I guess it’s because I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I confess that – until quite recently – I had absolutely no idea who this guy Dr. Oz is. A friend recently told me that Dr. Oz has some really good material about dental health that can be shared, and since it’s sometimes easier to use someone else’s material instead of having to write it all from scratch myself 🙂 , I figured I’d check it out, and WOW! I’m impressed! It’s sad to say, but many physicians really have no idea about how the health of the mouth is connected to the rest of the body, and how valuable their dental colleagues can be in diagnosing a number of medical conditions. Dr. Oz is definitely not one of them! I’ll kick things off here with one of his articles. I have added some bold italics for emphasis (all mine).
One look inside the mouth will reveal that there are bacteria everywhere. For the most, part we cohabitate without a worry – but badly-behaving bacteria can collect in gum pockets to cause swelling, bleeding and bone loss that in turn can cause teeth to loosen and fall out.
People with gum disease (periodontal disease and gingivitis), may harbor up to 500 species of bacteria, and the proximity of that bacteria to the normally sterile bloodstream can be worrisome. Bacteria can enter small blood vessels, travel to other parts of the body and release toxins and trigger inflammatory chemicals that assault arteries and organs. Gum disease and tooth loss is now considered a harbinger for coronary artery disease, infective endocarditis, bacterial pneumonia, diabetes, kidney disease and stroke. Periodontal bacteria have also been detected in the mouths and amniotic fluid of women who have experienced threatening premature labor, miscarriage and may contribute to low-birth weight.
Breath can be telling too. More than 90% of the time bad breath (halitosis) emanates from bacteria living in gum pockets, under dentures and on the surface of the tongue. It is not only unpleasant to people close to you, but it may also be a clue to other medical conditions.
Oral cancers, lung cancer, certain leukemias and dry mouth syndromes such as Sjogren’s syndrome can cause bacterial overgrowth that contribute to bad breath. And sometimes a systemic disease produces distinct chemical odors:
- Sweet or fruity odor may indicate uncontrolled diabetes
- Mousy ammonia odor may indicate liver disease
- Urine-like fishy odor may indicate chronic kidney failure
- And fecal odor may indicate intestinal blockage.
To find out if you have foul-smelling breath, ask a truthful friend, or lick your hand and smell the saliva.
Changes in the tongue can also be a tip-off to disease. A pale, smooth, flattened and sometimes tender tongue can point to iron or vitamin B12 deficiency, a hallmark of the common blood disorder, iron-deficiency anemia. People with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis may notice tiny ulcers. If the tongue looks like a geographic map with areas of dark and light it may indicate an autoimmune disorder such as psoriasis or discoid lupus erythematosus. Recurrent episodes of white patches indicate thrush, an overgrowth of the yeast Candida, which may indicate diabetes. Strawberry red swollen tongue with a white coating and big red bumps is a symptom of Kawasaki disease.
Hairline cracks in the teeth can indicate tooth-grinding, the sleep disorder bruxism or mental stress. People with bulimia have enamel loss on their front teeth from the assault of stomach acid from repeated vomiting.
Keep Oral Traditions
Keeping up with a good program of oral hygiene and tending to dental and gum problems before they worsen is key to keeping mouths healthy. People with declining dexterity may need to make modifications that assure that good dental care continues. Electric toothbrushes, vibrating gum massagers and dental water jets can help. Routine dental visits are crucial, especially if you are planning to become pregnant or are facing a course of chemotherapy, which can reduce immunity against oral bacteria and cause mouth sores.
Here’s some help for halitosis, guidance for gums and tips for tooth care.
- Investigate any changes in your oral health
- Brush in the morning, at night and after meals with a soft toothbrush or African chew stick
- Use a tongue scraper along the length of the tongue to remove odor-causing bacteria
- Use an antiseptic mouth rinse
- Floss between teeth and inside the crease where the gum and tooth meet
- Keep well hydrated and avoid mouth breathing
- Don’t smoke or be near someone smoking (that can cause smoker’s breath too!)
- Try chewing on neem leaves, green cardamom, cloves, parsley, guava peels and gum mastic for breath control
- Visit the dentist regularly
News segment with Terrie Reeves & Dr. Payet on “Train for Life”, on TVNews 14 in Charlotte – coming soon!
Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of recording a short interview with the Founder and President (and one of my patients) of the Wellness Coalition of America, Ms. Terrie Reeves, for her weekly segment on TVNews 14 (every Sunday) called “Train for Life.” Each week, Terrie interviews people in different areas of life, all of which are somehow related to our total health and well-being. My first interview was how dentists can be an important part of your health-care team, because many diseases can be diagnosed through various conditions that come up in the mouth – diabetes, leukemia, gum disease – especially this one, because it has been shown to be linked to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and more. You can see the video segment that was aired in late spring 2009 at this link: Dental Health and Total Body Health Links (please note that the video must be viewed on Internet Explorer or Safari, but does not play on Firefox – sorry!).
Well, today we’ll be recording 2 new segments to be aired this fall. The first will be on the NTI-tss, an FDA-approved and non-medication treatment for Chronic Migraine and Chronic Tension Headaches, and the second spot (won’t air until November) will cover the most effective and comfortable treatment for periodontal (gum) disease available: the LANAP (Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure) protocol, which can only be performed by a dentist licensed in the use of the Periolase MVP-7 free-running pulsed Nd:YAG dental laser.
I’ll be sure to post links to each of these as they become available! I must admit, it’s kind of fun to become a local expert on dentistry for the media. 🙂
As much as I’ve been integrating some awesome new technology into our practice, I’ve also been working to add useful material to my other practice websites and wanted to make sure people take the time to browse through them, too. I have 2 more websites that I have to get up and running in the very near future, so be on the lookout, but for the moment, I hope you’ll find these 2 sites helpful:
I really, truly love treating patients for migraines and chronic headaches, and this was a case that was even more satisfying than usual, because my patient was only 10 years old when we made his NTI. He was in for a 6-month exam and cleaning today, and in talking with both him and his mother, we found that he was faithfully wearing his NTI and having 100% relief! Here’s what his Mom wrote to us in thanking us for helping her son, even though the other doctors he’d seen said there was nothing wrong with him:
“Hassan began suffering from frequent headaches last year. It took a while to pinpoint the source of these headaches until Hassan visited Dr. Payet’s office for a routine cleaning. During the exam, jDr. Payet asked Hassan if he had headaches in the morning and how often. This was a key question that eventually led to the discovery that Hassan would need a NTI to assist in aiding him with the necessary buffer to relieve the pressure of him clenching his teeth @ night. The clenching was the direct cause of his headaches.
I’m happy to say that Hassan has been 100% pain free since he received his nightguard!
We cannot thank Dr. Payet enough for the major role he played in correcting a major issue for Hassan.”
Snoring Isn’t Sexy has recently added a FREE DOWNLOAD eBook and Self-Test on their website. I HIGHLY recommend this website for anyone who has concerns about sleep apnea, who is looking for a dentist in Charlotte who treats sleep apnea with oral appliances, and general information.
13yo girl with back pain, headaches, jaw pain, acid erosion of teeth, ADD, gastric reflux, sleeps poorly….
So what’s the connection amongst all these things? Is it possible there’s one condition/issue that is a primary driving force behind all of these that, if addressed, could make an amazing difference in a young girl’s life……for her entire life? The answer is (of course, or I wouldn’t be asking such obvious leading questions, right? LOL 🙂 )
So what’s the driving force behind all these health-issues, and what can be done about it?
Let’s list all those conditions out again and start connecting the dots:
- Lower back pain (no history of any accidents or trauma — this one is a bit of a stretch, but since there are no other contributing factors, and she’s been checked for scoliosis (curvature of the spine) and cleared, the fact that she’s been suffering from back pain is most likely due to the muscle spasm involved in the other issues, and perhaps she needs a new mattress for better lower back support.
- Long history of headaches (decreasing somewhat recently, but still significant for a girl only 13 years old) – quite a bit of research now indicates that both chronic tension and migraine headaches are connected to sleep disorders, and it makes sense – if you can’t breathe well at night and your brain gets less oxygen than it really needs, your brain/nervous system will get hypersensitized; any little trigger will make it go haywire, make muscles spasm like crazy, and result in headaches.
- Jaw pain/TMJ pain – Same as with the headaches; when the nervous system goes haywire, the muscles spasm like crazy, and your jaws will hurt; the joints get way too much pressure and pain can result, also the tissue in the joint gets scarred.
- Acid erosion of teeth, signs of wear/bruxism on teeth – Connected to both the last 2 items (jaw pain/TMJ pain and headaches) AND to the next one (gastric reflux/GERD), if the muscles are spasming like crazy and making your teeth grind, they will show signs of wearing down. When acid from the stomach gets sucked up the esophagus during that snoring (it’s a vacuum, really) and put in the mouth, especially at night, it sits there for hours and eats away at the enamel just like soda does.
- Gastric reflux (very odd in a 13yo girl) – With sleep apnea, the throat gets closed off and you literaly stop breathing for short periods. When your throat suddenly opens again, it’s like a vacuum suddenly releasing and acid gets sucked up your throat from your stomach. VERY dangerous, and lots of research shows it can drastically increase your risk of Barrett’s Esophagitis, which can lead to throat cancer and is VERY VERY VERY NASTY!!!!
- ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) – Again……decrease the oxygen level to the brain every night…..do you think your brain will function at normal levels? Nope! Common sense, really, and yes, the research is pointing in this direction.
- Poor sleeping – Just like anyone who can’t breathe well at night, do you think you’ll sleep well? Nope! You can sleep for 10 hours, but if you have trouble breathing well for 6 of those hours, how do you think you’ll feel in the morning?
- Asthma – The research on this is a little bit more in the initial stages from what I understand (could be further along and more definitive, though), but again it just makes sense. After all, what is asthma but inflammation of the lungs, right? Well, if you have some acid reflux at night, it’d be pretty easy to inhale just a little bit of that acid during the episodes of apnea, and imagine even a tiny bit of stomach acid getting into your lungs…..talk about irritated lungs!
So……..it really doesn’t seem like a stretch, does it? You probably first thought…….no way! But when looking at all of the different problems that this young lady faces at such a young age, there has to be something going on. Given she has a pretty big tongue, big tonsils, and a very narrow throat, it was easy to determine she is at high risk for sleep apnea.
I can only hope that her mother listened and takes her for a thorough evaluation. Besides keeping her teeth healthy, proper diagnosis, perhaps removal of her tonsils, an oral appliance, and some other possibilities for treatment, treatment could literally add years of healthy living!!!
There are several factors that can make a Smile Makeover much more difficult to look good or great, and this was an instance in which pretty much ALL of them were in place, so this was quite a challenge for me; fortunately, I had the distinct pleasure of working with a terrific patient and an amazingly good dental lab to create a pretty beautiful smile in the end.
When Kat first came to us in August 2006, she’d always taken good care of her teeth, but she was ready for some real changes and improvements to her smile and wanted someone with experience in fixing real problem smiles. During my initial exam, I quickly realized there were several complicating factors that had been overlooked for years that had directly contributed to the problems she recognized. She knew about the significant gum recession, was unhappy about the dark metal lines around her dental bridge, and wanted to brighten/straighten her whole smile.
What I recognized as problems that she didn’t:
- Crowded lower front teeth that were banging against the back of the upper dental bridge
- She clenched her teeth intensely, pushing the lower front teeth powerfully against the back of the upper dental bridge
- A history of chronic migraines that did not respond to conventional treatment, and as she’ll tell you in a heartbeat, she tried EVERYTHING.
- The 2 teeth holding up the bridge had cracks in the roots deeply below the gum level.
- A very high smile line, meaning that – when she smiles big – her lip rises way up high so that even the gums show (most people don’t do this)
We spent quite a while talking about how all these things fit together, as well as discussing the possibilities to give her a beautiful smile she felt good about. Ultimately, we decided on extracting the 2 cracked teeth, placing 2 dental implants, Six-Month Braces to straighten the lower front teeth so they wouldn’t bang against the top ones, using the NTI-tss for resolving the chronic migraines (resulting from the incredibly intense muscle clenching), and finally a dental porcelain-to-metal bridge to replace the upper missing front teeth, supported by the 2 dental implants. The entire process took just under 2 years, but even Kat will tell you – it was worth it! She recently got married and says she felt so good smiling for her wedding photos with total confidence.
You know — this is the kind of thing that makes dentistry really enjoyable. We get to help people LOOK GOOD, FEEL GOOD, AND EAT THE FOODS THEY WANT. 🙂
While it may not seem like an earth-shattering improvement, today we took a big step in improving our Customer Service today! Today we installed some new software in our office called “Dentforms;” what this software allows us to do, starting NOW, is to become almost a PAPERLESS dental office.
Now, you’re probably thinking, “So what does that mean to me,” right?
Here’s what it means:
- We can keep our fees lower because of cost savings – no more super-expensive laser ink cartridges, no more reams of paper, etc etc etc. While small at first, these will add up!
- We can really speed up the amount of time needed to put all of your information into our main patient software, which means less waiting time!
- You can now complete all the New Patient “Paperwork” ONLINE, BEFORE you ever set foot in our door. Before you could download our forms, complete them, and bring them into our office, but it’s so easy to forget the forms on your desk or counter. No more forgetting! This will include your Medical/Dental History, any Questionnaires (such as our TMJ/Headache Questionnaire), and even information on your dental insurance so that we can verify it all before we even meet. Talk about HUGE time savings, and a real convenience to you!
- We even get to be an evironmentally GREEN dental office by using practically no paper and ink. How many dental offices in Charlotte NC can claim that? 🙂
You can take advantage of this new feature by going to Request an Appointment with Dr. Charles Payet, and clicking on the “New Patient Forms Here” link. We’ll look forward to welcoming you with no clipboard or paperwork in hand, just a friendly smile and Lifetime Dental Care.
I count myself very fortunate to have known Dr. Boyd for about 4 years now, and it was through online communication with him that I originally began learning about the NTI and the remarkable abilities it has, in the hands of a properly trained dentist, to provide amazing relief to so many patients who’ve suffered from migraines, chronic tension headaches, TMD, jaw pain, etc. Quite honestly, he’s been a tremendous mentor and influence during that time, and I am grateful for all the hard work he has put in to educate both doctors and patients on what we call “Parafunction,” more commonly referred to as bruxism, grinding, or clenching. I’d like to share with you a video that he has posted on YouTube for both professionals and the public, in which he explains so clearly why he developed the NTI protocol and how it works and why it works so amazingly well. If you’d like a Complimentary Consultation to if you think the NTI might help you, please call us at 704-364-7069 or Request an Appointment through our website.