How Skeletal Structure Causes Sleep Apnea, Back Pain & Depression

by Ann Marie Michaels on July 25, 2012

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Many of you know that an diet lacking in nutrients can cause a narrow palate. Dr. Weston A. Price taught that if we don’t get the nutrients that are required to build strong bones, especially in the womb and as babies and children, we often end up with narrow faces, impaired eyesight, crooked teeth, etc.

But there are other things that can cause a misshapen skull which can result in all kinds of problems including sleep apnea, tinnitus, depression, back pain, anxiety, migraines, headaches, sinusitis, TMJ, and vertigo.

Wisdom teeth extractions and extractions due to root canals result in a collapse of facial structure. This can cause the cheekbones to disappear, and can cause a weak chin. It can also result in damage to posture. Accidents even childbirth can also cause the spine to be out of alignment and the way the skull sits on the spine.

Dr. Dean Howell and NeuroCranial Restructuring

Here are a few videos I found online of Dr. Dean Howell as he explains NeuroCranial Restructuring®. While nutrition helps the process of expanding a narrow palate, many of us need more help when it comes to getting in alignment and widening the facial palate.

We are planning to start seeing Dr. Howell this summer, to help expand our daughter’s palate and to help my husband with his sleep apena and snoring. He actually says that wrinkles are caused by the collapse of the skeletal structure in the face (maybe I will work with him, too — I had my wisdom teeth extracted).

Share Your Comments Below

Are you doing anything, nutrition or otherwise, to improve your skeletal structure or facial palate, or those of your family members? Please share your comments below — I’d love to hear what you are up to.

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{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

Julia July 25, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Hey, Ann Marie-
I’m 17 and still don’t have my wisdom teeth. I had a palate expander/braces when I was younger, and have recently recovered from a parasite infection that left me severely malnourished/underweight for four years.

Is it normal that I don’t have wisdom teeth? Or is something else in play?

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Janelle July 25, 2012 at 1:47 PM

Don’t worry about it! My wisdom teeth have been slowly coming in now for a few years and I am 27 with one on top still needing to come through. Surprisingly I have room for all of them.

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Elizabeth August 12, 2012 at 2:27 PM

I’m 42 and still haven’t gotten any wisdom teeth. When looking a the x-ray, my dentist says there is NOTHING coming in either. I’m one of those people that never gets wisdom teeth.

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Megan Alba July 25, 2012 at 1:07 PM

I had my wisdom teeth out at 21 because my parents & the dentist said it was a “must.” They never hurt & frankly, the surgery was far worse than dealing with the wisdom teeth! A few years later I developed chronic earaches and TMJ. Probably not a coincidence. I’ve always maintained that I should have left my wisdom teeth in.

Now that we’re expecting our first baby, I’ve been eating a diet high in good fats to hopefully expand our munchkin’s palate! Hopefully I can help our children have better structure than I did.

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Molly July 25, 2012 at 5:53 PM

Wait, so you’re saying beautiful people are healthier, too? So unfair! I have a pretty narrow face, and I needed a widening device for my pallet when I was younger. Don’t have very defined cheekbones either. There’s seriously a way to change this???

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cheeseslave July 25, 2012 at 8:53 PM

Yes, there is a way to change this.

It’s unfortunate what the low-fat diet and industrial foods are doing to our skeletal structure.

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Maggie July 26, 2012 at 2:36 AM

In terms of widening a narrow palate what are the pros and cons of NCR vs. a dental appliance like ALF,etc (I know you have mentioned this before)?

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cheeseslave July 27, 2012 at 5:57 PM

I think Dr. Howell uses dental appliances as well.

I think they are both good, but what he does is much better. Also it depends on how the dental appliances are used.

I’ll write a post in the near future explaining the difference between what Dr. Howell does (NCR) and just using dental appliances.

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Mali Korsten (The Korsten Chronicle) July 26, 2012 at 4:31 AM

A cure for my flat feet, chronic back pain and droopy right eye? This is the stuff of my dreams! Thanks for sharing.

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jenna July 28, 2012 at 6:07 AM

for the eye you could also consider vision therapy. i just learned that it’s possible to improve acuity (eyesight) with vision therapy, and that poor vision skills (not the same as eyesight) is a spectrum disorder that impacts folks on the ASD, ADHD, allergy/ashtma, autoimmune spectrum. totally blowing my mind that thru diet and therapy this is to some degree reversible. i’ve been suffering my whole life, my sons do too, more so than me now they don’t have to yay! i’m hopeful they won’t have to deal with life long frequent headaches/migraines like i did. i’ll be writing about this in the coming weeks as I learn more.

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anna July 26, 2012 at 7:21 AM

Hi!
Now that you’re back in LA I want to recommend a GREAT chiropractor who specializes in children altho she does work with adults too. I take both my kids to her. She also does cranial work. Her name is Dr. Christine Anderson and her website is http://www.kidchiropractic.com/ She really is amazing. Just thought I’d share =)

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cheeseslave August 12, 2012 at 10:35 AM

Thank you! We are working with Dr. Howell.

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Kelly Jones July 26, 2012 at 12:41 PM

Wow. This kind of made me scared for my life a little bit. Megan I am right there with you. My dentist insisted I have my wisdom teeth taken out because they were impacted. I fought tooth and nail not to get them taken out because I wasn’t in any pain.

I am currently seeing a back specialist for all the pain my back is causing me. Aside from the way I sleep at night, I didn’t really think there could be any other causes for the pain. Guess I was wrong. I have heard yoga can help with back pain. Does anyone think yoga could help with other forms of pain? Just curious to hear your thoughts.

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Bebe July 27, 2012 at 3:43 PM

watch this amazing youtube video. yoga completely transformed this man!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qX9FSZJu448

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Jeanmarie July 31, 2012 at 8:09 AM

I had my wisdom teeth removed in my 40s, and it really laid me low. I was basically out for almost a week. I couldn’t stand the vicodin they gave me for the pain so I only took enough to barely dull it; I hated not being able to either think or sleep! This was just around the time I was just getting into WAPF (about 8 years ago) and I don’t know what I would have done differently. I had put off the removal for years (decades!) because the wisdom teeth only hurt for a day or two every six months or so, so it was easy enough to ignore it, but it became worse and worse so I finally went to an orthodontist and had it done. I had no pain from it in my 20s that I remember, but it did change over the years. Of course, if I had been eating enough fat, cholesterol and protein, maybe the outcome would have been different, who knows?

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cheeseslave August 12, 2012 at 10:36 AM

@Kelly Jones

Yoga and massage and chiropractic and other modalities are all temporary solutions.

Dr. Howell’s work produces permanent results.

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Karen July 26, 2012 at 3:34 PM

“Accidents even childbirth can also cause the spine . . .” this sentence doesn’t make any sense. Did you mean “accidents even during childbirth . . .”?

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Dawn @ Small Footprint Family July 26, 2012 at 7:51 PM

I think she means, “Accidents—even childbirth—can also cause…”

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Dawn @ Small Footprint Family July 26, 2012 at 7:54 PM

This is exciting stuff! Thanks for sharing it!! I could definitely benefit from this. I’ve always had a very narrow palate and had 8 years of orthodonture and several extractions in addition to my wisdom teeth because of it. Now I enjoy TMJ and a whole host of other spinal issues.

I’m curious about the difference between this and using an appliance, as well as the cost. This could help so much!

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Bebe July 27, 2012 at 3:50 PM

I would really love to find a dentist who believes in keeping all the teeth! Our dentist wants both of our teen daughters to have their wisdom teeth pulled and our chiropractor asks “Why?”. I am definitely in a conundrum.

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Jessica August 1, 2012 at 8:21 AM

Ann Marie,

My son was diagnosed with an extremely high palate as an infant after weeks of it being misdiagnosed as a milk allergy. This error literally almost caused him his life. He was skin and bones when the pediatric GI specialists finally admitted him into the hospital. At 8 weeks old, he weighed less than he did at birth. The GI specialists never discovered the high palate, but it was the visiting lactation consultant that finally concluded that he wasn’t allergic to his own mother’s milk, but it was a high palate that was preventing him from extracting milk from my breasts. I went on to pump and bottle feed him for months and he gained weight beautifully.

Saying all this, at 3 years old his palate is obviously still misshaped. He is totally a mouth breather, and I extract really hard boogers from his nose on a daily basis. He chews awkwardly and his teeth are already crowded and overlapping in places. When he wakes up, his bedding is soaked from drool (probably because he’s a mouth breather). Where do I begin to get help for him? What is the first step? Conventional orthodontists wait until the grown up teeth have come in before beginning treatment. I just don’t know where to start. I would love some advice on how to get the ball rolling!

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Serena August 7, 2012 at 4:56 PM

Hi Jessica,
This website is a good place to start: http://www.orthotropics.com. They have a directory of practitioners on there so you can look up who is nearby you. It sounds like the practitioners they list like to start working with children pretty early on. Another term to search on to find practitioners to work with is “functional orthodontics”.

Also, here are a few articles and videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nsevjOJ_YI&feature=youtu.be
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pe7OI-PdTno&feature=youtu.be
http://www.westonaprice.org/dentistry/from-attention-deficit-to-sleep-apnea
http://www.westonaprice.org/dentistry/mental-or-dental

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Jessica August 10, 2012 at 5:57 AM

Thank you, Serena! I appreciate your taking the time to help me! Just knowing where to start is the hardest part for me.

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cheeseslave August 12, 2012 at 10:38 AM

@Jessica

Wow that is really interesting!

I’d personally contact Dr. Howell. If you are not in a location where you can work with him, he can refer you to someone he trained.

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Jessica August 12, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Ok, thank you!

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lisa November 8, 2012 at 7:29 PM

Look into seeing a Myofunctional Therapist who uses a Myo Munchie, and see an oseotopath who knows about this type of work. Google myo munchie…..they come from australia I believe. That and working with an osteopath has made a tremendous impact on my daughter. She is 7 now and getting her first ALF removable appliance next week. We are also getting regular osteopathic treatments like the ones mentioned above. I’ve just started my 3 year old on the myo munchie too.

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Dina-Marie August 2, 2012 at 10:20 AM

This is amazing…and encouraging!
I had my wisdom teeth out also at a young age…Mmmmm

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Rick August 10, 2012 at 9:30 PM

I’m a 17 year old guy (turning 18 soon) and this year I’ve been depressed, I had 2 premolar extractions opposed to an expander (bad choice of dentist…), I have narrow face and palate, eye circles etc… I discovered WAPF, which gave me hope, but I also got more depressed, since I have a poor development and got self aware of it.

This depression about my appearance (and not only, breathing problems etc) led me to fail school, which stressed me even more, I even had suicidal thoughts, I don’t think I should give up though.

I wanted to follow a Weston Price diet, but my family doesn’t believe in it, they’re closed minded and still think “it’s all genetics”. I try to keep a WAP-like diet, but being merely a teenager in a city it’s hard.

Now I discovered a dentist which is a specialist in expanders, he will put me one, but I don’t know if it’ll work on expanding the cheekbones though. Thing is, he now wants me to exctact the bottom wisdom teeth as they’re growing horizontally and they’re impacted. I don’t have any pain though! Any suggestions on this?

I will buy the Butter/Cod Oil Blend from Green Pastures and will eat 2 teaspoons a day. This combined with an expander (although after extracting 2 premolars), will hopefully work… But I’m 17, so I don’t really know, let’s hope for the best.

Thanks for this post!

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cheeseslave August 11, 2012 at 11:00 AM

Hi, Rick!

SAY NO to the extractions! There are other alternatives!

Please call Dr. Dean Howell’s office and see what they say.

We’re going to meet them today for the first time! I’ll report back on the blog very soon.

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Rick August 11, 2012 at 12:38 PM

I agree, I don’t think it’s natural to pull teenager’s teeth like that.

I live in Europe so I can’t (unfortunately) go to or call Dr. Dean Howell’s Office, but I will send an email. Thanks!

I will tell my dentist that I will do the wisdom extraction later (as an excuse), I think. They have told me though “You can CONVIENCE yourself that you WILL extract the lower wisdom teeth!” Thinking about the possible consequences of doing it makes me cringe, I don’t think this is the way it should work.

Humans should look at the root of the problem instead of trying to put stupid patches every time a problem appears.
Examples of how all this works today:
“You have crooked teeth? Well let’s remove some teeth and they’ll be straight!”
“You have narrow nasal passages? Let’s do some surgery to remove some part of the nose!”
“Bad eye sight? Glasses!”
“You have depression? Take anti-depressants!”

This is so screwed up! And why don’t people even CONSIDER Price’s research? It’s super interesting! If I tell anyone about Price’s research, people tell me I’m crazy. Then they come up with fallacies like “It’s old research who cares.” Urgh!

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cheeseslave August 11, 2012 at 5:04 PM

We just got back from our first session with Dr. Howell.

He was telling us about a man in his 80s who came to see him and his eyesight got better — his optometrist had never seen anything like it.

He does treat patients in London, and there are practitioners he has trained who can work with you you cannot see him.

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Rick August 14, 2012 at 9:16 AM

Hello again,

I’ve been reading the Dr. Dean Howell website and what it says makes a lot of sense to me. I agree that bone underdevelopment is the potential cause of many problems. I didn’t mention but I also have a very low energy and mood, myopia, tiredness, unhealthy voice, although I don’t speak much – I think it is caused by vocal muscle constrictions due to bad posture. I feel “trapped” in my body, since I feel like everything I do feels so hard…

I believe there would be a big improvement from this kind of treatment. It’s impossible for me though, checked the prices and the full treatment is US $6000. (I guess that’s the price for every patient? That’s what I understood).

I’ve got a question though – that my new dentist (from which I got a good discount due to insurance) does palatal expansion even on adults, I asked if my cheekbones will expand and they said yes they as the palate and arch expands too.

Do you think it’s possible all these problems can benefit from this? (The whole process will last 2 years)

I plan on doing the following: I’ll put an expander now, and in a few years (when I’ll earn money myself) I’ll get Dean Howell’s treatment. It seems like the best I can manage.

(PS: Sorry for the big text again!)

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cheeseslave August 14, 2012 at 9:36 AM

Again please call Dr. Howell and talk to him about it.

Palatial expansion is NOT the same thing at all and you will not see permanent results. Here’s why (according to Dr. Howell): When you have an expander in your mouth for 24 hours a day your body goes into stress mode and you don’t build bone, you produce scar tissue. So this is why people who wear braces and expanders end up having to use retainers.

Palatial expansion also does not expand the SKULL.

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Shauna Reisewitz August 15, 2012 at 4:20 AM

Rick, I am touched by reading your questions here and see how much you are researching your own health. You’re really doing something important here. You mention that you “failed school.” I am opening an alternative high school in California where you can get high school credit and a diploma for studying the subjects you are passionate about. I’m not sure if getting a high school diploma from a private school in California would help you, but I’d be willing to work with you if you are interested.
http://www.pacificsandsacademy.com
My web site is not even totally complete yet, but I am taking students for this fall.
Shauna

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Rick August 15, 2012 at 6:51 PM

Shauna,

Thank you so much! Unfortunately, It’s impossible for me to go to California, I live in Portugal and public school is all I can afford.
(I guess I’ll have to survive my school, it’s just 2 more years.)
But your project seems very interesting and I wish you the best luck for you and your students!

I truly support this kind of education because not everyone is the same. I failed this grade because of my depression problems (and as I’ve stated, attention problems etc). I felt I was forced to research since I noticed something was wrong with these issues I had. One thing I noticed is that I can become extremely interested in a certain subject, if I can relate to it. And this is also one of the reasons school is so hard for me. I suppose it’s different for everyone. I had a teacher who bullied me in primary school and sent loads and loads of homework – this isn’t how it works, it’s about working smart – not hard.

Thank you again and Best Regards!

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Rick August 15, 2012 at 6:53 PM

@cheeseslave

I sent a message in the ask Dr. Howell section, let’s hope he will reply soon!

Thanks again for this post. Btw, hope you enjoyed your trip in Portugal! (I live there :-) )

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cheeseslave August 16, 2012 at 8:01 AM

Hi, Rick, where are you in Portugal?

If you don’t hear back soon from Dr. Howell call them via Skype. They answer right away.

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Rick August 16, 2012 at 9:45 AM

Hey cheeseslave,

I’m from Setubal, which is near Lisbon.

Oh, I didn’t know they had Skype, good idea. Thanks!

Crunchy Nurse August 12, 2012 at 11:13 AM

Undiagnosed tongue tie can also cause or contribute to sleep apnea. Posterior tongue ties are notoriously difficult to get properly diagnosed and treated, but it is possible to have them revised by a dentist using laser. The tongue tie contributes to the high narrow palate, as normally the palate is expanded during infancy as the tongue compresses the breast against the palate each time the infant nurses. With a tongue tie present there is not enough upward pressure of the tongue. Even if breastfeeding seems to be going well the tongue tie can still cause problems with the development of the palate and facial structure. Persistent tongue thrust can also be associated with tongue tie and contribute to orthodontic problems. This is what happened with our son, who recently had his posterior tongue tie revised and now has expanders in place on the palate as well as the lower dental arch.

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Jeanmarie August 12, 2012 at 10:09 PM

I look forward to hearing how this goes for Seth. David also snores, and I think it might be sleep apnea. Best wishes!

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Shauna Reisewitz August 15, 2012 at 4:12 AM

Really fascinating. I have suspected that Akuia has sleep apnea, and she has a slightly funny shaped skull. I’ve always wondered about it.. IN our case it’s a little strange because Maxwell also has severe sleep apnea and of course was raised on a traditional diet. So I’ve always Akuia’s sleep apnea to Max’s genetic contribution. I’ll be really interested in hearing how your journey with Dr Howell goes.. maybe we’ll have to see him as well.

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Sebastian June 4, 2013 at 5:49 AM

Cheesslave,
How is your experience with NCR and Dr. Howell going? Would you write a blog post about it in the future?

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Ivette August 21, 2013 at 7:46 PM

geeze it just seems to me that everything cheesslave is recommending nowadays requires alot of $$$$ for instance is’nt there another option that you recomend beside the butter oil from green pastures and i know you blogged bout palate expander before and i was glad you did i had my heart set on that for my son however now you switched on me for something way more i cant afford and you are telling people to call DR DEAN! who can afford him! im just wondering if you get a discount for mentioning these expensive products and DR’s (lol), anyway i was reading bout myofunctional therapy and the myobrace appliances wondering if you have heard of it as well as DR Mew and the buteyko, way less expensive than what you recommend a better option for the not so lucky as yourself who is able to pay for those expensive items but not able to recomend less expensive options….whats up with that cheesslave?????

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NCR Alone? September 8, 2013 at 7:26 PM

@ IVETTE To be honest I think the whole idea of “palate expansion is useless with NCR” is BS…. Only braces and things that use “force” make it so the bones don’t move…. The bones literally become like plastic when you use light force on them (DON’T BELIEVE ME? LOOK AT THE PROOF OF WHAT THE DNA APPLIANCE, HOMEBLOCK, AND DAMON BRACES CAN DO.)

Now, I do admit that NCR is great when it’s used in conjunction with the DNA appliance or whatever, but the fact of the matter is that anyone can grow facial bone and expand their palate WITHOUT the use of NCR (although I do recommend incorporating NCR optimal results)

BTW: Palate expanders such as the DNA appliance do NOT ever require a retainer afterward….. EVER. I’ve also always thought that the teeth used to shift back (if you didn’t wear retainers) after braces because of the fact that you left the rest of your cranial facial region untreated…. I’ve never heard of this “scar tissue theory” but I won’t disprove it until I know for sure…..

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L. December 9, 2013 at 8:27 PM

I just started my first series of NCR. wow! after my first day my knees dont hurt, the numb spot on my back went away, I have better balance I dont feel like leaning to one side anymore and my feet dont hurt after a days work. I can feel my cheek bones are more pronounced. I love it!

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RDN December 28, 2013 at 7:33 AM

My TMJ and facial discomfort coupled with weak facial bone structure have made it very difficult for me to achieve my goals and enjoy life. It has caused me anxiety and low self esteem. I found a provider of the DNA appliance in my area and have also considered NCR but I’m afraid that NCR is not safe. I just feel like it could cause facial bones to break or make TMJ worse. Can anyone comment on this?

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