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Narrow Upper Jaw & Sleep Apnea Issues

May 31, 2024

In this short clip from The Doc Podcast, Dr. Deluke and Dr. Bockow discuss the current scientific literature supporting a correlation between patients with narrower upper jaw width and the prevalence of sleep-related breathing disorders such as sleep apnea. Learn more about Sleep Apnea, proper diagnosis, and treatment options at

Dr. Rebecca Bockow is a dual-trained board-certified orthodontist and periodontist – one of only a handful in the country. She lectures nationally on periodontics, orthodontics, interdisciplinary orthodontics, airway, and skeletal growth and development.

— Clip Transcript —

Dr. Rebecca Bockow
” We have solid literature and not one paper, but multiple papers identifying. And now with CBCTs, we can really get a sense of the width of the upper and lower jaws. And then, if you look at the adult literature, there's a paper that came out, I think, two years ago. Gosh, it's 2020. It's a 2021 paper, but it was published in in the ENT and Sleep Literature. Tula at all 2021."

” It correlates a narrow maxilla with tongue-based collapse and sleep apnea. And so now you talk about how does this present in adults. It's not about the crossbite, but they didn't correlated with a crossbite, it was just maxillary width."

Dr. Michael DeLuke
” I actually posted that on a social media site and people were attacking that it was a correlation, not causation. And, you know, we get in that whole debate. But the point is, is we know it's been proven evidence-based many, many times that adult patients with a narrower, maxilla have a higher incidence of sleep-related breathing disorders and obstructive sleep apnea."

” And, I mean, you could say, you know, even correlations can be very powerful when they're when they're true and when they're consistent."

Dr. Rebecca Bockow
” And, inner molar width of 30mm or less, they all had apnea. Yeah. and it's measured with the AHI confirmed with DICE. That's that's pretty compelling evidence."

Dr. Michael DeLuke
” I agree."

Dr. Bockow loves to create beautiful smiles for her patients, setting them up for a lifetime of dental and airway health.

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