Habits & Health episode 43 with John Roberts, a biological dentist in the profession for over 40 years. He takes a holistic approach to dentistry and in this episode we explore facial structure and the role that plays in functional breathing, disruption of sleep, mercury fillings, nitric oxide and nasal breathing and many other areas.
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habits and health episode 43. 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 the podcast where we give you ideas on habits you can create or implement into your life to improve your health in some way. Today's episode is with a biological dentist by the name of John Roberts. He's been a dentist for 40 years. And he has got a very curious nature and he's very receptive to new ideas and has done a lot of research on new ways of doing dentistry and find out how to go about things in a different way from how many dentists would go about things. So you're gonna hear a lot more about that in this episode. Hope you enjoy this week's episode. Habits and health my guest today, John Roberts. How are you, John?
John Roberts 1:11
I'm very well, thank you.
Tony Winyard 1:15
We spoke briefly before the recording started. And I mentioned to you, I've been wanting to have a dentist on my show for such a long time. But it was trying to find the right type of dentist. And it was when I spoke with Pete Williams on the show probably about six weeks ago, and he spoke about you in glowing terms. And as he was speaking about you, I thought I've got to get this guy on the show. So here you are. So thank you
John Roberts 1:42
And you know what, I learned stuff from Pete on that podcast, because I walk every day and I listened to it. Pete's a very good lad.
Tony Winyard 1:55
You've been a dentist for quite a while.
John Roberts 1:58
40 years. And if you could see me, I'm still smiling. And I do go into work every day. And when I close the door, and I'm working with patients, I absolutely love my job. You know, I'm one of those lucky people. I found a vocation that I really, really enjoy. And it's been great to me. And I want to continue doing it. And it's evolved into the person I am today. And as we were saying before, I'm not right, I'm not wrong. But if the style of care that I can offer people resonates with them, and it's directional towards improving their health, then hey, I like it. I love it.
Tony Winyard 2:40
Has it changed quite a bit since you started?
John Roberts 2:43
Oh, massively, you know, got other days, you know, we used to didn't wear gloves, wear your own clothes, do gas stations, take teeth out, make dentures, bash out mercury fillings like there was no tomorrow. And it is evolved. And there is still places that do that style of dentistry. And that's fine. That's fine for the dentist who do it that's fine for the patients who want to receive the game. I was fortunate and I was interested in the years and questions you asked me. And I've always been a why not dentist? And if something didn't resonate, well, I won't sit around. Why not? Why not find out more? I remember years ago someone said, Oh, mercury fillings may be harmful. And this is like Oh 8586. So I went to online and then I made a conscious decision that If I could I'd stop using it. You know, that was way before all this trendy mercury free stuff. This is pre internet. This is perfect pre mobile phones, you know. And so and then because I am who I am, there was a meeting in America in San Diego. So I got on a plane I went to San Diego didn't know what I was doing. And it was you just turn up you go to meetings. And if you're a happy Chappie from Liverpool, you talk to people, and it just grew and developed. So my career has has. You know, we talked about alternative it's not alternative. It's just different. We talk about holistic while it's looking after the whole person. And I sort of in my old days now have gone on to the term biological. This is how the body works. Does the body work by putting on virtually a poison in someone's mouth and letting it leak into the body? I don't think so. Do we leave infections in the body which we know harm people? Not the best idea in the world. And do we now and hopefully we're going to talk about do we do orthodontics and give people straight teeth if they then can't breathe properly and both you and I I believe a passionate about the mantra that I want to come through his lips together tongue to roof your mouth breathing through your nose and swallow properly and after 40 If I could just do that with my patients from, I've treated a three month old baby today doing surgery on the lip and their tongue, all the way through to all people who get it. If you don't breathe properly, you don't sleep properly. If you don't sleep properly, you don't heal properly. If you don't heal properly, you feel rubbish. And you chase under more and more drugs and solutions. And it's not the only solution. But you're more of an expert than I am, breathe through your nose, and let dentist help you make that possible.
Tony Winyard 5:30
Well, it sounds like your approach to dentistry, you've either No, I just get the feeling you have enormous curiosity. And you're always trying to keep up with new findings and so on.
John Roberts 5:43
Yeah, I mean, I've never stood still, I've enjoyed travelling a lot, I've been to America more times than I can remember. And I was fortunate enough to teach over in America for a while. It does, of course, I want to do I've gone and done it, and so long as you bring it back and integrate it into the work you're doing. And it was a lot easier, because in 94, I made the decision not to do mercury fillings anymore. And therefore I couldn't be an NHS dentist. No other reason for that. And so if you learn new skills or see new things, I'm not gonna say without practising on people, but if you felt it was appropriate, you discussed it with the patient, and you did it. So, you know, at the same time, I went to see people who were not taking teeth out to do braces, you were treating children when they were young, you know, 567. So by the time they were 12, or 13, they didn't need anything done, because you'd already done it. And it's, it's, it's sometimes it's common sense. And I'm perhaps the person who looks at something and says, Why are we doing it that way is a different way of doing it. It also makes me a pain in the whatever, because I will do it the way everyone else does it. But it's nice, because people are now listening. And they're saying, right, how would John do it. And you know, maybe John can help this than the other. So he's evolving. And that's the beauty. It's, you know, what I do today may be different to what I do in a year's time. And if you take people on that journey, and you're not didactic, and I don't believe in Dogma, we must do it this way. I can share experiences today, someone came in, they want all the tea house who was only 58, I said, look, let's strike a deal, keep some loose, some, and your quality of life will be better. And it wasn't about making more money taking V out or making dentures he was about her quality of life. And that's what dentistry should be about is giving people a quality of life through whatever way we do things.
Tony Winyard 7:49
A couple of things you just touched on in the last few minutes. You mention about how it's related to breathing and braces and so on. And so for people who, who are listening to this, and maybe they don't know so much about breathing and, what role it can play in why so many people do breathe through their mouth now and how that has affected the structure of the face and so on. Can you let people know about that?
John Roberts 8:19
Okay, so you know, if I start off with today, seeing a three month old child who travelled probably 150 miles to see me, this child couldn't breastfeed, because the tongue and the lips were tethered, so their mum was in discomfort all the time, she's had to go into a bottle, but even bottle feeding wasn't achievable. So with a simple procedure with our lasers, we released the lip, we released the tongue, and the child fed a whole bottle for the first time without taking air without being upset and just promptly fell asleep, which was wonderful. What's the importance of that? In an ideal world, a mother should breastfeed for as long as we can. And I know there's reasons why these things don't happen. But when the tongue draws the nipple end, and it squashes the nipple to express the milk on the roof of the mouth, that's what grows the upper jaw. That's what then improves the child's breathing, it slows the breathing down, and it is universally acknowledged that it moves the upper jaw upwards and forwards. When you put a dummy in or you put a bottle in and you're sucking with your cheeks and you can do this while you're listening. You narrow the upper jaw, and you pull it backwards and downwards. This is what John Mew has said, for years and years and years. And almost inevitably, instead of swallowing with the tongue to the roof of your mouth, the way a child expresses melt from a nipple, the tongue goes to the floor of the mouth, and you're sort of sucking in. So the whole mechanism of swallowing from a bottle versus swallowing from a breast is completely different. But it also guides the group Both of the jaws differently. What then happens is, as the child's jaw grows, it doesn't grow sufficiently broad and jump forwards 10 years, you see a 10 year old child with not enough room in the mouth for all the teeth. Now we then say, Oh, look, you've got dad's teeth and mom's jaws were in fact, you don't have dad's fingers and mom's hands. You know, genetics doesn't work that way. It basically, the jaw hasn't grown big enough to fit on the teeth. And if you think that the teeth fit around the tongue, and the tongue is so important, if you don't have enough room, for the tongue, there's only one place where it goes and that's backwards. So then it's more difficult to breathe through the nose. So you then end up with the habit of opening your mouth and breathing through your mouth. And you're more of an expert than I, we are designed to exclusively breathe through our nose, the more you breath through your mouth, you change your oxygen, the oxygen utilisation you use, you change your carbon dioxide levels. And that's fascinating stuff that carbon dioxide is an essential nutrient, you know that I know that we should breathe properly. But to go to the dentistry, then we see children at 10, 12, 14. They have teeth taken out and braces into put their teeth straight again. But guess what? No one ever considers the room for the tongue. So there's a most amazing book by a friend of mine in America, called Six foot tiger and a three foot cage. Because the mouth is made smaller, the tongue goes backwards, which you might be able to live with as a young child. But as you get older, and that tongue gets a little bigger, you end up with snoring problems or clenching your teeth, it can eventually lead to sleep apnea. And that then becomes a health issue all the way from a three month old baby to a 70 year old man. And everything in between can be influenced by the dentist. So really go to a dentist who doesn't believe in extraction of teeth who treats a child early. And again, am I okay, giving resources out for people to look at websites? Absolutely, yeah. Then there's a great educational resource called Myoresearch.com. And they've got a lot of educational videos on showing what is correct breathing, what is correct swallowing what is correct posture. Because all these are guided and dictated by appropriate dental care. And give someone an ear to ear set of teeth. With the teeth fitting together properly, lips together, breathe through the nose, and I'll give you a healthy person.
Tony Winyard 12:42
So you mentioned about finding a doctor who has the approach of I forget how you worded it just now. But it seems to me that many dentists may tend to still take the approach of trying to fit in a brace or am I wrong? Is that not what happens so much? No,
John Roberts 13:02
no, we all do braces, but you can either. You know, if a child doesn't have enough room for all their teeth, you can do one of three things, you can leave them the teeth as they are and accept crooked teeth. And that's what we did up to 14 years ago. You can take teeth out and pull everything back and give you straight T but then you have straight teeth that don't fit the body. And this is all your then your TMJ doctors looking at all your TMJ problems. And remember, TMJ doesn't stand for temporomandibular joint. It stands for teeth, muscles and jaw. And if the teeth are in the wrong place, the muscles overwork, which is your headaches had neck shoulder issues, or the jaw doesn't work properly. Is it clicking grinding and you John are opening well enough. So the other option is to see a dentist who grows the jaw. So hopefully you've got enough room to make the jaw bigger to fit all the teeth. You then retrain the person's habits to breathe through the nose, lips together, tongue to the roof of your mouth. And then you can straighten the teeth with enough room and with with the How can I say the respect the tongue needs. We don't deal with the tongue as the beautiful organ it is it's just something that gets in the way. When is so many life saving qualities. It grows your it supports your jaw, it keeps your airway clean. But it's it's a thing that's in the way. And it isn't. But it's the same with the nose as well. The nose is a beautiful organ if you know how it works. And we as dentists, we avoid the tongue and we push it out the way and we you know it gets in the way for everything. The nose. What's the nose it's just something about the teeth that we don't know anything about, rather than the teeth of air to give a house for the tongue and support the nose and all the structure of your sinuses. your sinuses are an organ. your sinuses do many things for your health. but we don't do anything about it. And yet we treat the other end of the teeth going to the finest we treat the teeth and don't think about the sinus. And that's why I get the joy out my job.
Tony Winyard 15:11
But the approach that you're taking, it seems to me seem is very unusual in dentistry, or am I wrong? Are there more dentists taking this approach now?
John Roberts 15:21
There are more dentists taking this approach. And, you know, I have to say that maybe 40 years ago, I would be guilty of taking teeth out because that was my level of knowledge. Now that there is at least sufficient debate, to say, Should I take teeth out? Shouldn't I take teeth out? What are the health consequences, and we don't we just look at I want straight teeth, I want it looks nice. But when we actually acknowledged as a health consequence, then we should be learning and my frustration with the profession, people around their own opinion, but they should look at the person's health. I mean, it's a great fact. And, you know, Patrick McKeown, our teacher will tell you, a child who breezed through will have 10 points lower on an IQ. And we can say that because there are studies to show it. And so we as dentists are doing the same thing as we did 40 years ago. But you know, in this modern way of the world, at least give the patients a choice. And I have to admit, it takes longer. It's a bit like if you want to play the piano, you have to practice every day. If you want to breathe properly. You have to practice every day. It you know, it takes many years longer, it costs more money. But if you're purchasing health for your children for the rest of their life, then for me, it is an option I give my patients. Now why don't other dentists do it? No, I think you're the man to talk about changing habits little bit at a time. But when you've studied for 20 years, and you've spent 1000s of pounds and hours and hours away learning, all of a sudden some clever Scouser doesn't come along and say you're doing it all wrong. You've got to grow and develop and look at choices and options.
Tony Winyard 17:12
Would you be able to estimate what percentage of dentists would now take the approach rather than simply removing teeth to look at things differently in the UK,
John Roberts 17:24
I wouldn't like to say but it did only be one or two. I mean, then there is to look at something called orthopaedic orthodontics, where we grow the bone to fit all the teeth. And then we do orthodontics to fit the teeth in the bone. But also, we also then look at the relation between relationship between the upper teeth and the lower teeth. I very, very rarely see upper teeth that are too far forwards. But I always always see a lower jaw that's too far back. And yet we bring the tongue teeth back. And if you think your bottom jaw is attached to the tongue, if the bottom jaw is too far back, your tongue is in the back of your throat, you can't breathe properly. And we'll get onto the mechanics of older people in a minute. But if you bring your bottom jaw forwards, you can breathe through your nose easier. And that's why we should bring the bottom jaw to the top, not the top to the bottom.
Tony Winyard 18:23
Before we started recording, we talked about the book, Breathe by James Nestor. And in that book, I seem to remember him mentioning. He had a procedure done where he he was wearing some kind of brace or something to change the structure of his mouth or something. Do you remember that?
John Roberts 18:43
Yeah, he saw a dentist called Dr. Balfour, who's based in New York City. I did some work with him beginning of the year, I think. And he has something called a Homeoblock, which is what he wears every night and using the pressure of his tongue. He then pushes and it grows the upper jaw bigger. And so all the teeth will fit. And what it does is it changes the shape of your upper jaw to allow more room for your tongue. And it brings the tongue into a more false position. And then if you can then retrain the old mantra lips together tongue to the roof of mouth and breathe through your nose. You've created a better environment. I mean, there have been many, many people. There's a guy in southern America guy, a called David Sing, who has his own way of doing it. We have been making upper Jaws bigger and bringing the lower jaw forwards for 30 years. I'm not an orthodontist. I am a general dentist, but it's finding the orthodontist really good guys at moving teeth, who don't want to just move to make them look good, but bring them forward to give an airway. Anything to make more space for your tongue if your tongue is cramped and How can you tell whether your tongue is cramped? Well stick your tongue out, let it go limp. And then see whether there's little scalloping around the edges that would indicate that your tongue is pushing against your teeth when you're swallowing. And certainly when you're asleep at night, the whole issue of tongue tie, which I say are treated the three month old today, many adults tongue tied, their tongue can't go to the roof of the mouth, they can't swallow properly. And therefore, they'll always have an open mouth posture. So you know, you will guide people more on looking at beauty go breathing and how you can retrain your tongue, retrain your lips, retrain your breathing, because it is, in essence, what health is all about. And so where was I going with that? Very few dentists are doing it. But there's more and more we'd like to know the trouble is COVID has really slowed all our learning down. And just before locked down, we were going to run a conference in Manchester, where we were going to introduce many, many more dentists to this style of care. Didn't happen. I've got to get my enthusiasm back again to do something like that. But it's, I think Patrick McKeown was going to speak on it, I think Myobrace people are going to speak on it. So you've got several different people now all saying a similar thing. And that's where I've been lucky. I have done my dentistry, I've done my orthodontics I've done my breathing, I've done my cranial work, because swallowing properly and breathing properly enhances your cranial system. Cranial osteopath, chiropractors, they move the bones of your skull around. So your your skull works better your sinuses work better, every time you chew, or every time you swallow two and a half, 1000 times a day, you are pumping your cranial system, you are moving the fluids that bathes your brain. And, you know, modern science and, you know, we can talk about nitric oxide in a minute, I think that was Nobel Prize 2015, I think Nobel Prize 2014 was the glymphatic system, which is when you sleep, your brain shrinks. All of that squeezes out all the toxins and the fluid flows around your brain and drains out and you rehydrate your brain and you put all the nutrients back in again, if you don't get that correct sleep, then you don't rehydrate your brain, you don't feed your brain. And there's some studies, it was only I was reading it today or yesterday, saying something to bring the jaw forwards to help someone breathe at night allows the brain to function better. And you will see changes in people who've got cognitive decline. Sleep is so important for anti ageing and anti Alzheimer influencing therapy. And you then add on the science of the glymphatic system and just Google it and look it up. It's such an elegant system. But if you don't sleep, and you you don't have those cycles, either five or six cycles of sleep, 90 minutes sleep cycles, then you are not going to have a brain that's healthy. And what is crucial. We're going to talk about sleep disordered breathing or breathing disordered sleep, which is the real term if you don't breathe properly, you don't sleep properly. Sorry, I've gone on again. But
Tony Winyard 23:32
let's let's get with our let's get let's get into that now. Because I'm wondering, and so if there are we I think we do tend to have an older audience for the for this podcast. So someone's listening to this now. And maybe they they're not sleeping so well. They do have bad no sleep apnea issues, whatever. And is there something safe? There's someone who's in their 60s, a guy and he's thinking when is it too late? Is there anything I can do?
John Roberts 23:59
No, absolutely not. And you know, everything from the guy who's writing the books at the moment on reversing Alzheimer's, a guy called Dale Bredesen. He's fantastic. And he will talk about the quality of your sleep. And if you have less than optimal bite and teeth fitting together, I'm smiling now and I know this is a podcast showing off potty. But if your teeth fit together and there's enough room for your tongue, you're not breathing through your mouth, you get this lymphatic drainage. If however you breathe through your mouth or use our snoring, Worse still, the tongue falls to the back of your mouth and you're not breathing at all. Your oxygen level goes down, you wake up startled, you do not get these cycles of sleep. And that will start to add to your cognitive decline by how much is dependent on you. But certainly reversing cognitive decline is going to be improved Dara significantly by breathing properly at night. So you can go to a dentist, and they can do a sleep test on you, they can look for clinical signs, upper front teeth wearing down is one scallop tongue, looking at the function how you swallow. And making sure that when you breathe through your nose, the outside of your nose doesn't collapse in, there's something known as the couple process where if you breathe in and your nose collapses in again, it's a shame, this is not a video, then when you breathe in quickly, all of a sudden, you can't breathe through your nose. So you end up reading to your mouth. And this is where we like recommending patients, the mute snore appliances, where you put it in your nose, and it opens up your nostrils. So it's breathing through your nose easier. So when I walk every morning, I wear this, and I can I don't quite run, but I walk quickly. And I exclusively breathe through my nose. And that has to do me good. I can't prove it, because I'm not going to do what James Nestor did, and block up my nose and read through my mouth and see how well I'm going to be just not going to do that. You know. So if someone has an issue, they need to find a dentist and there is a British Dental Society for sleep medicine or look up a combination of those. The lady who runs it a DD is a fantastic lady. She's based down in Harley Street. And they're now running courses on how to recognise these sleep disordered breathing. As dentists they are mainly fairly conservative with how far do we take it with breathing. But I do believe Patrick was talking to them the other week. And then there's a whole raft of fantastic practitioners called myofunctional. Therapists. These are usually ladies who then will teach everyone from children to adults, lips together to the roof of your mouth and breathe through your nose. And so long as the dentistry supports that are the dentistry hasn't been pulled back and you literally can't do that. You will be a healthier person for it. And it's part of that Bredesen protocol,
Tony Winyard 27:13
you mentioned just sent about an apparatus that helps to widen the nose. Yeah. So if someone's listened to that, and think that sounds really interesting, where would they find out more about that
John Roberts 27:22
mute and mute key, get it off Amazon, you can go to boots. Any of these nasal dilators work, you know, the breathing rate strips, go on the outside and try and pull your nose out, you actually need something more structural that goes in and just opens your nose out. And it's like breathing supercharged, you know, you breathe in through your nose like wow. And me and my partner who's a beautiful practitioner, we walk at the top of the hill, we try not to talk and breathe through our nose. It's maybe not the most romantic thing in the world. But it's good for our health. And you'd be amazed how much quicker and how much better you feel. Once you learn how to use your nose, which is poor breathing, you know, and and yeah, I can't say more than that. Me and my dentist. I'm talking about teeth, not interested in the white anymore. I'm interested in the nose and supporting how your body should work.
Tony Winyard 28:21
Is there anyone who maybe someone as I just said, someone listening to this may be interested in that device? So is there anyone who that device may be would not be suitable for
John Roberts 28:38
I can't think of anyone who wouldn't be I mean, you'll hear people say I can't breathe through my nose or I've got allergies. Well, you can't breathe through your nose. There are some fantastic beautiful techniques to unblock a blocked nose. People can have deviated septum so we can take x rays and just occasionally, we may send someone to an EMT I've sent Well, one patient a year where we take an x ray and we find the sinuses are fully blocked with infection. So those are people that would struggle, but it's there if we concentrate on the ones who can let's concentrate on the 99% who can and, you know, give them the opportunity and if they can't, then find out a reason why they can't read through their nose. And if it means a referral to an EMT, but again, we fall into that zone of well, the EMT can't really be bothered. You know, it's nothing glorious or anything. It's but I think they're becoming more and more savvy with this. And when I write a letter now with a child, you know, can they look at tonsils and adenoids. I do drop in the line from Patrick that it can help if they're ending up breathing their mouths, it can have an influence on their overall health development and IQ belt. They're more likely to take a little bit of an interest and with adults as well. I think if we now acknowledging that snoring Sleep apnea where we used to laugh, Homer Simpson and his granddad, you know, snoring and dribbling, that's actually a sign that they're unwell. And so I think more and more surgeons will want to help, but they're a bit busy at the moment. So, you know, they'll either talk people into having a CPAP device, which is still being the gold standard, which is basically us, I mean, over your nose, and your mouth, and you blow air in. But that really weakens the tissues, but it keeps people alive. So I'm not going to deny it does help. But if you can put something in your nose to dilate, you know, so you can breathe through your nose easier, retain your lips and tongue to be together and tongue to the roof of your mouth, or even make asleep appliance device that goes over your top and bottom teeth and bring new jaw forwards. I mean, we can all do this, we can bite on our back teeth, pull our tongue back, and we can snow, sure you got that. But if I bring the jaw forwards bite on the front teeth, I can't snow because my tongue has come forward with my lower jaw. And it's given me a better airway. Now, if we tape our mouth together, as again, Patrick has has has taught us so well, then you can start to read better and see how your sleep goes. I'm not a big fan of just telling people to go on tape, because it can induce a lot of panic. But if you look at the mechanism of how you're breathing during the day, and during the night, I believe that is a positive health benefit that doesn't cost too much, and will give you a quality in life for the rest of your life.
We hope you're enjoying this episode of the habits and health podcast. But we believe creating healthy habits should be easy. If you're looking for the fastest and most effective way to transform your energy and wellbeing, we invite you to join Tony for an upcoming habits and health workshop. This five week group workshop will empower you the tools to disrupt unwanted habits and make positive changes easy. You'll enjoy sound asleep, better energy, less stress, and a happier mood Workshops begin on the first week of every month. And you can sign up now at Tony winyard.com. Now back to the show.
Tony Winyard 32:23
You talked about CPAP machine just then and that it may be advisable recommended maybe to use the the other device I forget what your what it was called device to go in the nose. Yeah. Yeah, yeah, the mute Yeah, to mute. So I mean, I'm thinking in particular, one person, I recently was speaking to who I was trying to help him with his breathing. And he mentioned to me I've got a CPAP machine. So I'm not able to, to do some of the things that you were talking about. So So I'm wondering for him, this mute device would be something that might be good for him to try, for example,
John Roberts 32:59
again, I can't see that it would do any harm. Okay. And there's a lot of people now, in our sports, you have to go to Spain, I had a quite a memorable course in Spain, where they will make an appliance as well as offering the patient a CPAP. Because if you bring your jaw forward and you bring your tongue forward, then the CPAP will work better. I'm not saying you should replace the CPAP. But you've certainly got more options. And now that you can get these little portable sleep device tests, it costs a couple of 100 pounds to test and then we won't charge you a lot to retest. If your oxygen stats are better, we are not allowed to diagnose sleep apnea. But we can certainly sound whether your oxygen levels your snoring, your effort is, is happening when you're asleep. So get a sleep test done, go to your doctor, go to your dentist, see if they've got a sleep test. And start from there. Start from there, do a test and then you can put yourself on the map.
Tony Winyard 34:07
And is this something that's done it by every dentist or only certain guns?
John Roberts 34:11
I think it's only only a few dentists who do this kind of stuff. Again, you know, dentistry is is has has many, many, many chapters to it. You know, I don't do crowns and veneers and brilliant smiles. It just doesn't push my button. biological tissue is important to me. And this isn't the glory dentist. It's hard work. You know, we don't get all that success. Sometimes patients get annoyed with this. Really, it hasn't worked but we've tried our best with all the clinical symptoms that were there. You know, it's much easier to grab four or six teeth and give someone a beautiful white smile. But why would I put white teeth in the wrong place? And certainly, when you have all these fancy procedures, you know, be it crowns be implants If you're not taking care of the tongue and where the tongue lives, and making sure they can get the lips together so they can make a seal, and then teach them how to breathe through your nose, you're actually working against their long term health. So that's my style of dentistry.
Tony Winyard 35:18
So under sleep we were talking about just now on asleep, so someone did want to find it, it may be someone, their dentist doesn't do that. And they wanted to find a dentist who does do that, where would be the best place for them to look,
John Roberts 35:29
I would look at the British, I think it's the British Dental Society for sleep medicine, or the British Dental Society for sleep medicine, something like that. And they will have a list of dentists who, yeah, we pay our monies. We go on a list. But at least they're the dentists who start. And I think Dr. Google can find other dentists as well. I mean, for me, I've done some learning in America, and the American Academy of physiological dentistry and medicine, I think, a MPD or a PMD, something like that those combinations is a great resource for educating people on sleep breathing. That's where I saw down Bredesen. That's where you see all these great doctors and their overriding goal is to get people sleeping and breathing better. And then you do the dentistry in that place rather than the other way around. You've got to ask, that'll ask.
Tony Winyard 36:29
You touched upon nitric oxide earlier. I mean, could you let people know why that's so important.
John Roberts 36:35
Nitric oxide is an element. I guess it's made in your sinuses, at the roof of your nose and when you breathe in through your nose, you draw the nitric oxide. It goes through the top your nose around the back of the throat, and it's very antibacterial. Interestingly, and maybe controversially, it has been used as a potential treatment for Coronavirus. And if you think we actually swab right at the back of the nose to pick up viral particles, if you're breathing through your nose, if you're flooding this area with nitric oxide, naturally produced in your sinuses, if they're the right shape because the teeth underneath are supporting them, then this is a natural antiviral therapy. And there's more than one research at the moment looking at putting nitric oxide in the nose to sterilise the nose to reduce your COVID infections. Nitric oxide is then taken into the lungs, where it is very much deemed a muscle relaxant. So have a night time. If you're taking adequate nitric oxide in the smooth muscle, which is going to line your heart, which lines your bladder your your urinary tract areas. They're relaxed. If however, you breathe through your nose, and you do sorry, you breathe through your mouth, and you not taking in the nitric oxide, these smooth muscles had to tighten up, which you could speculate is why people are waking up to three times a night and go for a week. Because everything's tightening and are the body wakes you up. So you're getting disturbed sleep cycles, you're paying a lot which you don't necessarily need to do at night. And this is why a lot of people have heart attacks when they're asleep, possibly because they're breathing through the mouth not getting the benefit of the nitric oxide. More importantly, they're breathing out the carbon dioxide. Now, the other thing is nitric oxide, it is made in all parts of the oral cavity. And there are some quite elegant studies so controversial, where if you use certain mouthwashes, I'm not going to name them here. But if you use mouthwashes, it kills the bacteria that produced the nitric oxide and your blood pressure goes up. And it's not me saying this. I'm saying the studies are there to show it. So if you're going to use mouthwashes, and I'm not, I don't think I don't think we need to use as many mouthwashes as we do personal opinion. But be careful because by using a mouthwash and having fresh breath, you put your blood pressure up by five points not very clever, because you're knocking out your nitric oxide.
Tony Winyard 39:20
So what type of mouthwash should someone look out for if they are determined to use mouthwash
John Roberts 39:25
if I like a mouthwash and I'm going to name another brand and it's more expensive, is a product called Bio Sidon because bacteria live in sticky gluey gels you know like flats made out of glue. And rather than trying to kill the bugs, it actually dissolves the glue that holds all the bacteria together so it breaks down what's called the biofilm. Biofilms are everywhere in your pipes, in your heart, in every tube in your body and every tube in your mouth. You have biofilms and if you use the biocide in the essential oils and herbes in those to break the biofilm down, then you don't have the houses the bugs can live in. And that's why you can flush the bad bugs out of your system. So by siding has a whole raft of health benefits. And if I'm reluctant to use it, because it has such whole body effects, you recommend a mouthwash they said, Oh, I've got this and I've got that is because it affects everything in your body is a good thing. But as dentists we're only supposed to treat the mouth, which is rubbish, because the mouth is connected to everything else. Yeah, sizing is a good one. And any more of the more natural mouthwashes. Not some of the chemical synthetic ones is what I'm saying.
Tony Winyard 40:42
Right? You took too early on any episode about when I think it was 1995, when you stopped doing mercury fillings, but this, there's probably many people listening to this who have gotten mercury fillings. What would be recommendation for them to an approach to take if they think they have got an excessive number of mercury fillings which could be causing them problems?
John Roberts 41:08
Well, let's start by saying every Mercury filling is leaking Mercury all the time. And one Mercury filling may be too much for one person. And there was a great study by a guy called Mark Richardson in the 90s. And he said that you should have an eye on picking these figures up six amalgams in a child, you can have nine a mango amalgams in an adult, and you can have seven one year old because of the knowledge release of mercury from the fillings. The trouble is we've had a healthcare system that, you know, you can see people with 1520 fillings and it's, you know, one tooth may have a filling top, front, back, left and right. So it's a massive surface area. And if Mercury is released as a vapour, and the bigger the surface area, the more mercury is going to be released. It's released by galvanism. So you know, as kids used to lick a battery, or touch your fillings with the tinfoil, and you can feel that electric shock, fillings are corroded, they are rusting in your mouth. And then if you clench and grind your teeth, maybe because you've got sleep problems as well, that is releasing more. But you know what amalgams have got us to this point, instead of having our teeth taken out. So they've been a, you know, an absolute workhorse. And now we're realising that perhaps they're not best for our house. So let's deal with it that we're grateful that we've had them, but we shouldn't be placing them anymore. And so what should someone do or maybe you make the decision not to have any more mercury fillings put in and don't believe that I'm says the only thing we can do is a mercury fillings because I think it was 93. I stopped using mercury fillings, and I haven't done one since and I've still been able to do dentistry. Look for a dentist who is smart registered, that's safe mercury amalgam removal technique. And you'll find those through a website iomt.org, which is an American organisation, and I've run courses on their behalf in the UK since 95. And the smart dentists are dentists who follow certain protocols, when we drill fillings out because lots of dental say, or they're most harmful when you drill them out, and they're right. But unless you're going to have the mercury fillings in your mouth forever, drip drip dripping mercury into the system, having removed carefully and safely, and then it's not going to cause a problem going forwards. So you've also got to say as we have older population may be listening, what are you going to put back, because sometimes the tooth is all filling. And so the dentist has to have the meaningful conversation that if I take this out, we could have a problem. And then add to that the fact that if you've had dentistry done over 20 3040 years on your bite, it's not as good as it can be in your airways are compromised? Is your teeth where they are, at the moment the right place to have new fillings? Or do you want to build up the teeth, improve the airway, get your lips together, tongue to the roof your mouth and breathe through your nose and then have the dentistry done in the new improved bite, which not only improves, which improves your health and the dentistry is going into a more balanced mouth. So smart dentistry is something that we should all be looking at. But don't rush out and help the nearest dentist take your fillings out. That's not particularly good idea.
Tony Winyard 44:35
But one thing I gobble Well, one thing I didn't understand from what you just said, you talked about that if they did you know once they've got the teeth sitting right, yeah. What would they do then if the amalgam is removed? How can what would be do turn ative to is there something else they would put in instead?
John Roberts 44:54
So you can do there's a variety of white fillings depends on how big the mercury filling is, but there's a variety of white fillings you can put in. There's also what are known as crowns, which I think everyone knows where you drill more of the tooth away. But there's also things called inlays, which is literally you're drilling the mercury filling out, and oh, my goodness, you got a big hole in the tooth. But you can scan it with a laser. Or you can take an impression, and have a white filling that's made to fit that whole. What I guess I'm saying is that if we also recognise that your bite isn't as good, or maybe your sleep, and breathing isn't as good because of your bite, do you correct the bite, and then the fillings? Or do you do the fillings and then the bite, and then the fillings needs to be changed again, or the fillings need to be modified. So quite often, we will clear out the metals from someone's mouth, and put in a semi permanent restoration, it'll be good 2345 years, then spend time improving the bite and the country and the grinding and the airways and stuff, and then finish the teeth off. Now that you've got everything in a more biological position, you know, someone is sleeping better, maybe they're wearing a splint, you know, maybe, you know, the jaws are more relaxed. And that's where you should do the finishing dentistry which, you know, I admit may be more expensive, but it's putting teeth where the nature wanted them to be rather than than where they've found out after years and years of filming at a time.
Tony Winyard 46:20
And he talks about improving the bite. So how would someone go about improving their bite,
John Roberts 46:25
or what we would look to do is we've always got to do things conservatively. And we also want to make sure that we can always go back a step if things don't work. So quite often, we make something to fit over the lower teeth to alter how the teeth fit together. And then we can make another one to fit over it. We can add plastic, but it is usually bringing that lower jaw downwards and forwards. So someone's door opens better a lot of the muscle pain goes and dancers have been doing this for years and years treating TMJ, you know, the jaws open neck shoulder problems go headaches go and the jaw is opening more freely. That's where the that's where the teeth should be to support the muscles in the job. So this is the TMJ thing again, then you got to say how am I going to get the teeth to fit together that was more difficult and certainly as controversial as the mercury issue is that if someone has had teeth taken out, and I go back to that book, six foot tiger and a three foot cage by a gentleman called Felix Liao, he will list all the health symptoms that he's improved by undoing the orthodontics, but that's a lot of work. And you've got to go to a dentist who understands making the jaws bigger again, you may even have to go back and put implants where teeth have been removed. But you're giving them the jaw, which is going to support the tongue lips together and breathe through your nose. That's why it's so important. So getting rid of metals is important. Getting rid of gum disease and infections in the teeth is important. But finding out where everything should be is equally as important. Sorry, I answered that.
Tony Winyard 48:12
Yeah. I mean, the only the only problem is that I've got so many questions from different things that you said. And it's that I can't ask all the questions. I can't remember all of them. But so I mean, one thing that's going through my mind at the moment is what would be what would you recommend a is a good way of someone looking after their their all health so that you know, the teeth and everything else.
John Roberts 48:37
We, in our health, we're on a slippery slope down. And we always have to do more just to stand still, as we get older, believe me, you know, I've got to walk more. Or I've got to be very, very rotund. So what we've done in the past, we don't necessarily we have to add on as we go forwards. So see a dentist who really believes you should keep your teeth a lifetime. And I love seeing people and saying, Look, I told you keep your teeth a lifetime. Because I genuinely believe if you improve the brushing the cleaning, and you teach them good habits, and that's your field, then they come back and you know, I'll have a chat with them and haven't done anything for 10 years. It's not very good business model. When they're happy. You give them the fact that they do believe they can keep their teeth a lifetime. So I see people haven't seen for 30 years, and they're now in their 70s and they've got all the teeth. Haven't knows when I'm going to retire. I've got some young dentists who are taking over from me, but changing a mindset is a big thing. Oh, my mom had bad teeth. I'll have all my teeth taken out. No, no, no. And don't go the easy way of having all your teeth and putting implants in because implants can still get infections around them. Implants are still putting metals back in your body. Your own teeth are the best thing. It's what nature gave you So I have to say, find a good hygiene therapist, see a dentist at least twice a year to make sure there's no disease creeping in and treated early. And you know, hygiene therapists, our patients are more than happy to see the hygiene is two, three, sometimes four times a year to for us to give them the help where they cannot manage it. And going forwards, I'm sure will bring in vitamin D more and more to improve dental health and dental hygiene. And I must admit, I have better members of my staff, who you could talk to who will give you the advice. And yeah, we usually we have fancy stuff, I've always spent my money on silly things. We have lasers, we have ozone, ozone water, we use the more natural mouth washes, but it's what's appropriate for that individual. And it's not a Get Out of Jail answer that it is, everyone has different needs. And you have to match the dentistry to their needs, and be honest with them. And people understand that, but teeth for a lifetime. And certainly if I get a child, I should be able to develop the jaws, get the teeth fitting together, boring the word his lips together, tongue to the roof, your mouth, breathe through your nose. And that will give them a set of teeth that should last a lifetime. It's not gonna happen in my career. But I'm excited for the dentists who are coming up if they want to deliver that kind of health orientated dental care.
Tony Winyard 51:34
You've talked a few times about the how our jaws have got all this space in our mouth, from what like is smaller now than because of various things. So it sounds like having if someone's had their wisdom teeth removed, that's a sure sign of that happening in someone's life.
John Roberts 51:54
100%. And, you know, I had them out when I was a student because someone needed to take teeth out to get their their numbers of extractions out. Wisdom teeth are a difficult one to get in. And when you see someone with wisdom teeth, and they've usually got fantastic mouths. But you'll also see people with wisdom teeth, because they've had teeth, further forwards taken out that's not ideal. And it's because if you go back to Western prices, book, nutrition and physical degeneration, a fantastic book, and he basically showed primitive tribes who are eating raw and processed foods, living off the land, and usually had well developed upper jaw. So when the families moved into the towns and cities or a processed food, then within two or three generations, they first started getting decay, and then the mouse didn't grow as much. Again, it's down to, you know, a more natural approach to childbirth and nursing the child and having the midwife massage the skulls and try and round out the skulls. Again, what we have is fantastic because we keep more people alive than we've ever done. But then we don't do the ancient wisdom of cranial work, breastfeeding, nurturing and swaddling a child, leaving them outside with snow on the outside. So they function properly instead of having them warm, centrally heated rooms and they bung up their nose and they can't breathe through the nose. So you know that they end up breathing through their mouth through if you see a child who's genuinely got a stuffy nose and they have these candlesticks going up and down when they breathe in and out. They want to breathe through their nose. They're designed to breathe through their nose. The moment we break that seal and they start breathing through their mouth. It is a slippery slope for their dentist, their dental health and their overall health for the rest of their life.
Tony Winyard 53:46
We know we're getting towards the end of the episode. Is there anything about dentistry that I haven't asked you that you really think the listeners should not? I think there's
John Roberts 53:57
a huge area around dental infections and we are now acknowledging that gum disease has a big influence on someone's overall health and we can quite confidently say that gum disease is linked to preterm low birth weight babies diabetes, whether it causes diabetes, or diabetes makes gum disease where we certainly know of cardiovascular events and stroke events in one of the biggest predictive factors is whether someone's got gum disease. So again, seeing a hygiene This can save your life by getting your gums clean and healthy and showing you what to do. The more sinister side is that we as dentists like to try and save teeth at all options. So we perform a procedure known as root canals, you know, always sounds painful, but it doesn't have to be where we take the nerve out a tooth because we keep the tooth but that tooth will always have bacteria living in them. Now not every root filled tooth was called harm and the doctor Most some of the more holistic dentist, say every root canal to should go. But I would also balance it that if you take out root filled teeth and you collapse the jaw, and there's not enough room for your tongue, and you don't breathe as well, which is worse. And so a biological dentist will balance all those three, which is materials and metals we use in the body will balance infections that we have in the body, but will balance the structure and the structure is, you know, the mantra around our lips together tongue to the roof, your mouth and breathe through your nose. So, getting your mouth is infection free as possible is a win win situation where all inflamed, you know, we live in a Wi Fi suit, we live with pollution, you know all of this, and you've probably had better guests than I talking about those things. When you're walking around with something in your mouth that is poisoning you slowly with the mercury fillings that is constantly dripping bacteria into your system. And then you're not breathing, right, which is a source of inflammation. And if you breathe through your mouth at night, you're inflaming your throat. All these are inflammatory markers that we as dentists can reduce if you're interested in the person's overall health. And this is where the the parameters between fixing teeth and fixing the whole of the body is now becoming very willing years ago, I couldn't stop talking about Mercury causing harm to your body and getting into your brain. Now, there's so much research, why shouldn't I, even the FDA, oh, six months ago, maybe a year ago now said that probably mercury fillings are not advisable for 60% of our population. That's all women of childbearing age, neurological diseases, kidney diseases, genetic predispositions, and talk with Pete about his the gene profiling to see whether someone has an AP for protein that makes you more susceptible to being injured by Mercury being released from your fillings. It's pulling the science together from so many different angles. So you get this this much more of a composite picture of the human being, rather than there's a to this is how you fill it. Yeah.
Tony Winyard 57:20
Well, we are running out of time, too. I mean, there's so many more things I'd like to ask you. But just before one of the questions, what is this? A couple of questions I always ask every guest. So one is, is there a book that has really moved you in any way?
John Roberts 57:34
The book that sticks in my head more than anything is Lord of the Rings? Okay, what that is a student when I was doing my finals, because it allowed my mind to free up and think, because we didn't have the TV series or the film series, or all the graphics animations. It was me and my own mind creating that reality. So when I get facts in about dentistry, and breathing, and cranial work, I can put them all together in a mind that thinks for itself. So Lord of the Rings is still real for me. But it's my way. And when you watch the films, yeah, it's not quite what you know. So any book I read, which allows my imagination to take me where I want to go, be that a health book, I'll read something health orientated. And I'll bring it back to my dental fields. And wow, has anyone ever thought of that? When you follow that line? So any book that encourages free thinking, is why I would say, But Lord of the Rings did it for me.
Tony Winyard 58:40
When talking to books, have you written a book?
John Roberts 58:44
Oh, you know, everyone, I there was a book I started writing called The Man Who Knew it, but didn't do it. And that's very much apt for for what you do. I have two friends this weekend, give me grief. I actually want to do an online resource, because I just want to get the information out there. I don't need anything from it. But I want to have people to have choices. I'm not saying I'm right. But give people choices. And they can decide. And whether it's in a book, whether it's on a website that will come it will it will begin the next year, they can learn about ozone, and if they want it, they'll find a dentist who does it. If they want mercury fillings, they'll have the resources to here's a smart dentist, here's where you find a smart dentist, your choice. And I won't be dictatorial, I won't be dogmatic and it's ever moving.
Tony Winyard 59:43
Well, and Utah you talked about the website. So if people do want to find out more about you, where where would they go to look
John Roberts 59:49
at the moment there's a page and it's biological dentistry. 2020 Because we were going to run this conference in Manchester last year, and we had people from all over the World. Patrick was going to speak Peter was going to speak I can't remember the John Muir was going to speak. You know, we had so many fantastic speakers and COVID sort of pull the rug from under us. So I will be running more courses and conferences, but I want to put people like yourself together with dentists. Boy, there's a combination made in heaven. I want to buy osteopaths together with dentists and breath workers. Because these are like, the Heston Blumenthal or whatever he is, you know, the the wonderful chef, you bring flavours together that aren't being done. Why would a dentist work with an osteopath? Why? I mean, because you get better dentistry. You know, if you want to change people's habits, I'm not the one to do it. You're the one to do it. But this is what I want you to do. Brush your teeth slightly differently every day. But understand the importance of it. Why am I doing it not to make me happy? Because you'll keep disease out your body and you keep your teeth a lifetime? That's a pretty good reason, isn't it?
Tony Winyard 1:01:02
So when you say brush your teeth slightly different every day? What do you mean by that?
John Roberts 1:01:08
We'll always look at how you're brushing your teeth. You know, when I when I started it was up and down and side to side. Well, that's all wrong. You know, you put the toothbrush on the gum and you caress the gum upwards. But then there's bits you can't get the toothbrush. So there's these little interproximal brushes or floss, or that what is absolutely fantastic at the moment, these water jets, which is like a little water pump that you pump between your teeth and wash your teeth clean. But it's also everyone should brush their teeth differently. So how you brush your teeth and how brush, however, is mighty is dependent on the shape of our mouth and our particular needs. And, again, I'm not being evasive, but get it revalued and get someone to say right let's get your teeth a lifetime. And this is how we're going to do it. But yeah, brush your teeth. Do we over brush our teeth? You know, I brush my teeth four or five times a day. I think that's too much. I know once a day for some people, it's fine twice a day, maybe. But all the time. Ah, it's time to question everything.
Tony Winyard 1:02:17
You talked about biological dentistry? Is there a resource or website or anything for biological dentistry?
John Roberts 1:02:23
I think it's up to an old man from Liverpool to sort of start to pull these people together. I mean, a lot of dentists are being galvanised because of some health concerns that are going on in the country overall with the virus. So there's a lot of dentists who are talking but again, the moment you start to lead a group, the group tends to take the direction of the leader. And that's difficult. I am probably one of the oldest grumpiest people and probably have enough of a reputation to galvanise people but their identity just do sleep breathing their identity, just do mercury. And so who am I to set out what's right and wrong. All I want to do is an umbrella organisation. So people can declare an interest. And you might have two or three dentists. One does this really well. One does that really well. Break the paradigm of one dentist fits all? No, it's wrong.
Tony Winyard 1:03:21
Just before we finished, John, is there, do you have a quotation you like?
John Roberts 1:03:25
Well, there's a quotation was taught by a dentist, who I then went off, but his quote was, if you quote me, date me, because a lot of what I've said is where I am, when I'm 63 years old, knows what I'll be saying when I'm 65, or what I would have said when I was 50. And so if my life is evolving, and changing, that's a sign of hopefully, a slightly mature person, you know, life changes or knowledge changes. And that's a quote that I like. And the other one is, why not? So, you know, on my tombstone, I want John Roberts. Why not?
Tony Winyard 1:04:09
This funny say that because my my name backwards, Tony is why not? And I used to have a radio show called a Saturday on why not? But useless information for John. It's been it's been an absolute pleasure. I've really enjoyed the last hour. I mean, there's so many more questions, I'd love to ask. I want to be respectful of your time. So I really appreciate you giving your time and educating the listeners and so many things they probably never heard before. So thank you.
John Roberts 1:04:38
I will try and help with resources, certainly next year when I'm actually reducing my drilling commitment. But I want to spend more time helping people because nothing to be done.
Tony Winyard 1:04:51
Well, yeah, maybe maybe if you come back onto the show again in the future, that'd be fantastic as well. Thank you, John. A couple of times during the show, John mentioned Patrick, he was referring to Patrick McKeown, the author of the oxygen advantage and also some books on Libby taiko method. And he mentioned quite a few links during the show. All of the links that he talked about are in the show notes. Next week, episode 44 is with Dr. Anna Smith. She's an acupuncture lifestyle medicine physician in Whitney in Oxfordshire. She's an experienced GP of 26 years qualifying from South sandbar follow Bartholomew's Hospital in London and she registered as a GP in 94. And worked in various speciality is including medicine, surgery, dermatology, paediatric psychiatry and offset obstetrics and gynaecology. And she trained in acupuncture at a British Medical acupuncture society in London. And we talk a lot about how the misunderstandings of acupuncture and the myths surrounding it as well and we, we dig a lot deeper into that. So that's next week's episode with Dr. Anna Smith. If you don't only want to get some real value from some of the information that John Roberts shared, please do share the episode with him 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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