In the News

Why We Screen for Pediatric Sleep Problems

By Jenna Katz Schwibner, DMD, FAGD

(Sept 2021) As a dentist, I practice dentistry with the knowledge of the relationships between dental, airway, and overall health.  One of our practice goals is educating our patients and the community about the importance of diagnosing and treating airway issues, that when treated, may lead to better overall health.

I am humbled by acknowledgments I receive from grateful patients and parents of patients who I have helped through our practice.  At these moments I am reminded as to why we do what we do.

Recently I had the opportunity to speak to a patients mom who has been concerned with her 10 year old daughters health. Her daughter has been showing symptoms of tiredness, she was struggling, and just not being the best version of herself.  This became alarming.  She scheduled an appointment in my office for a consultation and examination to see if we could assist.

After a brief written questionnaire, (that the parent completes) a comprehensive dental examination with diagnostic tests were completed. This patient presented with airway concerns.  We will be moving forward with a solution.

Our practice offers many options for patients of all ages with airway issues, sleep apnea, and sleep disordered breathing.  We implement expansive orthodontics for adults and children to combat sleep apnea and other milder SDBs.  Treatment can range from removable or fixed appliances to full, clear aligner orthodontic programs.   

This is why we do what we do. This is why we continue to educate and advise parents to look out for symptoms and behaviors that may be the result of health issues. If you or a loved one suffer from any form of SDB please call for additional information.

A recent note from a very appreciative parent:

Hi Dr. Jenna, Thank you very much for your care and medical perspective on all of this! I can not tell you (in words) how refreshing it was to hear your thorough considerations and whole body view of the possible contributing factors of my daughter's health. In just that small amount of time, you seemed to have nailed down a better picture of her than others have in prior visits with specialists.

I am super appreciative of your care and look forward to moving forward with everything.

Jenna Katz Schwibner, DMD, FAGD is the practice owner of Dental Partners and Dental Buddies of Vero Beach. She is a Fellow of the Dawson Institute, a Healthy Start® provider, and has completed a mini-residency through Airway Health Solutions™. For additional information about this or any other dental-related topics please call 772-226-6888 or visit

Dental Buddies of Vero Beach Celebrates Grand Opening

By Jenna Katz Schwibner, DMD, FAGD

(July 2021)After a year's delay due to COVID, we are finally seeing patients in our new office!  To celebrate our opening we recently had a team ribbon cutting with the help of the Indian River Chamber of Commerce. Thank you to all of our team, patients and their families, colleagues, and our families and friends for the wonderful support of our new practice! Please call us to schedule a visit and a tour! We would love to see you! 772-226-6888

Pictured: Dr. Jenna Katz Schwibner, Owner and Dr. Altan Kihm, Pediatric Dentist

In the News Photo

Cosmetic Dentistry and Sleep Apnea

By Jenna Katz Schwibner, DMD, FAGD

In the News Photo

(May 2021) With everyone wearing masks these days it is the optimal time to straighten your teeth without anyone even noticing. It’s also apparently easier than ever with several do-it-yourself, discount clear aligner solutions now being mass advertised. Companies offering these services have been around for over 20 years, with Invisalign being the most recognizable brand. The technology has improved dramatically in recent years, accomplishing what could only previously be done through traditional brackets and wiring. Although the at-home programs appeal to those seeking straighter teeth, incorrect bites (traumatic occlusion), loose teeth and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders often result from the lack of a comprehensive treatment plan and doctor oversight.

At my office, Dental Partners of Vero Beach, we leverage the extraordinary ability of these aligners to not just create beautiful smiles, but to correct a variety of other more serious ailments like sleep apnea and upper airway resistance in adults and sleep disordered breathing in children. If the jaw is underdeveloped and retruded back the airway will be compromised. By expanding and enlarging the jaw we can provide the proper space for the tongue and establish nasal breathing to set our patients up for a lifetime of improved breathing.

We are excited to share this airway-centric approach to orthodontics and dentistry in our community. If you feel that you may have sleep apnea or airway resistance (a milder form of sleep apnea) reach out to us today to see if you are a candidate to treat your apnea, CPAP free!

This article appeared in Heartbeat of the Treasure Coast Volume 141. Jenna Katz Schwibner, DMD, FAGD is a special feature contributor for Heartbeat of the Treasure Coast, A Local Health, Wellness and Fitness Digest. As a special feature writer, Dr. Schwibner is featured 3 times a year as a dental professional. Topics include dental health and wellness topics for patients of all ages.

Sleep Treatment for the CPAP Intolerant

By Jenna Katz Schwibner, DMD, FAGD

(January 2021) Sleep Apnea affects approximately 20% of US adults, of whom about 90% remain undiagnosed.¹ In my practice, we screen for the signs and symptoms of Sleep Disordered Breathing (SBD) in an attempt to improve those numbers here on the Treasure Coast. Although most of the patients I have referred for a sleep study over my career have received a prescription for a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device, the statistics show that up to 40% will not tolerate it and thus become noncompliant.

As an alternative, Dentists have been using Mandibular Advancement Devices (MADs) for over 20 years. MADs position the lower jaw forward, which in turn opens the airway and assists in natural breathing. However, the major disadvantage is that they only work when they are worn, which is typically at night while the patient sleeps – and we know that Apnea can also be an issue for many during the day.

In the News Photo

On my journey to further evolve and modernize our practice, I have continued to advance my training and knowledge on the relationships between dental, airway and overall health. In addition to being a Fellow of the Dawson Institute and provider of Healthy Start® for children, I have also completed a Mini-Residency on Airway Health Solutions™. Under the direct guidance of world-renowned SBD specialist Dr. Ben Miraglia, we implement expansive orthodontics for adults and children to combat sleep apnea and other milder SBDs. Treatment can range from removable or fixed appliances to full, clear aligner orthodontic programs. We are excited to offer this to our patients of all ages. If you or a loved one suffer from any form of SBD please call for a complimentary consultation to see if you are a candidate.

1. “Sleep Med” Kevin J. Finkel, 2009

This article appeared in Heartbeat of the Treasure Coast Volume 140. Jenna Katz Schwibner, DMD, FAGD is a special feature contributor for Heartbeat of the Treasure Coast, A Local Health, Wellness and Fitness Digest. As a special feature writer, Dr. Schwibner is featured 3 times a year as a dental professional. Topics include dental health and wellness topics for patients of all ages.

Dental Partners of Vero Beach Welcomes Altan Kihm, DDS as a New Associate

In the News Photo

Dr. Altan Kihm

(October 2020) Altan Kihm, DDS, a pediatric dentist, specializes incomprehensive patient-centric care for infants, children, and teenagers. His passion for seeing pediatric patients is evident through his daily encounters with everyone he sees.

Dr. Kihm, graduated from the University of Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, San Francisco, California, with a Doctorate of Dental Surgery Degree (DDS). He went on to receive specialty training through a residency at Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, and Highland Hospital in Oakland California. Dr. Kihm held the role of Chief Resident at both Tufts and Highland Hospital. Prior to his dental education, he received a Bachelor of Science in Molecular Cell and Development from the University of California Santa Cruz.

As a dentist and throughout his years of education Dr. Kihm has always found time to give back through volunteering. His passion, of course, making children’s smiles brighter, is helping children who may not have the chance to receive dental services. Through Give Kids a Smile and Special Smiles numerous children have smiled brighter by Dr. Kihm’s extensive expertise and gentle touch.

Dr. Kihm is a proud member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. He holds a certification in both Pediatric Dentistry and Advanced Education where he is trained to handle complex cases and special needs patients. In addition, Dr. Kihm received specialized training in emergency dental medicine, surgical dentistry, and holds a certification in oral conscious sedation.

Dr. Kihm has lived coast to coast from California to Florida and when not in the office he enjoys the great outdoors in all states whether it be hiking, camping, or snowboarding in one of his favorite spots, Lake Tahoe.

Sleep Disordered Breathing
and How It Affects Our Children

By Jenna Katz Schwibner, DMD, FAGD

In the News Photo

(September 2020) One of the hottest topics in Dentistry these days is Sleep Disordered Breathing and how it affects our children. As a family dentist, I started treating my adult patients for sleep apnea and snoring only to get frustrated by the limited treatment options (CPAP, oral appliances, or surgery). Though we still help many adult patients sleep better at night and wake up healthier and more oxygenated with these treatments, it led me to ask the bigger question…why? Why are there so many people growing up and having sleep apnea and sleep disordered breathing? It seems like there is more than ever before. This question led me on the journey of treating children. With children we can really make a difference and fix the cause of the problem before it turns into a chronic adult illness.

My passion to help children led me to open Dental Buddies of Vero Beach, Pediatric and Orthodontic Dentistry, focused on complete dental care for children and teens. By screening children early for airway issues, we really make a difference in so many ways.

Our pediatric dental team uses a screening tool and developmental system called The Healthystart™ System. The HealthyStart™ System is an oral appliance therapy that promotes natural growth and development, which addresses the root causes of SDB (Sleep Disordered Breathing). Research has shown that SDB-induced oxygen deprivation is a major contributing factor to the childhood health disorders shown below. I am excited to be able to offer this service to the community. Is your child at risk? If your child exhibits any of the following symptoms then they may have a form of Sleep Disordered Breathing. Sleep Disordered Breathing may lead to a number of health and wellness issues that could get worse with time.

    1. ADD/ADHD 
    2. Bedwetting 
    3. Nightmares or waking up at night 
    4. Chronic Allergies 
    5. Aggressive Behavior 
    6. Mouth Breathing day or night 
    7. Swollen Adenoids/Tonsils 
    8. Excessive daytime sleepiness 
    9. Restless sleep and/or Snoring 
    10. Crowded/crooked teeth 
    11. Grinding/wear on teeth

    Please join me for a complimentary consultation about sleep disordered breathing and how it may be affecting someone in your family.  Call for a complimentary appointment.  772-226-6888. You are also encouraged to visit to take the quiz to find out if your child is a candidate for the The HealthyStart™ System.

    In the News Photo

      This article appeared in Heartbeat of the Treasure Coast Volume 139. Jenna Katz Schwibner, DMD is a special feature contributor for Heartbeat of the Treasure Coast, A Local Health, Wellness and Fitness Digest. As a special feature writer, Dr. Schwibner is featured 3 times a year as a dental professional. Topics include dental health and wellness topics for patients of all ages.

      Dr. Jenna Katz Schwibner and Family featured on Island Publications Magazine

      In the News Photo

      Jeremy Schwibner & Dr. Jenna Katz Schwibner:
      Bring Smiles to Vero

      (June 2020) Jeremy and Jenna knew they were a perfect match, not only because e-Harmony said so, but the instant they met the chemistry of a dentist and a financial planner lit a romance destined to bring bright smiles to Vero Beach.

      One of their fondest courting memories is when Jeremy did a surprise engagement on the Castaway Beach, even before they knew they would be moving to Vero a few years later. They married at The Moorings Club on May 29, 2010. Jeremy, 36, and Jenna, 34, are now blessed with three children, Ari (6), Madelyn (2.5), and Eli (10 months).

      Dr. Jenna Katz Schwibner resided in Vero Beach since the age of 3 when father, Dr. Eddie Katz, moved his family here to join a medical practice. Jenna was raised with parents who had compassion for all creatures great and small, and passed this caring to Jenna. “I grew up with animals my entire life. My parents had golden retrievers for years and after a liter they had we were lucky to have our golden Rusty until he passed away this year at almost 13, Jenna says. “By a stroke of luck we added Leo, now a 4 month golden retriever, who became available after a family backed out on the purchase. We also have a Siberian cat named Jillian who is 9 years old and is one of the rare long haired breeds that is considered hypoallergenic as we have so many family members allergic.”

      Philanthropic giving and their compassion for others is another quality which Jeremy and Jenna share. They donate as a family, through her dental practice, and through Jeremy’s financial office. Among the organizations they regularly contribute are: City of Vero Beach, American Cancer Society, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, St. Edward’s School, The Salvation Army, John’s Island Community Service League, The Humane Society of Vero Beach & Indian River County, Florida Donated Dental Services, and Indian River Impact 100 which Dr. Jenna Katz Schwibner has been a member since 2017.

      The Schwibner family motto is: You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” – Zig Ziglar, American author and motivational speaker. This certainly reflects the Schwibners care and philanthropic efforts. Both he and Jenna are actively involved with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, with Jeremy first having participated as a candidate in the 2019 Man of the Year fundraising campaign and now serving on its Leadership Committee.

      Jeremy is a native New Yorker, who relocated to Vero Beach when he and Jenna married, and soon he joined Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in 2011 after a career in Land Planning and Golf Course Design. There he worked with many notable firms and individuals, including that of Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman, Nick Faldo, Tom Doak and the Dye family. Jeremy finds professional satisfaction in advising young engineers, doctors, and professional sports figures. He finds professional satisfaction in advising families through all stages of their financial lives. He was named to Forbes/SHOOK “America’s Top Next-Generation Wealth Advisors” List in both 2017 & 2018 and Forbes 2019 designation. In his spare time, Jeremy enjoys spending time with his family and working on his golf game. Jeremy is an avid golfer and quite a good one, he is a 5 handicap. Jenna attended St. Edward’s through 9th grade, and finished her International Baccalaureate program at Sebastian. She was an undergrad at Vanderbilt and Dental school at Nova Southeastern University. After dental school, she was offered a number of opportunities in Vero Beach, which is her hometown. “I gained experience at several private practices, and opened a corporate practice in Vero before returning to private practice,” Jenna explains.

      In 2015, she became a partner of Dental Partners of Vero Beach and eventually the sole owner in 2019. Dental Partners of Vero Beach, Schwibner and Associates is a general, family, and cosmetic practice providing patient-centered care with the highest quality of dentistry to the families in our community. Jenna is committed to providing complete excellent dental care which promotes general health as well. She recently opened a second location, Dental Buddies of Vero Beach, focusing on pediatrics. The pediatric practice will have its grand opening this summer. “Education in dentistry never ends. My colleagues and I attend ongoing continuing education programs, lectures and seminars. I love to learn, and I travel extensively for continuing education opportunities throughout the country and world.” So much in fact, the entire Schwibner Family ventured to Hawaii for a dental conference. “Hawaii is certainly paradise but we quickly realized Vero Beach is a special paradise,” Jeremy states cheerfully.

      Jeremy and Jenna also take family ski trips and enjoy watching the kids have fun in the snow. Their children also love Disney and not only venture to the Magic Kingdom but also cruised with Mickey and Minnie Mouse!

      On a more personal note, Jenna is a breast cancer previvor. Jenna describes that her grandmother died of breast cancer, her mother is a breast cancer survivor, she tested positive for BRCA-1 and so proceeded to have prophylactic surgery to prevent having breast cancer. They prescreened their children being IVF (in vitro fertilization) so they know that Madelyn doesn’t have the gene. Jenna is grateful knowing that they were able to avoid the threat of BRCA-1 related cancers from their family lineage.

      Other than spending time with family and friends, Jeremy and Jenna both love to cook. Their family life is relaxed, and their residence is the “go-to” spot on Halloween. They enjoy dog walking, beach outings, and socializing. The Schwibners have many friends within their community and are rapidly making more and more. They love their neighbors and neighborhood events and gatherings and maintain an open-door policy at their home so long as visitors knock.

      “Thank you, Island Neighbors for all of your support,” Jeremy and Jenna say together.

      By Joan Reid

      This article appeared in Island Neighbors Magazine in the June 202o issue. 

      In the News Photo

      Sleep Disordered Breathing: Not Just for Grown Ups

      By Jenna Katz Schwibner, DMD, FAGD

      In the News Photo

      (June 2020) The American Academy of Sleep Medicine estimates that 12% of the U.S. adult population has obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), creating a $149.6 billion drag on the economy each year and increasing risks for hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and depression.

      When we don’t properly breathe while sleeping, the lack of oxygen produces a “fight or flight” response within the body. The consequences are the aforementioned major health risks as it increases inflammation and inhibits the body’s ability to heal. Links have also been made to things like early on-set dementia, stroke and even nighttime trips to the restroom – something previously just thought of as a symptom of getting old.

      Dentists are the first line of defense in identifying the risk indicators associated with both OSA and its many milder forms referred to generally as sleep disordered breathing (SDB). The warning signs of a restricted airway include acid-eroded teeth, tongue ties, scalloped boarders around the tongue and a poorly developed jaw.

      Solutions for OSA and SDB range from oral appliances to CPAP machines. However, these are band-aids to the symptoms, never actually treating the cause. With a complete dental evaluation our aim is to not only treat breathing issues at night, but for the entire day as well. Through a partnership with other medical specialists, there are a variety of treatments available to restore proper nasal breathing and reduce harmful airway constrictions.

      What was once thought to be a condition stereotyped for overweight Sleep Disordered Breathing: Not Just for Grown Ups individuals over the age of 50 is now known to be prevalent across all ages and body types. Sadly, over 40 million children also suffer from SDB with studies linking to ADD/ADHD, delayed and stunted growth, aggressive behavior, speech impediments, poor academic studies and much more. The nighttime bathroom trips suffered by some adults are also often realized as bed wetting among children.

      Evolution, genetics, bottle feeding and adolescent diets are all causing increased incidents of SBD in children. Thankfully, new evidence-based research suggests that through interceptive orthodontic techniques a dentist may help develop the jaw properly and decrease the chance of a child developing SDB and OSA. So, while we continue to make advancements on the treatment of these disorders for adults, we are also learning how to correct the underlying cause from an early age… something I look forward to sharing more of in my next article.

      Dr. Schwibner, is the practice owner of Dental Partners of Vero Beach and Dental Buddies of Vero Beach. For additional information about this topic or any other topic related to dental care please call 772.569.4118 or visit

      This article appeared in Heartbeat of the Treasure Coast Volume 138. Jenna Katz Schwibner, DMD is a special feature contributor for Heartbeat of the Treasure Coast, A Local Health, Wellness, and Fitness Digest. As a special feature writer, Dr. Schwibner is featured 3 times a year as a dental professional. Topics include dental health and wellness topics for patients of all ages. 

      Dr. Jenna Schwibner of Dental Partners of Vero Beach
      Distributes PPE to Dentists During COVID-19 Crisis

      In the News Photo

      Local Dentists Come Together During the COVID-19 Pandemic

      (April 2020) When the Coronavirus morphed into a pandemic in March of 2020, Medical and Dental practices in Florida were instructed to cease all services immediately, with exception of true emergencies. This order by Governor DeSantis, following CDC guidelines, was implemented to keep patients and healthcare providers safe and healthy during the initial surge within Florida.

      As part of the medical community, my Dental colleagues and I were hit especially hard. We never imagined something like this would affect our professional lives and forever change the way that we provide services to our patients.

      Although our understanding of this virus strain and it’s ensuing COVID-19 illness is still advancing, current WHO guidance states the virus spreads primarily through aerosols: Sneezing, coughing, talking, etc. This makes navigating today’s environment even more challenging for a Dentist, as many procedures produce the exact thing we are now all trying to avoid.

      During my office’s mandated closure from March until May I worked endlessly to research what could be done to afford my employees and my patients the highest level of safety possible. We achieved that goal through a combination of investment in new equipment and the development of updated wellness protocols.

      I am very proud to be part of the Dental Community here on the Treasure Coast. We are a mostly tight-knit group of like-minded doctors, supporting one another to achieve both positive outcomes for our patients and our businesses. If this pandemic and the ensuing mandated closure has a silver lining, it’s that it brought us even closer together and united us towards a mission of reopening our practices as quickly as possible while focusing on patient and staff safety. With that goal, we all communicated daily to search for Protective Personal Equipment (PPE), as well as equipment to use for our patients to reduce the potential negative effects of aerosol-producing procedures.

      Locating PPE has been extremely difficult and it continues to prove to be a challenge. When we can find it, the prices are 2-5 times higher than they were pre-COVID and are clearly putting a strain on an industry already reeling from being closed for over 2 months. However, determined to persevere we banded together to overcome this challenge. Through a friendship in South Florida, I was able to locate the needed PPE for my practice and 5 more of my local colleagues. With a 4-hour roundtrip in the family minivan, I picked up and delivered the needed supplies so that we could all re-open by the May 8th order of our Governor.

      We are now several months in from the re-open and the struggle remains as we fight shortages for all things Dentistry. However, we continue to work together and are fortunate to overcome most of these obstacles. Whether it be sharing our supply of disposable gowns with one another, or a carpool out of the town to pick up PPE and equipment in bulk to reduce costs, our local Dental Community continues to make me proud.

      Across our offices, we have increased safety measures across the board. At my practice, we now prescreen all patients, have set higher PPE standards, implemented intraoral and extraoral suction units to reduce aerosols, and added medical-grade air purifiers in all rooms. These protocols are not my idea alone, as it took the great teamwork of my local colleagues to unite together in the common goal of safely practicing dentistry in a COVID-19-world.

      You can rest assured that Dentists have always upheld strict sterilization and disinfection standards, but now we have all elevated those protocols even further. As a result, I truly feel safer at my office working on patients than I do going to the grocery store, and those patients should feel the same. We have a great community of Dentists here and I look forward to continuing our team approach to a successful end of 2020 and all the years to come.

      This article appeared in Heartbeat of the Treasure Coast Volume 139. Jenna Katz Schwibner, DMD is a special feature contributor for Heartbeat of the Treasure Coast, A Local Health, Wellness and Fitness Digest. As a special feature writer, Dr. Schwibner is featured 3 times a year as a dental professional. Topics include dental health and wellness topics for patients of all ages.

      Doctor Helps Spread Word About Pediatric Sleep Apnea

      Written by: Tom Lloyd for 32963

      In the News Photo

      Dr. Jenna Schwibner
      [Photo: Denise Ritchie]

      (March 2020) As if parents didn’t have enough to worry about, the Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital and local dentist Dr. Jenna Schwibner of Dental Partners of Vero Beach all agree obstructive sleep apnea is something that should be added to every parent’s and grandparent’s check list.

      And maybe even to their “worry” list.

      The Mayo Clinic says “pediatric obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which your child’s breathing is partially or completely blocked repeatedly during sleep. The condition is due to narrowing or blockage of the upper airway during sleep,” and the consequences can be dire.

      “Early diagnosis and treatment,” says the Clinic, “are important to prevent complications that can affect children’s growth” and health.

      Indeed, it goes on to say “children with sleep apnea might perform poorly in school; have difficulty paying attention; have learning problems; have behavioral problems, poor weight gain or be hyperactive.”

      Or, as the American Sleep Apnea Association puts it, “the evidence is steadily growing that untreated pediatric sleep disorders, including sleep apnea, can wreak a heavy toll,” on any child.

      The ASAA points out that “as many as 25 percent of children diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder may actually have symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea and that much of their learning difficulty and behavior problems can be the consequence of chronic fragmented sleep.”

      Hopkins is equally blunt when it says “sleep apnea in children may be difficult to recognize and diagnose and may show up as daytime behavioral problems or bedwetting,” and it adds “there are differences between pediatric obstructive sleep apnea and adult sleep apnea.

      While adults usually have daytime sleepiness, children are more likely to have behavioral problems.”

      Schwibner says “we’re seeing 90 percent of kids showing one kind of sign or symptom of sleep-disordered breathing.”

      She adds that does not mean 90 percent of children have obstructive sleep apnea, but the statistic does draw attention to some caution flags; one of the most common of those flags is persistent mouth-breathing.

      “What we’re seeing,” Schwibner continues, “is that nasal breathing is extremely important; that’s well documented. Everybody, all the doctors, know that the nose is the important filtration system of the body. The nose purifies, moistens and warms the air as we are breathing it. So, if we breathe it through our nose, we’re getting proper filtering. What happens when we mouth-breathe is all those toxins are going into our tonsils and adenoids causing [them] to become really swollen because our nose isn’t filtering it.”

      In the News Photo

      And, moving on to a more traditional area of dental expertise, Schwibner adds, “we were taught in dental school that some mild grinding of the teeth in kids is just something normal that you grow up and you grow out of. But now they’re showing that 70 percent get worse and only 30 percent will self-correct. So [most of those teeth-grinding children] are not just going to get better on their own.”

      While pediatric sleep apnea is clearly a hot-button issue for Schwibner, she says “when it comes to sleep apnea, I’m not diagnosing it.” She is, however, ready, willing and able to help pediatricians, otolaryngologists and ENTs screen for it.

      “One of my plans is to partner with a lot of the [pediatric] physicians in town, because this isn’t something that is well known. We have great pediatricians in town, and I have some great relationships with them. So, part of our goal is to do some educational evening events. Once they know more about it, they’re going to start seeing these things” in their pediatric patients.

      To bolster her current effort to spread the word about pediatric sleep apnea, Schwibner says she’s planning to open a new, separate office in June of this year aimed at children.

      In Schwibner’s eyes, a parent’s best bet is to talk with their child’s pediatrician or otolaryngologist if they notice their child snoring, tossing and turning in their sleep or consistently breathing through their mouth instead of their nose.

      She can provide parents a sleep questionnaire to fill out or help arrange a take-home sleep study. She can also provide orthotic devices a child can wear at night that help train them to breathe through their nose.

      “As long as they don’t have an anatomical reason why they can’t breathe through their nose,” says Schwibner, “it’s going to retrain them to breathe properly through their nose,” and that may just be the key to reducing obstructive sleep apnea in children.

      Dr. Jenna Katz Schwibner is the practice owner at Dental Partners of Vero Beach. Her main office is at 3790 7th Terrace, Suite 201. The phone number is 772-569-4118. The office geared for young patients is scheduled to open in June.

      The Inflammation Connection

      By Jenna Katz Schwibner, DMD, FAGD

      In the News Photo

      (January 2020) Flip through the pages of your favorite lifestyle magazine and you are bound to come across the topic of Inflammation, which we now understand is at the root cause of almost all ailments and diseases. But what is inflammation, anyway?

      Turns out it’s your body’s natural response to fix an injury or infection. However, when an issue persists and is too severe to resolve on its own it can become chronic. One of the most prevalent examples is Periodontitis, commonly known as Gum Disease, and this is highly correlated to other major health conditions. Therefore, it turns out that a major source and/or identifier of inflammation throughout the entire body is in your mouth.

      As a graduate and ambassador of The Dawson Academy ( I have been trained to be a problem solver. I focus on the “Why” and identify how to correct problems at their source and prevent them from reoccurring. Patient exams at my office can last up to an hour, where we dive deeper to practice what we call “Complete Dental Care for Complete Health”.

      There is a strong connection between oral health and overall health; problems within your mouth can often be warning signs as either the cause of other ailments or a sign that one already exists. By taking time to uncover the bigger picture we can do our best to ensure the prescribed treatment will be the most effective one and hopefully decrease the need for re-treatment; ultimately offering opportunities to partner with your other medical professionals and improve your overall health in a collaborative manner.

      The basics include the prevention of cavities, which lead to broken and abscessed teeth and then progress to root canals and extractions. The not so obvious are things like enlarged tonsils and adenoids, acid reflux, grinding of teeth and oral cancer. All of these and more should be screened for through a comprehensive oral exam, as they are precursors to more serious issues like diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and sleep apnea.

      The scientific relationship between oral health and your overall wellness is strong. A properly trained dentist, focusing on comprehensive care, should be your first line of defense against all inflammation-related disorders and diseases.

      Dr. Schwibner’s article “The Inflammation Connection” is part of a series of articles written for Heartbeat of the Treasure Coast, A Local Health, Wellness and Fitness Digest.  As a special feature writer, Dr. Schwibner is featured 3 times a year as a dental professional.

      Heartbeat Volume 137

      Dentists Become First Line of Defense Against Sleep Apnea

      Written by: Tom Lloyd for 32963

      In the News Photo

      (March 2018) Everybody knows – or thinks they know – what to expect from a trip to the dentist. But Dr. Jenna Katz Schwibner is quick to point out there’s a lot more to modern dentistry than just a twice-a-year cleaning and filling cavities. Like, for instance, saving your life.

      Life-saving and dentistry might sound like a big slice of hyperbole pie from an American Dental Association advertising campaign, but it’s not.

      According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than a quarter of the U.S. population suffers from some kind of sleep disorder, and the National Institutes of Health estimates about 18 million Americans have a potentially lethal affliction called “obstructive sleep apnea,” or OSA.

      The American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care has linked OSA to an increased risk for developing diabetes, depression, memory loss or confusion, sexual dysfunction, high blood pressure, weight gain and, yes, fatal strokes.

      “OSA occurs when your throat muscles over-relax, causing the airway to collapse, blocking proper airflow, and temporarily preventing you from breathing,” according to, a website specializing in oral care for older adults. “When breathing is interrupted your body reacts by increasing your heart rate in order to maintain proper oxygen levels. Over time, this may cause other changes to your body and lead to poor breathing and increased carbon dioxide levels.”

      And it turns out dentists are in a good position to spot the signs and symptoms of this serious condition that doctors might not always pick up on.

      “It’s getting to the point now where dentists are becoming part of the first line defense with sleep apnea,” Schwibner says. “We’re one of the primary practitioners to help with it.”

      Schwibner continues: “When people see their medical doctor, it’s often more of a sick visit. They see their doctor only when they’re not feeling well. But the majority of our patients aren’t in pain when they come in. They’re just getting their teeth cleaned and getting maintenance and so we see people a lot longer.”

      Schwibner says patients “don’t typically think that they’re sick when they have sleep apnea. A lot of times they have no idea they have it. It’s a silent killer, if you will. If we can notice these things on regular check-ups, that’s a really big advantage, and then we can get them in to see their doctor.”

      The diminutive Schwibner is quick to add “a dentist cannot tell a patient or diagnose that they have sleep apnea. You always need a sleep study to confirm the diagnosis,” but there are signs a dentist is likely to spot that a primary care doctor, a cardiologist or other specialist might not notice immediately.

      For example, “a lot of people, they stick out their tongue and they actually have little indentations on the side of their tongue. We call that a scalloped tongue. It goes into the indentations all around the teeth on the inside and 81 percent of people who have that have some form of sleep apnea. And that’s something that only a dentist would see.”

      Likewise, people who grind their teeth at night; Schwibner says teeth grinding is “a big sign for us” that they might well have OSA.

      And while OSA is most common in men, it is something of an equal-opportunity health threat. Especially as we age. Postmenopausal women, says Schwibner, are at as high risk as men and the problem is often compounded by the use of sleeping pills.

      “The sleeping pill keeps you from waking up due to sleep apnea. It’s actually hurting you even more because your body is trying to wake you up for a reason. It’s trying to warn you, like, ‘Hey, wake up. Breathe.’ And if you’re taking sleeping pills, that response isn’t there anymore.”

      While Continuous Positive Airway Pressure or CPAP machines are “always the first line” of defense for OSA patients, according to Schwibner, fully half of patients find they cannot tolerate using those devices.

      Fortunately, dentists like Schwibner who are trained in sleep apnea management can provide an alternative: a “mandibular repositioning dental appliance.” The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine calls these “an effective treatment option for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea,” for those who cannot tolerate a CPAP machine, but there is an important caveat here.

      TV commercials have begun offering devices people can order by phone or online, but Schwibner warns not only are these not custom-fitted, they’re “not something that has any medical research backing or any studies showing [their] efficacy. It’s definitely not something that we recommend.”

      Schwibner, whose local roots run through Sebastian River High School, Vanderbilt University and Nova Southeastern’s College of Dental Medicine, is the daughter of longtime Vero Beach physician Dr. Edward Katz.

      Dr. Jenna Schwibner is with Dental Partners of Vero Beach at 3755 7th Terrace, Suite 303. The phone number is 772-569-4118.

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