The holiday season seems to start earlier and earlier each year which, for many people, means longer and longer periods of heightened stress, say integrated health specialists Dr. Michael Gelb and Dr. Howard Hindin.
“For many people, stress causes teeth grinding – bruxism – during the day or while they’re asleep at night and it’s not as innocuous as it sounds. It not only wears down the enamel of the teeth, it can cause headaches, muscle pain and disrupted sleep, which leads to daytime drowsiness and irritability,” says Dr. Hindin of the Hindin Center for Whole Health Dentistry (www.hindincenter.com), who partners with Dr. Gelb in tackling chronic disease with multidisciplinary approaches.
“Bruxism is the third most frequent abnormal sleep behavior – sleep talking and sleep walking are other examples — and the No. 1 reason patients come to my clinic, even though they’re often not aware they’re grinding,” says Dr. Gelb of The Gelb Center in New York (www.gelbcenter.com), a holistic dentist known worldwide for pioneering integrative treatments. “Stress is generally the cause of daytime teeth grinding, which is an involuntary clenching of the jaws. But great joy can be a cause, too. Nighttime grinding can have many causes – or no clear cause at all.”
Drs. Hindin and Gelb share some of the causes of teeth grinding and what people can do about it:
• 1 in 4 people with obstructive sleep apnea are bruxers: Like nighttime teeth grinding, people with sleep apnea are often unaware they have a problem, so if the grinding leads to a diagnosis of sleep apnea, it could save the person’s life. People with untreated sleep apnea can stop breathing hundreds of times a night. Those with severe cases are 46 percent more likely to die prematurely, according to a study published in 2009 in PLOS Medicine journal.
“Your doctor or dentist should explore the possibility of obstructive sleep apnea as a potential cause of your bruxism,” says Dr. Hindin.
• Caffeine, alcohol, cigarette smoking and hypertension are all linked to increased incidence of bruxism: People who have a drink before they go to bed and people who ingest caffeine are more likely to be teeth grinders, with the likelihood increasing the more a person consumes. Cigarette smoking and high blood pressure are also associated with teeth grinding, as are certain drugs used to treat depression.
• Nighttime dental guards are just one option for treatment: Depending on the cause of the bruxism, there are a variety of treatment options, ranging from dental guards to botox injections to anti-anxiety medications. “To effectively address the problem, the cause needs to be diagnosed if possible and treated,” says Dr. Gelb. “Bruxism can cause irreversible damage to your teeth, TMJ disorders and other problems and, as Dr. Hindin pointed out, it can be a sign of a more serious underlying problem, so it shouldn’t be ignored.”
But that doesn’t mean that everyone who grinds is in for a hefty medical bill. “For some people, treatment may be as simple as a $10 night guard purchased at the drug store – although a custom-fitted night guard is best.”
About Michael Gelb, D.D.S., M.S.
Dr. Michael Gelb is an innovator in airway, breathing, sleep, and painful TMJ disorders pioneering Airway Centric. He has studied early intervention for sleep disordered breathing (SDB) specializing in how it relates to fatigue, focus, pain and the effects all of these can have on family health. Dr. Gelb received his D.D.S. degree from Columbia University School of Dental and Oral Surgery and his M.S. degree from SUNY at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine. He is the former Director of the TMJ and Orofacial Pain Program at the NYU College of Dentistry and is currently Clinical Professor in the Department of Oral Medicine and Pathology at the NYU College of Dentistry. He is a co-inventor of the NORAD, or Nocturnal Oral Airway Dilator appliance that reduces snoring by positioning the patient’s tongue and jaw so that airways stay open. He co-founded the Academy of Physiologic Medicine and Dentistry (APMD) and a non-profit to prevent the proliferation of chronic disease in the U.S. based on airway, sleep and breathing awareness, research and education.
About Howard Hindin, D.D.S.
Dr. Howard Hindin is trained in all aspects of general dentistry. Since the 1990s, his practice has also focused on cosmetic dentistry, temporomandibular joint disorders and craniofacial pain. He is a graduate of New York University College of Dentistry. An acknowledged pioneer in the relationship between dental issues and whole body health, Dr. Hindin is President (2000-present) of the Foundation for the Advancement of Innovative Medicine (FAIM). He is also an active member of the American Academy of Pain Management, American Academy of Cranio Facial Pain, American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, Academy of General Dentistry, American Dental Association, International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology, and the New York State Society of Acupuncture for Physicians and Dentists and is the co-founder of the American Association of Physiological Medicine and Dentistry (AAPMD).
Bakery Owner Tosses the Flour but Keeps the Flavor
More than ever, people understand that our bodies just weren’t designed to handle the amount of processed flour found in many of today’s food.
Some people with vague, undiagnosed illnesses feel better after cutting out gluten, a protein in flour-based foods. Many Americans, including professional athletes and celebrities such as Zooey Deschanel and men’s tennis leader Djovak Nokovic, say they look and perform better since dropping gluten from their diets.
“Unfortunately, a lot of people who commit to a gluten-free lifestyle believe they have to sacrifice their favorite desserts, because gluten-free treats are often loaded with sugar but low on flavor,” says Kyra Bussanich, (www.kyrasbakeshop.com), author of a new, full-color recipe book, “Sweet Cravings: 50 Seductive Desserts for a Gluten-Free Lifestyle” (Ten Speed Press; Random House, Inc.)
Bussanich’s gluten-free cupcakes twice bested their floury competition on “Cupcake Wars” (2011 and 2012) and were a runner-up for the show’s Cupcake Champion. She shares her secrets in recipes such as Mexican Chocolate Baked Alaska, Persian Love Cakes with Cardamom Buttercream and Vanilla Chiffon Cake with Blackberry Coulis.
After suffering a life-threatening illness at 20, Bussanich recovered with the help of a new diet without gluten. She began testing gluten-free recipes while attending the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu patisserie program and later opened her popular business, Kyra’s Bake Shop.
“My recipes are not good ‘for being gluten-free;’ they’re just good, and that’s why people who eat gluten visit my bakery and order gluten-free desserts,” she says. “For me, being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease allowed me to turn lemons into gluten-free lemon meringue pie!”
She invites anyone who doubts that gluten-free can be delicious to try the following recipe:
6 large tart apples (Pippin or Granny Smith)
1/3 cup sugar, or 1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons tapioca starch
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Generous pinch salt
3 tablespoons cold butter
1/2 cup sweet white rice flour
1/2 cup millet flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1 cup packed golden brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup gluten-free oats
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Peel, core and slice the apples into 1/4-inch slices. Put the apple slices into a large bowl and sprinkle the sugar over the top. Add the tapioca starch, cinnamon, five-spice, ginger and salt and toss together to evenly coat the apple slices. Pour into a 9 by 13-inch baking pan, dot the top with pieces of the butter and set aside. To make the topping, combine the flours, tapioca starch, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, five-spice and ginger in a mixing bowl. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, mix in the butter until it is uniformly incorporated into the flour mixture. Stir in the oats and pecans.
Crumble the oat topping evenly over the apples. Bake until the topping is golden brown and set and the apples are warm and bubbly, 55 to 60 minutes.
You can prepare everything ahead of time. Refrigerate the apple filling and keep the topping frozen until ready to assemble and bake. Don’t refrigerate the unbaked topping overnight since the millet flour will interact with the butter and taste and smell cheesy when it’s baked.
About Kyra Bussanich
Kyra Bussanich is a two-time winner of The Food Network’s hit show, “Cupcake Wars.” She graduated with honors from Le Cordon Bleu and opened her award-winning bakery, Kyra’s Bake Shop, which features gourmet, gluten-free sweets. She has branched beyond desserts to other gluten-free goods in order to help those with celiac and other autoimmune diseases enjoy quality treats.
Knowing these Causes Can Help You Get Relief and Prevent Future Problems, Expert Says
“But how can anyone take preventative measures when most back-pain specialists take a one-dimensional perspective on this common problem after back trauma has occurred?” asks expert Jesse Cannone.
Most people experience significant back pain at some point in their lives; unfortunately, the response from the medical community is too often surgery, which fails 60 percent of the time, according to a consensus of surgeons.
“The back consists of many intricate anatomical parts, all of which are dependent on the smooth functioning of each other, but there are many factors people don’t know about that affect the back’s function throughout a lifetime,” says Cannone, author of “The 7-Day Back Pain Cure,” (www.losethebackpain.com).
“In order to better heed Franklin’s advice, more people need to know how back pain starts. Sadly, in most cases, they won’t get this profoundly helpful info from their doc.”
Health should always include a comprehensive view, including vigilance for mental, dietary and physical well-being, he says. Below, Cannone covers in detail the physical causes that often lead to back pain over time:
• Minor problems can lead to major back dysfunction: When a physical condition isn’t corrected, the body starts to break down. Tight muscles can pull the vertebrae out of alignment, pinching a nerve or creating a herniated disc. Physical dysfunctions can pressure joints and, over time, stress them to the maximum until they develop inflammation and injury. Overworked muscles can go into spasm, causing pain and forcing the body into physical dysfunction. Pain from this condition is often triggered by a specific activity, like heavy lifting, which is why most people believe they’ve “thrown out” their back in a singular event. In reality, however, it was a long process.
• Muscle imbalances – the tug of war inside your body: We’re born with well-balanced bodies, but rarely do they stay that way. Over time, we tend to favor one side of our bodies, and with repetitive activities, we often create imbalances by working some muscles too much while underutilizing others. Sitting is one way of creating imbalance, but various activities – writing, eating, cleaning, cooking, laundry – in which we favor one hand over the other can, too.
• Lack of muscle use: Unlike other machines, which wear out the more they’re used, the human body grows stronger the more you use it. When you don’t use all of your muscles regularly, the muscles that keep the body balanced wither.
• Loss of muscle flexibility: Women who frequently walk with high heels often suffer a variety of problems as a result. One problem is the shortening of the calf muscle. Imagine the muscle as a rubber band that extends from the back of your knee to your heel. When you wear high heels, the rubber band shortens and, over time, the muscle adapts to this contracted position. When you take off the heels, the calf muscle will feel pulled. This frequently happens to other muscles in the body, throwing off body balance.
About Jesse Cannone
Jesse Cannone is a leading back-pain expert with a high rate of success for those he consults. He has been a personal trainer since 1998, specializing in finding root causes for chronic pain, and finding solutions with a multidiscipline approach. Cannone publishes the free email newsletter “Less Pain, More Life,” read by more than 400,000 worldwide, and he is the creator of Muscle Balance Therapy™.
Women’s worries about wrinkles, dark spots and other aging skin concerns aren’t all vanity, a new poll reveals.
Forty-two percent of women ages 50 to 59 believe they need to look young to be successful at work, according to a recent poll by Penn Schoen Berland.
“Increasingly, both men and women have anxiety about looking older, but the good news is that science has developed natural tools to help us look younger longer,” say Drs. Rick and Arlene Noodleman, the husband-and-wife physician team at Silicon Valley’s Age Defying Dermatology, (www.agedefy.com), national leaders in medical and cosmetic dermatology and integrative medical treatments.
Something we all battle daily is damage from free radicals, a term that has entered the public lexicon with little understanding by most people.
“Free radicals are oxygen molecules that have lost electrons through oxidation, making them unstable. If your body doesn’t have enough antioxidants to stabilize them and render them harmless, they can damage cell membranes, which eventually breaks down the proteins that support and plump the skin,” explains preventive medicine specialist Dr. Arlene Noodleman.
“We’re bombarded by free radicals every day”, she says. “We produce them when we metabolize food and even when we breathe. They’re also in the environment – diesel exhaust, air pollution, UV radiation (from the sun) and cigarette smoke are all major producers.”
“What’s worse, those free radical oxygen molecules are always looking to stabilize themselves by swiping electrons from stable molecules, which creates even more free radicals,” says dermatologist Dr. Rick Noodleman.
“We have lots of natural defenses against free radicals, but as we age, we begin to lose them,” he says.
Some vitamins are antioxidants, meaning their molecules provide electrons that stabilize the free radicals. Clinical studies have found that certain of these are effective in preventing damage, or correcting damage such as reducing wrinkles and dark spots.
In certain cases, “taking your vitamins” means applying them on your skin so they can work from the outside-in, the physicians say.
• Vitamin A – “There is significant scientific evidence that the form of vitamin A called retinoid, when applied topically, can treat damage caused by sun exposure,” says Dr. Arlene Noodleman. “It can soften fine lines and wrinkles and lighten dark spots.” In one study, subjects had significantly fewer fine wrinkles after applying a prescription-strength retinoid cream (0.1 percent isotretinoin) once a day for 36 weeks. “Of the over-the-counter retinoid products, Retinol appears most effective”, Dr. Noodleman says.
• Vitamin C – “Vitamin C applied topically is much more effective than taken orally”, says Dr. Rick Noodleman. “That’s because vitamin C is relatively unstable — it quickly oxidizes when exposed to air and in certain other conditions. So, to get the full benefit, you would need it in much greater amounts than you would normally consume in a tablet. You can get that benefit by using a topical formulation,” he says. “Look for ‘stable’ vitamin C of the L-ascorbic variety, which offers the best protection against sun damage”, he states. “It reduces lines and wrinkles, protects against sun damage, and encourages production of collagen, one of the proteins susceptible to free radical damage. Importantly, collagen makes up 75 percent of our skin and gives it support and volume.”
• Vitamin B3 – “As a ‘damage corrector’, test-tube studies have shown that vitamin B3 boosts collagen production and clinical studies have shown that it reduces dark spots”, says Dr. Arlene Noodleman. In one significant study, 50 Caucasian women applied a 5 percent vitamin B3 solution to one side of their faces every day for 12 weeks. They had a marked reduction in dark spots, redness and yellowing, and increased elasticity.
The two doctors advise that, for best results, people should buy these topical vitamin products at concentrations that have proved effective – and use them for the length of time recommended.
About Drs. Rick and Arlene Noodleman
Dr. Rick Noodleman, a board-certified, Stanford-trained dermatologist, is an expert in the medical and surgical management of skin disease, aging skin, and advanced cosmetic techniques. Dr. Arlene Noodleman, board-certified in preventive medicine and fellowship-trained in integrative medicine, is a healthy aging expert who focuses on the whole person and strategies that facilitate the body’s innate healing response. Together, Drs. Noodleman created the Revercel cosmeceutical and neutraceutical product line (www.revercel.com), which includes products containing vitamins in the amounts and forms scientifically proven to be effective. They include Eye Perfection and Intensive Repair Serums with Retinol and Vita-C Emulsion.