Lower mRNA Appliance Update – One Month

It’s been at least a month since I received the bottom part of the mRNA appliance. Not a lot has happened with my mouth since then that is visibly apparent. It appears my teeth are starting to straighten a bit, but the real evidence of them shifting is that most of my teeth feel loose.

Sleeping with both appliances AND the CPAP is indeed a challenging experience. Heaven for bid if I desperately need a drink at night or feel the sudden urge to cough, sneeze, or vomit. The lower appliance essentially locks the jaw forward and together with the upper maxilla. My ritual at night now includes adding wax to the front bumper wire, otherwise, I feel as though my bottom lip will be severed when I awake in the morning. Sleepy time routine: put both appliances in, wax on, apply lip balm, tape mouth shut, don CPAP mask and eye mask.

I’ve mostly just soldiered on and put my mind to the task of getting this whole experience over with as quickly as possible.  Because I’m sleeping all night and sleeping better than I ever have, oh and I can function all day without feeling as if I will collapse, soldiering on has not been a terrible thing. I’m up at 5:30 this morning writing this after all. Rising before seven was essentially unheard of in my previous life. 

Emotionally and psychologically, I’m holding up well and have seen great improvements in my overall well being. I did have a small breakdown while on vacation. I think the reality of my situation was brought into focus and for a moment I felt weak, vulnerable, and insecure about my health. That passed, of course, and I’m back to soldiering on with the end goal of diminished sleep apnea events and discontinued use of CPAP.

Physically, I don’t notice any improvement in my nighttime ability to breath. I have expanded both appliances multiple times now and the top appliance has become somewhat unsteady. I’m sure they will sort that out at my next visit. My maxilla arch feels a wee bit wider and though I still haven’t found the natural resting place for my mandible, my bite is starting to come together. There is definitely more space between my teeth for flossing.

I feel as though the novelty of this whole process has dissolved and I’m now in for the long haul of grinding it out. I don’t wish the next 18 months of my existence to fly by, though I welcome my next big break through in this palate expansion experiment. FWIW, I experimented one night with sleeping without my mask, just the appliance and my mouth taped shut. It was an epic fail. I tossed and turned until I simply had to put the mask on to breath. 

And the sun is coming up. I’ve witnessed more sunrises in the last two months than my whole life combined. Arising early has meant I have to rearrange my day. I now get up and make the coffee, instead of my husband. I do something every morning before I get ready for work, either write, garden, walk, something. I’m almost sorry now that I didn’t do something about this sooner, if only for having more life to live.

CPAP: Living With It or Not

mRNA Appliance & CPAP Update

The mRNA appliance is actually kind of awesome. I can feel it “doing something” which equates to meaningful change toward a permanent solution to my sleep apnea among other things. This past week, in addition to being able to breath through my nose for the first time in my life, my husband has declared my snoring to be just a soft purr or something like that. This is all improvement before starting CPAP. I still can’t tell much difference looking in the mirror, but my lower jaw is now freely moving forward and I can “feel” my top dental arch taking on a fuller shape. Continue reading

Are You A Chronic Smiler?

RBFResting bitch face is my new default facial expression. You’re probably wondering why or you could care less because you don’t know me. Take a look at this post where I’m smiling. I’ve been a chronic smiler my whole life. I never gave it much thought before, though I’ve definitely been mistaken for not being serious. For someone who’s run through bouts of depression and extreme social anxiety, I think it was my way of showing the world everything was alright. Now I’m beginning to wonder if there was something deeper at play. I’ll explain.

This will all tie back into epigenetic orthodontics, you’ll see. Continue reading

Mouth Breathing, Sleep Apnea, and Depression

mRNA Update

My research on Epigenetic Orthodontics has led me down a deep rabbit hole, but first, an appliance update. I’m now into week three of wearing the mRNA appliance and I’ll be picking up my APAP machine next week. I have mixed feelings about that which I’ll explain later. My teeth have shifted enough now that I can almost touch the two front and bottom teeth together for the first time since my twenties. There is still pressure in the roof of my mouth and breathing through both nostrils is now a regular event.

Quantifying Genetic & Environmental Influences

I want to share some of the information I’ve come across recently on epigenetic orthodontics, mouth breathing, and related health issues. Continue reading

Epigenetic Orthodontics in Panama City Beach

The decision to undergo palate expansion took me by surprise. I decided to find a dentist or orthodontist who would devise a non-invasive treatment for my situation after I felt certain that holistic dentistry was a viable option. My online searching led me to most any major city and no one within a 250 mile radius. I surmised this would probably be considered alternative treatment, so, paying out of pocket. This was going to take serious future planning. In the meantime, I still needed to see a dentist for basic care. I decided to visit the closest dentist to my house. I had heard positive things about her and her staff. She calls her office The Dental Spa. What’s not to like? Continue reading

mRNA Appliance One Week Update

I’ve been wearing the mRNA appliance for one week now. I wear it the recommended 14-16 hours per day. I’m not speaking any better, though I’m getting used to talking. My sleeping is good and bad. Some nights I sleep well and some nights I toss and turn. No different from usual. My tossing and turning could be just as easily attributed to my monkey brain not turning off.

There is no visible difference yet, though two unusual and unexpected things happened this week. While I was eating, I thought I bit into a rock. It was my tooth. The teeth in the back are starting to make contact in new and different ways and it was a weird sensation to actually be able to use more teeth to chew food. Continue reading

Why Palate Expansion as a Treatment Option – Part II

Now that I’ve shared some of my current and past medical history, it’s time to share the other piece that led me down this path.

Hippy Days

At the age of 19, I discovered another way of existing in this world that resonated with me deeply. I started hanging out with a bunch of hippies. I had my punk rock friends too, but for some reason, through “health food”, homeopathy, homeschooling, Dead shows, and the like, I felt like I had found my tribe. I was convinced and it was further enforced for the next thirty years that being a vegetarian was the righteous path. I ate tofu, beans, and rice religiously, drank rice milk, learned to make my own bread, and seitan. Of course I eschewed junk food and loaded up on veggies and inferior proteins for years. I wasn’t a strict vegetarian, because I still craved meat like crazy. Continue reading