10 Things every Mother needs to know about teeth and sleep

The Value of a Bicuspid


What’s the value of a tooth? Not a baby tooth but a fully formed adult premolar or bicuspid. How about priceless. It could cost you your life. Taking out permanent teeth to make room for crowded teeth could be robbing your child of reaching their potential as well as closing their airway and increasing headaches and neck pain. And later in life there is a greater chance of obesity and sleep apnea with all the health problems that follow. Who is telling parents the value of a tooth not to mention the value of four teeth. 

Johnny Z was a happy, energetic kid who got good grades and behaved himself like any other 12 year old. That is until his oral surgeon extracted four permanent teeth and the orthodontist put on braces with headgear. His grades plummeted and his behavior became changed and became erratic. Johnny was given the diagnosis ADHD and put on Strattera.

His attention deficit improved but soon headaches and neck pain became daily occurrences. At graduation Johnny weighed 250 pounds. In college his drug use escalated to speed and cocaine to keep going during the day and pot and alcohol to quiet things down and get him to sleep. His snoring was so bad that his roommates resorted to earplugs.

After college Johnny could only get a job delivering pizza. After falling asleep at a red light and subsequent car accidents an overnight sleep study was mandated. Obstructive sleep apnea was diagnosed and CPAP was prescribed. One Thanksgiving Johnny didn’t show up to dinner for fear and embarrassment he would fall asleep at the table .

The story doesn’t end well. One night, two hours after pulling off his CPAP Johnny suffered a massive coronary and died in his sleep.

What does this have to do with four teeth? Consider the bulldog.  Our faces are starting to look like the bulldog. Upper and lower jaws retruded and pushed in, nostrils are pinched and noses congested and teeth are crooked. We have large tongues and are mouth breathers. Now take out four teeth and slap on some headgear. Like the bulldog we are being bred for extinction. Obesity and heart disease are approaching 25% in many states with obstructive sleep apnea following closely behind at 20%. 

Parents need to know that in many cases this is preventable. By establishing normal nasal breathing and tongue posture in the first few years of life the stage is set for ideal growth and development. Breast feeding aided by lactation consultants develops neural patterns in the brain as well as lip and facial tone. Early palatal expansion with the Biobloc  technique or similar technology can encourage ideal horizontal growth and development. 

Mothers need to understand the value of a tooth and the importance of finding the right pediatric dentist and orthodontist. It could be the difference between life and death.

10 Things every Mother needs to know about early development

  1. Breast feed for at least 6 weeks and preferably 3 months
  2. Make sure your child is a nasal breather
  3. Avoid thumb sucking and pacifiers
  4. Find an orthodontist recommended by Save our Kids
  5. Don’t allow anyone to pull out permanent teeth with the exception of wisdom teeth
  6. Avoid headgear
  7. Get tonsils and adenoids out early if they are blocking the airway
  8. Get your child tested with a sleep study if they have behavioral issues, ADHD, bed wetting, nightmares, colic or make noise at night.
  9. Remember that clicking, popping and locking of the jaws are signs of pathology and are treatable (aapmd.com) as are headaches and neck pain
  10.  By following these steps you will insure your child develops the most beautiful face and smile in the world with a healthy airway    

Michael L. Gelb DDS

Dr. Michael Gelb, with world class offices in both NYC and White Plains, New York is an innovator in sleep apnea, painful TMJ disorders, and other head and neck pain disorders. Dr. Gelb has studied breathing related sleep disorders (BRSD), specializing in how they relate to fatigue, focus, pain, and the effects all of these can have on a person’s life. The Gelb Center is known as “The Sleep Apnea / Sleep Disorders Specialist in NYC“, “The TMJ Specialist” and “The New York Headache Center” because The Gelb Center is the premier destination for patients suffering with TMJ, headaches, or sleep disorders. Dr. Michael Gelb is the Co-inventor the critically acclaimed Airway Centric ™ medical device as well as the NORAD, or Nocturnal Oral Airway Dilator appliance that reduces snoring by positioning the patient’s tongue and jaw so that airways stay open. Dr. Gelb has also updated the Gelb or MORA™ appliance, named after his father, a pioneer in the industry, and has multiple patents pending for sleep disorder devices and pain management. Dr. Michael Gelb is a highly rated author and speaker on TMJ, sleep apnea, sleep disorders, and chronic headache treatments. With over 30 years of experience, the renowned specialist has written and co-authored numerous journal articles and book chapters to share his knowledge and best practices with other doctors, specialists, and dentists. He has presented at numerous international meetings. With significant involvement in TMJ research and chronic headache teaching, The Gelb Center is committed to early adoption of the latest research findings, medical technology, diagnostic techniques & treatments into clinical practice in order to give the highest quality care to our patients.

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