Why Would a Dentist Help Treat Dysautonomia-POTS-EDS?

Dr. Roca’s daughter was diagnosed with Hyperadrenergic POTS when she was in her first year of college after years of researching trying to figure out how to tie all the symptoms that her daughter was experiencing together. In doctor visit after doctor visit, everyone would tell Dr. Roca that her daughter was perfectly healthy and it was quite frustrating to say the least. But thanks to their pure determination they found out about POTS and everything started to make sense.

The journey Dr. Roca took with her daughter is very similar to many journeys our patients have been through by the time they arrive at Arlington Smile Center. Dr. Roca has been trained in the signs that many patients have, knows that the patient may not realize how the mouth is all connected to their health.

How Can a Dentist Tell If You May Have POTS ?Dr. Roca will have you fill out an extensive medical history and will use her knowledge to tie your symptoms together. Dr. Roca likes to say a that patient’s mouth and health tell a story. She feels that and learning that story can help her help you write the next chapters.  Dr. Roca also gives you blood test RX to check for low levels of Vitamin D3, B12 and Ferrtin that are all related to sleep and have a dramatic effect on improving Dysautonomia.

Not all patients obviously have Dysautonomia and not all of the items in list below apply to all patients with Dysautonomia. But all the items on the list can be addressed by Dr. Roca’s treatment which may improve all the symptoms directly connected to the your Dysautonomia/EDS/ POTS diagnosis.

  1. Often mouth breathing is first on the list as a cause for the autonomic nervous system to always be on, alerting the flight or fight response that raises our pulse
  2. Having a high, arched palate
  3. Tongue-tie
  4. Tongue thrust
  5. Lip-tie
  6. Receding gums connected to EDS
  7. Jaw joint hypermobility connected to EDS
  8. Dental cavities indirectly due to the low vitamin D and mouth breathing often seen in POTS patients
  9. Swollen or bleeding gums
  10. Bad breath
  11. Fatigue
  12. Sleep disordered breathing/UARS/Sleep apnea
  13. Snoring or mouth breathing while sleeping
  14. TMJ facial tension and/or popping and clicking in jaw joint
  15. Speech issues
  16. Reverse swallowing
  17. Forward head posture
  18. Neck or traps tension (the coat hanger effect)
  19. Nasal congestion, allergies or asthma
  20. Dry mouth
  21. Crooked teeth
  22. Open bite
  23. Cross bite
  24. Receded lower jaw
  25. Overbite
  26. Insomnia
  27. Low levels of vitamin D and B12
  28. Low levels of Ferrtin connected to restless legs
  29. Anxiety
  30. Waking up at night to urinate
  31. Nightmares night terrors
  32. Wetting the bed
  33. Depression
  34. Clogged ears
  35. Ringing in ears
  36. Above normal ear infections
  37. Above normal sinus infections
  38. Eye pressure
  39. Vertigo
  40. Dizziness
  41. Migraines or headaches
  42. IBS symptoms ( constipation and diarrhea)
  43. Night sweating
  44. Thirst occurring during sleep or when you wake up
  45. Fibromyalgia
  46. Chronic Fatigue syndrome
How Would Dr. Roca Go About Helping the Patient with Dysautonomia-POTS-EDS?Dr. Roca understands how debilitating it can be when no one seems to be able to help. She knows how horrible you feel. She also knows how much better she can make you feel which can give you confidence that soon you could be feeling much better without the need to take so much medicine. The ultimate goal is to help your body to heal.  She feels our bodies can heal if we know what to give them. Dr. Roca has spent countless hours over the years investigating the connection between poor bites, breathing, sleep and health; and all of it directly relates to Dysautonomia-POTS-EDS.

Dr. Roca believes that through nutrition, exercise, and structural rehabilitation the body can be restored.  She believes when possible that non-pharmaceutical medicine is the best medicine. She has implemented multiple insightful modalities that have proven useful in treating a number of medical conditions not commonly thought to be related to how one bites and breaths. Those  include POTS, eczema, autoimmune disorders, IBS and anxiety, to name a few.

When Dr. Roca suspects the patient could have Dysautonomia-POTS-EDS, she might recommend an unofficial tilt table test to confirm her suspicions and refer you to the appropriate doctor. She does this by taking your blood pressure and pulse sitting and standing and watches your behavior in her office when it comes to breathing.  She then picks one of the modalities that she thinks will help you start to heal.

Learn more about how dental health care providers can address POTS

What Modalities Does Dr. Roca Use to Improve Long List of Symptoms She Sees on a Daily Basis with Her Dysautonomia-POTS-EDS?The options Dr. Roca will give you will depend on your age and particular symptoms. Everyone is different.

Dr. Roca usually likes to start by teaching her patients with Dysautonomia-POTS-EDS how to properly breath through the nose, the correct tongue posture and the correct way to swallow. She has found it is very easy to use Myobrace® and myofunctional therapy to help teach these functions along with the myofunctional training she had in 2018.

And as Dr. Roca always says, one breathing method does not fit all patients!  Often POTS patients find that trying to breathe increases their heart rate or causes light headedness. She needs to work with them so that they get the CO2/02 combination that is right for them.

Dr. Roca promotes individualized treatment for breathing rather than any particular dogma. She has taken a six-month mini residency integrative breathing class with Dr. Rosalba Courtney where she became a certified practitioner of Integrative Breathing Therapy, Buteyko breathing, resonance frequency breathing, capnometry, heart rate variability, biofeedback, intermittent hypoxic training, Mindful-Breath and Movement, resistance training breathing and dynamic breathing.

Another option is Alf Appliance Therapy. This therapy is ideal for those suffering from autonomic nervous system dysfunction. Many only use Alf to stimulate growth and position the maxilla for the development of a palate into the proper size and shape. At Arlington Smile Center, we have been known to use Alf not to move teeth but to calm the nervous system and encourage the tongue to assume a more normal rest posture position.

“In essence, the Alf,  functions as a neurophysiologic stimulus, as an orthopedic/orthodontic device, and it encourages the tongue to assume a more normal rest posture position. The palate lies in close proximity to the brainstem and directly beneath the sella turcica, which houses the pituitary gland. This highly innervated palatal area, coupled with the proprioceptors in the tooth organs and the periodontal ligaments transmit a subtle stimulatory input not only to the roof of the mouth, but also to the brainstem and the endocrine system. More specifically, the ALF’s sensory input to the palate produces a calming effect on the sympathetic nervous system, much like the effects of a pacifier in an infant or thumb sucking in a young child. The benefit of this tranquilizing effect is that it allows the brainstem to refocus on issues other than sympathetic protection (survival).”

Sexton SM, Andrew RN, Draper L. Pacifiers Anonymous: How to Kick the Pacifier or Thumb Sucking Habit. Minneapolis, MN:Mill City Press, Inc.;2010:p85.

As Ljuba Lemke, DDS stated in one of my classes. An unnatural birth, injuries, motor vehicle accidents, concussions and other factors may have a significant influence on your brain function. Individuals who have experienced accidents, injuries or other major physical events may be stuck in dysfunctional patterns. To enjoy your best quality of life you need full brain function and activity, an accurate brain-body map and all 12 cranial nerves working harmoniously. This full-brain function affects your ability to breathe normally and helps improve the ability of your red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout your body, fueling energy production, brain power, and overall physical and mental performance.

Click here to learn more about ALF

Another appliance that can help patients in their teens and up is the Homeoblock™ appliance. You can follow this link for more information.

Homeoblock and DNA Appliance

Another option Arlington Smile Center, uses when applicable, is Neuro-Sequencing Integration which Dr. Roca learned from by Dr. Lois Laynee. It can be a powerful adjunct to prevent, stop and even reverse the symptoms that prevent people from reaching optimal wellness and potential. After incorporating Lois Laynee’s Cranial Neurosequencing Technique for TMD, Sleep Disorders, Fibromyalgia and Airway Orthodontics, Dr. Roca saw changes in patients who reported faster reduction of pain, better breathing decreased anxiety.

The 12 Cranial Nerves and Their Function

  1. Olfactory Nerve: Sense of smell
  2. Optic Nerve: Vision
  3. Oculomotor Nerve: Eyeball and eyelid movement
  4. Trochlear Nerve: Eye movement
  5. Trigeminal Nerve: Facial sensation and chewing; this nerve is divided into three branches – the ophthalmic, maxillary and mandibular nerves.
  6. Abducens Nerve: Eye movement
  7. Facial Nerve: Facial expressions and sense of taste
  8. Vestibulocochlear Nerve: Equilibrium and hearing
  9. Glossopharyngeal Nerve: Swallowing, sense of taste and saliva secretion
  10. Vagus Nerve: Smooth muscle sensory and motor control in throat, lungs, heart and digestive system
  11. Accessory Nerve: Movement of neck and shoulders
  12. Hypoglossal Nerve: Movement of tongue, swallowing and speech
Dysautonomia Diagram
Dysautonomia Symptoms