Habits & Health episode 54 with Dr Bill Hang, an orthodontist who for 32 years has been reversing previous orthodontic retraction by re-opening orthodontic extraction spaces to give people back their face, improve breathing and eliminate OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea) when possible.
He explains that the most important habit to support proper forward facial growth is to have every child adopt proper nasal breathing with proper rest oral posture (teeth lightly together, tongue firmly to the palate, and lips together without strain) at rest all of the time. This promotes optimal forward facial growth, and avoids many medical and dental problems associated with chronic mouth breathing.
Bill was mentioned in the book The Oxygen Advantage by Patrick McKeown where he was cited for his work in helping people with sleep apnea.
Books mentioned by Bill during the episode:
YouTube video mentioned:
“If it has been done, it is probably possible”
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This video is related to an older episode featuring John Roberts
Habits and health episode 54. Welcome to the habits and health podcast, where we believe creating healthy habits should be easy. Brought to you by an educator and coach for anyone who wants to create a healthier life. Here's your host, Tony Winyard.
Tony Winyard 0:20
Welcome to another edition of habits and health. My guest today, Dr. Bill Hang. So took traditionally trained orthodontist, who practised as he was taught for about seven years, which was removing permanent teeth using headgears, to retract and so on. And he noticed that many of his patients faces were not as attractive after treatment and decided to find a better way, a different way. So we're going to dig into what was that and how did he go about that. And for those of you who may have read the excellent book, The Oxygen Advantage. Bill hang is actually mentioned in that book. So hope you enjoy this week's episode. If you know anyone who would get some real benefit from some of the wisdom that Bill shares. Please do share the episode with them. habits and health my guest today, Bill Hang How are you, Bill?
Dr Bill Hang 1:09
I am fine. Thanks. Thanks for asking.
Tony Winyard 1:12
And we find you in sunny California.
Dr Bill Hang 1:15
I live in Los Angeles County in Agoura Hills, California for the last 25 years of my life. Yes. Wow.
Tony Winyard 1:22
And that sounds like a lot warmer than where you grew up originally.
Dr Bill Hang 1:26
Yeah, it's it's very nice here. It's enviable. When people ask what the weather is. I tell them you don't want to know. It's too nice.
Tony Winyard 1:36
Yeah, we certainly compared to where I am is a lot warmer, I guess. And Bill, you're an orthodontist, and many people listening may not be so familiar with that phrase. So could you explain what an orthodontist is?
Dr Bill Hang 1:50
Well, when you think of an orthodontist, people think of someone who traditionally puts braces on teeth and straightens teeth. Kids have crooked teeth for reasons I'm sure we can explore. And the orthodontist is a person who straightens the teeth. That in reality, I'm almost apologetic about saying that I'm an orthodontist. Because that's not really my focus it making lower front teeth straight. To me. That was what was put on my gravestone is that's what he did is he's he straightened lower incisors for a living, I feel like my life was pretty much of a waste.
Tony Winyard 2:28
So when did you when did you become an orthodontist?
Dr Bill Hang 2:32
I started orthodontic training at the University of Minnesota. This June. We'll make 50 years ago. A long time. So.
Tony Winyard 2:45
And now I can imagine there must have been so many changes during that time.
Dr Bill Hang 2:50
Well, there are a lot there have been a lot of changes. But the sad part is there haven't been enough changes the profession, I learned to straighten teeth. And in the process, I often remove teeth, pull the front teeth back, because that's what orthodontics do. orthodontists do. And it's not appropriate that in the late 1970s, early 1980s, I began to look at the faces that I have the patients I was treating, I didn't like what I saw. And I there was also a general dentist in the United States at the time, who was teaching other general dentists to do orthodontics. And he was claiming that the orthodontist were literally wrecking faces and producing temporomandibular joint problems or pain in the ears and, and ringing in the ears and things like that clicking and popping in the joints. And I began to explore that. And I began to think this guy is right. And so I started looking for different ways to do this. And that journey started basically in November of 1981. And it really hasn't ended. I've been in 50 states and several foreign countries, including yours, learning about how to do things in a different way. I went through a time, which was kind of dark because I had so many patients that I'd had teeth taken out and I began doing new things that I frankly didn't even know if they were going to work or not. But I knew I couldn't continue to do the old thing. And I lived in a town of 18,000 people in Vermont where what you do gets home before you get home people know about it. And if the new things I was doing work, that would be great. If they didn't, I might as well pack up my bags and leave. And I also had a great deal of guilt about the patients I had taken teeth out on and what was happening to them and didn't know a way to reverse that. So it was a very interesting time. But it got me away from traditional orthotics.
Tony Winyard 4:52
And I guess as he said that was in the in the early 70s You started realising you want to do things
Dr Bill Hang 4:57
early 80s 1981 82 To 83, and there was a very challenging time in my life.
Tony Winyard 5:03
And I'm presuming that wasn't many people who tried to look at things differently like
Dr Bill Hang 5:09
No, not really. Mainly, the interesting thing was mainly there were a bunch of general dentists who were very unhappy with what the orthodontist were doing it and me being an orthodontist. I was, you know, I felt like I was in the crosshairs. But when I opened my mind, I realised these people were very smart. And they had they, they saw our patients later on, after they left our our orthodontic practices that kids go off to college grow up. And the general dentists sees what they look like years later, and the general dentists don't like what they see, because people look worse, their faces collapse, they have jaw joint problems. And now what we've really gotten to know in the last 20 to 25 years is that many of these patients suffer not only from pain patterns, but from sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea, because their teeth have been pulled back and their tongue space and airway has been reduced. I have a lot of videos on the internet and I literally get people contacting me from all over the world almost every morning, I will awaken and there'll be an email from somebody somewhere, asking me Gee, I've I identified a syndrome, which I described as extraction, read retraction, regret syndrome, e RR s, as in mistake, identify it and define it as a constellation of aesthetic, functional, and, and emotional symptoms, which are the result of without a grid traction. And there's three different things aesthetic, functional, and the emotional a triad. And, you know, typically people Hey, I see my lips collapsed, My cheeks are flatter, My smile is narrower, those are aesthetic concerns, functional concerns, gee, I'm, I'm have clicking jaw joints. I don't have enough room for my tongue. I snore when I didn't before. Lots of things like this and even worse. And then what happens is those two, then spill over into the emotional side. And many people who I who will come to me and they'll identify as I'm an ER RS suffer, and they may have had pain and hated them. There's their smile for 2030 years. And finally, they see this on the internet. And they contact me. And then they tell me I am an ers suffer. Do you know someone who can help me? And the answer is 99.9% of the time is no, Alaska? Do you know some in my town and I say, I don't even know someone in your continent? I'm sorry. Because I get people from I've had people from all the continents in the world
Tony Winyard 7:55
in well sounds like in the 80s. It was certainly difficult. But what is the situation out there far more dentists orthodontist looking at things the way you do? Or is
Dr Bill Hang 8:06
there are there are a few but not a lot. And with the internet, parents, mothers are getting much more educated, which is great. So the people who come to me in my practice, they frequently know more about me than I know about me. And they'll also there's a lot of feeling of that removing teeth is not okay, and retracting pulling the teeth back. It's not okay, given the fact that now we really know scientifically that our faces are way back from our ancestors. Daniel Lieberman as an anthropologist at Harvard University, and he's chronicled in his book called The evolution of the human head, how our faces are back massively from our ancestors. And what happens with that is if the upper Jaws back from the lower jaws back, your airway can be compromised. And so this becomes a big deal. There's a lot of a lot of controversy in the profession regarding the effect of what what retraction can do on the air to the airway. As a matter of fact, three years ago, in Marco Island, Florida, the American Association of Orthodontists had had a convocation to address that very issue. And they the fight paper that was supposed to come out of that was actually written, the final draft was written before even one speaker spoke. And, and I don't want to get into that a big deal. But let's just put it this way. I think that the profession would rather see the whole airway thing go away. Whereas the American Dental Association in 19, excuse me in 2017 made it I had a conversation mandated that the dentist learn to screen for airway issues for their patients. Sadly, that is not being done by most people. but at least it was a positive step in the right direction by the American Dental Association.
Tony Winyard 10:05
And there may be some people listening who are a little bit confused as to what airways have to do with teeth. So could you could you expand further?
Dr Bill Hang 10:15
What does airway have to do with teeth? It has everything to do with teeth. John Mew, and your country is a is the brightest orthodontist to ever live. I met him 32 years ago, and he has very accurately described how and why the face falls back, the upper jaw falls back in the lower jaw falls back. Because children have what we call poor restful posture, they're more mouth breathers, and their tongue posture is low, which allows the upper teeth to fall back. And in turn, the lower does to now we have some silly classifications in our in our, in our profession called Class One, class two and class three malocclusions. They're in reality, they've never been scientifically validated to mean anything. And they both jaws fall back and all in all those classifications. As the upper jaw falls back, the soft palate falls back. As the lower jaw falls back, the tongue falls back. Nobody knows. You know how big an airway has to be to be adequate. But the smaller your airway is, the worse the harder it is for you to breathe. There's a there's a law governing the flow, the resistance to the flow of a gas and a tube varies inversely according to the fourth power, the radius of that two, this is called possibles law. The fact is, if you look at that, a small change in the diameter of that airway can have an amazing impact both positively and negatively on how someone breathes. John, you has shown that everything falls back because many people today are mouth breathers Some may hang their mouths wide open, others will just have their their lips apart by a millimetre or two. But the the effect is still the same. And there's plenty of evidence of this in the literature. There are a number of articles which and books written about this from anthropologists who aren't really organised. Robert chord. Cheney is one at Southern Illinois University PhD anthropologist, and he talks about how the faces change. And there are others that are been out there. And this this has been out in the public since the 1800s. Even. And even before that, the ancient Chinese in medicine talked about how someone with a receding jawline does not live to a ripe old age. So this is not new, new stuff out there. But in reality, what you're dealing with is faces that are back and airways that are back. So John Mew, developed this approach to move the upper front teeth forward. So typically, in a child, the teeth are often eight to 10 millimetres too far back. And John, in his infinite wisdom, decided let's move those teeth eight to 10 millimetres forward. And then he developed an appliance which will bring the lower jaw forward and make it so that the child will hold the jaw on that position. Still, as it can be, that becomes a new rest position of the lower jaw. And over time, that jaw will grow into that position. And I've been doing this now for 32 years. In the year 2000. I recognised that, indeed, we were improving the airway with a bunch of consecutively treated cases. And I had an article written along with the help of someone else. We're actually grew up in Great Britain, but it's with the National Institute of Health in the United States, very well known first, and he did a research project on my patients, and showed an increase in the airway of 31% at the level of the palate and 23% of the behind the tongue and even 9% Down in the throat with these consecutively treated kids. Now realise that this technique is not easy, and it requires total cooperation on the part of the patient to do it. But if you have a child who will do it, you can, you can have a nice improvement. We literally never guarantee any kind of a result or improvement in the airway. But we've seen it and we've seen it can be very life changing. You have children today who are getting brain damage from sleep apnea. As a matter of fact, Ron Harper is a PhD neurobiologist at UCLA, and is used MRIs to show the brain damage that occurs even with one night of reduced oxygen saturation, and his permanent brain damage and he can go into their articles that he has in the refereed literature for anyone to find.
There's another gentleman who's a good friend of mine in a group that I am part of is called the American Academy of physiological medicine and dentistry. His name is Philip Cooper, and he's in Savannah, Georgia. He's African American, and he's written a book why African American show cannot read. And it really has nothing to do with the colour of their skin. It has everything to do with so many of them in disadvantaged situations have lots of health problems, including sleep apnea. And so they literally are arriving at school by the time they're starting to go to school. They've already had so much brain damage that they're really not going to be able to breathe to to function properly. This has it has it? Yes, it has some that are disadvantaged status makes them more likely to have this happen, but it really has nothing to do with the colour of their skin. It can happen for any it can happen for Caucasian, it can happen for an Asian, it happened for anybody we've been, we can see huge changes in behaviour once when a child sleeps better and breathes better. There's a there's a video out on the internet that you can find called Finding Connor Deegan is a young boy from the Chicago area. And he he was frankly suicidal he and he was the cut up in the class the teacher hated him. And he was about one of these performances in class or being institutionalised. The good news is he was referred to Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago, had a sleep test realise he had sleep apnea had tonsils and adenoids removed and had his neck, his upper jaw expanded to make more room for his tongue by someone that has taken my mini residency where I teach John Muse approach. And the boy got rid of the sleep apnea became a totally normal kid wasn't not was not a bully anymore. His grades improved dramatically. And he's a nice, nice, nice boy. It's all about breathing and sleeping. And I mean, I know this boy, I know his his mother and I in there, I knew some other people that had kids in his class, and it was a complete turnaround for this boy. Interestingly, the head of Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago, his name is Steven Sheldon, and has it been a good friend of mine for 20 years. He's a physician, He's now retired. But he would say this, he says, I do not believe there is a thing such as ADHD, I do not believe it exists. And currently, by the way, the last figure I saw is in the United States, 15% of the kids are being diagnosed with that. In the next breath, Steve Sheldon says, I believe it is always and he uses that term, which is interesting for a researcher, a scientist, if I believe it is always a breathing and sleep problem.
Tony Winyard 17:39
That's I mean, he wasn't aware to study so many things. You said though, I'd like to expand upon one of the things you talked about that that child in in Chicago, and a difference it made by restructure in his jaw essentially, yes, and how that changed his attitude. And one of the things that went through my mind, as you were saying that is, I imagine there must have been so many people who just couldn't compute how could change in his jaw, affect his attitude, they just weren't able to understand that.
Dr Bill Hang 18:07
It's, there are a lot of people that will be challenging for but when you realise that making a, even a tiny change in the airway, can have a massive effect. I had a gentleman one time who was in his 40s. And an orthodontist had closed some spacing and pulled his teeth back hadn't even taken any teeth out. But he came to me for a second opinion, because the general dentist didn't like the result. And I determined that the guy had sleep apnea. And I said, we need to reverse this and push the teeth forward. And and so I design an appliance which I use routinely, to move the teeth back forward. And very soon after he started the process. He came in and he says, My wife says I'm not even snoring anymore. And I look at him and say, Joe, how can that be? I barely moved your teeth. And he's, and you know, he says no, she says I'm not snoring. Who am I to call his wife a liar. I mean, who knows better than she does, she sleeps with him. And that's that was a learning thing for me. That somewhere there there's a there's a threshold for any given person, that okay, now they have enough room for their tongue and their airway opens up their tongue moves out of the base of the throat, gets up to the roof of the mouth, and now they're okay. So what we're really trying to do for kids is to have them establish proper rest oral posture, which means as John Muse says, teeth together lightly, tongue firmly to the palate plastered right up to the top of the palate, and lips together without strain. And John would say that face will grow forward naturally according to his genetic plan, to the degree that that is not happening. Then you see it grow down and back. And this has been corroborated very well by study back in the 1960s. Where they took monkeys and plug their noses and you know, they're breathing through their nose all the time at the plug. of the nose. And then the face changed about in the head that monkeys to stay alive had to had to mouth breathe, and the faces and teeth changed just like it has for humans. More recently, and this is the best, best thing. James Nestor, who is a, who's written the book breath. As he actually did this for himself, you could everybody should read this book was number six on the New York Times bestseller list. When it came out a year and a half ago and published in 32 languages. He's, he and a friend had their own nose plugged up for 10 days, and then did all kinds of physiologic tests on them and their blood pressure went up. And all these markers changed in a negative fashion. I mean, these guys were not happy. But they, they chose to be guinea pigs in this experiment, which had never been done on humans. But you need to read the book. And once you do, you're gonna think oh, my gosh, this really is a big deal. It's a very compelling book. And basically, a confirmation of everything that John Mueller has been working on since his, you know, the 1950s. And everything that I've known about and then researching for the last, you know, 32 years since I met John
Tony Winyard 21:18
is a fantastic book. And I agree with you, and anyone really should read that book by James nester. And, and for people listening to I mean, on the listeners of this show, I think tend to be kind of 40 plus people in their 40s 50s 60s, maybe, and any anyone who's listening, who is older, maybe they do have sleep issues, maybe they are snoring a lot, what are the what would be your recommendation as to the first step that they could take to change in
Dr Bill Hang 21:50
what first of all, they need to identify the problem and see if it's, if it really is a problem, get to see their primary care physician and tell them you know, gee, I have these issues. I don't awaken well rested, I wake up gasping, that's a classic sign. When someone's gasping there, that's they've stopped breathing, and now they're starting to breathe again. That's called an apnea event. So that's not a good sign. And if the person wakes up, and they've slept for eight hours, but they don't feel well rested, those people are not going to be in good shape. If they tend to fall asleep, reading a book or watching television, these people likely have apnea. So you get the test done. Okay, now, you know you do or you don't have apnea. But even that isn't doesn't tell the whole story and Christian demon Oh, who was the head of the Stanford University sleep clinic until he passed away two years ago, had over 400 articles in the refereed literature and was really the person who defined sleep apnea and came up with a mild, moderate and severe classifications. In his later years, he was lecturing and said he wished he'd never came up with those classifications because they don't really describe what's going on for the patient. So what what the bottom line here is find out if you have a problem, if you have a problem, then treat it. If they sleep doctor says you need a CPAP machine which is a continuous positive air pressure, then get one, it will help the person feel better in the morning. But there's a New England Journal of Medicine had an article I believe it was about six years ago from the University of Flinders in Australia, stating that a CPAP machine does not provide a statistical benefit of reducing the chance of heart attack or stroke. But those who have apnea have to understand that untreated apnea is good for 20 20% reduction in a person's lifespan. 65 to 80% of all stroke patients have apnea. And your chances of apnea is correlated with every chronic disease known to man that's comes from some very well known sleep doctors. And I've heard most of them speak over the last 20 years. So are there things to do for those individuals that are suffering? The answer is Yes, the CPAP is the first thing because it will help someone feel better. But let's say for instance, that someone has had attractive orthodontics, and you have many in the UK who contact me by the way, I have any number of them. I've treated people from from from the UK and reopened extraction spaces for them. Where they've had four teeth taken out, starting in 1989. I've been I've been reopening those spaces for people. And I've, I've been done. I've done it for people for more than 30 states in several foreign countries. And before I analyse the case, I have a pretty good idea if we're going to be able to help get rid of the app manhandle. I have sleep reports for some patients showing that we've been able to do this. We literally never promised a result. Not once in my life if I promised a result for anything I've ever done. I'm an Eagle Scout, and I promise to do my best. That's what I tell people with a smile on my face. And if they want to have treatment, then then we proceed. But that may help some. And sometimes it doesn't take very much to help someone breathe better and sleep better.
I had a woman more recently that we've finished treatment on should have four teeth taken out. And she for 20 or 30 years she'd been seeking solutions for this. And when she came to see me several years ago, she she said, she talked about, gee, I have a problem when I swallow here, it's difficult for me to swallow. I said, Well, it may well be an airway problem. And later on, years later, when we were talking after we as resolved her problem with reopening spaces and surgery, she told me that I was that she had seen more than 100 doctors before she saw me. And I was the only person who recognised that she had an airway problem. airway problems. I mean, very few people have great airways. Very, very few. And so it's a matter of how bad is your airway? And how much does it affect you? Can you get along with it or not? There are other things to do. I mean, the surgery to advance both jaws can open the airway if it's done properly. And very few surgeons know how to do it well, sadly. And if the orthotic preparation is done properly, I've done hundreds of jaw surgery cases in my career. And I have many people who are, you know, undergoing that kind of treatment, and I prepare them for it and finish them afterwards. So there's something to do for everyone. Sometimes widening the jaw laterally can help. And so, orthodontists are taught that you really can't expand the adult maxilla the upper jaw, because the sutures closed Well, in the early 1980s, I met some orthodontist who say that's not the case. And so I have expanded my own maxilla seven millimetres and I did that 32 years ago, I also opened up a space where I had a bicuspid tooth taken out when I was 11 years old, growing up in Illinois, and I so I've made my own maxilla bigger non surgically, and I've expanded the adult maxilla more than 10 millimetres and people in their 40s and 50s and have not pushed the teeth off the bone support, which is what most orthodontists were taught would happen. But orthodontists are taught things that they that someone speculates what happen. When you ask somebody to well, can you show me a case where the teeth have been pushed off the bone and the teeth have been lost? No one has those cases. But this is just part of the profession that people say, you can't do this, it's kind of like don't go out too far on the ocean, or you'll fall off the edge of the earth. Until till Magellan, you know, went around the world and came back and the other the way other way. Everyone thought the world was worth world was flat. So in a way, that's a great analogy for this. So there's something to be done. For everyone. It may not be quick and easy. But it can be life changing. This one woman who who said to me, you know, I'd been the first person out of 100 doctors to recognise her problem. One day, toward the end of her treatment, she was sitting in my treatment area and out of the blue. She just said after she'd had jaw surgery to bring both jaws for she said I would do this surgery 10 times to feel the way I do today. And that's a very compelling statement from somebody. It's what I call a an oh, by the way, Dr. Hank, comment.
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Tony Winyard 29:03
You talked about CPAP machines. And one of the things I was wondering is a lot of people, well, some people maybe they put on a CPAP machine, and then they start to use it for many months. And then they begin to think of that as normal. And they'll just use that. What would be the next progression? How could someone aim to progress from using a CPAP into a situation where they no longer need that?
Dr Bill Hang 29:31
Well, first of all, they'll feel better and then that then that is their new normal and they think that's normal, but it's art. It's it's basically I call it Life Support. And I'm glad that people get to do it and they feel better. Again, I go back to the study from the University of Flinders report in the New England Journal of Medicine, that they're honestly they're not that they're not less likely to have a heart attack or stroke. So it's, I think that it's a good it's a good stopgap measure. It's a good band aid so they can feel better. But they need to find somebody who knows how to address this issue. The sad part of it is that there are courses being given out about Gee, expand the upper arch and vote. Most people, most orthodontists are never going to expand the lower arch. Because they there's no suture in the midline. And they've, they've been taught that you push the teeth off the bone support, I've expanded adults, lower arches, 10 millimetres, and I routinely do that I actually have my own wife in treatment right now. And she, because she's begun snoring, she never did before. As you age, the muscle tonicity gets worse. And so what we're trying to do is expand both our upper and lower jaws to try to get rid of that. So these are things that can be done lateral expansion. The unfortunate part of that is that lateral expansion is not it's it's, it's it's part of the solution, but a very poor part of the solution. Because the problem really is in that front to back plane of space, our jaws are back from where they used to be, we have what appears to be larger noses, our noses aren't larger, they just look that way, because the upper jaw is back that people have flat cheeks and their lower jaws back, they often have a sloped forehead, because they're they're keeping their chin forward, just to breathe and stay alive. The slope forehead is so common, realise that someone's forehead should actually be vertical, vertical, straight up and down. But how many people do you see with their head tipped back like this, they don't even know they do it. But they do it because if they didn't do it, they wouldn't be able to breathe. They also have forward head posture, you drop a perpendicular from the middle of the year to the floor, it should go right through the middle ear shoulders, zillions of people have their jaws their head their entire head to three or four inches forward. Over time, this pays the the neck muscles pay a big price for this. But the patient is doing it just to survive. You can sit in a in an airport and watch people walk by going down to the gates and I do this all the time with a cup of coffee and I and I look at some people and I say oh my god, they're barely alive, their head is ready to fall off of their body. And frequently, you can tell by their entire gait the way they walk. You know, they're way older. They're way, way, way older than their than their years that they've been alive. We as a society suffer horribly. And Nestor comes, you know, he describes a little bit of this in his book, but not not as much as as really would be nice. As a society. We're pretty sick.
Tony Winyard 32:44
Well, and you talked about the surgery on your wife more recently for snoring. So it made me think about is there. I mentioned as many people who listened to this show who may be in their 50s and 60s and so on. Is it is it if people are thinking I'm too old to have that kind of surgery? What would you say to that? The oldest
Dr Bill Hang 33:07
person I've had to have a surgery. This is kind of comical was I think it was three weeks short of his 75th birthday. This He was a retired US Navy pilot and a bicycle fanatic. And he had the year before we did this, he had written his bicycle from Jacksonville, Florida, to San Clemente, California distance of approximately 3000 miles. And he took his his CPAP machine with him. And so he went and had this surgery done after I prepared him for it. And interestingly, you think, Well, It must hurt so much must be so horrible. Not really. Five weeks post surgery, he was out doing 20 miles a day on his bicycle. So there and this can completely change someone's physiology. I had a woman years ago, this was this was very classic. She'd had a headache pattern, and she's a horrible clencher and she had sleep apnea. And she was from Florida. And I used a surgeon in Texas to treat her to bring her jaws forward. I called her I called her three weeks after the surgery and and said, Well, how are you doing? And it was amazing. Out of just five things came out of her mouth and rapid fire fashion. Number one, I'm thanking God for you and Dr. Walford, who says this The surgeon and said I can I can breathe. I you know I can breathe better. And this was the real killer that I really got that. She said I'm smarter. She says I've been in a brain fog for 40 years. I've told my kids I'm smarter. And in reality, that's the case. Interestingly, just this week. I'm part of another group that's making a documentary on this To show the world and this, there's a lot of good filming that's already been done on this. There's a young lady from New York City, whose father took my mini residency where I teach Johnny's course. And about five years ago I said, he, he, he came up to me and said, What would you do in my daughter's case? And I took one look at it in a nanosecond, I said, she needs surgery. Well, no father wants to hear about surgery, then. So he thanked me. And he did what all fathers will tell all dentist fathers will do, is going to try to find all the non surgical options. And that's exactly what he did. And over a period of a year and a half to two, he came back to me and said, Bill, you're right. And I said, I smiled at him and said, Yes. And so I, I helped him know the process of how to prepare his daughter for surgery. And she had the surgery done. And we made no promises, but it was done properly and well, really well. And she is prospering now. And she was what we would call a health fanatic, she ate everything perfectly good. She was an exercise fanatic, but she still had no energy, she'd never had any energy in her entire life. Now she's robust. And in this meeting, we had with Zoom call of this board for this group that's promoting a documentary on this, there was a a woman who is a psychiatrist, and is doing research on these kinds of things. And she tested this girl, this woman or in her 20s, before the surgery, and then tested her afterwards. And what things about cognitive function, executive, functioning, all kinds of different things that I'm too dumb to know about. But the numbers were amazingly better. So here, the mere fact that this, this woman is now breathing and sleeping much more normally, her life has literally changed, and she's gonna have a much, much better life. There's story after story like this, and this will be this will be something that will be researched very well, if by this group, and when we documented in there, it's going to be a docu series that they're making on this, it will be coming eventually.
Tony Winyard 37:21
So someone who's listening to this and things. Wow, I'd love to get to do some of that. Where would they? How would they go about finding out how how they could do? Where would they look?
Dr Bill Hang 37:33
Here's where I'm going to disappoint you. The world is not full of a lot of people who really are tuned into this. Yes, there, there's more of an awareness of this. They're sleep clinics around a lot of them in the US. But to a great degree. Even the heads of the departments in the United States who head up these sleep clinics don't truly understand what they're dealing with. And I say this because I've been going to lectures for the last 20 years. And typically, what they'll you'll see in a lecture is they'll show us map of the United States. And they'll show back in 1985, Mississippi had more fat people than any other state. And then they show the map every five years and how obesity gets worse and worse and worse. And now we've got, you know, more than 30% of the people in some states are morbidly obese. And so they attribute the problem to obesity, when in reality, you have tiny little Asian women that are 85 pounds, and are not obese at all who have sleep apnea. They're not the typical National Football League linebacker who weighs 280 pounds, and you know, he's got apnea. So the point is, they're not recognising are, you're going to have to look hard to find someone who truly understands that this is a an anterior posterior problem and the face needs to be moved forward. And just laterally expanding is not going to make it happen. I wish I had a better answer and I don't know enough about people around the world and where there are people who really understand these these issues. It's James James nesters book has been great in that is brought a unbelievable amount of awareness amongst the public. But the problem is, the medical dental system is woefully inadequately trained to address this, this monumental issue that to be honest with you, and I'm not exaggerating, more people are going to suffer from this and then from the pandemic where or supposedly and because cry every chronic disease known to man is correlated with poor breathing and sleep. Now that brings up another subject. For those who really liked to learn more. Go get Patrick McKinnon's book, The breathing cue or the most recent one that's come out. Patrick has the oxygen advantage which was out several years and he's has other books So one about John Mew and another one called atomic focus. And the really the good one is this the breathing here, Patrick I heard speak more than 10 years ago. And he, he didn't know it, but he caught it. I started taping my lips every night, because I've been a mouth breather and my pillow would be wet every night. I did that 10 years ago. Now it's almost February. And if I make it to February without a cold, I will have three years in my life without a cold. And Bill hang used to get to colds a year guarantee 100% I knew it. And so mouth taping alone can help. That's a simple thing to do. Anybody can try that. And if it works great. If it doesn't, that's fine. At least you tried. But his Patrick's book is a reference book for everything. He Chronicles how poor sleep and breathing for breathing is associated with every chronic disease named named. And each in each chapter has from 75 to 100 references that if you're a scientist, and you really want to know more, you can delve into that. I mean, it's an amazing book with interestingly, in my own situation, I've been an addicted runner for I've been running for more than 50 years, I've run 32 marathons in my life. When I heard Patrick speak, I decided to try running with my lips together. And I took me a few weeks to train myself to do that. But I was able to do it. And so I might my 20th marathon was a Pasadena marathon and I came in second my age group running with my lips together. When I saw nesters book, then it I must I must be a slow learner. Because from nesters book, I understood that I'm still breathing was still breathing too much. Because he talks about holding his breath on the exhale, running through Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. And I thought, wait a minute, I'm breathing way too much too often. And so as soon as his book came out, I began holding my breath longer. On the exhale. I had been running three strides inhaling, and two strides on the exhale. So when I read his book, I went from three strides into three strides out and I did that for a few weeks, then three strides in and four strides out. Then three strides in and five strides out. I ran another marathon in June of last year, and I qualified for the Boston Marathon for the 11th time. And I ran that marathon three strides in three strides out and held my breath for nine more strides. I was having one breath for every 15 strides versus one breath for every five. And I've trained myself to do this and I have not sacrificed any speed. The point is, I am much more fit just because of that book. And my own insistence on trying to train myself and any any I know special person I never went out for sport in high school ever. I became a runner just because and I have not I'm not gifted any more than anybody else. As far as that being an athlete. I'm not that competitive, but I competitive against myself. I give this this this story to anybody listening. Because you can be in charge of your own health. And if you're not who's going to be you're not going to get any health. The health care system in Britain is is disease centred. The health care system in the United States is disease centred. You can spend all the money you want on it, and you're not going to get any healthier. The only person that's going to make you healthy is going to be you by what you eat and what you do. And if you exercise or not
Tony Winyard 43:46
something we just mentioned about Patrick McKeown, and all of his fabulous books. And it reminds me of, I've heard him speak a few times. And I actually did his oxygen advantage instructor course and I am an instructor. I remember him talking about, I think he mentioned it in maybe The Oxygen Advantage book, where he talks about where he met Dr. Butayko in Russia.. And it was about when Buteyko first created the Buteyko method. And he noticed that the breathing patterns of the patients who were ill and the breathing patterns of the patients who were recovering and so on, can you remember the story?
Dr Bill Hang 44:28
I don't remember the specifics of it. But I know what you're talking about. And I think Patrick's own. His Own Story himself is so compelling, because here he was this, this kid trying to do really well in school and he just worked hard and hard and hard. And he got into in the College in Dublin, and he was struggling because he was always sick. And that's he then went to to Russia to learn this. And he was asthmatic, and you know, and he knew he over breathe and he then trained himself to The nasal breather. And I've become really good friends with Patrick. He's been to my home and I've been to his home in Galway, and I've lectured around the world together. But I then also treated him he had crooked teeth as he would with low rest tongue posture. And so I also have an x ray of his nose. And the fact of the matter and he I'm happy to talk about it because he says I can talk about it. But he has a horribly deviated septum. It's like wavy like crazy. And those of us in this industry know, a deviated septum makes it harder for you to get air through your nose. But he's a classic example of someone who has trained his nose to work. He's still got the deviated septum, but you will never ever, ever see Patrick hang his mouth open. He's a nasal breather and has taught him self to do this, which I present that as great evidence that anyone who is committed and wants to try this as a good, there's a good mentor of mine, who's a dentist who now passed away two years ago. His name is Omar Reed and, and Phoenix, Arizona. And I took courses with him back in the 1980s. wonderful human being. He used to say, and one of his classic, classic lines that he had was, if it's been done, it's probably possible. I really like that. And I use it all the time. Well, excuse me, Patrick McCune has done it. And it is possible and other people can do it too.
Tony Winyard 46:34
If I'm so we've been talking about improving people's breathing and so on earlier in the episode, you were talking about restructuring faces and so on. And we right, and you mentioned about children? So I'm wondering for people who do have children and grandchildren? What What would they look out for to it, you know, on their children's faces to see if maybe it's not the way it should be?
Dr Bill Hang 46:58
And that's and that's the most important part of this discussion, as we cannot rely on doing surgery for people when they're an adult to treat this problem. It's like, what would you rather do? prevent forest fires or go out there with a squirt gun and try to fight them? It's ridiculous. Yeah, we must treat very early. And, and and let's be really clear about that. And this has taken me a long time to come to orthodontics usually begins, and someone who's in their teenage years and has all of their teeth in I have for years called that rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. It's ridiculous. The face is so far down and back that you have very little chance to change that growth. John Muse treatment, or the tropics to develop the face forward starts in the mixed dentition at age seven or eight when the upper four teeth or incisor teeth are in and he develops the face forward. And that's critical is great. But what we really must do, and I've only come to this in the last couple of decades, and I haven't come out a lot about teaching other people to do it is treating children before they even have the first permanent tooth under age six, age three and four. So for the parents out there, number one for the mothers, breastfeed as long as possible. Don't use a bottle. This is very important. And make sure that your child is is a nasal breather from the get go. By the way for those of you who have premature children, Cristian Gemalto has spoken for years about the various stages of embryology of foetal development that the child does not go through before birth, and how almost all of them are suffering when they're born from the get go with breathing and sleep issues. And they'll be paddling upstream to change that. I currently have a 16 year old boy that was born three months prematurely. He has an incredibly long face because he never could get his lips together. And we're preparing him for surgery to bring his jaws forward because he has big problems. That that whole population cohort is the premature kids are big, big problem there. But for mothers, you want to breastfeed as long as possible and never use a pacifier. Use earplugs for you don't use a pacifier because it pulls the face back. The kid pulsates. With that thing. It's retracted force on the face. The next thing is when you do when we into solid foods. There's a good book from the UK from a woman who's now passed away by the name of Gill Rapley. It's called Baby led weaning, get that and realise you want to have that child wean to solid food, and the more coarse the food is, the better it is. And don't think that your little baby with those little ridges can't can't can't eat it one way or the other. The more coarse the food is, the more they have to work the better it is and John Muse talked about that for years. And, and that's pretty well documented with the Ain't no Lieberman's book from Harvard on the growth of the human face. Other things to do are, you know, to look for, you never want to see your child have their lips apart at rest, and never have their mouth hanging open. And another thing is mobile devices, mobile devices are they destroy people, the sooner you give that young kid a mobile device, the more he's going to get addicted to it, he's going to put his head down, it's going to hang his mouth open, because that's what they do. And you're just making the whole situation worse. There's a physician in the San Francisco area who's documenting all of this, and he's writing articles about a syndrome which he's, which he's identify called spiky leaky syndrome. And my myofunctional therapist that I work with all the time Joy molar, she understands and treats kids with these issues. So you really, really, really need to take the parenthood thing very, very strongly, and your mother is in charge and the mother is going to change the world.
If a child has a flaccid lower lip that rolls out that child's mouth breather, an easy measurement to do is John Hughes measurement to measure from the tip of the nose to the edge of the upper front tooth, that's with a with a millimetre ruler. Now, John came up with this years ago, and it's one of the most accurate things that I know. And so that measurement for a girl should be 21 millimetres plus the patient's age and years. So let's say you have an eight year old girl 21 plus eight is 29. And most girls that you'll see will have a number of far higher than that it's rare to see someone whose face is on that, that close to the norm. And if you do, you'll see a very attractive patient has that number that that face will be very attractive, your eye will just know it. For a boy, that number is 23 millimetres plus the patient's age in years. If you measure this, many of the patients that we see in our practice are eight to 10 millimetres above that traditional orthodontics only makes that number bigger by retracting in reality, everybody needs to have things move forward. So there are myofunctional therapist in every country. There's a group here in the United States that I'm very, very intimately related to all these people, I know many of them and the person who's in charge the organization's my friend, they're trying to spread the word. And what we really need as myofunctional therapist, we've got more than 10,000 orthotics a United States, we need about 100,000 myofunctional therapist to help all the kids who need it. And we need about not nearly that many orthodontist, because if we had the myofunctional therapist doing their thing, orthodontics wouldn't be needed, nobody would need to have braces. And I make the very, very compelling statement a few years ago, that it's you know, more recently, you see that the Journal of Clinical orthotics shows that very few orthodontist will treat anyone until they're at least age six and have permanent teeth coming in. I make the craziest statement that we should have our orthodontic treatment finished by age six. That's pretty bold statement to make. But after all these years of dealing with this, I view it as the literally the only way to make any headway in this in this airway War, where we're seeing the faces come fall down and back. And they have been for centuries. If we don't do something about it. We're frankly doomed and and I'm saying that with sadly, I Joy Moeller my good friend who myofunctional therapist said it about 10 years ago. And I thought, Man, she's crazy. But the more I think about it, the more I see, I don't think she's crazy. We have got to act, we have to act now. And it's going to happen with the mothers and the market. But people who are going to be able to help has got to rise to the demand that the mothers are going to have. And I've said for years, the mothers, the mama bears that are looking out for their little cubs, they're going to make a difference here.
Tony Winyard 54:01
Bill, you've got so much wisdom, so much experience. Have you considered writing a book?
Dr Bill Hang 54:09
I have written four books and not published one. And I once I finished I started back in the 1990s. When I lived in Vermont, I wrote a book. And then it was great. And then I didn't move on getting it published. I absolutely need to write a book because I know I'm not being big headed about this. I'm just being truthful because I dedicated my life to this. My life is completely out of balance. I work seven days a week on this very issue. I've worked for patient for way four days a week seeing patients but I'm in this office sitting in this chair on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Living here in Southern California when I could go out and you know, go surfing, hike, go golfing, go skiing in the local ski area. I'm here working because I'm committed Making a difference just because I seen what goes on. And I feel like I have to be the advocate for the patient, because no one else is going to do that. And I'm trying to train other people to do what I do. And I'm too busy, frankly, to write a book. But I've been told I need to. And maybe that's going to happen when I'm a little freer with my time and not seeing patients all the time.
Tony Winyard 55:23
Well, I look forward to the book, I hope people do manage to persuade you because the world needs that book. Yeah. And speaking of books, Bill, is there a book that you that comes to mind that has really moved you in any way?
Dr Bill Hang 55:38
Well, the ones I already mentioned, that are really the best ones. But I think a book that to me is very entertaining, and to let everyone know that this isn't even new. This has been around forever. The book is by George Catlin, and it's called Shut your mouth and save your life. Now, that is such a cool title. I wish I'd come up with that. But I wouldn't come up with it in the way he came up with it. George Catlin was an attorney in Philadelphia, and it was in his early 30s. In the 1830s. He decided to jump being a lawyer and he went to the American West and became a an artist and a photographer when photography came in. And George Catlin is one of the best known artists of the of that era. And then in the American West, he also went to South America as part of his travels. But he came up with this book called Shut your mouth and save your life. And it was published in the 1860s for the first time. And what he did is he compared the Native Americans, their faces to the Caucasians that he knew on the east coast of the United States, where they were in the in the cities that had already been developed. And he talked about how the Native Americans had their lives together, he talked about how the squat, the mother would take the baby off of the breast and immediately take the baby's lips and take her fingers and push them together to make sure that the child didn't, didn't keep the mouth open. I mean, intuitively knew this showed Native American children's sleeping as they did with their lips together. And he had up drawings of Caucasian kids, where he would see and what he was used to seeing on the East Coast. And when their mouths were open, and then he talked about how the faces were changed by habit, not Yeah, that wasn't anything genetic, but he could see that the faces were were, you know, way back for the Caucasians. And he acknowledges that the not only did the the Native Americans call the Caucasians pale face, they also call them black mouth, because their mouths will be wide open like this. And back in those days, the mouth breathing, which would make someone have infinitely more tooth decay and periodontal disease. So many, many people back in those days had no teeth. So if they were talking and their mouths wide open, they just like it's black mouth. And that's what he described. It's a compelling book. You can get it off amazon for $13. If you're offended by, you know, not politically correct language, don't buy it, because he talks about the Native Americans as savages. So, but you have to look at that as the time in which he was writing the book. Yeah, that was what people said back in those days. And so it's a very, it's, it's the the point of the book is that it shows that we've been talking about this for forever. There's one more book that I would urge people to get. It's called Nutrition and Physical degeneration by Weston Price, who was a dentist in the United States and in the 30s and 40s, toured the world. And notice that faces and teeth changed in one generation. That was orthodontists were taught Oh, that malocclusion is a intimate play of genetics and environment. And there's no there's no real evidence that genetics plays anything. And this is game, it's really almost all environment. And that's what you for some, some mutation to occur, would take 1000s of years to go through a population and become permanent. And think about it. If it's a mutation that causes someone to have a worse airway. How is that person ever going to survive to reproduce, it makes no sense. So this book, nutrition and physical degeneration is, is about Western Prices travels all over the world, to places were in a space of one generation, that the parents had good teeth and no malocclusions and their kids don't had malocclusions and poor looking faces. He describes us and the one change was a change to the Western diet. with refined sugar and flour, and pasteurised milk, there's more to read on this and you can even believe yet another one is another book is Pottengers Cats
Francis Pottenger was a physician in Pasadena and did experiments on cats feeding the same food. But he cooked the food and pasteurise the milk for one group and gave the raw food and raw milk to another. And the cast develop very differently. It's very compelling books basically confirming that what we're dealing with here is an environment. It's a lifestyle issue. And unless until we change our lifestyle, we're not going to get rid of these problems.
Tony Winyard 1:00:43
Bill if people want to find out more about you and your social media and website where they look.
Dr Bill Hang 1:00:49
My website is www.Facefocused.com That's for patients to look at. For dentists who want to learn more about what we do and take courses and I have a brand new course which is kicking off in Dallas Texas called Echo - Early Childhood Health-centred Orthodontics it will start in Dallas in May, that you can find out through my website called www.OrthO2Health.com. It lists my courses both I have a mentorship called er s for treating adults who had you know, retracted orthodontics, it's also to prevent that doing some things differently, and adolescents and how not to remove teeth and how to preserve the airway and still get straight teeth. But the new organisation is going to be teaching to a great degree, I'll be focusing on orthotropics, as developed by John Mew, only the big emphasis is going to be treating the child before age six. So if if some mother wants to have someone treat her child, they find a dentist who will take this course because it's it's for dentists, only paediatric dentists orthodontist who are interested in this general dentists who do ortho general dentists who do ortho are generally the biggest market because they they've seen the world of attractive orthotics and they don't like what they see and they want to want something better. And that's what they perceive is better. Most of the people who've taken my mini residency are general dentists who do orthodontics.
Tony Winyard 1:02:38
And finally, Bill is there. Is there a quotation that you particularly like? Yeah,
Dr Bill Hang 1:02:46
I love I already gave it to you. Over read this very, very bright dentist, who was a mentor to me starting the early 80s. His quotation is: "If it has been done, it is probably possible". I love that quotation.
Tony Winyard 1:03:03
Well, Bill, thank you for your time. It's been it's been a real pleasure and I hope my might have a try to help you. Yeah, the listeners have gained a lot from this. You know, I sincerely think they will have so yeah, thank you.
Dr Bill Hang 1:03:16
Okay. Thank you.
Tony Winyard 1:03:19
Have you enjoyed that episode with Bill Hang? He mentioned a few times in the episode about a British dentist called John Mew. In a couple of weeks time, on episode number 60, which will be released on the fifth of April. I'm speaking with Mike Mew, who is the son of John Mew, who was mentioned by Bill a few times. Mike Mew is one of the most forward thinking dentists in the country. So that is episode 60. In a few weeks time with Mike Mew Next week, episode 55 is with Tina McDermott. She's spent a lot of her life struggling with digestive issues, and she didn't really understand why she was getting so much gas and bloating and constipation. And her was really having problems with yo yo weight gain and loss. And she eventually discovered what the issues were that was causing her these issues. What was causing all these problems and how she went forward to to solve it really. And one of the things was Lyme disease and there was various other things. So that's next week's episode with Tina McDermott. If you'd only want to get some real value from some of the great information that Bill shared with us this week, please do share the episode with them. And hope you have a great week.
Thanks for tuning in to the habits and health podcast where we believe creating healthy habits should be easy. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and leave us a review on your favourite podcast app. Sign up for email updates and learn about coaching and workshop opportunities at Tonywinyard.com See you next time on the habits and health podcast.
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