Monday, August 26, 2013

Sleep Apnea And Our Diet-Cystal Lake Dentist

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

It is a condition where our airway is restricted or blocked  for 10 or more seconds to the point that we are aroused from our sleep in order to force our airway open. It is measured by a variety of statistics including , heart rate, chest and abdominal contortions, limb movement, snoring, brain wave activity, air flow, oxygen levels etc, in a sleep lab or with a take home monitor.

Why do Humans get Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

The human airway is unique in many ways. The ability to speak requires a special arrangement of the vocal cords, a large brain and very specialized tongue, and lip movements. This arrangement or the airway however, puts humans at risk of obstructed breathing. The tongue can fall back into the airway, the soft palate, tonsils and adenoids (if enlarged) can also clog the airway. Except for a few breeds of short faced dogs, Humans are the only species that snores.  If a human has a c old or allergies, these airway passages become swollen and clogged with mucus further decreasing the passage of air to the lungs. So in effect humans are "predisposed" for sleep related breathing obstructions we call Sleep Apnea.

What does diet have to do with Sleep Apnea?

There are two main reasons:


Our ancestors nursed their young much longer ans often for as long as 2 years. This nursing forced the infant to work harder to receive nutrition which helped develop the hard palate lip tongue muscles. This development enlarged the hard palate of the upper jaw making it larger. In addition our ancestors ate more raw foods, and they did not have many sharp utensils like knives, forks etc to cut food into nice little bite sized chunks. Their food had no refined starches, and sugars so they had to eat more to get energy. This eating exercise helped to continue developing the jaws as they had to tear the food with their teeth and chew much harder and longer to break it down. Our jaws and in particular our upper jaw fail to grow to their full potential. the net result is malocclusion (improper bite), impacted teeth (wisdom teeth etc.), speech problems, reverse swallows, plugged eustation tupes resulting in earaches, mouth breathing, enlarged tonsils, upper airway infections including sinus problems, allergies, swollen inflamed tonsils and adenoids, and the tongue forced to take a more rearward position in the throat pinching off the airway.


 Our "modern" diets are very high in calories  which leads to a larger frame and more weight. In addition, our "modern" lifestyle of convenience and fast food that tastes great  tends to cause obesity. Obese people have more fat deposits in their tongue, neck, and every other body tissue. These fatty tissues encroach on the airway when lying down further decrease the airway when sleeping.

Can't the Orthodontist help with the tooth crowding?

Your typical orthodontist has likely been trained in the style of Dr Begg. Dr Begg did some studies that had erroneous facts and came to the conclusion that the best way to correct tooth crowding was to take out bicuspids. His philosophy was to wait till about age 12 and take out bicuspids and then close the spaces.
This  made the teeth look straight but further forced the teeth back into the face leading to a dished in face and a tongue position even further back in the throat. In essence this treatment of the teeth can lead to TMJ symptoms and makes Sleep Apnea even worse.

What can be done?

Nursing infants  for up to 2 years is not impracticable for most mothers. In addition having the family resort to eating raw foods without modern utensils may not be possible as well for people living in cities and suburbs 9 (though today's grocery stores are full of healthy raw foods).

We recommend evaluating a child as early as possible and developing a program or interceptive orthodontic care. The goal is to help get the child's jaws "growing normally as early as possible" We take necessary records, and recommend a series of oral guides "that the child can easily wear to encourage proper growth and development of the face and jaws.  In addition, these appliances can reduce or eliminate the need for braces later on. The appliances lower the overall cost of orthodontic care by as much as 66 percent.

What are other health the advantages of these devices?

The use of these devices not only contributes to proper tooth placement, but can help eliminate several bad oral habits, improve behavior (reduce ADHD" by up to 50 percent) lessen earaches, and upper respiratory infections. They also  improve sleep and reduce or eliminate snoring, eliminate bed wetting, improve self image, improve performance in school. When the jaws develop fully, the tongue position is improved and the likelihood of obesity, diabetes, heart attach, stoke go down which adds 12 years to a person's life expectancy not to mention a better quality of life.

What do I do?

815 459 2202

Make an appointment today to have your child screened. The initial screening is free.  If your child shows signs of poor oral development, we would recommend taking the needed records to develop a customized course of interceptive treatment.

Call Today

815 459 2202

 Dr. Neal answers all of your questions about Intercepotive Orthodontics at Crystal Lake Dental Associates.

Your comments are welcome

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Gum Disease and Colon Cancer- Crystal Lake Dentist

Colon Cancer is Common and Deadly
It is the second leading cause of death by cancer in the United States. . In 2009, the most recent year data was available, 136,717 people in the United States were diagnosed with the disease. Overall, the lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is about 1 in 20 (5%). 

 Gum Disease and Fusobacteruim nucleatum
The connection is Fusobacterium nucleatum. Fusobacterium nucleatum is an oral bacteria, common to the human oral cavity, that plays a role in periodontal disease. This organism is commonly recovered from different  infections in humans and animals. It is a key component of periodontal plaque due to its abundance and its ability to live in community with other bacteria in the oral cavity 
Other conditions caused by Fusobacterium nucleatum 
Dr. Yiping Han has been tracking this bacteria for years. Research has shown that this  bacteria  travels  through the body and attaches itself to blood vessels  Dr Han has and implicated it in low birth weight, amniotic fluid sepsis, and fetal death. 

The Colon Cancer Connection
According to Dr. Yipping Han, it has been reported that there were a striking number of the bacteria in colon cancer tumor samples, published concurrently by separate research groups in the journal Genome Research.“There were huge numbers of [the bacteria] in the tumor tissues,” Han said. “But we didn't know if it was a cause or a consequence of the cancer. Using a test-tube experiment with samples of colon cancer tumors, Han’s lab mixed in Fusobacterium, and found that the cancer cells grew faster. “But if we knocked out [FadA] ( a component of the bacteria's metabolism), it didn't stimulate the growth anymore,” Han said. Dr Han's lab took their experiments in vivo, and injected Fusobacterium into mice who had colon cancer tumors. As expected, the bacteria increased the tumor growth rate.

Now What?
Dr. Han believes that there are markers for Fusobacterium nucleatum that doctors can track to help in early diagnosis of tumors and Colorectal Cancer. More research needs to be done to develop this testing procedure.

What Can You Do?
Go to the dentist regularly and have your teeth professionally cleaned. In addition, In addition if you are told you have gum disease, you need to get it treated. Also adults over age 40 should have routine colonoscopy done every 5 years.

Gateway To The Body.
The mouth is truly the gateway to your body and it is important to keep it healthy.In my previous blog, I listed several other conditions related to gum disease including Alzheimer's, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis and respiratory disease. Now you can include low birth weight, fetal sepsis, fetal death, and colon cancer.

Call for an appointment today!

815 459 2202

 Dr. Neal answers all of your questions about Gum Disease at Crystal Lake Dental Associates.

Your comments are welcome

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Gum Disease and Alzheimer's Crystal Lake Dentist


A new report found a link to Alzheimer's and a protein from a specific bacteria called P gingivalis which is common in gum disease . This laboratory study showed that gum disease bacteria lipopolysaccharides were found in the brain tissue of 4 out of 10 recently deceased people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and 0 out of 10 people without the condition.
This provides some, very limited, evidence to support the theory that in some people with Alzheimer’s, the bacteria responsible for gum disease may be playing a role in the disease.





Several studies have shown that periodontal disease is associated with heart disease. While a cause-and-effect relationship has not yet been proven, research has indicated that periodontal disease increases the risk of heart disease.
Scientists believe that inflammation caused by periodontal disease may be responsible for the association.
Periodontal disease can also exacerbate existing heart conditions. Patients at risk for infective endocarditis may require antibiotics prior to dental procedures. Your periodontist and cardiologist will be able to determine if your heart condition requires use of antibiotics prior to dental procedures.


Additional studies have pointed to a relationship between periodontal disease and stroke. In one study that looked at the causal relationship of oral infection as a risk factor for stroke, people diagnosed with acute cerebrovascular ischemia were found more likely to have an oral infection when compared to those in the control group.
Diabetic patients are more likely to develop periodontal disease, which in turn can increase blood sugar and diabetic complications.
People with diabetes are more likely to have periodontal disease than people without diabetes, probably because people with diabetes are more susceptible to contracting infections. In fact, periodontal disease is often considered a complication of diabetes. Those people who don't have their diabetes under control are especially at risk.
Research has suggested that the relationship between diabetes and periodontal disease goes both ways - periodontal disease may make it more difficult for people who have diabetes to control their blood sugar.
Severe periodontal disease can increase blood sugar, contributing to increased periods of time when the body functions with a high blood sugar. This puts people with diabetes at increased risk for diabetic complications.
Researchers have suggested that a link between osteoporosis and bone loss in the jaw. Studies suggest that osteoporosis may lead to tooth loss because the density of the bone that supports the teeth may be decreased, which means the teeth no longer have a solid foundation.

Research has found that bacteria that grow in the oral cavity can be aspirated into the lungs to cause respiratory diseases such as pneumonia, especially in people with periodontal disease.
*(This information reprinted from web page information on the website of the American Academy of Periodontology)

Call for an appointment today!

815 459 2202

 Dr. Neal answers all of your questions about Gum Disease at Crystal Lake Dental Associates.

Your comments are welcome

Monday, August 5, 2013

Gum Recession-Crystal Lake Dentist

Gum Recession 

Is it normal for gums to recede?


What Causes Gum Recession?

It is thought to be caused by a combination of improper tooth brushing and stress on the tooth from hard biting or tooth clenching.Other causes can be attributed to crooked  teeth out of position. There is a genetic tendency as well causing some people to have less attached gingiva (the gum tissue at the base of the tooth most resistant to receding). In addition some areas of the mouth may have muscle attachments from the lips that pull on the gum tissue during certain movements causing recession.

Is Gum Recession Bad?

yes, recession of the pink gum tissue means that the bone is also receding at least 3 mm more below the tissue. The bone is the foundation for the tooth root and when a sufficient  amount is lost, the tooth can be lost as well. In addition to this, recession can lead to severe tooth sensitivity, wear or the root and cavities.A tooth root exposed by recession is also esthetically ugly as well.

Can Gum Recession be Corrected?

yes. there are several grafting techniques to recover the tooth root today. These graft techniques help protect the tooth root from the return of recession and can eliminate sensitivity and improve the appearance.

Gum Recession before                     After treatment

When Should Gum Recession be Treated?

In our office, we recommend treatment when:

  •  there is 2 mm or more of gum recession and less than 2 mm of attached gingiva
  • when there is a definite frenum attachment causing the recession, the frenum needs to be treated and any recession  corrected
  • when the gum tissue is so thin that you can see through it
  • when the recession is causing tooth root sensitivity

Is Gum Recession treatment Painful?

No .Recently new membrane technology has changed the way this procedure is done. In the past a donor site was needed which meant an area of the palate was used to take a piece of tissue from. this piece of tissue was placed on the site needing the graft. Today we use a special safe donor membrane as the basis of this procedure and the graft site heals with almost no discomfort.

Where can I go for this procedure?

We have been providing this procedure for several years. We are excited to offer an improved technique  utilizing a great new product called Perioderm. Call us for a consultation or an appointment to get started.

 815 459 2202

Call us today to find out more about this great service

815 459 2202

 Dr. Neal answers all of your questions about Gum Recession at Crystal Lake Dental Associates.

Your comments are welcome

About Me

My photo
Born in the Midwest. Married with 6 children and 3 grandchildren. Attended Maine West High School, Harper Jr College, Northern Illinois University, the University of Illinois College of Dentistry. Practice in Crystal Lake, Illinois.