A Popping Jaw Needs Attention

In fact, any sounds coming from the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are warnings that something is wrong. Popping, clicking or sandy sounds when you chew or move your mouth indicate that the discs are not functioning correctly as the joints move. A sandy or gravely sound may indicate that there is bone on bone contact due to a displaced disc, a worn-down disc, or a hole in the disc. Long term disc dysfunction often leads to permanent degenerative changes to the joints, causing painful arthritis, limiting the ability to talk or eat.

It is amazing to me when I hear a patient say that the pain and clicking has been there for years, but “lately it started to hurt more.” Or, “I have been hearing the sounds off and on over the years, but the other day I was yawning and my jaw got stuck and now my back teeth don’t fit together the same.” These are issues that should have been addressed immediately. It’s even worse when the jaw gets stuck and a trip to the emergency room is necessary to put the jaw back into the correct position.

Ideally, the discs should always travel with the condylar heads and reside within well lubricated capsules. They are drawn forward by a muscle and retract back using elastic ligaments. Opening too widely such as when yawning, singing, eating a fat sandwich or due to traumatic force can over-stretch or even tear the elastic ligament and/or the muscle attachment. One of my patients had trauma caused by a snowball to the side of the face.

Treating soon after the start of the problem, in most cases, is quite simple and successful. Letting it go on for months or years can lead to months or years of treatment and possible surgery, not to mention the intense pain of a locked jaw or severely limited ability to open the mouth enough to eat. Catching it early can help the discs relocate and hopefully avoid permanent remodeling to the joints from long term dysfunction. Just like any other disease, neglect can result in a compromised prognosis requiring a much more complex treatment and an inability to solve the problem completely.

In my practice I have developed a custom fitting orthotic device that “unloads” the joints, often allowing the discs to relocate, heal and once again function normally. It is made here in office, not sent out to a lab. Due to the greatly increased force experienced during clenching or grinding your teeth while asleep, such a device can bring immediate relief from what can be severe pain. Needless to say, if the patient had come in when the first symptoms started, so much could have been avoided.

At AODTC (Advanced Oral Diagnosis and Treatment Center) we pride ourselves on the avoidance of medication use. For years it has been well established in alternative medicine that dietary changes can arrest arthritis and certain supplements can outperform many currently popular pain remedies without the harmful side effects.

Many of our patients are not only helped with their jaw problems, but leave with a much more healthy life.
If I were like most men of my age, I would have retired years ago, but the joy of bringing health and happiness back to my patients keeps me working.

For more information about AODTC please visit: www.aodtc.com.

A Holistic Approach to Treating Sleep Apnea

Quality of life can be greatly affected by the many factors associated with obstructive sleep apnea, OSA.  Whether you’re a parent, spouse, or friend of someone with OSA, you can make a difference in the quality of their lives by being proactive.

One simple habit, mouth breathing, can have devastating effects on not only one’s health, but likewise one’s self-esteem, dental health, brain health and cognitive abilities, as well as physical fitness, especially as we age.

Mouth breathing is a signal to observe the individual while sleeping. Since this condition can be caused by an obstructed airway, notice if there is gasping, breath holding or excessive motion during sleep.

In children, symptoms like hyperactivity, irritability, obesity, poor grades, easy frustrations, tantrums, and not following directions can all be due to lack of sleep caused by airway obstruction. Recent studies show that the heart does not develop properly in children with OSA resulting in possible future heart disease at earlier ages.

In adults, morning fogginess, dependence on caffeine to awaken, depression and anxiety, drowsiness while driving or attending classes or meetings and forgetfulness are only a few of the possible symptoms of OSA.

Many of us are aware of the above information, but are you aware of the importance of a holistic approach to correcting OSA?  Historically, only a CPAP was used as treatment, and usually only on older adults.  Then dental appliances were found to be beneficial.  My experience confirms the importance of using dental appliances. I have successfully treated over 1,000 OSA cases with dental appliances, myself included.

Now findings suggest that correcting previous habits we used to compensate for airway obstruction can greatly benefit our health as well.  Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (OMT) programs can reestablish the proper muscle activity that was lost from years of improper oral and facial posture. This treatment has been scientifically proven to correct 50% of apnea-hyperpnoea in adults and 62% in children. The children benefit even more because their faces develop in a more attractive way. When I was an orthodontist I found Oral Myology to not only greatly assist the speed of orthodontic treatment, but create a far more stable result and allow many fewer extractions, thus giving the patient a fuller smile.

At my sleep and TMJ center, AODTC, you will meet Aimee, my daughter, who is credentialed in Oral Myology. That’s just another tool we use to provide a more complete diagnosis, and just one more reason to visit!  If it turns out that you need OMT, she can help you find the right therapist.

For more about our practice, please visit www.aodtc.com or call 925-837-8048.  We are looking forward to working with you.

 

Stress: What You Eat Can Play a Major Role

Emotions, after all, are little more than biochemical storms in a body and mind. A healthy diet invariably makes for a better forecast.                            Nora Gedgaudas                                                                                                                               Primal Body, Primal Mind

Stress, most of the time, is not the result of what happens to you, but how you respond to the situation. Again, here comes that little brat that owns us, EGO.  For me, it has been such a blessing to have been through so many “horrible situations” and have applied the Buddhist philosophy mentioned in my last article entitled “Be Thankful.” Due to this philosophy, I am able to brush off situations that might cause others heavy stress. When that brat called EGO gets dismissed from your life, it’s like getting a monkey off your back.

When you add a bad diet to stress and allow sugar cravings to totally change your intestinal bacteria to Candida, your ability to cope can be minimized. Recent studies have revealed that proper bacteria in your digestive system are closely associated with cognitive function. In other words, the more you give in to eating junk, the less ability you have to use your brain to fight back and address your problems. To add insult to injury, as primitive humans with a fight or flight response to stress, we build up the stress hormones, adrenalin and cortisol, which further diminish our ability to digest properly. This can sometimes cause excessive weight gain which adds to stress by creating a poor self-image.

In my book WHY? The Question That Could Save Your Life, I emphasize the importance of being proactive and researching your own answers. Every tiny step you take in learning how to be healthy is important. Even though I could retire, I choose to continue working because I truly enjoy leading my patients away from what causes their pain, and more importantly, leading them to vitality, resistance to illness, less stress, and a lifestyle that can slow down the aging process.

We don’t beat the Reaper by living longer. We beat the Reaper by living well… land living fully.

                                                                                    Randy Pausch                                                                                                                                                            Carnegie Mellon University

At Advanced Oral Diagnostic and Treatment Center in Danville we treat patients not just symptoms.  Because of this approach we often find something, not related to the dental complex, that is responsible for the illness and then make the appropriate referral. If you have any concerns about your quality of sleep or about any TMJ/TMD symptoms you may be having, we can help. 925-837-8048 and www.aodtc.com

 

 

 

Dealing with Stress

Stress is a major cause of TMJ problems, insomnia, immune deficiencies and accelerated aging, not to mention heart disease. Most of us are unaware of the root cause of stress.  Many experts boil it down to that spoiled little brat inside us called the EGO. This enemy was mostly formed in our childhood and continues to hold us as prisoners for life. Not only does it tell us what we want and don’t want, but, as stated by Matthieu Ricard in his book Happiness, it places “veils” which force us to look around with that little brat’s opinion of what it thinks we should see, sometimes preventing us from admiring the beauty that surrounds us or giving us a prejudice when encountering others.

Ego has always been a part of humanity. Even Buddha warned us of the dangers of an egocentric life. The following is a prayer from Buddha’s time which I display in my office.

                                                                BE THANKFUL                                                               

Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire.

If you did, what would there be to look forward to.

Be thankful when you don’t know something

for it gives you an opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.

During those times you grow.

Be thankful for each new challenge

because it will build strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes.

They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you are tired and weary.

Because it means you have made a difference.

It is easy to be thankful for good things.

A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are also thankful for the setbacks.

Gratitude can turn a negative to a positive.

Find a way to be thankful for your troubles

and they become your blessings.

 

Basically, the ego is a big and deep sense of lying to one’s self, and to begin to get out from under its control requires honest examination. When examined in depth, “Self” is nothing but a word or designation. According to Matthieu Ricard, “The problem is this label thinks it’s the real deal. To unmask the ego’s deception, we have to pursue our inquiry to the very end. We need introspective investigation to find out what’s hiding behind the illusion of the self that we think defines our being.”

I have been recommending Ricard’s book Happiness to my patients for years with wonderful results.  When we can see that we are the source of our stress, happiness can replace misery, and health can replace illness.

At Advanced Oral Diagnosis & Treatment Center in Danville we focus on a holistic approach to treating TMJ and sleep apnea. Rather than simply treating the symptoms, our goal is to try to get to the root of the issue and stop it all together. For more information: 925-837-8048  or visit www.aodtc.com.

 

 

 

Take This Warning Seriously

Let’s take a look at many diseases that are really symptoms and are truly warnings to us to correct our habits.

Arthritis: Proven by Colon Dong, over 50 years ago, to be treatable with diet.

Colitis and/or Chrones: Many causes, but commonly bad diet, food sensitivities, and change in intestinal bacteria.

Acne: Many times caused by dairy products.

Depression and Anxiety: Poor sleep, bad diet, untreated stress.

Obesity: Poor sleep, candida dominance in the intestine, poor diet, poor lifestyle.

All of the above can be covered up with drugs to ignore the WARNING.

Much of Western medicine is a result of junk science, teaching doctors to treat symptoms, not patients. It appears that the current medical establishment has a goal of forcing drugs on us to feed the monstrous cash cow. I was just informed that some medical insurance companies will not pay physical therapists for the use of microcurrent therapy or white laser to treat pain. Why should a treatment option without side effects be replaced by drugs with sometimes horrible side effects? 

That is the reason that I wrote my last book, WHY? The Question that Could Save Your Life. To have the best chance for a wonderful, healthy and productive life, you must take a strongly proactive part in your healthcare. We don’t have to experience the morbidity associated with aging. Before I woke up to this subject about ten years ago, I was, like many others, having the usual stays in the hospital and going under the knife for very preventable diseases.  That is all in the past now and I am experiencing the best health of my life.

At AODTC, my holistic TMJ and sleep apnea practice, we take time on our initial exam to learn as much about the many factors contributing to the patient’s vitality as possible.  I have taken the time to study physiology at Cal, acupuncture at UCLA, endocrinology (hormones) at the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine and many more. One example of how my patients benefit is in the case of migraines. My acupuncture training has helped me to find other potential reasons for the migraine symptoms rather than simply labeling it a migraine. I have had patients who were suffering for years, using prescriptions drugs with side effects for headaches, finally able to be free from this horrible pain, without medication! 

When your body is crying out for help with warning symptoms, don’t let anyone say to it, “take this pill and stop crying”.  You find out why it is crying and take away the cause. It could save your life. Alternative medicine, which includes ancient medicine, concentrates on the total body and mind. It is the future of healthcare.

If you are suffering from TMJ symptoms, headaches, popping in your jaw, or sleep apnea, we can help. Visit www.aodtc.com for more information, call 925-837-8048.

 

Prevention is Infinitely Better than Treatment

The medical industry wants you sick.  There is no profit in healthy people.  Time after time, in my holistic practice, I see so many patients that are having their symptoms treated with medications, many times with side effects that have created or enhanced the symptoms that brought them to my office in the first place.  To make matters worse, the cost of this treatment can be into the thousands of dollars, sometimes doing damage that cannot be reversed.

One factor that qualifies me to help these patients as well as to write this article is that I have been through this malpractice myself, not just by the medical profession, but by my own malpractice of poor diet and reliance on the medical profession to correct my self abuse.  

In my first book, WHY? The Question that Could Save Your Life, I emphasize the importance of being proactive in your healthcare, studying how to achieve optimal health on your own.  Never take a prescription without checking it out online.  Is there an alternative? Could I change my diet and lifestyle to correct this condition?

I did just that and it changed my life to such an incredible extent that I will never go back.  No more arthritis, psoriasis, indigestion, headaches or allergies—and I experience the energy I had as a kid! 

Let’s take a look at the cause of the gradual breakdown of our bodies as we age and even when we were young.  God created a wonderful creature in the human animal, capable of defending itself against diseases that now destroy us, so we invent drugs which further pollute our bodies.

The natural immune system is phenomenal but very delicate. Our cells are like a city. They require delivery of food, energy, water, bacteria and communication as well as a disposal system that takes away all pollution.  Our internal ecosystem is not designed to be overloaded with pollution that did not exist during the millions of years of our evolution.  That system also requires nutrients that are no longer in our food, especially processed and fast food.  To add insult to injury, we add stress which produces fight or flight hormones that further mess up digestion and elimination processes.

We all think that modern conveniences are so wonderful, and some of them are.  Every step we take away from our evolution has its problems.  Refrigeration prevents the fermentation of veggies which previously kept us supplied with our flora and many nutrients that contribute to our health.  One of these nutrients is SOD (super oxide dismutase), an antioxidant that is 3500 times stronger than Vitamin C, as well as being an anti-inflammatory and an anti-aging agent.

I find there are endless lessons to learn from antiquity.  Chapter IV of my next book is entitled Learning from Antiquity. There is so much knowledge to be found from ancient history that is being overlooked, and in the process we are losing this valuable resource.   

For more information or comments, please contact me:  www.aodtc.com

 

 

Prevention is Better than Treatment

The medical industry wants you sick.  There is no profit in healthy people.  Time after time, in my holistic practice, I see so many patients that are having their symptoms treated with medications, many times with side effects that have created or enhanced the symptoms that brought them to my office in the first place.  To make matters worse, the cost of this treatment can be into the thousands of dollars, sometimes doing damage that cannot be reversed.

One factor that qualifies me to help these patients as well as to write this article is that I have been through this malpractice myself, not just by the medical profession, but by my own malpractice of poor diet and reliance on the medical profession to correct my self abuse.  

In my first book, WHY? The Question that Could Save Your Life, I emphasize the importance of being proactive in your healthcare, studying how to achieve optimal health on your own.  Never take a prescription without checking it out online.  Is there an alternative? Could I change my diet and lifestyle to correct this condition?

I did just that and it changed my life to such an incredible extent that I will never go back.  No more arthritis, psoriasis, indigestion, headaches or allergies—and I experience the energy I had as a kid! 

Let’s take a look at the cause of the gradual breakdown of our bodies as we age and even when we were young.  God created a wonderful creature in the human animal, capable of defending itself against diseases that now destroy us, so we invent drugs which further pollute our bodies.

The natural immune system is phenomenal but very delicate. Our cells are like a city. They require delivery of food, energy, water, bacteria and communication as well as a disposal system that takes away all pollution.  Our internal ecosystem is not designed to be overloaded with pollution that did not exist during the millions of years of our evolution.  That system also requires nutrients that are no longer in our food, especially processed and fast food.  To add insult to injury, we add stress which produces fight or flight hormones that further mess up digestion and elimination processes.

We all think that modern conveniences are so wonderful, and some of them are.  Every step we take away from our evolution has its problems.  Refrigeration prevents the fermentation of veggies which previously kept us supplied with our flora and many nutrients that contribute to our health.  One of these nutrients is SOD (super oxide dismutase), an antioxidant that is 3500 times stronger than Vitamin C, as well as being an anti-inflammatory and an anti-aging agent.

I find there are endless lessons to learn from antiquity.  Chapter IV of my next book is entitled Learning from Antiquity. There is so much knowledge to be found from ancient history that is being overlooked, and in the process we are losing this valuable resource.   

For more information or comments, please contact me:  www.aodtc.com

 

 

The Importance of Deep Sleep

There are many different treatment modalities for OSA (obstructive sleep apnea).  It is well documented that over 40% of CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) owners are non-compliant and 17% of people that are diagnosed with OSA refuse to even consider CPAP therapy.  Here at Advanced Oral Diagnosis and Treatment Center (AODTC), we find a much higher rate of compliance with dental appliances for OSA.

It is extremely important that OSA be treated and that your sleep hygiene is in such order that deep (delta sleep) is achieved.  Delta is usually associated with deep, slow-wave sleep, where the body is at total rest. This allows a very important phenomenon to occur promoting the health of the brain.

Among our neurons are Glial cells of which there are several varieties, one of which has a special purpose to protect the other cells from damage, much like how styrofoam protects fine crystal in a box.  Once the body ceases to have strong movement, these cells shrink to one tenth their size, thus allowing fluids to be exchanged and the brain to be cleansed of debris, such as dead cells, cellular waste, and harmful chemicals like MSG and accutane. This could easily explain the 200% increased chance of developing Alzheimer’s when OSA is not corrected.

Earlier I mentioned sleep hygiene.  There are many factors that interfere with sleep in addition to OSA. For millions of years, when the sun went down, all we had for a light source was fire, which stimulates the production of melatonin, the opposite of serotonin. Now we have blue light in the form of TV, cell phones, computers, games and fluorescent lights. Between smart meters and wifi we are now flooded with EMF (Electromagnetic Frequency), which has also been found to mess up your sleep hygiene.

Eating too soon before bed can also cause poor sleep, especially if alcohol or sugar are added. In an earlier ALIVE article I mentioned that lights ought to be removed from soccer fields so that kids can get a family dinner with conversation, and achieve healthy sleep. It’s frightening to think what the youth of today may face in the form of mental health, as they age due to these many modern abuses.

I am fortunate to belong to several medically-oriented societies—especially alternative medicine—and I see a shift happening today in the medical community toward considering our evolution and ancient history more seriously in terms of health. Changing dietary, lifestyle and family practices, among other rituals, can have disastrous consequences. There was a lot of very useful knowledge in Plato’s time and before, that would serve present day man quite well.

At AODTC all of our methods come from a holistic approach.  Our results demonstrate the benefits.  For more information please visit www.aodtc.com.

 

 

 

Magnesium Deficiency

ELUSIVE MAGNESIUM: VERY FEW OF US ARE NOT DEFICIENT

At UC Berkeley my major was in Physiology—a field I have followed ever since.  If you have read much of my previous articles, you know that in both my sleep apnea and TMJ practices I take a very holistic approach to health maintenance. The pharmaceutical approach is like giving a pain killer for a thorn in your foot; you help the symptom, but the damage progresses.

Over seventy years ago, US Health authorities warned our country that, due to not replenishing the minerals in the soil, there would likely become mineral deficiency health problems.  It has happened.  One of the most serious mineral deficiencies is Magnesium (Mg).  Due to the fact that only 1% of Mg is found in the blood, most doctors are not trained to test for it, and in most cases normal supplements don’t make up for this deficiency.

I belong to several physiology research organizations and try to stay up on what’s new.  According to Norman Shealy, MD, PhD, a holistic pain and depression specialist, “Magnesium deficiency contributes to every known disease – from anxiety to depression, cancer, atherosclerosis, fatigue, hypertension, etc.”

Magnesium is responsible in a large part for the support of:

  • Blood sugar balance
  • Optimal circulation and blood pressure
  • Cellular energy production
  • Calming nerves and relieving headaches
  • Pain relief and muscle relaxation
  • Bone density and calcium balance
  • Joints and ligament flexibility
  • Promoting deep sleep
  • Supporting optimal cognition and strengthening memory
  • Regulating mood and stress and anxiety
  • Assisting in detoxification
  • Relieving cramping of muscles, leg cramps in your sleep and menstrual cramps

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

I have been recommending that my patients supplement with chelated or colloidal Mg with mixed results, sometimes great.  There are some foods that contain higher concentrations of Mg which include; sprouted nuts and seeds, avocados, sprouted legumes, pink salt, sea vegetables, wild fish, raw cacao, pumpkin seeds and raw green and leafy veggies and pastured eggs.  Of course all these foods need soil that contains Mg, in the first place.

For arthritis relief, chronic muscle and ligament pain, and menstrual cramps, a transdermal application using a Mg oil spray works best.  For increasing Mg absorption, the most recent research revealed Mg L-Threonate was the best. Amazon carries it. Only buy the best because some of the dishonest companies use contaminated sources.  It is possible to overdose with Mg causing some nasty symptoms, so check with your heath care professional to find the appropriate dosage for your body.

 

 

 

Sugar: Health Enemy #1

I always like to look back at our evolution to test what “modern medicine” has come up with. Many of the scientific findings today come from junk science and basing medical protocols on their findings can be fatal. Because of junk science findings, sponsored by sugar industry bribes, sugar has not been condemned as the poison it is.

Let’s go back to before the development of present day farming and distribution.  Our only source of sugar was primitive fruits and berries, which were warm season treats. Even then they weren’t refined. Humans get their energy from sugars, fats and proteins.  Cancer can only use sugar for its energy and dies without it.  Thus, our primitive winter diet resulted in the death of almost all cancers in the human body. 

Sugar also ranks high on the inflammatory index of foods. In other words, eating sugar puts your body in condition of inflammation, and as it turns out, inflammation is the single most important cause of nearly all diseases.  So, instead of winter being a healthy season, it becomes the flu season plus whatever other diseases we invite in.  Then, when you add empty-calorie junk food to inflammatory foods and poisonous additives, the immune system is left without the resources to fight back.

If this is not enough to get your attention, maybe vanity might bring some sense to the irresponsible.  Crap food interferes with proper digestion causing fewer nutrients and healthy candida yeasts, resulting in more of the products to be stored as fat. Using vanity even further, bad foods create bad complexion, accelerated aging of the skin, and accelerated aging of the body.

To sum it all up, our irresponsible eating habits are taking away any chance of having a long, healthy, active and fulfilling life. The irresponsible have a saying: “Youth is wasted on the young,” when the truth is, we can continue to have youthful bodies and minds as long as we live responsibly and care for ourselves.

Another killer I have found in my practice that can seriously decrease the quality and length of life is legal, iatrogenic (medically caused) drug abuse.  I use no drugs in my pain clinic and many times find that the patient’s pain is due to the side effects of prescriptive and over the counter drugs.  The present popularity of treating the symptom and not the patient is resulting in not only the masking of possibly serious symptoms, but the creation of other health problems due to side effects, which almost all drugs have.

It is time that all of us, especially the medical industry, drop greed from our treatment plan and realize the magnificence of God’s creations and concentrate on what can be done to stimulate and encourage the body’s ability to heal itself.

Getting back to my first point: many f these problems would not exist without sugar!