 – 16 hours a day).
The more you wear the appliances, the more the jaws/arches (or whatever is actually moving) will be used to the new position. You won’t have to start over each time you insert them.
I hope this helps you. I’ll keep you informed of my progress. But, so far, I love the results.
Dr Shapira’s Notes, The Second Month. The term Pneumopedics was coined by Dr Singh, the inventor of Epigenetic orthodontic and it refers to growing a larger airway. This improves every aspect of a patients life. Diseases like Fibromyalgia are associated with UARS or Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome. Correcting the size of the airway will help improve Sleep and Health for patients with Fibromyalgia. The changes that take place in posture have to do with the “Righting Reflex”. This work was by Sherrington, a neurologist who received a Nobel Prize. As your posture corrects the body needs to “catch up”. Forward head posture and the resultant strain on the muscles of the spine will gradually begin to correct.
My DNA Appliance Experience: 3rd Month
By Judith Joy
NEED INTRO AND CONCLUSION
I’ve been experimenting with how many hours in the day I need to wear the DNA appliances. (Translation: While I finished writing my book, and I forgot to put them in during the day.) But I did find something very interesting. If I only wear them at night, then they fit tighter for longer. This means that I can’t adjust them every week and the whole process will take longer. It’s also frustrating because the forward momentum (progress) is slower. I’m only shooting myself in the foot by not wearing them more each day.
This brings me to the second way I’m hindering my progress. I’m thirsty. It seems that since having the DNA appliance, I’m constantly thirsty. (No, it’s not anything worse.) Up until now, I’ve continued to drink my brewed iced tea and gotten more thirsty. (Duh! By the way, soda and alcohol causes dehydration also.)
So, that got me to thinking…what does dehydration do to the body? This is how I understand it. Dehydration is when the body is requesting more water. If the body doesn’t have enough water from the outside (drinking), it will recruit water from the inside and keep what it already has. This translates to gunking up the waste management system within the body. Water will be reused from the urine and bowels. Therefore, the body will pee less and the bowels will become harder and thus it will be more difficult to push out.
This is bad enough, as it’s uncomfortable, but there are additional side effects of the body holding onto the water. If the body doesn’t eliminate the waste, then the toxins in the waste stay in the body longer and can be reabsorbed. This slows down the lymph and immune systems. One outcome is that the toxins have to come out somewhere, so the skin breaks out.
Also, the body is trying harder and harder to eliminate the toxins. So when an outside “bug” visits (the body is exposed to someone who is sick), the body is more likely to catch the bug because it’s busy fighting the internal battle with the old toxins and doesn’t have enough “power” to fight the new battle (the bug). End result…the body gets sick. And you know how that turns out.
So, for goodness sake, drink water. You will need more water than normal while you are using the DNA appliance. But why feel gross while you are going through the process when the solution is so simple. Drink lots of water.
One last comment. My back doesn’t hurt per se, but the pain radiates down my hips and legs. The only time it bothers me is on long walks or when I lie down. Needless to say, sleep is elusive some nights. Still going to the chiropractor and acupuncturist for comfort. It’s getting better. But since back stuff started about a month into the DNA use and there wasn’t any trauma, I’m going with the story that it’s my body adjusting to the unwinding of my spine. How cool is that?
And how can it be even better? How can it benefit me?
Dr Shapira’s Notes, Judith came in and was hitting first on the right side for a few weeks. She had a bite adjusted to her neuromuscular position but was hitting hard on a ceramic restoration from another dentist. It was easy to readjust her her bite and I expect her hip will quickly resolve. I THINK IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT WHILE WE MOVE THINGS TO A MORE IDEAL PHENOTYPIC EXPRESSION OF THE PATIENTS OWN GENETICS WITH THE DNA APPLIANCE THAT THE RESTORATIONS WERE PLACED TO FIT THE EXISTING PATHOLOGY. I DO NOT EXPECT TO NEED TO ADJUST THE NATURAL TEETH BUT THE RESTORATIONS WERE NOT PART OF A PATIENTS GENETIC SYSTEM. Judith has seen a huge amount of growth in her maxilla. Dr Singh recommends 16 hours a day but we are seeing significant reults with patients wearing them 10-12 hours / day. Longer will create faster movement. Hydration is always important as is nutrition. The body can grow and remodel bone and sutures but the process is energy fueled.
MY DNA APPLIANCE EXPERIENCE: 4TH MONTH
By Judith Joy
Good news! My hip felt better after Dr. Shapira made the adjustments to my bite. Who would ever have thought that my jaw played such a big role in my hips? I’m just glad that we found a solution.
Another great thing for this month is that my teeth are moving. They are straightening and as they do so there is more space between the teeth. For the moment, this translates into food getting stuck between the teeth. But my goal was for the teeth to “pop back up” and that is what they are doing. A little floss and a water pic solves the minor problem with the food.
And I’ve noticed that the lines between the front teeth (both upper and lower) are lining up as the bite widens. I’ve always wondered why the lines didn’t match up before. My bite was off. Imagine that! (Sarcasm.)
On the down side, the muscles in my neck are tighter and I’ve had more headaches this month. Although I think the cause is from something emotional (since I’m doing a lot of emotional inner work). But I’m mentioning it just because I’m recording everything that may have a possible connection.
Overall, it’s been a great month. There is progress and my teeth are “popping back up.” It’s all good.
Dr Shapira’s notes: The connection to the hips and the bite is a very important point. When treating patients we are always treating the whole body and not just the individual parts. Dr Sherrington won a Nobel prize for his work on the righting reflex. This encompasses Ascending and Descending problems. The hips affecting the bite is an example of an Ascending problem, the bite affecting the hips would be an example of a descending problem. The field of Cranio-Sacral medicine is intimately connected to these Ascending and Descending pathways and it is crucial that they be considered in every patient.
MY DNA APPLIANCE EXPERIENCE…FIFTH AND SIXTH MONTHS
The last time I was at Dr. Shapira’s, he was surprised at how my teeth have moved so easily. He even indicated that we are nearing the end of the treatment…after only six months. Wow! That was fast. Dr. Shapira had told me that it would take one and a half to two years.
So what did I learn these past two months? To begin with, don’t forget to put the appliances in at night. You see, I forgot one night. (I was on vacation and out of my routine.) The next night, they were very tight.
The next thing I learned was that all of the little “screws” in the appliances don’t have to be moved every time. Dr. Shapira told me which ones to adjust based on how my mouth was adjusting (a good reason for the monthly checkups).
Then, I again needed a reminder that dehydration doesn’t feel good. I need to drink more water to alleviate some of my headaches. The reason I bring it up is that my mouth seems to get much dryer with the appliances in than normal.
Finally, the more I wear the appliances, the better they work. Surprise. Surprise. Wearing them only at night works, but it’s slow going. Wearing them during the day also speeds up the process.
The one thing I didn’t realize was that when the movement is over, I’ll have to wear the appliances (in a fixed position) for longer. It makes sense. I just hadn’t thought of it. But overall, it’s not a bad deal.
All in all, it’s been a good six months so far. I’m excited about the possibility of moving to the next phase.
Months 7-12 with DNA Appliance http://sleepandhealth.com/node/646
Dr Shapira is currently utilizing Epigenetic Orthodontics at my Gurnee (Delany Dental Care) office for Sleep Apnea, TMJ and headache patients……847-623-5530 http://www.delanydentalcare.com Dr Shapira is planning a second office to be opened in Highland Park by Fall 2013. This office will be geared toward the treatment of TMJ Disorders (TMD), Sleep Apnea and Snoring, and Epigenetic Orthodontics.
MY DNA APPLIANCE EXPERIENCE… SEVEN, EIGHT, NINE, TEN, ELEVEN AND TWELVE MONTHSView Edit
Tue, 03/11/2014 – 10:07 — ilshapira
MY DNA APPLIANCE EXPERIENCE… SEVEN, EIGHT, NINE, TEN, ELEVEN AND TWELVE MONTHS
By Judith Joy
Read the first 6 months @ http://sleepandhealth.com/node/636
As you can see from the title, I haven’t written this blog for a few months. It’s just that nothing much new has been happening. My mouth is progressing nicely with steady progress. After my next appointment I’ll be done…or at least that’s what I think is happening.
I have learned a few additional things to share with you.
First, I noticed that a tooth was loose and had some wiggle to it. I decided that since I was seeing Dr. Shapira the next week, to not adjust the appliance and just stay the course until I saw him. Dr. Shapira said that I could have untightened it. But it’s all good. My teeth are all solid again.
It seems that when the jaw was done expanding, the appliance didn’t fit all the way down and pushed on the teeth. Another reason the appliance may push on the teeth is because it isn’t fitting correctly. This is definitely something to watch out for.
Second, as the teeth have become less crowded, I’ve noticed that there are stain spots between the teeth. This is probably because the hygienist couldn’t get between the teeth when she did the cleanings. So as you can imagine, I’m looking forward to my next cleaning.
And talking about cleaning, we are also doing a teeth whitening at the last appointment. I’m excited to lose some of the staining from all the iced tea that I drink. Someone once told me that if I drink things through a straw, then the offending drink won’t stain my teeth. I don’t know if it’s true, but it’s worth a try.
Next, I was shocked to learn that I’d still have to wear some type of appliance after the treatment was done. It’s silly that I’m shocked by this, as I know that retainers follow braces, but it still shocked me. At least, I’m told that the new appliance won’t be as bulky. YEAH!
Finally, I learned that by doing this DNA appliance, I actually look younger. Dr. Shapira had told me this would happen, but the information went in one ear and out the other. And as usual, when a change is gradual we don’t always see the progress. So, I’m excited for to compare the before and after pictures.
But back to the age “regression”…Dr. Shapira recently showed me a series of pictures of a woman without teeth who put in different sized dentures. As sizes of the dentures changed, her face became less sunken and the wrinkles “ironed” out.
Dr. Shapira explained that the same thing is happening to my mouth by expanding the arches and bone growing in the micro tears as this happens. I know this sounds weird, but in the past, I’d attended a lecture about bone growth and this is exactly what happens. In the lecture, the bones were shown as purposely broken and then microfibers grew between the bones to connect them again. It was like each side of the broken bone was searching for the other.
With the DNA appliance, expanding the appliance creates what I imagine to be micro tears in the bone and then more bone grows into the space. The end result is that the arches are widened, the teeth have more room to grow straight, and my face is filled out.
All in all, I’d say that this experience was successful. The gentle vibrations of the DNA appliance were very tolerable and actually created positive change in my mouth. Remember, I started because the teeth were falling inward. Now they have room to “breath.” Gentle is certainly the way to go.
By the way, I’ve written a new book. Check out…Surviving Your Teenager…And Being Happy Anyway. It’s available on Amazon.