Dr. Nammy Patel, the founder of Green Dentistry in San Francisco, sits down with John Maher about using Vivos Therapeutics to treat sleep apnea. She discusses the many health problems linked to lack of sleep, talks about how sleep apnea worsens many health conditions, and explains how the Vivos process works.
John Maher: Hi, I’m John Maher. I’m here today with Dr. Nammy Patel, founder of Green Dentistry in San Francisco, California, helping patients recognize the vital connection between dental health and whole body health. And author of the best-selling book Age with Style Guide to a Youthful Smile & Healthy Living. Today, our topic is Vivos Therapeutics for the treatment of sleep apnea. Welcome Dr. Nammy.
Dr. Nammy Patel: Hi John, delighted to be here.
What Is Sleep-Disordered Breathing?
John: Dr. Nammy, what is sleep-disordered breathing and sleep apnea, which is related to that?
Dr. Nammy: Sleep-disordered breathing means that somebody is sleeping, but they’re not getting the REM sleep. So, it’s kind of like when you sleep, but you don’t feel rested. Ever wake up groggy and don’t feel good? Feel like you have a mental fog, feel like, “I slept eight hours, but I just don’t feel good. I don’t feel like I slept enough.” And that is something we called sleep-disordered breathing because the quality of sleep is not good. So, when we evaluate sleep, we look at two things. One is, do you stop breathing? That’s called sleep apnea. The second is, do you have the quality of sleep that you need? Many times patients don’t have sleep apnea, but their airway’s just too small where they’re not getting good sleep. And the quality of oxygen that they’re getting is just not as great as we would want them to.
So, we evaluate both of these and find a treatment that would help them to get better breathing. And they can feel rested, so that they can function better on a regular basis. And also, the key really is with sleep is that it slows down the aging process. So, when we have sleep, our bodies are going and fixing all the problems in the body. And when we do that, it’s like defragmentation in your computer. When all that defragmentation is occurring on a regular basis, that program runs and it fixes a little bug, so that way your computer works better. And that’s what sleep is for our bodies. We sleep and rest, so that our bodies can restore function. And any problematic issues it resolves, so that we can be optimum in the morning, we can have a clear, fresh mind. We can be focused, we can go about our great day, and put people on the moon and do some amazing things.
How Does Sleep Apnea Affect Your Teeth?
John: Right. Everybody wants to do amazing things, and be awake and feel like you’ve gotten a lot of great rest, and that sort of thing, so that you can function. But why is it really also important for your teeth to try to stop sleep apnea?
Dr. Nammy: The main reason to make sure that you have good breathing is to make sure that you’re not breathing through the mouth. And that is a huge issue because number one, it’ll cause dry mouth, which causes a lot of bacterial buildup in the gums. And it’ll cause gum disease, which makes the teeth loose and fall out. That’s actually the number one reason people lose their teeth is actually gum disease. And those bacteria have access to your entire gut system, so that bacteria will cause gut issues.
How Lack of Sleep Leads to Depression and Anxiety
Dr. Nammy: Also, a lot of times, a lot of anxiety and depression happens because people are breathing through the mouth and not through their nose and they’re not getting the GABA and the good serotonins that they need, so the neuro receptors that need to be activated and they’re not being activated. And then, with the teeth, just because of having a lot of bacteria on their teeth is going to cause cavities. So, for teeth it causes cavities and gum disease and tooth loss, and pain and discomfort, which nobody wants. And having to have extra needs to go to the dentist. And that whole drill and fill life cycle just keeps moving on, and on, and on, and it never stops.
How the Vivos System Helps With Sleep Apnea
John: Okay so, what is the Vivos System, and how does that help with sleep apnea?
Dr. Nammy: The Vivos System is called Vivo Therapeutics. And it includes several appliances, the DNA and the mRNA. So, what these appliances do is they actually use epigenetics, and they actually activate certain parts of our jaw bone to move the skeleton in the right place, so we can have better breathing. And what they also do is they combine myofunctional therapy, so that we know where to position our tongue. We know where our sinus space should be, and how can we actually fix breathing issues? And that’s what it essentially does. Vivos Therapeutics is a non-surgical, non-invasive way to fix nasal breathing, fix apnea, fix crowding, jaw discrepancies, and even cosmetics.
How Does the Vivos System Work?
John: Describe what the Vivos System is and how it works.
Dr. Nammy: The Vivos System is a scientifically based, evidence-based studied system that points out the reason why people have these issues is actually part of it is genetic, but part of it comes from not being breastfed as a child. When children are not breastfed for about two to four years, what is happening is their pallets are shrinking. And when their pallets are shrinking, because their tongue’s not using a lot of force to suckle out of a breast because they’re getting baby bottles. So, guess what happens to a muscle if it’s not used and worked out?
John: Right, it just atrophies.
Dr. Nammy: It never gets toned. And so, that’s what happens with the tongue is that the tongue doesn’t build the way it needs to. And the importance of the tongue in growth is really that the tongue really positions the sinus in the right place. And our sinus is our immune system, so we need that number one. And when it’s not in the proper place, when the tongue is on the proper place, the sinuses tend to have a lot of issues. And the kids are breathing through the mouth, they’re having bedwetting, they’re having restless leg syndrome. They’re not developing properly and they’re angry kids, and sometimes angry adults.
Using Vivos to Treat Genetic and Environmental Problems
Dr. Nammy: And so, when we are actually looking at the Vivos Therapeutics System, we are analyzing, why is this happening? What is the root, root, root cause? One is genetics. The second is actually our environment. And we are taking a concept called epigenetics where we can change gene expression, meaning we can actually activate certain parts of our body to elicit a certain response. And we do that with a device. A device that looks like a retainer. Patients wear it 16 hours a day, it’s non-painful, it’s very comfortable. And what it actually does. It expands the skeletal bone at the stem cells because the stem cells are the baby cells, that’s when you were born. And they’re still active, believe it or not.
And when we can do that, we are using our own natural body to fix a natural… Well, to fix a problem versus putting you on a CPAP for a lifetime that’s super uncomfortable, super painful and costly. And we’re avoiding this drill and fill cycle on your teeth, and fixing a lot of issues from bedwetting, to ADHD, to anxiety, to hormonal issues for women, to Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular disease, strokes. All of these things are caused by lack of sleep. And we’re addressing that naturally, which is really great. And we’re actually looking at it. For a long time, medical doctors have not looked at it. And that’s been the biggest issue. Dentists actually look at this.
The Connection Between Sleep Apnea and Other Health Problems
Dr. Nammy: And, for me, I’m more passionate about it because my own father, who has sleep apnea, 10 years ago, I asked his medical doctor to take a look because he had allergies and he just had a runny nose all the time. He went to the doctor and his medical doctor at Kaiser said, “Okay, here’s an Afrin,” which is basically an allergy medication. Said, “Go away, you’ll be fine.” Now, three years passed by, he’s still like uncomfortable. It’s still hasn’t made a difference. He goes to his doctor, the doctor’s like, “Well, you’re just going to have to live with it.”
He has bronchitis means that his chest is producing so much mucus because the quality of air is not so good because he’s mouth breathing. When you mouth breathe, the quality of air it’s not, humidified, it’s not cleaned. And so, his poor lungs are inflamed. Then, fast forward another couple years. And he ends up in a hospital bed with a stroke. And all this time I’ve asked the doctor, “Could you please test them for sleep apnea?” And he does not. And finally, at the stroke, I was like, “You must test him. It is absolute that you must test him here. He comes back. My poor dad stops breathing 84 times a minute.
John: Oh my gosh.
Dr. Nammy: Which could have been diagnosed that explains his bronchitis. That explains why he had all that mucus in his chest all the time is because he was not breathing. And when he did, he gasped for that air. And that air was just going through his mouth and it wasn’t filtered. And when it wasn’t filtered, it was causing an allergic reaction in his chest. And that continuous process for, now that had been about six, seven years since the onset, he was already on Lipitor, they already told them that, “You have high cholesterol.” He was on high blood pressure medications. He had jaundice, his liver stopped functioning for a while. He had all of these issues and the doctor never thought to look at sleep apnea, and even ignored the fact that I said, “Please, test his sleep.”
The Importance of Diagnosing Sleep Apnea
John: Amazing. Yeah, like you said, something that the medical doctors really haven’t been looking at. And it’s great that, that dentists like yourself, are kind of forcing the issue, and forcing us to look at things like that.
Dr. Nammy: Help is really to help patients do things naturally, because if we can solve this… And I recently saw a study and I realized when we were looking at this analysis, did you know that for children, ADHD medications, it’s a $9 billion business? A $9 billion business. And do you know how much a sleep test study would cost is $500 per patient?
John: Wow. Yeah.
Dr. Nammy: So, just a $9 billion business because they’re popping… These poor kids are having ADHD medication and getting kicked out of school when they’re beautiful children, all they need is sleep.
How Quickly Does the Vivos System Work?
John: Right. So, with the Vivos System, how quickly can people start to see results? They’re wearing a retainer, obviously, it has to take some time for the shape of their jaw to change, or for there to be more room there for their tongue, and for their airways to open up. How long will it take before people will start to see some improvement?
Dr. Nammy: To be honest, I’ve had patients who’ve told me they feel better within three to four weeks.
Dr. Nammy: Because you’ll feel the relief because we’re opening that airway, and we’re getting about a millimeter of movement per month. So, that’s significant to take note because remember our throat, or our airway is a circular diameter. So, when it’s a circle, when we expand it by a millimeter, we’re expanding the volume by 10 times. So, patients really say they feel much better within about three to four weeks.
The Treatment Process With the Vivos System
John: And so, what’s the process of getting treated for the Vivos System? What’s the first step?
Dr. Nammy: The first tip is to come in. First, we want to educate you on what the Vivos System is, and to make sure it’s right for you, and you feel really good about it. Once that’s complete, we invite you for a diagnostic CT scans, digital x-rays, photos, check your bites, do a sleep study. And we have that analysis. Once that analysis is complete, we have exact numbers on how much do we want to improve your airway? What are realistic goals that we can give you? And we take several things into account. Not only are we going to just look at sleep, we’re going to look at how do we expand that sinus space for you, so you can breathe through your nose better? And really activate your natural immune system. So, we’re going to look at things that may not be your chief concern.
We’re also going to look at how can we make things more symmetrical for your face, so that you look better. So, we’re going to check those things out, so that way you feel better. And also overcrowding, how can we fix that, so you don’t have to deal with ortho maybe at the end? But if it comes down to orthodontics, or making sure you have better airway, we’re going to prioritize airway first. So, we really look at form and function, and to find the best ways to help you live longer and be comfortable.
Contact Green Dentistry to Learn More About the Vivos Therapeutic System
John: All right. Well, that’s really great information. Dr. Nammy, thanks again for speaking with me today.
Dr. Nammy: My pleasure, John.
John: And for more information about Green Dentistry, visit the website at sfgreendentist.com or call 415-433-0119.
A graduate of the University of Southern California and the University of California’s School of Dentistry, Dr. Patel is a leader in the movement to bring environmental sanity and well-being into the dental world. As a trusted dentist, Dr. Patel provides her patients with more than just world-class dental care — she helps them recognize the vital connection between dental health and whole body health. She is also a ForbesBooks and Amazon best-selling author.