Our Services

At Be Well Collaborative Care we are committed to helping you achieve better health through a comprehensive, patient-centered whole body approach. With the utmost care and expertise, we address specific issues of breathing and the form and function of the upper airway that affect your total health and wellness. With the “Breathe, Sleep and Be Well” collaborative approach, we are committed to fostering an optimal wellness health outcome versus merely managing your symptoms. Unfortunately, the current focus in the doctor-patient relationship is on treating the symptoms and not the condition itself. Here at Be Well Collaborative Care we focus on the underlying issues of a patient's current condition and present alternatives to prescription medications by viewing a patient through the eyes of wellness, and its subsequent components of breathing, sleeping, nutrition, and exercise habits. In an era of high tech and low touch, we turn the tables by listening to the patient with a high touch approach and using technology to assist the diagnostic process. With our center's commitment to your well-being, you are guaranteed the highest quality care from the region’s most knowledgeable, unique and diverse multidisciplinary practice.

At Be Well Collaborative Care we believe, and evidence suggests, proper breathing and sound sleeping stand at the foundation of a person's health and overall wellness. What is often missed is the connection between inspiratory flow limitation during sleep, mouth breathing during the day, and the most common ailments patients experience every day. From neck and shoulder pains to headaches and severe migraines – all of these conditions with seemingly separate symptoms share a common, but frequently overlooked source: narrow upper airway space. If left untreated and ignored, improper breathing and fragmented sleeping can evolve into a variety of chronic and painful conditions. Dysfunctional breathing, UARS, sleep apnea, neck and facial pains, as well as myofunctional issues are just a few examples of conditions that stem from improper breathing and fragmented sleeping.

In order to treat the mentioned conditions, our center collaborates with a wide variety of healthcare professionals, who share our mission, vision, and philosophy. Currently, our center works with the healthcare providers in the following specialties:

  • Critical Care
  • Pulmonology
  • Adult Sleep medicine
  • Pediatrics
  • Physical Therapy
  • Otolaryngology
  • Pediatric Sleep Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Myofunctional Therapy
  • Functional Medicine
  • TMD (Jaw pain and dysfunction).

Our collaborative, multidisciplinary center will evaluate your situation from several different perspectives and treat the underlying co-morbid causes of some of the most common conditions that include, but are not limited to High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Vascular Issues, Sleep Apnea, UARS, Fatigue, and Depression. Our team of highly trained and experienced medical and dental professionals, through a lens of a wellness-based model, will evaluate your body as a whole, treat the underlying causes, restore your body's optimal breathing and sleeping habits, improve your overall health, and elevate your quality of life. Talk to us today, and see how we can help you live better tomorrow.

For more information on the conditions we treat and the services provided, please explore the links below.

What is Dysfunctional Breathing?

Dysfunctional breathing is breathing that does not efficiently fulfill its biochemical, biomechanical, and psychophysiological functions. It includes poor breathing habits, hyperventilation, hypoventilation, breathing pattern disorders and disorders related to the psychophysiology of breathing.

Dysfunctional breathing produces and sustains changes in function, structure and psychology that can significantly affect health, symptoms, and quality of life.

Dysfunctional breathing is common but often goes unrecognized and untreated. It is particularly common in patients with cardiac and respiratory disease, anxiety disorders, chronic pain and sympathetic overload. It can also be an important factor in muscular skeletal disorders and disorders of phonation.

Breathing provides unique potential as a therapeutic tool because of its ability to impact on the function of multiple body systems, mental/emotional states, and biomechanical processes. It can be consciously controlled, regulated and modulated to optimize physical and mental/emotional states and to support homeostasis, physiological and biomechanical efficiency.

Of particular importance is early identification of the factors that cause dysfunctional breathing and poor oral posture in children. Treated early on, it can literally change their facial growth, development and health. Many Pediatricians, Pediatric Dentists, Dentists, Orthodontists, and ENT’s aren’t necessarily trained in identifying signs and symptoms early enough to correct the problem before irreversible damage occurs. Too often we are told “they will outgrow it” or “we will monitor it” and we miss the most important time to treat and correct the abnormal growth patterns.

Our staff at Be Well Collaborative Care consists of Pediatricians, ENT's, and other medical personnel, who are well trained in identifying the signs and symptoms of dysfunctional breathing. We are committed to restoring proper breathing in our patients, restoring their bodies' functions, and improving their quality of life.

Mouth-Breathing versus Nasal Breathing

There is a striking and apparent difference between mouth breathing and nasal breathing, with significant health benefits of the latter and detrimental consequences of the former. The consequences of mouth breathing can occur from the moment of birth, because all infants are obligate nose breathers. That is the mechanism by which breast feeding and breathing can occur simultaneously. If an infant has obstructed airways, he or she may turn away from the breast due to the lack of air and prefer a bottle, which allows him to consume his food more quickly.

This initiation of mouth breathing in infancy can lead to a continuum of mouth breathing in childhood that contributes to improper tongue and swallow function and facial growth and development issues. These issues of form and function that do not get corrected in childhood are inherited in adulthood and evolve into dysfunctional breathing and airway dysfunction problems.

Additionally, a mouth breather of any age will not be humidifying the air, or slowing it down to allow the proper mixing of Nitric Oxide with it. The lungs, as the result, will have difficulty providing maximum oxygenation of the body with this dry, un-humidified, and unfiltered air.

Continued mouth breathing also leads to enlarged and or inflamed tonsils and adenoids, which, in turn, leads to Upper Airway Resistance syndrome.

At Be Well Collaborative Care we evaluate your breathing habits, restore nasal breathing in children and adults, and as the result, improve our patients' bodily functions, their overall health, and prevent such issues as Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome and Sleep Apnea.

Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS).

UARS is a common but rarely diagnosed problem that causes significant sleep disruption, but is about so much more than sleep.

UARS is a condition occurring when the air passageway narrows so much that chest muscles and diaphragm have to work very hard to pull air into the lungs. UARS can be thought of as a precursor to full blown obstructive sleep apnea.

Consequences of Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome

UARS is often mistaken for other conditions and is frequently overlooked by those suffering from it.UARS is the orphan child of sleep medicine since far more emphasis is placed on its more attention-getting sibling, obstructive sleep apnea.

Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome commonly masquerades as:

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome – severe, continued tiredness that is not relived by rest and is not directly caused by other medical conditions.
  • Migraine – a common type of headache that may occur with symptoms such as nausea, vomiting or sensitivity to light.
  • Depression – described as feeling sad, blue, unhappy, miserable, or down in the dumps. When children don’t get enough sleep they get hyper and cranky. When adults don’t get enough sleep over a prolonged period of time, depression can easily set in. Sadly, mental health professionals rarely evaluate their patients for sleep disruptions or difficulty breathing while asleep.

Diagnosing UARS can be difficult and the most trained and skilled healthcare providers are required to pick up on the subtleties of the disorder.

Although both UARS and sleep apnea are caused by blocked airflow while sleeping, there are many critical differences in the problems they cause.

Chronic insomnia with frequent awakenings and the inability to fall back sleep tends to be more common in patients with UARS than those with sleep apnea.

Patients with sleep apnea tend to fall asleep easily during the day (such as when driving), however patients with UARS are more likely to complain of fatigue than sleepiness.

Patient with sleep apnea tend to be overweight; however those with UARS can be any weight. About 50 percent with UARS are women, while only 8 percent of those with sleep apnea are female.

Upper airway resistance syndrome is often accompanied by a spastic colon and low blood pressure with lightheadedness on standing while sleep apnea is usually associated with high blood pressure.

People with UARS usually have cold hands and feet and other symptoms of hypothyroidism and a brainwave pattern called alpha intrusion into Delta sleep, which often occurs in CFS and fibromyalgia.

Be Well Collaborative Care employs an integrative approach to treatment, utilizing ENTs, PTs, Sleep MDs, and Myofunctional Therapists in order to properly diagnose and treat UARS. Additionally, our center uses a combination of questionnaires, clinical examinations, CAT scans and High Resolution Pulse Oximetry to help identify the signs and symptoms of UARS.

Sleep Apnea, Signs & Snoring.

Sleep Apnea, Snoring occurs when air is unable to move freely through your nose and mouth during sleep, often caused by a narrowing of the airway, usually from abnormalities of the soft tissues in the throat, but the position of your tongue and poor sleep posture are also contributing factors. What many people don’t realize is that in addition to poor sleep, fatigue, and irritability, snoring can lead to increased health problems.

Your body requires sleep in order to remain healthy, and snoring isn’t the only culprit that can interfere with a restful night. We all have moments in our lives that have been filled with one sleepless night after another, but many people think they’re sleeping all night only to wake in the morning feeling exhausted.

One possible explanation is a common, potentially dangerous disorder called sleep apnea. A person suffering from sleep apnea will have many occlusions in their airway during sleep which leads to pauses in their breathing while they are asleep. These pauses can be caused by a narrowing of the throat behind the tongue. The tongue can contribute to this narrowing due to the insufficient tongue space, arch size(maxillary and mandibular underdevelopment, clockwise rotational growth, anterior /posterior positioning of the mandible and maxilla or insufficient facial development), tongue size, and tongue tie (frenum attachment). These pauses can last upward of several minutes before normal breathing resumes, often occurring repeatedly per hour, pulling the person in and out of deep sleep with each pause.This can lower oxygen saturation in the body by 4% or more. These pauses have been recorded to exceed 50 times or more per hour. This may escape a patient's consciousness, but it does not escape the brain. The brain will try to compensate by recruiting various organs and body chemicals to bring the body back to normal function. This compensation affects every cell in the body and attempts to relieve cellular disease.

While sleep apnea can only be diagnosed by a physician, there are some warning signs:

  • Snoring
  • Restless sleep
  • Waking up often at night
  • Insomnia
  • Waking with a sore and/or dry throat
  • Waking up with a choking or gasping sensation
  • Sleepiness while driving
  • Morning headaches
  • Daytime sleepiness/lethargy
  • Forgetfulness
  • Mood changes- anxiety, depression, edginess
  • Clenching and/or grinding of the teeth
  • Frequent urination
  • Uncontrolled High blood pressure
  • Uncontrolled blood sugars

If you think you might have sleep apnea, it is important to contact your medical doctor for a diagnosis. Once you have the diagnosis, or if you are already aware that you suffer from sleep apnea, there are several possible treatment options to consider.

Weight loss, exercise, and good sleep hygiene are proactive steps you can begin immediately. However, since sleep apnea can pose a serious danger to your health, you shouldn’t stop there. Surgery is an option for some people. Another treatment includes the use of a pressurized air generated delivery system, called a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure), as well as custom designed and fitted oral appliances for sleep apnea and non-surgical orthopedic oral appliances.

At Be Well Collaborative Care, our team of healthcare providers will evaluate your situation and suggest the most appropriate treatment plans. We will investigate and treat the sources of your sleep apnea and UARS from several multidisciplinary perspectives. Our collaborative team of highly trained medical and dental professionals will treat the occlusion of the airway and restore the body's proper sleeping and breathing functions. We would love to help you get a good night’s sleep. Call us today to schedule an appointment.

Myofunctional Concerns and Treatments

Myofunctional Therapy is an oral facial muscle therapy that uses measurement and exercise to correct a deviated swallow, commonly called a “tongue thrust.” This is a problem often seen in orthodontic, dental, and speech, patients. Myofunctional Therapy was designed to change the habits of abnormal swallowing patterns, build oral facial muscle strength, and train the patient to swallow correctly. Correct function makes it possible for a patient to engage successfully in swallowing, eating, breathing, and speaking, along with a healthy facial tone and appearance. Abnormal oral facial muscle strength and improper tongue and swallow function can lead to improper development of the dental arches.

Correct swallowing depends on a proper relationship between muscles of the face, mouth and throat. The act of swallowing is one function that depends on the body's vital balance. To swallow properly, muscles and nerves in the tongue, cheeks and throat must work together in harmony. When a person swallows normally, the tip of the tongue presses firmly against the roof of the mouth or hard palate, located slightly behind the front teeth. The tongue acts in concert with all the other muscles involved in swallowing. The hard palate, meanwhile, absorbs the force created by the tongue.

Because a person swallows 500-1000 times a day, it's easy to see how improper swallowing can cause a variety of problems. But it is actually the resting position of the tongue that does the most damage because it is more constant. The tongue at rest needs to be on the roof of the mouth for proper form and function.

Myofunctional issues concerns have been linked to facial bone growth and development issues, sleep breathing issues (UARS, snoring, and sleep apnea), proper speech, and swallowing issues as well.

At Be Well Collaborative Care we would like to address any of your myofunctional concerns and treat the underlying issues.