Contact Us Today: (416) 770-8526  or  DrMartyFrankel@rogers.com
Visit Us Today: 3080 Yonge Street, Suite 3030, Toronto, Ontario, M4N 3N1

We have 2 ears and only 1 mouth ... What makes for good Communication?

I have heard the expression many times before ... " you have 2 ears and 1 mouth" ... Listen before you speak and more than you speak.

How does this relate to dentistry?

I believe that a good dentist is one who has much more than just the technical skills required to perform a dental procedure. As dentists we must first seek to understand our patients. Each person comes to the office with his or her unique story, past dental experiences, phobias, preconceptions, and misconceptions. Some people want beautiful white straight healthy teeth; others want a healthy mouth but are not concerned about the appearance of their teeth; still others want only emergency care. Most people have some degree of anxiety about being in a dental chair.

The mouth is a very personal area. We all have a natural "comfort zone" of at least 18 inches. If someone invades that space it makes us uncomfortable. Dentists invade their patients' comfort zones all the time. Add to that a person's fear of the unknown and possible pain associated with the dental procedure, and you have a situation that is full of potential discomfort for the dental patient.

Over the years I have heard stories from my patients about situations with their previous dentists that were less than positive. Often these occur when the person is a child and the trauma of the experience stays with them for the rest of their life. These negative events are often the result of the dentist's lack of sensitivity, lack of compassion, and often, a lack of patience. A number of years ago I surveyed a small group of my patients in an effort to discover what was most important to them when visiting the dentist. There were many different answers, but the one thing that all the patients had in common was a desire to have a relationship with their dentist, ... they wanted to be valued as a person, not to feel like a number. They wanted to feel that their dentist cared about them and was interested in their well-being.

This takes me back to my opening statement. It is of the utmost importance for dentists to learn to listen, to find out what is most important to their patients. What do they desire? What are their goals for their mouth? Most people have not given this concept much thought.

Most of us take our teeth for granted. We think of them as inanimate objects that have little to do with our overall health. On the contrary, teeth are complex biologic structures. They are attached to living bone, with a blood supply and connected to our nervous systems. The bones are moved by muscles, and the alignment of the bones affects and is affected by the alignment of the rest of the body. Inflammation in the mouth, in the form of gum disease in particular, can affect our overall health in many ways, contributing to heart disease, respiratory distress, cancer, diabetes, stroke, low birth-weight babies. Development of our face and mouth is affected by and can have a dramatic effect on our upper airway. This can predispose us to develop sleep apnea, airway resistance, and other medical conditions.

The oral cavity (the mouth) is the gateway to our health. The health of the mouth has a tremendous impact on the health or the lack of health of the whole person. This means that to have a trusting, open, respectful, compassionate caring relationship with your dentist is of the utmost importance to help you grow and heal and achieve the highest levels of health and wellness. Our patients have a right to understand the conditions in their mouths, to be educated about various options for treatment that exist, and to be given the ability and freedom to make informed choices for their care.

If you have any thoughts or questions about what has sometimes been called the "relationship-based, health centred practice" please contact us to learn more and share.

Yours for better health,

Dr. Marty Frankel
Smiles by Design
3030 - 3080 Yonge Street
Toronto, Ontario M4N 3N1

416-770-8526

UNDERSTANDING DENTAL INSURANCE - IS IT REALLY INSURANCE?

Why doesn't my insurance plan cover the treatment the Doctor is recommending?"

The first thing to understand about dental insurance is that it isn't insurance at all. Insurance originated as, and is by definition, a pooling of funds to pay for a rare, but catastrophic event. Fire insurance is an excellent example of this. Originally, medical insurance was also designed this way. Payment for routine office visits, basic medications, and low deductibles are a relatively recent modification in medical policies intended to create additional employee benefits that are not true insurance but "tax-free" benefits. Unlike events such as cancer or your house burning down, dental disease is neither rare nor catastrophic. Therefore, dental insurance isn't insurance at all, but really a method for people to receive "tax-free benefits".
Rather than insurance, it is more accurate to refer to them as dental benefit plans. When they were originally introduced in the 1970's these plans were very simply designed. To keep the premiums reasonable, total benefits in any one year were limited to $1000.00. Forty years later, most benefit plans still have close to the same annual limit. Premiums have gone up, of course, because the costs for administering these plans (employee wages, cost of living, etc.) have increased. In an effort to keep the insurance premium costs down for employers and to continue to serve the insurance company's shareholders with profits, health care companies have made significant modifications to the original plans. As a result there are many different plans available.

LIMITATIONS

The differences in these plans are usually found in the limitations that exist. The most common of these limitations is in the services that are excluded. Most plans will assist with basic services such as examinations, x-rays, dental hygiene visits, fillings and extractions. As more services are included, the costs for the plans increase. Some plans pay toward root canal treatment, or periodontal treatment. Some will include orthodontics, or major restorative treatments such as crowns, bridges and dentures. Some plans do not.
Another limitation is the "Alternate Benefit Clause". Essentially this clause allows the insurance company to choose to pay a lesser amount for the cheapest material or treatment that they deem adequate for you. This decision is often made by a clerical person who knows very little about dentistry and nothing about a person's unique situation and dental needs. Even when referred to a dental consultant (a dentist who works for the insurance company) for assessment, the judgement as to whether a treatment qualifies for payment is made by someone who has not personally seen the condition being treated. Decisions were once based on need, but now they are often based on the specific terms of the contract negotiated between the employer and a health-care insurance company.

HOW DOES THIS IMPACT YOU?

If people take the attitude that they will "only do what is covered by the insurance plan", it can have serious impact on both the quality of care they receive, and the ability to achieve optimal oral health. I feel that oral health is too important to allow the insurance to dictate what can be done. Dental plans don't "cover" treatments, they assist with payment on certain procedures. In our office we feel that it is of utmost importance to take the time to get to know you, perform a thorough examination in order to make an accurate diagnosis, and then to help you understand your current level of dental health and explain the treatment options that exist. I feel our job is to help you understand your problem, your treatment options, and the consequences of each choice, so that you may choose what is best for you. Because our obligation is only to you, once you choose your care, there will be no compromises in rendering it. Even though our contract is with you only, we will do our best to help you understand your dental plan and its limitations. We will provide you with the necessary documentation, so that you can receive the reimbursement that you are entitled to. We are your dental health advocates, and are available to answer your questions and concerns regarding your dental benefits.

SUMMARY

The implication when a payment is denied or reduced by the insurance company seems to be that the treatment is not necessary, or the fee is too high. We feel that you are the best judge of your needs and not someone at an insurance company who does not even know you. Our response to the insurance company regarding the issue of fees is that their benefits are too low. You are the best judge as to whether the fees you pay match the quality of care that you receive. I hope that this explanation of a complicated and continually changing subject is helpful. Please feel free to ask us any questions about your care and insurance benefits at any time.

Yours for better health,

Dr. Marty Frankel
Smiles by Design
3030-3080 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario M4N 3N1 416-770-8526 www.drmartyfrankel.com

WHY DO WE GET THE HEALTH RESULTS WE DO?

My grandparents were smokers. They each smoked for approximately 60 years. My grandfather lived to the ripe old age of 87, and my grandmother to 96. Why, if smoking is so bad for our health did they live that long and not succumb to lung cancer? I have patients ... married couples where one member of the union takes meticulous care of their teeth and gums (usually the wife) ... flossing, brushing, rinsing, every day and still gets cavities and gum problems, whereas the other person (usually the husband) neglects good oral home care and they rarely have a dental issue ... no cavities, no gum problems, no pain. Although this is not the norm, why do things like this happen?  We hear stories about healthy young people who die of a heart attack after jogging a few miles on a beautiful sunny day ... why if they are fit enough to run miles would they have a heart attack? These are questions I have wondered about for most of my career.

There is something that has been called "HOST RESISTANCE and HOST RESPONSE". What does this refer to exactly? We (human beings) become and reflect the sum total of various influences that act upon us.

THE ROLE OF GENETICS: Genetics plays a very key role in the development of our physical attributes. That is why we look the way we do and have our unique hair colour, eye colour and shape, tooth size and shape, etc. This is the result of the combination of genetic material that we inherit from our parents and our ancestors. This is why certain physical traits can skip a generation or two. Genetics can also play a role in how we respond physically to, and express certain diseases, disease processes in our lives. When we attend a dental appointment or medical appointment for the first time we are asked to fill out a medical history form. One of the questions which appears on this form has to do with family history. Is there any heart disease, diabetes, cancer in the family? Often we will see people that tell us that their father died of a heart attack, 2 uncles had heart attacks, their grandfathers had heart attacks, and they expect to have a heart attack as well. This is true of diabetes, cancer, and even dental diseases. People will often tell me stories of how their parents wore dentures, their aunts and uncles and grandparents wore dentures, and that they are resigned to eventually wearing dentures as well. Others tell me they are terrified of the prospect of wearing dentures and will go to great lengths to preserve and save their teeth. If genetics plays such a strong role in health, how can we reverse that genetic pull?

EPIGENETICS: The following quote sums it up ... "What is Epigenetics? Epigenetics is the study of potentially heritable changes in gene expression (active versus inactive genes) that does not involve changes to the underlying DNA sequence — ... Epigenetic change is a regular and natural occurrence but can also be influenced by several factors including age, the environment/lifestyle, and disease state.

Epigenetics and the Environment:
How Lifestyle Can Influence Epigenetic Change from One Generation to the Next

The field of epigenetics is quickly growing and with it the understanding that both the environment and individual lifestyle can also directly interact with the genome to influence epigenetic change. These changes may be reflected at various stages throughout a person’s life and even in later generations. For example, human epidemiological studies have provided evidence that prenatal and early postnatal environmental factors influence the adult risk of developing various chronic diseases and behavioral disorders. ..."

SO WHAT DOES THIS ALL MEAN AND HOW DOES IT IMPACT DENTAL HEALTH? Basically what this is saying is that although we have no control over WHAT we inherit from our parents, by changing the environment around a certain condition, we can influence HOW that genetic information expresses itself in our life. For example, someone with a family history of heart disease or diabetes can minimize the risk of developing cardiac problems or diabetes by eating healthy foods, following a programme of regular excercise, and getting proper rest and relaxation. Stress reduction techniques such as meditation and visualization can also impact the genetic expression of a disease. Similarly someone with a genetic susceptibility to tooth decay or periodontal disease can minimize the risk by eating a healthy diet, attending regular dental hygiene maintenance appointments, and most importantly practicing excellent oral hygiene at home.

There are many other examples of this, and there is much research ongoing in the area of epigenetics and its application to our overall health. It is a fascinating idea and the possibilities for human potential development are huge. I hope you find this concept helpful to your dental and overall health and well-being.

Yours for better health,

Dr. Marty Frankel
Smiles by Design,
3030 - 3080 Yonge St.,
Toronto,
416-770-8526,
drmartyfrankel@rogers.com

Web Site: www.drmartyfrankel.com

BABY TEETH - are they really that important?

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So many people for so many years have believed that "Baby Teeth" are not that important. After all they're just going to fall out anyway. But these teeth have very important functions. They allow a child to properly chew their food for proper nutrition and physical development, they contribute to the development of proper speech ... many of the sounds we make rely on the placement of the tongue or lips into contact with the teeth, they are affected by and can affect the development of proper airway space for breathing, and they serve as guides for the proper spacing of the permanent teeth. If these teeth become decayed and aren't repaired in a timely manner, the adjacent teeth can drift and shift position and we can lose much of the room being reserved for the permanent teeth as they come into position.

WHEN SHOULD THE FIRST DENTAL VISIT OCCUR?

It is now recommended that a child's first dental visit be within six months of the eruption of the first baby tooth, or by their first birthday. This would be a non-threatening examination done to allow the dentist a chance to identify any potential problems before they develop, to expose the child to the dental office atmosphere, and very importantly to explain proper tooth/mouth care to parents and answer any questions they might have.

HOW TO TAKE CARE OF THESE PRECIOUS PEARLY WHITES:

Very early on, get your child in the habit of having you clean their mouth. Even before the teeth appear you can wipe their gums with guaze or a damp cloth. Once the first tooth shows up, start using an infant tooth brush with very soft bristles to clean the teeth at least once, ideally twice each day. If you use tooth paste at this stage, use one that does not contain fluoride at least until 3 years old. Teach your child to rinse and spit the toothpaste out after they are done. When the teeth that are present start to touch each other, it is a good idea to start to floss the teeth daily as well. Most children do not have the dexterity to do a good job and therefore I recommend that parents brush and floss their children's teeth at least once a day. I brushed and flossed my kid's teeth every night until they were about 8 years old. It was not always easy, but I believe it helped them develop good oral care habits.

WHAT ABOUT FOOD?

A well-balanced diet is the best recommendation for developing teeth. Lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, protein, vitamins, minerals ... Use caution around sweets, especially sticky foods like dried fruit, chewy candies, sweet sticky rolls and buns. Sticky foods take longer to clear from the mouth and stay in contact with the teeth longer and are therefore more dangerous to healthy teeth. Keep snack frequency to a minimum (not often and frequent) and be careful at bedtimes for infants and babies. Juice, even watered down juice, and milk contain sugars. It is best if you are putting your babies down in their cribs with a bottle at night that you get them used to drinking water.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD MY CHILD SEE THE DENTIST?

I recommend that a young person start by visiting the dental office somewhere between every 6 months and every 9 months. It is good to have your dentist keep an eye on the developing dentition and be sure to prevent and treat dental problems while they are small and unlikely to impact the developing permanent teeth. With proper care your child can grow up with a positive mental attitude about their teeth, the dental office, and the dentist. This can help them have a healthy and happy life.

Yours for better health,

Dr. Marty Frankel
Smiles by Design
3030- 3080 Yonge Street
Toronto, Ontario
M4N 1T7
BEN416-770-8526

FORWARD HEAD POSTURE


Something that most people would not think about in relation to their dentist and the things a dentist thinks about is posture ... body alignment, but as someone who treats people with headaches, jaw joint problems, sleep breathing disorders, this is something that I find to be of utmost importance.

FORWARD HEAD POSTURE:

When I look at photos of people who lived a few generations ago, I see people who had very good posture. Today most of us work at jobs where we sit all day, look at computer screens for a good portion of the day, and one of the most common scenes that I see is people looking at small hand held screens (smartphones, tablets) and reading emails, or sending text messages. If you observe the posture of someone "texting" you will see what some call "texting neck", forward head posture, or "turtle neck". The effect of these scenarios on posture is that our head ends up postured ahead of our body. When the body is aligned, and a person is standing or sitting straight, the ears, shoulders, hips and knees line up (when looking at someone from the side). For every inch that the head is forward of the shoulders, it is as if we added 10 pounds of weight to the head. This puts tremendous strain on the muscles of the neck and back leading to pain in both those sites. This stress and strain and pain can put the body in a "stress" mode leading to the release of cortisol and putting us in a state of "fight or flight". This can lead to hormonal imbalances in the body. Forward head posture has also been shown to lead to a decrease in the strength of the muscles involved in breathing which can reduce lung capacity. By straining the neck musculature it can also contribute to Sleep Apnea and snoring which I have talked about in previous posts. What does this have to do with dentistry? "Forward head posture" is actually "Forward neck posture" with a "backward head posture". This has the effect of pulling the lower jaw backward and altering the "bite" over time. This can lead to TMJ disorders, headaches, ear pain, ringing in the ears, and a host of other symptoms which I have also talked about in previous blog posts.

HOW CAN ONE CORRECT THIS?

There are specialized excercises that one can do to help improve this condition. These involve strengthening the back, the core musculature, the neck. It may also require that the bite be stabilized with a dental orthotic which creates an optimal relationship between the lower jaw, the base of the skull, and the neck and spine.

The postural compensations and deviations from normal alignment that result in forward head posture can over time lead to deterioration of the body and our overall physiology. It may feel normal and not very obtrusive when we are young, but as we get older, our bodies are less able to adapt to the strains and stresses placed on it and things can start to break down. Joint pain, muscle pain, degenerating discs in the spine, ... these are just a few of the conditions that can result from poor body alignment.

A chiropractor friend of mine gave a great analogy the other day. Imagine you have new tires put on your car, but the tires are not balanced. The car will drive and it will feel OK at first. Over time there will be wear on the tires and additional stress places on the bearings and axles. This could lead to premature wearing out of the parts of the car. If the wheels were balanced to begin with and maintained, I think we could agree that the car would perform much more effectively for a much longer time with fewer problems.

If you suffer from back pain, sleep disorders, TMJ pain, respiratory distress such as Asthma, Emphysema, neck pain, headaches ... I encourage you to look into getting a postural assessment at your chiropractor, osteopath, or personal trainer and start taking steps to correct your overall body alignment.

Yours for better health,

Dr. Marty Frankel - Smiles by Design
3080 Yonge Street, suite 3030
Toronto, Ontario M4N 3N1

416-770-8526

GINGIVITIS - What is that really?

Translated into English, GINGIVITIS means gum (Gingiva) inflammation (itis). What is the significance of this, why does it happen, and how do we take care of it? 

INFLAMMATION:

According to Webster's Dictionary, INFLAMMATION is a "local response to cellular injury that is marked by capillary dilatation, leukocytic infiltration, redness, heat, and pain and that serves as a mechanism initiating the elimination of noxious agents and of damaged tissue". So what does this mean? Our bodies in their innate wisdom become inflamed as a response to injury, or local irritants, in order to get rid of whatever is causing the injury or irritation, so that it (our body) can heal and become healthy again. We get an increase in blood flow to the area (which is why it gets red), heat in the area, and it also becomes painful, and often swollen. One thing that we know about inflammation in the body is that inflammation somewhere equals inflammation everywhere.

WHAT IS GINGIVITIS?

Gingivitis is gum inflammation. It is one of the early forms of gum disease and is most often caused by a build up of bacteria on the tooth surface near the gum line. Our mouths are full of bacteria, probably one of the "dirtiest" places in our body. Over the course of approximately 24 hours some of that bacteria will stick to the tooth surface and start to irritate the gumline. This sticky bacteria is called dental plaque. If we don't remove it or disrupt it on a daily basis it can stay there and start the process which becomes known as GINGIVITIS. Our gums get red, swollen, sometimes sore, and they tend to bleed easily when touched, brushed, or flossed. Gingivitis can be mild, moderate, or severe depending on how much a person neglects to remove the plaque. GINGIVITIS can also lead to BAD BREATH.

Did you know that GINGIVITIS is completely reversible? That means with the proper care, you can get rid of it and keep it away.

HOW DO WE TAKE CARE OF GINGIVITIS?

Because the bacteria that cause GINGIVITIS are present in our mouths all the time we can never totally eliminate the risk of developing it without some effort. There is no magic cure. I often think of the manangement of gum disease much like the management of Diabetes. If a person with Diabetes takes their insulin or medication every day as prescribed, watches their diet, excercises regularly, they can live a normal healthy life. If that same person does not take care of theses things, their Diabetes will get worse. Diabetics must take personal responsibility for the success of their treatment. Similarly with GINGIVITIS, there are things that we can do in the dental office to help maintain healthy gums, but perhaps of even greater importance is the personal homecare routine that a person must develop to help maintain their gums in a healthy state with no inflammation. Dedication to good homecare on a consistent daily basis is essential.

Studies done over the last 15 years show a very strong connection between inflammation in the body and other medical diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, respiratory illnesses, low birth weight babies, and even cancer. This is why we as dental professionals "NAG" our patients to floss and brush daily. The key word here is DAILY. I have had patients come to my office and tell me how they floss religiously every other day. These people never quite get on top of the inflammatory process because on the "off" day they are allowing the plaque bacteria to do some damage. On the other end of the spectrum, some people come in and tell me that they floss 4 or 5 times a day. ... Every time they snack, drink, sneeze, speak, ... they are flossing. I don't discourage this, but it is really not necessary to floss that often. I hope that I have helped to clarify the condition called GINGIVITIS, and created some understanding as to its importance.

Dr. Marty Frankel - Smiles by Design
3030 - 3080 Yonge St.
Toronto, Ontario M4N 3N1

416-770-8526

AM I GETTING ON YOUR NERVES? ... Trust me ...

In my last post I spoke about the fact that most people are somewhat nervous or anxious about a visit to the dentist. I have been giving this topic more thought since then, and I feel it would be worth mentioning a bit more about this.

"Fear of the Unknown"

In most cases the fear is of unknown issues ... Will this hurt? ... How long will this take? ... What if I can't stand it? ... How will I get out if I can't take it? ... What will it feel like after the appointment? Will it hurt then? How much will it cost? Will I have to come back? etc. What I have found is that when things are explained in a calm way, my patients tend to relax. hmmm .... that sounds pretty simple doesn't it?

The other day I had a new patient in my office for an initial examination. I schedule at least one hour for that type of appointment, maybe even an hour and a half. At about the 45 minute mark, I could sense that the patient was getting fidgety and somewhat anxious. I asked if she was in a hurry, if she had to be out at a certain time. She said no, but she was concerned that the time we spent talking would increase my fee and she would have to pay more for the appointment. I explained that there was no extra charge on that appointment for my time, but that it was important to me to get to know my patients and start the process of building a relationship of trust and rapport. In this way, I feel that I can be more effective in treating her, and in helping my patients decide on the best course of treatment for them. She relaxed and we had a great meeting. I hope that she and all my patients will feel relaxed, comfortable, and open to discussing the various options that exist for their treatment.

In the treatment room, I have found that when I explain to my patients what I am doing as I perform work in their mouths, and tell them what to expect in terms of sound, vibration, possible discomfort, they are much more relaxed and tolerate the procedure much better. I think as a whole, dentists have done a pretty good job of creating an environment in their offices to help people feel at ease.

In all health care settings, and in particular in the dental office, relationship building, trust, and rapport are of the utmost importance. I believe that we are not just like machines with parts that occasionally wear out and need repair or replacement to stay healthy. We are much more than just a body ... yes we have body, but we also have a mind, feelings, spirits. To achieve complete healing and health the whole person must be treated. This to me is what "holistic" health care is all about.

Until next time I wish you excellent health and excellent relationships with your health care providers.

Dr. Marty Frankel - Smiles by Design
3030 -3080 Yonge Street,
Toronto, Ontario M4N 3N1

416-770-8526


DO YOU KNOW ANYONE NERVOUS ABOUT A DENTAL VISIT?

NERVOUS?

Do you know anyone who is nervous about visiting the dentist? Just about everyone that I know has some degree of anxiety when it comes to sitting in the dental chair. I remember a patient many years ago who had moved to Toronto from Israel. He had served his duty in the Israeli army and he said that he could stand unafraid with someone pointing a rifle at him, but somehow when he sat in the dental chair his nerves always got the better of him. Sometimes the tougher a person is, the more nervous they are about being in the vulnerable position of sitting in that chair.

WHY ARE WE SO NERVOUS ABOUT DENTAL WORK?

The first and most obvious answer is that it can be very painful. ... but does it have to be? These days dental work should be delivered rather painlessly on a routine basis. Injections can be given without pain when a good technique is used. There are also numerous hi-tech devices that claim to help deliver painless injections. When the tooth and mouth are well "frozen" there should be absolutely no pain. There are solutions that are not yet available in Canada, but will be soon, that buffer the anesthetic solution and help deliver a smoother pain free injection that is less uncomfortable when it reverses. I am very excited for its arrival to our country in the near future.

The second aspect is "fear of the unknown". We have this idea in our minds that dentistry causes pain and we are anticipating that it will hurt. I remember giving a very nervous patient an injection one time and when I told her that I was done, she turned to me and asked, "That's it? You don't use needles any more?" ... I told her that she had just received "the dreaded needle". That was the ultimate compliment!

Third: The mouth is a very personal and intimate area. We eat, talk, kiss, communicate, taste. We humans have a natural space that we like to keep around us. When someone invades that space we feel uncomfortable and very vulnerable. When we dentists enter someone's mouth we are invading that space. Fear and discomfort are the result.

WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT THIS?

I have been using a neuroscience system for the last few years called NuCalm.  NuCalm is a patented system that resets the autonomic nervous system to help transform our state from the "fight or flight" of high stress, to the relaxed, peaceful feeling of an experienced meditator. It involves the use of a natural calming supplement, a device that aids in the absorption of that supplement into our brain, specially engineered beautiful music listened to on special headphones, and eye coverings to eliminate sensory/visual stimulation. It helps people tolerate dental procedures with ease, and feel wonderful by the end of the procedure.
NuCalm
has found use in helping people with Stage IV cancer who are under tremendous stress, and it is used by many professional athletes to help them reverse the adrenaline rush of a big game. They experience better rest and recovery and improved mental focus. If you are interested in experiencing the feeling of NuCalm let us know next time you are in the office. Those are just a few tools we have to make you feel comfortable in a dental office.

We know that many people would rather be just about anywhere else, but it is our Mission to help people relax in a dental chair and actually enjoy their experience.

Yours for better health,

Dr. Marty Frankel 3030-3080 Yonge Street, Toronto M4N 3N1, 416-770-8526 ... www.drmartyfrankel.

Your Jaws and bed-wetting

In my last post I mentioned a very interesting book by Dr. David C. Page called YOUR Jaws YOUR Life. We have spoken many times about the relationship of jaw position to our upper airway and its relationship to sleep disordered breathing. Dr. Page also devotes at least a chapter of his book to this topic. Another interesting fact is the relationship of jaw position to bed-wetting, also known as nocturnal enuresis. The cause of bed-wetting still remains somewhat of a mystery for modern medicine. He states that "normal bladder control should occur by age 3-4. It is considered medically abnormal when a child over age 5 chronically wets the bed. From 15 to 20% of all 5 year-olds and 10% of all 6-10 year-olds chronically wet the bed. ...." Bed-wetting can be very devastating psychologically. It is embarrassing, upsetting, humiliating, for the child and for family members. In spite of this it has been given very low priority by the medical community.

WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT THIS?
"Current medical treatment approaches ... include drugs, bed-is-wet alarms, psychotherapy, electro-physiology, and surgery." The alarm seems to be the most effective method to the date of his writing the book. "Drugs ... may be the least effective." Because the true cause of bed-wetting is not fully known, it is difficult to arrive at an effective targeted treatment. Interestingly dental treatment can be effective in reducing or stopping chronic bed-wetting.

HOW CAN DENTISTRY IMPROVE OR STOP BED-WETTING?
In the 1990's it was found that children who had palatal expansion performed by dentists and orthodontists using palatal expansion appliances showed great improvement in the condition. It seems, according to research that a lack of oxygen due to obstruction of the upper airway can lead to bed-wetting. Reversing the airway blockage with oral devices helps change the children from mouth-breathers to nose breathers. Tonsil removal also opens airways and improves bed-wetting. Study results showed that dental treatment of this sort to be about 80% effective in reducing or stopping bed-wetting within a few months. It seems that the earlier this treatment starts, the more effective it can be.

There are so many ways that a healthy properly formed oral space can have a positive impact on the well-being of the body.  It is my mission to help people understand these connections and work together to improve their health and vitality.

Yours for Beautiful Smiles and More Health,

Dr. Marty Frankel,

3030-3080 Yonge St., Toronto Ontario, M4N 3N1, 416-770-8526

YOUR JAWS - YOUR LIFE

In his book Your Jaws Your Life, Dr. David C. Page tells us about how vitally important correct jaw position is to our overall health. I have talked about this in previous blog posts but mostly in regard to TMD (temporomandibular disorders) or OSA (obstructive sleep apnea), however he takes this one step further and discusses the importance of the jaws to teeth, heart disease, facial form and development, high blood pressure, and snoring to name a few. Never before have we known more about the connection between the mouth and the rest of the body than at this time, and the body of knowledge keeps growing. This has been termed "medical dentistry" and I find this to be fascinating and of vital importance to health and fitness.

HOW HEALTHY DO YOU WANT TO BE?

This may seem at first to be an odd question. One might think that everyone would say "why of course I want to be very healthy!". I have found that everything in life has a price. This can be a financial price, or a time commitment price, or even a price of self-discipline or effort that is required to achieve the desired result. Not everyone is willing to pay the price to have what it is they want. Some examples of this could be: 1) Some people want great physical assets - large muscular arms, washboard abs, great posture, ... the question is, are they willing to do what it takes? Hours in the gym, eating a great clean, healthy diet, plenty of quality sleep, etc. 2) Some people want beautiful teeth - white, straight, functional, pain-free, beautiful, free of cavities, absence of gum disease ... are they willing to do what it takes? Daily flossing, eating sweets in moderation not excess, daily tooth brushing especially at night before bed, regular visits to the dentist for maintenance ... etc. Some are willing, some are not.
On some dental history forms there is a question: "On a scale of 1 to 10 how important are you teeth to you?."" Because we have separated the importance of our teeth to our life and body that question doesn't sound that crazy. But, what if I asked "How important are your eyes to you?". I think everyone would agree that virtually 100% of people would respond by saying that is a crazy question ... of course our eyes are of upmost importance to us! No one would willingly live without eye sight. I would like to propose that our teeth, gums, and jaws, are of vital importance to our health, well-being, and quality of life and should be valued and cared for.
A friend of mine who was diagnosed with high cholesterol and given a prescription for Lipitor by his physician said to me once "It's great! I can still eat ice cream, cake, and all the things I like and my cholesterol is in line." What is the price to pay? Compromised health? Complications of long term use of medication? Yes, cholesterol might measure fine, but what is the additional toll of eating the wrong foods? For me, the effort to avoid the medication would spur me to choose foods with care, increase exercise, and develop good health habits that would help me live with as much vibrant health as I could muster.

THE ANSWER:

No one can really answer the question above for you, but I believe that if people would take the time to really think about what they want, more people would seek excellent health, and do the "healthy" thing. If you want more information about how to create health for your mouth and body, we are only a phone call or a click away. Yours for better health, Dr. Marty Frankel, 3030 - 3080 Yonge Street, Toronto Ontario, M4N 3N1 ...416-770-8526, www.drmartyfrankel.com

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