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!!!
One of my very favorite people is a simply AMAZING woman named Terrie Reeves. We first met at the Charlotte Yoga studio near Park Rd. & Woodlawn Rd. about 5 years ago, when she was an instructor and I was a student. Shortly after that, we got to talking about her smile and that, while she liked it ok, she would like it brighter and to fix the chips in the front teeth, and she’d noticed that it seemed her front teeth were getting thinner and more see-through. So after a thorough dental exam and long consultations, we decided on a Total Smile Makeover for Terrie that would be completed with 16 porcelain veneers. The top veneers were completed first, then the lower ones made to match, and ever since then, Terrie has absolutely loved her smile! And if you’ve ever met Terrie (which I highly recommend), you will understand when I say that her smile truly matches HER. She is filled with more energy than any 10 people have a right to, and she has to be one of the happiest people I’ve ever met.
If you’ve seen the portrait of her below before……don’t be surprised! After Terrie saw her post-Smile Makeover Portrait Shoot (on the side, I am a professional photographer as well), she asked if she could use some in her Wellness Coalition of America promotional materials; how could I refuse? 🙂
Very often we are asked for pain medications after difficult procedures; while they are sometimes necessary, the most effective medications that you can get for dental pain are generally over-the-counter ones. Here’s what we recommend, and it’s what we recommend usually for all but the most difficult surgeries in our office:
- Starting immediately (or even right before the procedure is the best), take UP TO 800mg Ibuprofen (you can take less, but do NOT take more!)
- Three hours later, take UP TO 1000mg acetominophen/Tylenol (again, you can take less, but do NOT take more!)
- Continue alternating these every three hours. Because they work in slightly different ways, by overlapping them you get 2 types of relief at all times. In addition, they do not make most people drowsy compared to narcotic pain medications.
What’s the maximum dosage per day of each? (For Adults)
Ibuprofen/Advil: DO NOT EXCEED 2400mg/day
Acetominophen/Tylenol: Do not exceed 4000mg/day
I thought I’d just mention this again, as we’ve had increasing interest in our Smiles by Payet Dentistry Dental Discount Plan; as far as I know, it’s the only Dental Discount Plan in Charlotte, NC that’s offered. Patients are finding some real savings with it. We are only offering this for patients with NO Dental Insurance; alternately, if you have an HMO or DMO plan and don’t want to see the dentist your network says you have to see, this option would work for you, too!
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.
OK, I know that most people don’t think that going to the dentist is fun, but it sure can be a lot more interesting than it used to be for sure. The advent of digital dentistry, particularly CAD/CAM dentistry that allows us to make all-porcelain crowns in just 1 visit, is just pretty darn cool, and that’s even according to my patients who’ve benefited from it. We brought the CEREC 3D system into our office at the end of December 2007, and in that time we’re approaching our 200th CEREC crown. In the beginning, I didn’t take many pictures because I was really concentrating on learning how to make the crowns beautiful, fit well, and happen smoothly and quickly. Now that we’ve become more comfortable with the technology, I’m taking the time to really take quality photos to show off just what we can do, and yesterday just was the perfect opportunity.
This gentleman had these porcelain-to-metal crowns placed about 4-5 years ago, but he is a major grinder and started breaking the porcelain off within a year. That’s one of the potential problems of adding porcelain on to metal like that. They obviously needed to be replaced, and he drove all the way from Asheville, NC for us to do this in 1 appointment; since we clearly needed very strong porcelain, we chose EMAX, which has truly remarkable strength. Take a look and see the results for yourself after the crowns were glazed in our oven:
As I mentioned in a previous post on dental photography, I’ve been working to create Before/After videos of the different procedures we offer, and while they do take some time to put together, I am getting more of them completed. Here’s one that describes a little more about the process of Six-Month Braces and what we can do for you to create a more beautiful smile.
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.