What is the Homeoblock Appliance
The Homeoblock appliance is an oral device used for treatment of adults who have bruxism, TMJ pain, sleep apnea and airway problems. The Homeoblock expander slowly increases the size of the mouth and nose by promoting growth in the jaws and facial bones. The device increases the width of the upper jaw (maxilla) and grows it more forward. The forward growth of the maxilla allows the lower jaw to move into a forward and taller bite position. The increase in space improves airway resistance, breathing, and teeth alignment.
Adult Palatal Expansion at TMJ Sleep and Breather Center
Homeoblock Expander used by James Nestor
The Homeoblock retainer was used by James Nestor, the author of the book, “Breath.” Nestor credited the appliance with dramatically improving nasal breathing capacity and improving tongue posture. “Breath” is a must read for anyone having trouble with airway problems. Mr. Nestor has also appeared on the Joe Rogan Podcast where he discussed the health benefits of proper breathing and the Homeoblock appliance.
What does the Homeoblock Retainer Device Look Like?
The Homeoblock looks a bit like a retainer, an expander and night guard combined. It does not hurt to wear. The device is worn for approximately 10-12 hours at night. The Homeoblock device looks a lot like the DNA appliance invented by Dr. Singh. Singh and Belfore used to work together and great minds do think a like. The Homeoblock looks almost exactly like a DNA appliance with the exception of the shape of the springs and the bite block. We use both appliances and see very similar results with the same design. The Homeoblock has been in existence longer than the DNA with it’s first trademark filed over 18 years ago.
The Homeoblock has a unilateral bite area compared to the DNA that has a bilateral bite. The difference is a reflection in a philosophical difference in how Dr. Singh and Dr. Belfor see bone growth during adult expansion. The design is up to the dental provider and both appliances can use either bilateral or unilateral bite area.
What Does The Homeoblock Appliance Cost?
Homeoblock Appliance Cost is between $8990 and $12,500. The exact cost depends on the difficulty of the case and the experience level of the dentist. In some cases the Homeoblock dentist may charge separately for the appliance and all the adjustment visits and X-rays. Getting the Homeoblock expander for a flat cost upfront is better because the total cost of treatment is known. Otherwise separate fees will be charged for all the visits, x-rays, adjustments and anything else that is done during treatment.
Homeoblock Appliance was invented by Dr. Theodore Belfor
The device was invented by Dr Belfor from New York, USA. You can’t help but notice the obvious similarities to the DNA appliance. Dr. Belfor once worked with Dr. Singh. Dr. Singh is given credit for inventing the DNA appliance. Treatment with the Homeoblock usually takes 12 – 24 months. It most often solves TMJ pain and removes the need for night guards, bite splints, and CPAP.
A Holistic approach TMJ pain and Sleep Apnea Therapy
At TMJ Sleep and Breathe Center, our treatment uses a holistic approach to treating the entirety of this problem. Long term stability and success of treatment depends on correcting the root cause of symptoms. As great as the Homeoblock appliance is, it is only one piece to the puzzle-albeit the biggest one. Tongue function, breathing patterns and posture all play huge roles as well.
Who is The TMJ Sleep and Breathe Center
Dr Gary Adams and Dr Viet Le welcome you to The TMJ Sleep and Breathe Center. Adult Expanders can permanently correct the root cause of many TMJ problems and sleep disorders. Our unique practice combines the benefits of orthodontic expanders, breathing exercises, posture correction and myofunctional therapy. Our treatments will help people smile, bite, breathe, sleep and posture better. We are located in Vienna Virginia near Tysons Corner.
Goals of Homeoblock Treatment:
- Eliminate the cause of TMJ pain and headaches
- Establish healthy breathing patterns
- Stop mouth breathing
- Decrease airway resistance
- Balance the occlusion
- Improve overall posture and facial symmetry
- Correct upper and lower jaw relationships
- Correct tongue function
Notice in the picture below how the jaw and facial structure grew taller and more forward. Notice the change in shape of the neck and correction of forward head posture. Head and neck posture is corrected when the lower jaw is able to grow down and forward.
How the Homeoblock Expander Works
The Homeoblock expands the upper jaw and balances how the teeth fit together and bite at the same time. The device is unique in that it treats TMJ and occlusion at the same as it improves the airway. During orthodontic expansion, the jaws grow three dimensionally to be wider, taller and more forward. A tremendous amount of new room is created in the dental arches, mouth and nasal passageways. The growth of the mouth and nasal passageways has obvious advantages in decreasing upper airway resistance. As the maxilla (upper jaw) grows wider, the mandible (lower jaw) also has more room to move forward into a more optimal position. Moving the the lower jaw forward established more space between the tongue and the throat. Forward repositioning of the mandible is how we solve poor facial profile and “retrognathia.”
How to Clean the Homeoblock
How to clean the Homeoblock? Immediately brush the Homeoblock with moderate pressure using a high power electric tooth brush such as a Sonicare or Oral B professional. Be sure to clean the springs, expansion mechanisms and the entire surface of the appliances. It is not advisable to use tooth paste. Baking soda or fine pumice can be used but is not necessary. Plaque and other minerals are very easy to clean just after the appliance is removed from the mouth.
Conditions Improved by Homeoblock Therapy
- TMJ pain
- jaw tiredness
- Airway resistance and Sleep Apnea
- Bruxism and teeth clenching
- Sinus pressure and drainage
- Teeth wear and less dental work
- Nose breathing
- Deep sleep
- Increased Energy
- Decreased Anxiety
- Improved Metabolism
Breathing Exercises with Homeoblock Treatment
The Homeoblock expander will dramatically improve the bony structure of the jaw and nasal spaces, but it will not completely correct breathing muscle patterns. And it is also very important to improve the strength of the airway and decrease the collapsibility of the throat muscles. During sleep the airway will get as small as it is going to get and this is when it is most likely to collapse. The cure is keeping the tongue out of the throat and keeping the airway and throat open. Here’s how below.
Strengthen the Diaphragm and Decrease Airway Collapsibility
Breathing exercises are a very important part of curing airway resistance and sleep apnea problems. The two areas that need to be strengthened are the muscles in the throat and the diaphragm and rib cage muscles. The result of strengthening the throat muscles is making the airway less collapsible. Strengthening the diaphragm will help the lungs be able to pull more air into the lungs. This can be accomplished by breathing in and out slowly with some resistance. We recommend a device called “The Breather Device.” The Breather basically has dials on the side that can control inspiratory and expiratory pressure separately. The device works the best by breathing in slowly and completely and then breathing out slowly and completely. Do this over and over again for 2-3 full minutes. Then rest for 1-2 minutes. Repeat 3 times. Do this 2-3 times per day if at all possible. As the routine becomes easier, the resistance dials can be increased to make breathing in and out more difficult. Resist increasing the resistance too quickly.
Myofunctional Training and Therapy
What is a Tied Tongue or Ankylglossia?
It is a tight fiber that attaches the tongue to the front part of the lower jaw bone. The presence or absence of a tongue tie is not what is important. How well the tongue functions and moves is what matters. Tongue muscle tone, strength and range of motion are critical. Healthy swallow pattern. Can the tongue easily lift up into the palate and create an air-tight seal? Does the tongue have a wide shape and good tone during movement? Or does it get pointy and curl down when it is pushed out of the mouth?
How the Tongue is related to growth of the mouth and nose
Tied tongues do not move well. Tongue pressure during talking, swallowing and eating stimulates spacious development of the mouth, nose and face at a very young age. If the tongue cannot move well, the jaws and face will not grow large enough for healthy breathing patterns. People will have small breathing passageways. They will get choked by a large tongue especially during sleep. The tongue is the root cause of mouth breathing, airway resistance, snoring and many sleep problems.
How poor tongue posture is linked to breathing & airway problems
The tongue should rest in the palate and suction up on the roof of the mouth like a suction cup. If the tongue is weak, lacks range of motion to reach the palate, it will maintain a low and reverse posture in the mouth. Especially if the mouth is small, the tongue will go where it better fits in the throat during sleep. When the tongue is displaced into the throat during sleep it will cause obstructions to airflow and proper breathing. Airway resistance and sleep apnea are the result.
How does Myofunctional Therapy Work?
Myofunctional therapy is basically physical therapy for tongues. Tongue function is evaluated. Exercises are given to improve tongue:
- Range of movement
- Strength and muscle tone
- Swallow function
- Tongue posture on the palate
- Participation during healthy breathing patterns
When a tongue tie causes the tongue not to function properly, a qualified dentist and myofunctional therapist will order a functional tongue untie procedure. A functional procedure verifies the tongue can move properly during the surgical procedure. Laser assisted techniques are done quickly, painlessly and without any bleeding. Success of the procedure hinges on the the tongue being untied and the patient performing myofunctional tongue exercises after the procedure.
Nasal Breathing Compared to Mouth Breathing
Nasal breathing promotes healthy growth and development starting at a very young age. Nose breathing uses muscle groups in the abdomen, ribs, shoulders, neck and face. Healthy coordinated muscle patterns during breathing support good upright comfortable posture.
Mouth breathing uses a different muscle pattern than nasal breathing. Mouth breathing causes people to slouch and have forward head posture. People who mouth breath end up with small jaws, crooked teeth, poor airways, bad posture, sleep problems and bruxism. This is because muscle patterns used during mouth breathing causes the bones in the face, chest, back and neck to grow to be the wrong size and shape. Muscle pressure stimulates our bones to grow to a certain size and shape.
The tongue puts pressure on the upper jaw and teeth. The pressure promotes growth of a wider palate wider palate and upper jaw. The hard palate forms the base of the nose. As the palate grows wider, people can fit more air through larger nasal spaces. If enough oxygen fits through nasal spaces, it is not necessary to open the mouth to breathe. If the nasal passageways are too small, the mouth will need to open to meet oxygen demands.
Chiropractic Posture Correction
Many of our patients go back and forth between the dentist and chiropractor complaining about pain. Dentist’s usually hear about teeth clenching, TMJ pain and headaches. The chiropractor receives complaints about neck pain. The underlying cause of the pain is poor skeletal development. People use the wrong muscles patterns to breathe when mouth breathing. Also, when breathing is restricted, different muscles need to be used in a more forceful way. The unhealthy muscle pressure literally causes the bones in the head, neck and back to grow to be the wrong size and shape for good posture. Over time, the body fatigues from performing with less than optimally shaped posture and function.