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The Breath of Life. There is nothing more important than your next breath.
The Breath of Life. There is nothing more important than your next breath.
For far too long medical and dental were separate disciplines of learning about the function/dysfunction of the human body, mind, and spirit. A theological viewpoint would give thought to what God had in mind when He made the decision to introduce two gardeners to tend His farm while He was working on other things. We have some obvious clues found in His Diary. The first mistake “doctors” made was to separate the mouth (dentistry) from the body (medical) and the second, although well intentioned was to specialize in each part of the body to discover its vital role in life, further isolating all the parts from the whole. We had Humpty Dumpty broken down into a million well-studied pieces, but the right hand wouldn’t know the left hand until the medical doctors and dental doctors put the entire head back on the body and began to realize that everything works together either helping or harming “dem bones to walk around” because “the toe bone connected to ……… the head bone”.(Ezekiel 37: Dry bones spiritual hymn)
Now flash back to our two gardeners; they learned a fundamental truth- they were alive because they breathed, ate and drank. They might make it 40 days without food, maybe a week without water, but wow! only two minutes without air. This is ancient history and” the facts of life” have never changed but recently seem to have been rediscovered in a “NewAgeAwakening”. Look in God’s diary and you will read where God formed man from the dust of the ground,(much like you would find the cremated remains in the funeral urn) and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living being. Notice the word nostrils are for breathing not mouth.Doctors of all kinds have been letting the only animal on earth that breathes through its mouth get away with it. Watch every newborn sleep, all breathing through their nose, in fact, they couldn’t nurse (remember food and drink) if they did not breathe through their nose. Try eating, drinking swallowing and breathing through your mouth all at the same time and see how you do.
Unfortunately, in our “civilized” world, inflammation on the body begins early, even baby foods are suspect for contamination. Mouth breathing making everything worse by causing inflammation and obstruction in the nostrils making it more difficult to breathe correctly which means that lower levels of oxygen are being transferred to the hungry, thirsty brain cells struggling to get nourishment as well as every other cell in the body. Mouth breathing causes Oxygen deprivation will cause a host of problems that begin showing up early in life and late in life. Your child or elderly parent may not be thriving mentally and physically because he/she is not breathing properly.The entire delicate chemical balance of the body (pH) is adversely affected bringing on a cascade of unintended consequences to health.
What you don’t know can hurt you! This information is what you need to learn if you care about your health and that of your loved ones. There is plenty of breathing information on YouTube, good books to read, lectures to attend and knowledgeable doctors that will help you better understand why healthy living depends on nasal breathing.
Breathing disorders are a main contributing factor for malocclusion and orthodontic evaluations have always been a key screening tool that can change the course of breathing malfunction that begins with the two structures responsible for health – the nose and mouth. Call us for a courtesy evaluation and education on quality of life.
John B. Harrison DDS, MSc (727) 822-3156
In the late afternoon of my career, 52+ years since its sunrise, I see beautiful reflections of life’s colors from early morning to the early evening that put a parenthesis around a career I hope will never end until the hearse driver arrives at the office to gently take the plier and wire out of my hand.
The main response to folks who think it is time to retire is that “retirement”, to me, is a word of entitlement which would rob me of purpose and meaning. It is an artificial economic adjustment foisted on workers from labor unions and big corporations which ignores the contributions of experience, judgment and wisdom. Why would an artist quit painting, a musician quit playing, an author quit writing? Bless Willy Nelson, he is still going strong at 85!
Now, my heroes are older gentlemen, many who finished their journey well beyond their eighties so finishing well is a strong motivation. I have amassed a treasure chest of experience and my staff of Suzanne and Christi are beyond exceptional, they are “gold medalists”. We work for you and with you in a comfortable unrushed family setting. There are no high volume multi-tasking business pressures to interfere with conscientious personal attention. I enjoy a slow pace and being precise, accurate, and accountable so that your experience with us is enjoyable with excellence as added value.
It is no rumor that my office building is for sale, not me or my practice which will need to relocate to a convenient place when appropriate. Now is the time to capture whatever value a new developer envisions for the property. Unfortunately, a small professional building in downtown St. Pete no longer makes economic sense.
You can rest assured that when the inevitable time comes when I need to pass the torch, I have the best back up orthodontist anyone could ever want. We have a special professional bond that has strengthened over the last few years and the final analysis is a win-win-win for all.
I look forward to what lies ahead until the sun sets and “ it’s over”.
John B. Harrison DDS, MSc
The days between Thanksgiving and Christmas are a great diagnostic test for most of us to prove once and for all time that we are too prone to stressful living and our body (with hands on hips) is scolding us. If it just weren’t for the crowds, traffic snarls, unreasonable delays and dumb mistakes, we would be just fine! Right?
So, what does all that Holiday clamor do to our biology? The tale tell metric we all wear on our wrist and our ears will give us all the information we need to know. We over breathe and throw our body chemistry out of whack. The fine-tuned machine we are supposed to become a clunker. If someone near you can hear you breathe, you sigh frequently, you need to breathe through your mouth or you are breathing more than 15 times a minute – you’ve got trouble brewing in the wind- more so if you snore.
We have to train ourselves to be cool, calm and collected. It does not come naturally, in fact, it is about as unnatural as holding a golf club properly and it is all counter-intuitive because when stressed we think we need more air to breathe not less, but as you have heard before “less is more”. We have to overcome the sympathetic nervous systems “flight or flight” reaction to harassment and irritation which is to dump lots of stimulants into the bloodstream that increase blood pressure, heart rate and breathing. This ruins our “rest and digest” parasympathetic nervous system doing its best to keep us on hydromatic autopilot with slow light breathing pumping way more oxygen into our brain cells for intelligent thinking and behavior rather than the sympathetic system preparing our muscles for war.
Over breathing is the culprit (not the big bad wolf), that is blowing our house apart and the reason is that we are reducing the reservoir of carbon dioxide pressure necessary for offloading oxygen in the blood into trillions of cells. All CPR rescue courses now emphasize compressions over ventilation, because too much ventilation defeats the effort to get oxygen to the brain. Over breathing the unconscious patient did more damage than good, oxygen is not the problem, there is plenty of that in the blood- the key is carbon dioxide which has to be made in our body because there is not enough in the air we breathe.
How much better to control our body with proper breathing techniques than prescription pills. I can go as far as saying that if young children were taught to breathe right (through the nose) and keep their tongue incorrect posture, then their facial development and dental alignment would naturally improve. I don’t want to put myself out of business, but I do want to see America great because she is healthy.
Slow down your breathing and enjoy the new life that Christmas promises!
John B, Harrison DDS,MSc
Have you ever considered the fact that the “weather” changes in our bodies just as it does outside our body? We have just witnessed a natural weather calamity that will strain the economy to the limit, but, thankfully, few lives were lost. We can replace and restore lost stuff, but all lives matter. Whether the weather misbehavior is worse because of human activity or a necessity of nature to adjust cosmic energy is beyond my pay scale, but I do know that we are the cause of a growing health crisis in America that could bankrupt the health care system. America cannot be great if it is not healthy and we are making a poor showing as a developed nation. So, let’s make America healthy again and it’s not about your parents or genetic excuses, it is about the quantity and quality of fuel you put into your tank (stomach) to run the machinery 100 years (not many die after 100). Many chronic inflammatory diseases are reversible and certainly avoidable if we have the willpower to avoid our addictions.
We consume more calories (4,000), many of which are non-nutritional and inflammatory than any other country in the world and we have the obesity, diabetes, heart disease, COPD, intestinal disease and dementia to prove it. Why make a choice to shorten your life and miss out on your grandchildren’s activities? Why live with a storm within your own body that is wrecking the real house you live in? The storm warnings about poor nutrition have been flying for decades., yet they are ignored just like those who chose to ride out the evacuation orders, refusing rescue advice.
The greatest health care system in the universe is your own body’s ability to heal itself if given a chance, yet we waste millions of dollars treating symptoms rather than economically eliminating causes. Yes, we have a right to health care, a God-given right to treat our own body in a Godly fashion and not desecrate it for years and then demand to be “fixed” with the most outrageously expensive treatment possible. Burning your own house down is not a right nor a freedom we get to claim; however, our human responsibility is to preserve and save a life no matter the pre-existing conditions we brought on ourselves. Obviously, critical intensive care for those, through no fault of their own, suffer genetic or accidental mishaps deserve all the attention high tech medicine can offer. Their trials and tribulations motivate compassion and a greater understanding of the human body.
It all starts with what we put into our mouth, the gateway to success or failure. The mouth is connected to the vascular system, the respiratory system, the digestion system and the emotional system. It has been said that “we are what we eat” and “our medicine is our food”, but there is a big difference in “eating to live” or “living to eat”.Unfortunately, we are hard-wired for “junk food” and the Food Industry knows this all too well as they keep refining and processing taste good morsels damaging to us and our children’s health.
Developing a taste for health takes motivation, education, discipline, effort and sometimes a rescue from someone throwing a lifeline to keep our head above water. Hope you catch this toss.
John B. Harrison DDS,MSc
In the early days of TV, watching the Lawrence Welk show I remember one of those catchy commercials for the elixir of life and fountain of youth: the cure for” tired blood”, Geritol tonic. Taken 4 X day would give your blood a sure enough high since it was about 50 proof white lightening colored rusty with iron. It went over big in Southern dry counties as a substitute for Southern Comfort. Soon the FDA caught up with the reckless, false and misleading advertising and heavy fines were imposed on the discredited “Snake Oil” that had alcohol listed as a preservative – no doubt about that! Dead Lord Nelson was brought back to England in a barrel of Rum perfectly preserved after a 2 month summertime sail from the battle of Trafalgar in Spain.
The truth is there is such a thing as tired blood and it affects a large number of young and old putting us at risk for a shortened lifetime of poor health. No tonic or elixir or supplement is needed to have your blood energized in the most natural of all remedies. Just breathe properly through your nose with your diaphragm to make sure your blood has enough CO2 (carbon dioxide) pressure to offload oxygen into our 50 trillion cells, mainly brain cells! Just as it is the CO2 in the Coke that gives it zest and fizz so it is with CO2 in the blood. A tired Coke has lost its CO2, its fizz and zest, so it is with tired blood.
The body has a very narrow limit of acid base balance called pH; 7 being neutral. Our body must maintain a narrow window pH of 7.35 – 7.45 or things quickly get dangerous. Cells die at acid levels of 6 or alkali levels of 8, so there is not much wiggle room. The marvelous buffering system is all due to CO2’s balance at a lung pressure of 40 mm Hg. Improper breathing (mouth breathing) lowers CO2 levels reducing oxygen uptake. How much brain damage will you tolerate each day? How many more problems is improper breathing causing? Plenty I assure you. Proper breathing opens pipes, improper breathing restricts pipes. The human body is nothing but pipes and a breathing pipe is no different than a digestion pipe or a blood pipe. They should not be restricted by lack of CO2 pressure.
Oxygen is in plentiful supply in our blood and in the air we breathe, but carbon dioxide has to be made through metabolism and stored in the lungs at sufficient pressure. Ground air has 0.03% CO2 and our body needs 6.5% to function properly. Are we not overlooking a simple natural solution for improving the greatest health system in the world – our own body’s ability to heal itself?
Dysfunctional breathing is the root cause of many of our modern day inflammatory curses and the human face, jaws, tongue and teeth cannot develop normally with overarching restrictions. We can teach and train you or your child to breathe right and give you good advice. There are good videos on You Tube that will help you understand the importance of this overlooked key to wellbeing.
We do everything possible in orthodontics to increase the airway of every patient and we have the knowledge and means to do a proper airway evaluation but many times it takes a team of referring specialists collaborating in the treatment of dysfunctional breathing to be successful in the cure.
Pay more attention to your breathing, for blood sake!
Get more facts gain knowledge, download “The Breath of Life“ or call us to learn more: (727) 822-3156
John B. Harrison DDS, MSc
I cannot remember when this admonition was indelibly printed into my psyche, but it was at a very young age and its wisdom has remained useful for all occasions. How many times have you thought “stop the world, I want to get off” when the pace of life gets so fast and furious you just can’t catch up?
We miss out and do not appreciate so many important events when we ignore such simple advice. My idea is that we all stop, look and listen to our breathing, the most important event in life from your first breath until the next. How you breathe determines your mental, physical, and emotional health. Breathe incorrectly and you are already in trouble and seriously damaging the finest health care system ever provided; your remarkable body- and if you stop, look and listen you will be overwhelmed by the brokenness of breathing right.
How many times do you breathe a minute? How long can you hold your breath after 2 deep breaths (no hyper ventilating – that is harmful!)? How long can you hold your breath after exhaling? Does your abdomen or chest rise and fall with breathing? Can you hear yourself or others breathing? Do you sleep with your mouth open? Do you breathe through your mouth at any time during the day? Is your normal head posture forward of your shoulders? How many paces can you walk while holding your breath and can your recover normal breathing within 4 breaths? Do you snore, sigh, sneeze or cough frequently? Do you know if you over breathe and what effect that will cause? Do you wake up with a dry mouth or wake up frequently to urinate? What would happen if you taped you mouth shut during the night?
Every answer to each question is vitally important if you are interested in how much oxygen is getting to your brain, the most fantastic computer ever designed. Your PC, I-pad or cell phone, amazing as they are, are simplistic toys compared to the human brain that is working non-stop for you 24/7. All it asks of you is to give it the proper balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide that keep its cells functioning in tip top condition. That can only happen if your mouth is closed and you breathe through your nose.
Our health care system has a breathing problem that has been overlooked by our high tech- pill cure medical system that has failed to teach their patients the first principle of life. I have an airway centered orthodontic practice where breathing problems are so easily recognized and can be referred to the appropriate medical specialists who can resolve the problem, but so often it is too late because the development of the mouth and face has been compromised by 7 – 12 years of improper breathing.
Parents, Pediatricians, Birthing Centers, Day Care Centers, Nursery School Staff, Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers, Coaches, all health care providers and Joe the Plumber need to know why we are not at peak health and what to do about it. I intentionally repeat myself by saying the Airway is the Highway to Health and Your Nose is the Onramp.
My profession, my specialty, Orthodontics by definition and default has always been concerned with the development of the jaws and face which depend on an adequate anatomical functioning airway during the night while sleeping. The benefits of sleep depend entirely on how well you breathe at night. Our most important service is correcting sleep disordered breathing so that orthodontic correction will be esthetically stable and functional until that final breath. If you have concerns regarding this information as it relates to children or adults please call (727) 822-3156 for a courtesy appointment and learn how we have helped many recover vibrant health and beautiful smiles.
Read The Breath of Life
John B. Harrison DDS, MSc
Believe it or not, your bed is a battle ground, but be glad the fight is on a mattress with pillows not up on “hacksaw ridge” strewn with rock and ruin and daytime nightmares. The battle going on at night for each of us is the tug of war going on between the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems; the winner has dire consequences for our health and well being. If the “rest and digest” parasympathetic system prevails, we enjoy refreshed repairing deep sleep, facing the day ahead with energy, focus and enthusiasm. On the other hand, if the “fight or flight” sympathetic system is called in to play by a brain starved for oxygen, then the war of attrition and degraded performance mars your next day’s activities and a slow downward spiral of emotional, mental, and physical stress begins to squeeze the life out of you.
The simple fact for the alarming decline in Western health is directly related to the quality and quantity of sleep we need each night to recover and recharge to maintain health. Far too much medication has been prescribed for depression, anxiety, anger, ADHD, chronic fatigue, obesity, high cholesterol and high blood pressure when the it’s a pillow not a pill solution.
So what business does a dentist have to do with sleeping issues when we have the greatest health care system in the world with all the high-tech equipment to diagnose a misplaced gene or chromosome? Plenty! First, the greatest health care system in the world is you; not being in denial or making excuses for not feeling up to par and taking responsibility for the most basic, simple and natural key to health, learning and training ourselves to sleep properly throughout the night. There are at least 40 signs and symptom that every dentist sees every day that strongly correlate to dysfunctional sleep. It is as plain as the nose on your face, your eyes, and the wisdom of teeth telling the story that cannot be denied.
We are becoming a “quality” sleep deprived nation of premature overmedicated Zombies. There is nothing more important than your next breath and you have less than three minutes to get it right for the body to stay in a balanced healthy state. It all starts with the newborn and toddlers where breathing problems can be recognized and treated. Our teenagers are really sleep challenged with their electronic pacifiers and over charged lifestyle, but enough to say every age is affected to some degree.
The take home message is the Airway is the Highway to Health and the nose is the onramp. God intended us to breathe through our nose not our mouth. Our brain does not off load the oxygen it must have to function if you mouth breath. Let’s breathe right and not pillow fight.
Get more facts, gain knowledge, download “The Breath of Life” or call us to learn more: (727) 822-3156
John B. Harrison DDS, MSc
Most of you reading this were not even born when the first game show on TV was broadcast in 1950. It was Ralph Edwards’s brain child and the TV version really captivated America as we watched a black and white screen many times covered in wavy lines marring the images moving about on the tube, but we were glued to this new invention, bound to get unfuzzier. The contestants had a short time to answer a question truthfully before the buzzer sounded or face the consequences of having to perform a zany stunt in front of watching America. The truth of the matter was that good sport contestants actually preferred the consequences to the truth so that all of us could LOL. That human trait intrigues me – do we really prefer the consequences over the truth? We are forced by the current fake news epidemic and political mendacity to believe that truth has suffered a serious setback, worse, I see it more and more in the profession I love and passionately uphold to the highest ethical standards.
Dentistry’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct is witnessing an unwarranted and unprecedented degradation, foreign to us old school practitioners brought up under the assumption that advertising always substituted truth for the desire of emotional self-satisfaction. We were taught to always put the patient’s welfare and well being ahead of any other consideration not lure a patient to accepting something that gave more to us than we gave back to our patients. Of late, patient beware, it is all about the economic well being of the stock holders of a corporate entity “owning” the dentist and demanding bottom line’s upward climb each quarter. A moral dilemma is always created when a third party intrudes between doctor and patient. Dental “Insurance” is a perfect example, which in and of itself is bad enough without the second layer “corporate quotas” pressuring the indentured dentist for unrealistic production levels without gaming a flawed, arbitrary system that causes the attempt to maximize reimbursement. Why not? The insurance and the corporation are skimming off the cream of the dentists ‘s skill and labor and some of the coding will be denied by the insurance carrier even if the procedure was needed and completed in good faith. Profit centers have been created for the General Dentist to make more money and one big wide-open arena is, guess what? Orthodontics
The tsunami in Dentistry is General Dentists offering orthodontic treatment. Anyone has a right to question credentials, but few know enough to appreciate the diagnostic intelligence and technical skills required to complete an excellently treated case and how to judge the long-term maintenance necessary to call yourself an orthodontist worthy of the specialty. A weekend course for certification to provide orthodontic treatment looks legitimate to unaware public.
The fast food franchise mentality has invaded dentistry by heavily marketing “super-fast” orthodontic treatment within 3 – 6 months. General Dentists are led to believe that turbo induced tooth movement is a new frontier that conventional or traditional orthodontics cannot compete with. Dentist around the country were quick to latch on to the computer driven Invisalign method of correcting crooked teeth which can be frustratingly slow, subject to non-compliance with less than ideal results because of lack of knowledge and experience. So, the popularity of fast results is taking hold for those rejecting a truthful answer and who are unprepared for the consequences. Teeth do not move faster or better with one technique vs. another. Moving teeth to the proper location biologically, functionally and aesthetically takes longer than 3 – 6 months. What is unsaid to the uninitiated is “Sir/Mam, do you want me to paint just the front of your house for $4,000 quickly by an amateur or paint the entire house for $5000 thoroughly by a professional?”
Truth or consequences!
John B. Harrison DDS, MSc
The Toddler age from birth to three presents many challenges for parents, healthcare professionals, and the kids themselves. Poor prenatal health of the mother, premature births and failed nursing adaptation begin a cascade of issues that compromise timely and orderly development of the face. Unprepared and untrained parents need counseling and support for the difficult and all-consuming mission of raising children.
The baby product market is a confusing array of pacifiers, teethers, sippy cups, and designer nipples for bottle feeding. Do you really think the manufactures care “a lick” about what encourages good oral development? Is soothing the baby more important than the risk of cavities, cross bites and open bites that will result at age 7? Could something be done to prevent your child from 2 years of braces when they are 12? Well “Yes” and “No”, “Maybe” and “Sometimes”, “It Depends”.
Orthodontist are very interested in early facial development as I would think Pedodontist, Pediatricians and Pediatric ENT physicians are as well, but as a rule that needs to be broken, orthodontist do not see children until they are 6 or 7 manifesting the accumulative insults they have had to accommodate to from those early years.
So, what are the signs and wonders the new parents should be aware of? Nothing can compete with excellent prenatal health, full term natural delivery and natural nursing. That’s a big 1,2,3, seldom achieved. The earliest signs of future problems are mouth breathing and tongue tie. Children should sleep with mouth closed throughout the night and the tongue should be checked for a binding frenum keeping the tongue bound to the lower jaw and limiting its range of motion. Low tongue posture will certainly cause the upper arch to narrow into cross bite because the tongue is not postured correctly. Speech and swallowing will also be adversely affected as time will demonstrate. Another hurdle toddlers must jump is another 1,2,3. Tonsils, adenoids, and ear infections are airway restrictions that can impede and alter facial development. Sleep and dietary habits are crucial and critical for physical and mental health. General behavior and mental abilities are indicators of future expectations again pointing to the requirements of sleep stages.
Young children that have sleep disordered breathing and sleep apnea should be addressed first with a pediatric sleep study to determine the appropriate treatment but not all physicians are aware of how much orthodontic intervention can contribute to success. The most important training these children can receive is being taught how to breath correctly – mouth breathing must stop or success is limited. The focus begins with widening the upper arch to a normal size for that individual so that the tongue can occupy its correct position. Breathing improves because the nasal airway volume is increased. Adding a mandibular advancing appliance when the lower jaw is deficient in length aids in its development as well as opening the airway space behind the tongue But, above all else, unless breathing is nasal, many problems cannot be resolved.
Don’t let one, two, three strikes risk your child’s health and well being. Age two – three is the ideal time to evaluate facial development.
John B. Harrison DDS,MSc