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What does dentistry have to do with epigenetics? Dr. Ted Belfor was a practicing dentist for decades before he could answer that question. In fact, when he began talking about epigenetics twenty years, no one even knew what he was talking about. Today, epigenetics is arguably the largest science of the 21st century. Dr. Belfor joins the podcast to discuss what he’s learned over the years about the overlap between epigenetics, craniofacial development, and sleep disorders.

While the environment can’t change our genes, it can determine how our genes are expressed. Dr. Belfor explains that, due in large part to our diets now consisting of over 60 percent processed foods, we haven’t been chewing and swallowing the way we were designed to, and as a result, we aren’t fully expressing our genes for facial development. Expression of these genes can be stimulated by oral appliances and breathing exercises that work to tone the airway and enhance the growth of the jaw. When craniofacial development occurs properly and airways are toned, breathing problems such as apnea and upper airway resistance during sleep simply don’t exist.

In order to help people combat these problems, Dr. Belfor has created a removable oral appliance called the Homeoblock that imitates nature by putting the force back in our chew and imitating the signaling of the periodontal ligament, which he explains is crucial to proper development. He discusses a variety of other interesting topics, including the differences between sleep apnea and upper airway resistance and why one is actually significantly more detrimental than the other, how proper alignment of the jaw improves homeostatic capacity and the ability for the body to maintain a healthy state, the consequences of mouth breathing, and how to go about getting a Homeoblock for yourself. Tune in and visit http://www.facialdevelopment.com/aboutus.php to learn more.

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