KB's Story

I wore braces and retractive head gear for 3 ½ years as a teen. I estimate

that I began wearing them at age 11 and completed at age 14. The reason

I’m writing this is I’ve been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, severe,

two months ago at age 56. I am not overweight. I do have high blood

pressure, but I take many vitamins and exercise to offset my health issues. I

have had trouble staying asleep for as long as I can remember, beginning as a

teen. I went to doctor after doctor and tried every medication they

prescribed. I also have been to counseling trying to get to the root of my

problem. There has been no traumatic events that would cause my


My dentist has been telling me I grind my teeth, but the last visit he said they

have connected tooth grinding to sleep apnea and I should get tested. I went

to a sleep lab and have severe sleep apnea at 35 AHI. I started to research it

and from my reading I realized it was the orthodontics. I had an orthodontist

do a CT scan and it showed my airway to be the size of a soda straw. No

wonder I couldn’t breathe at night and sometimes during the day.

To get my airway back to normal would take orthodontic work and corrective

jaw surgery. I don’t have the $50,000 right now to do it. So I just continue

with the CPAP doing the best I can. This has affected my whole life. I could

type for pages about missed opportunities due to health issues, but I won’t. I

just want to help people realize that this practice is not right. My

granddaughter was told by an orthodontist that she needed to remove

permanent teeth. The orthodontists are still doing it and teaching it.

Something has got to change. I will help in any way I can.

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  • Kim Henry
    commented 2020-02-02 17:55:51 -0800
    If someone took 3.5 years to do an orthodontic case, they either did not know what they were doing, or you were not cooperating with keeping your appointments. No orthodontic case takes that long to complete.

    There are many reasons for compromised airway. Most patients with sleep apnea never had braces, much less headgear. My advice would be to take the CT scan to an ENT and figure out exactly why your airway is compromised. I have light apnea and am able to control is by wearing a mandibular forward positioned every night when I sleep.

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