Airway Focused Dentistry

Airway Health Solutions Verified Airway Dentist™

We highly recommend this 27-minute podcast from the BBC called “The Lost Art of Breathing.”

After recovering from pneumonia for the third time, journalist James Nestor took decisive action to improve his lungs. He questioned why so many humans – and only humans – have to contend with stuffy noses, snoring, asthma, allergies, sinusitis and sleep apnea, to name but a few. James hears remarkable stories of others who have changed their lives through the power of breath. His deep dive into the unconscious and oft-ignored act of human respiration offers us all a way to breathe easier.

Listen to the Podcast.

Airway Focused Dentistry, including airway issues, sleep disordered breathing, and sleep apnea

Healthy breathing day and night is an incredibly important component of Dr. Umeda’s overall wellness concept. We live in a society that too often undervalues the importance of sleep. However, possibly nothing is as important to your health and well-being as proper breathing and a good night’s sleep. Good sleep helps your brain work properly and promotes healing in your body. It protects your physical, mental, and emotional health.

SDB (Sleep disordered breathing) is a group of medical conditions that are characterized by abnormalities in the quality or pattern of respiratory activity. These include snoring, upper airway resistance syndrome, OSA (obstructive sleep apnea), and Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS).

Often, people don’t even realize that they have SDB, because they may have become accustomed to their own abnormal, strained breathing. Normal breathing should be through your nose, and it should be effortless and silent. Normal breathing allows your body to enter deep, restorative sleep whereby you wake up refreshed and ready for a new day.

Snoring and sleep apnea are not normal breathing patterns, and they are not healthy. Many common illnesses and diseases can be the result of interrupted or abnormal breathing during sleep, including increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, chronic pain, kidney disease, stroke, and mental health issues.

UARS is a common sleep disorder characterized by the narrowing of the airway, causing disruption to your sleep. A person with UARS often experiences fatigue, daytime sleepiness, and frequent awakenings throughout the night. It is also common to struggle with chronic insomnia.

Childhood behavioral issues can sometimes stem from undiagnosed airway problems. When a child can’t breathe through his or her nose, the only other option is mouth-breathing. Over time, breathing twenty-four hours a day through one’s mouth takes a toll on the development of the mouth, airway, and the child. This article from MDPI explores the important role of dental providers in detecting and treating sleep disordered breathing in children. The signs and symptoms of sleep deprivation are almost identical to those of ADD/ADHD.

Dr. Umeda has extensive training in the screening, diagnosis, and management of SDB. Dr. Umeda can recognize the signs of SDB through facio-skeletal development, excess tissue, mouth breathing, tongue posture, and specific types of tooth wear. He also uses a high-resolution pulse oximetry screening to obtain objective data to further assess your risk factor and attain a diagnosis.

Dr. Umeda is a graduate of the “Airway Focused Mini-Residency,” a program designed to educate doctors on the West and East Coasts about the critical relationship between the structure of the human airway and facial development. He is also an ambassador with The Breathe Institute, having trained in functional frenuloplasty and participated in surgical opportunities that this advanced institution offers.


Dr. Umeda is also an approved provider of The Homeoblock™ Orthopedic/Orthodontic Dental Appliance. The Homeoblock™ appliance is a revolutionary oral device that looks a lot like a retainer, but its benefits extend beyond just simply straightening your teeth. Lack of proper craniofacial development is the primary cause of many jaw joint problems and most sleep and breathing disorders. Treatment with the Homeoblock™ results in proper jaw positioning and more room for the tongue. When you wear the Homeoblock™ appliance, it sends a cyclical intermittent light force signal to the periodontal ligament, which surrounds the root of the teeth. The only way you can swallow is the correct way, by pressing the middle third of the tongue flat against your palate. Over time, you can expect to see straighter teeth, a wider smile, greater facial symmetry, and improved airway functioning.


The following videos explain how habits such as breathing through the mouth can provoke a malocclusion (Crooked Teeth) in children. This can be prevented and treated. Please contact us for additional information.




A “tongue-tie,” otherwise knows as ankyloglossia, is an excessive soft-tissue adhesion on the underside of the tongue, which may result in restriction of tongue movement or position depending on severity.


Though ankyloglossia can create a significant range of
developmental and structural abnormalities in various life
stages, it is often poorly understood, even amongst welleducated
members of the medical and dental community.
To many, it is hard to attribute such a significant effect to
what appears to be such a small band of excess tissue.
Others, including our doctors, recognize the potential for
this small tethering of the tongue to cause or contribute
to a worsening of the following:

• Difficulty Breastfeeding
• Problems Introducing Solid Foods
• Swallowing Dysfunction, Including Gagging, Choking,
or Vomiting
• Challenges with Speech Articulation
• Mouth Breathing
• Tonsillar Enlargement or a Chronic Sore Throat
• Recurrent Ear/Throat Infections / Need for Ear Tubes
• Restriction of Jaw Growth and Development / Need for
Jaw Surgery
• Dental Crowding / Need for Orthodontics / Increased
Risk of Orthodontic Relapse
• Bed Wetting
• Snoring
• Restless Sleep / Frequent Awakenings at Night
• Sleep Disordered Breathing
• Excessive Daytime Tiredness
• Decreased or Lack of Dreaming
• Difficulty Awakening in Morning
• Obstructive Sleep Apnea
• Chronic Fatigue / Fibromyalgia
• Cognitive Deficits / ADHD
• Behavior Problems
• Stress, Anxiety, or Depression
• TMJ (Jaw Joint) Dysfunction

About us


Providing solutions for complex dental problems in a pain free and supportive environment.



1580 Makaloa St.
Suite 560
Honolulu, HI 96814


(808) 942-9420

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