Dr Howard Hindin on GASP, An Airway Centric Approach and a Physiological Approach to Oral Health

Dr Howard Hindin joins me to talk about "GASP" or airway health as a hidden path to wellness, the yin and yang of heart rate variability and his 4 pillars of health.

Dr Howard Hindin on GASP, An Airway Centric Approach and a Physiological Approach to Oral Health Introduction

Today, I’ve been looking forward to this conversation ever since I met our guest earlier in 2020. My guest today is Dr. Howard Hindin, or Howie, as he prefers to be called, and how he has over 50 years of experience in the dental world.

He has a practice in New York. He’ll tell you all about that. And his journey has been a particularly interesting one. And when I first met Howie in the beginning of last year through a guest on this podcast, Dr. Rosalba Courtney, who has done many podcasts with us on breathing, she suggested that I she introduced us. And I’m so grateful that she did. I mean, at every stage in a professional career, I think you need a mentor.

And I mentored by my partners, who some of which are older and some of which are younger. But they do mentor me. But I look to really look at Howie as a mentor because I’ve learned so much from him since we’ve met. And I’m going to be sharing a lot of that with you today. So I hope you enjoy this conversation I had with Dr. Howie Hindin.

Podcast Transcript

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:00:07] I’d like to acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the traditional custodians of our land, Australia, the Gadigall people of the Eora Nation are the traditional custodians of this place. We now call Sydney, where I record this podcast.

The Unstress podcast is proud to be an ongoing supporter of the Healing Foundation, a national Aboriginal organization that partners with communities to address ongoing trauma caused by actions like the Stolen Generation. We have so much to learn from our First Nations people. This land always was and always will be Aboriginal.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:00:51] Hello and welcome to Unstress. My name is Dr Ron Ehrlich. Well, today, I’ve been looking forward to this conversation ever since I met our guest earlier in 2020. My guest today is Dr. Howard Hindin, or Howie, as he prefers to be called, and how he has over 50 years of experience in the dental world.

He has a practice in New York. He’ll tell you all about that. And his journey has been a particularly interesting one. And when I first met Howie in the beginning of last year through a guest on this podcast, Dr. Rosalba Courtney, who has done many podcasts with us on breathing, she suggested that I she introduced us. And I’m so grateful that she did. I mean, at every stage in a professional career, I think you need a mentor.

And I mentored by my partners, who some of which are older and some of which are younger. But they do mentor me. But I look to really look at Howie as a mentor because I’ve learned so much from him since we’ve met. And I’m going to be sharing a lot of that with you today. So I hope you enjoy this conversation I had with Dr. Howie Hindin.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:02:11] Welcome to the show, Howie.

Dr Howard Hindin [00:02:14] Thank you. Thank you so much for having me. This is very exciting to be here a day after you. I think it’s Tuesday, Tuesday morning or Wednesday morning.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:02:27] Yeah. It’s just it’s Tuesday morning with me. And it must be Monday night with you because I’m speaking to you. You are in New York. Where are you? Where exactly are you?

Dr Howard Hindin [00:02:37] We’re about one hour north of New York City in the suburbs, you know,.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:02:45] And tell me, when we first met, Howie, we were well, we were met. We were introduced to our respective roles. You as president of the American Academy of Physiological Management, Medical and Dental.

Dr Howard Hindin [00:03:04] The dentistry,.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:03:05] Medicine and dentistry, the AAPMD and I was in my role then as the president of the Australasian College of Nutritional Environmental Medicine, and we were reflecting on the fact that you and I both found ourselves in this role as dentists, which we weren’t surprised about. But I think some people might be I wonder before we logged in, because there’s so much I want to talk to you about today.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:03:30] If you might just share with us a little bit about your professional journey to this point, because you’ve been in practice for quite a few years now and you are still in practice. How did you get here?

Dr Howard Hindin’s Journey

Dr Howard Hindin [00:03:43] So thank you, Ron. It’s my fifty-fourth year in practice, and my goal was to really be a really great dentist and be good at all the things I learned in dental school and which I did. And then around 19, somewhere in the early 70s, I took a course in something called Mind Dimension. It was sort of a because there was a dentist who was doing TMJ treatment, said this is a really good course. You can learn how to teach people how to relax and help them get rid of the TMJ thing.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:04:29] Now for our listeners, Howie, we know a TMJ, TMJ Temporal Mandibular Joint or the jaw joint to the ordinary punter.

Temporal Mandibular Joint (TMJ)

Dr Howard Hindin [00:04:40] Right. So there’s this joint where our lower jaw up a joint me and the problems related to that have been called the great imposter because it could appear as many, many different things. So somebody suggested I take this course and in this course, you spend for 12 hour days going through a different relaxation techniques because between when we were awake and we were asleep, there’s this little spot between awakeness and sleep, which is called the Alpha State, where you can reprogram yourself and that’s where you go when you’re hypnotized or something like that. And.

When I took it just so that I could learn more about what I do and I could do it better and but it really was life-changing because it was the last headache I ever had in my life and never had another headache. And all of a sudden I said, you know. There might be something other than what I’ve learned in dental school that might have value and that started me on a journey looking at things like acupuncture, nutrition, homeopathic medicine and mindfulness and things like that. That was back in the 70s. And then I got involved and we formed a study club where we bring people with back in the 70s, there were a lot of people with very bizarre ideas. There was a dentist from Western United States Code named Willie May you have here Willie Mays.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:06:22] I did hear Willie May I think I use his kind of implants still to this day.

Dr Howard Hindin [00:06:28] So Willie May was a dentist and a little bit of background story. He had cancer and his father was a physician and said and he had terminal cancer. And he said. There’s no cure, but we’ve heard reports that sometimes infections from teeth or something from teeth could be a factor. And so he had all his teeth removed and he had dentures made for himself. Wow. And he seemed to be doing better.

But then he noticed that he kept playing around with the dentures. You would adjust the dentures, you would change the height of the dentures, you would change the position. And he noticed that things made a difference. And that’s how he started on his idea of making appliances that would fit over the lower teeth and reposition the jaw. And he would really fine-tune them.

He would just use like a very fine rubber wheel to smooth them out. That would make it make a difference. So we had people like Willie May and George Goodhart, who was a chiropractor, who is one of the father of Applied Kinesiology and other people like that. And I would and there was a orthodontist at the time, John Wizzit, who was who was sort of the father of functional orthodontics in the United States.

Dr Howard Hindin [00:07:58] And, you know, and he was the first one who said, you know, you really don’t have to be a board-certified orthodontist. You can do these appliances that were very popular in Europe where you can reposition in Nigeria and you may never have to take out teeth. You could actually grow the mouth, the teeth, as opposed to the philosophy. At that time, you had to take out teeth at the mouth.

Dr Howard Hindin [00:08:26] And so all of a sudden I was learning all these things that that really blew my mind. Like, this isn’t something that was even mentioned. In fact, it was even considered somewhat radical. And if I wasn’t going far enough down the rabbit hole, I started looking at the fact that mercury may not be a good thing. So I went out.

Once I got involved in acupuncture, there was a German doctor, Reinhold Vul, who did go acupuncture and they would show how they would do testing and that depending on what you put in your mouth, it would change the meridians. And with my little background in acupuncture that what you did in the mouth had an energetic effect on the rest from the rest of the body. And that was even prior to the sort of the pioneer or the first person you talked about in the United States, Howard Huggins and prior to that, some of the functional or alternative doctors in Germany were doing this. We’re doing this all the time.

There are doctors who believe that treating cancer that you had to have for your mouth, checked getting rid of all the infections, getting rid all of the metals that were a problem. And so I was finding this very interesting. And in probably 1971 I eliminated all mercury from my practice.

Dr Howard Hindin [00:10:04] I was in practice with my cousin who was older, and he was very understanding, said, well, if you want to do this far out thing, it’s OK, but can we just use up the mercury we have because we bought it and I said that’s a good idea. But I know if I wouldn’t use it on my family or my or my children and my friends really use it up on and so that I stop using Mercury back then. And there weren’t a lot of alternatives to amalgam fillings at that time, mostly gold inlays. And certainly, there were nowhere nearly as expensive as they are now, but there were no composites at that time. The other thing that was important in my in my eye, my path was I love doing surgery.

I did some courses that at Tufts in Boston, I was doing periodontal surgery. And then I got involved and I was more involved in nutrition. So I said, let me do an experiment. Let me take the next 20 patients who come in with that period of conditions who may need surgery of the on half of them. I’ll do the surgery and on the other half, I’ll just do nutrition, and let’s see what happens. And I and I did that, and certainly right after the surgery, those patients look far better than the patient who did nutrition, but six months later, it was completely reversed.

First of all, those who. We had the nutrition, they were really working harder, they were doing their nutrition, they were doing their home care and they just kept getting better and better. The ones who had the surgery look really great. But as the months progressed, they started looking not as good as the. And that that led me to this belief, which is really not so intelligent that if you get people to buy into taking care of themselves, you’re going to get a much better result than if you’re the star.

So even if I was the best surgeon in the world that the day I finished the surgery, I got a good result. But I’m not really making the change in people’s lives. So. And then the other thing, that one more thing. There was a place in New York City called the Institute for Graduate Dentists. I know the I’ve heard about it, but it was formed after World War Two in order to educate.

It was one of the first people that provided. Education for dentists after dental school and all the dentists coming back from World War II, they had G.I. benefits where they could take these courses and get them paid for. And the head of that was somebody named Myron Liebe. Myron Live actually wrote the on the chapters in Harold Gelb’s book on TMJ. And he had a chapter where he shows you how to draw the guidelines, how you reposition the jaws. And they were talking this was back in the in the 50s about how we positioning the jaw to help children learn better in school and earaches would go away. And it was very popular at the time.

But then as more and more dental school started offering see as a business, it became harder to run that that I was on the board of that for a period of time. And so I’ve always been involved in what’s happened. And the real difficulty was how do you get. The rest of the dental profession or the medical profession, to believe that that you can you can change something in the mouth and somebody could have a dramatic change in their health.

My son is doing your research study with Tourette’s syndrome and just about to be published using oral appliance to treat people with Tourette’s syndrome. And the result is it’s probably the best result compared to other things like drugs and the best secondary treatment is called alternative behavior therapy.

So if you think you’re going to have a tick or a mood disorder, you do something like you scratch your arm, you pinch yourself or something like that. But again, there was always the issue of what’s happening. Maybe it’s just the strong personality of the doctor who just by the sheer weight of the energy they’re putting out, convinces the patient they don’t have a problem, although probably the placebo effect is probably a good treatment anyway if it works.

But now, in the last three years, we’ve discovered the importance of airway and breathing. Yeah. And then and that seems to be. Bringing everything together, because I look now at airway sleeping and breathing the effect on the autonomic nervous system. And the way that you can possibly investigate that look, look into that are related to heart rate variability and that seems to be at 54 years to evolve to that place, that seems to be the place where now I see that as the unifying factor.

Dr Howard Hindin [00:16:06] And as we were just talking before we started the podcast, I came across this article that talked about how important it is for physicians and dentists to work together. And I’m quoting from the article, it says that humanity should be so, so unnecessarily suffer for the maladjustment of medical and dental education is a serious reflection upon the intelligence of these professions.

And it was from the Journal of the American Medical Association in nineteen hundred while they were talking about how well our professions are getting together and working together for the benefit of the patient. That was a hundred and twenty years ago, and we still haven’t figured it out yet, but hopefully, there are things that are happening in the world today that give us a great opportunity to make that happen.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:17:02] Yeah, well, you know, I mean, you’ve only been in practice for 54 years. I’m guessing you’re really getting the hang of it now.

Dr Howard Hindin [00:17:09] And that’s why they call it practice.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:17:11] That’s why they call it practice. And I used to when we met Howie and I said, oh, look, I’ve been in practice for 42 years. You’re now 40.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:17:18] Today is the first 42 years of the easiest. It’s the next 12 years.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:17:23] Now, you didn’t say that you were very kind, but I know you have been on a journey and in parallel, I mean, you have been ahead of me well and truly. And you’ve introduced me, for example, we’re going to talk about heart rate variability. And I have been in practice for those years, but I’m still learning. And you’re still learning. There is just so much to learn. I think people are often surprised to learn about their oral health and the connections with general health. It’s a topic we’ve covered here before.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:17:53] But just give us you’ve touched on some of those. Let’s bring it together and just can you share with us what you see is those important connections.

Important Connections

Dr Howard Hindin [00:18:03] OK, so off the top of my head, I can think of four. One, as I mentioned right before, our sleep and breathing. Yeah, so and what does the dentist fit into that? Because we only get Air through to mean through our nose and through our mouth. And even the air that goes through our nose has to pass through the back of my mouth and behind the tongue if the structures of the mouth are altered.

Narrow orch, missing teeth. Orthodontic retraction, bringing everything down, our tongue is actually to the front wall of our airway, anything that pushes our tongue back. Against our airway, we strict our airway and, you know, we all know about apnea, Apnea is when you when you stop breathing, but. You don’t have to have anea have a problem, you could have a poor airway, could lead to snoring, which can lead to something called upper airway resistance, where you’re breathing, but you’re working hard to breathe or hypoxia where you’re breathing with at least 50 percent more difficulty or apnea where you stop breathing.

The thing is, it doesn’t matter which you have. It has exactly the same effect on the nervous system. Your brain is being challenged. You’re under threat. Imagine somebody sneaking up behind you, putting their hands over your mouth and nose and not letting you breathe, and doing it continuously several times every hour. Think about what state you’re nervous system would be in. So that’s that’s would be the number one priority number two would be very Donnel disease. They have found that the same bacteria that occurs in the mouth. Ginger VALIS is found in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients and in the Arterial Plaque people who have heart disease. Now, if we combine the two. Then it’s almost a perfect storm.

Dr Howard Hindin [00:20:25] Imagine somebody with terminal disease who now have bleeding and pockets and now the barrier between that bacteria in the mouth and the rest of the body, that barrier is broken down and the bacteria can get into the bloodstream. And now at the same time, they have an airway sleep problem, when that happens, negative, negative pressure builds up. What’s negative pressure? If you were to be breathing through a straw and I come in, I pinch that straw, your lips would be sucked in, your cheeks would be sucked in.

Well, what happens when it closes down your chest wall contracts, puts pressure on the lungs and the heart, and actually it slows the blood flow from the heart when that moment passes that that stored up blood that’s accumulated gets released with a greater force. And that difference between slowing down the blood flow and speeding up is called turbulence. And when turbulence occurs, that turbulence bounces off the walls of the blood vessels, especially when there’s a fork in the road and it bounces off them and it’ll cause like a wound or irritation, which is the perfect place with that bacteria that’s gotten in from periodontal infections were large. And since we don’t like that, we put a bandage over it and watch that bandage and bandages, arterial plaque.

So it’s not only these two things, airway, and periodontal disease. But it’s how they occur together, then we take the third thing, toxic materials, mercury, mercury and so many of the materials that they’re used. He may have negative effects, I’m sure that anybody listened to your podcast knows about the dangers of mercury.

You’ve probably talked about it once or twice. But there are also the other metals. You know, back when when I was talking about how gold was the alternative to mercury, gold is pretty, pretty good. It’s pretty kind to do the body, although gold is never, well, gold, it always has something else in it. But when the price of gold started increasing, they started looking for other things.

They started looking at nickel or beryllium and other materials which have a lot of toxic side effects in a in laboratory animals. If you want to produce a tumor, all you have to do is inject with nickel and 100 percent of those animals will develop a tumor. And now you’re putting. Now you’re putting that material in a mouth that has acid in different and bacteria and it creates a whole environment that’s just primed for creating a problem. And now if you want to just relate, go back to what we were talking about.

Dr Howard Hindin [00:23:30] So now there’s a whole bunch of dentists who say, you know, that stuff is bad. We need to get it out of your mouth and we have to put you on a detoxification program. And there are wonderful programs there. If there’s anything from nutrition to chelation to things like Kalala and things like that. But if somebody is not sleeping well and they’re in a perpetual state of adrenaline-driven, sympathetic regulation where they really are always in a defensive mode, they are not in a physiological state that will allow them to detoxify. And so that’s often the missing piece.

Where you do something, everything, right, you remove the bad materials, you use a rubber dam, you give them oxygen, you give them good nutrition, some people will get better. And there are some that don’t. And you don’t and you don’t know why. And since I’ve been doing this a long time, I have probably made more mistakes than anybody. But I try not to make the same mistake twice or too many times anyway. But when I went back and saw some of my patients who were unsuccessful, didn’t get some of the results I wanted, when I remove their fillings, replace them. And we and those who had an airway problem, we treated that.

All of a sudden, they began to move forward and improve because we found another piece, and then the fourth thing that I wanted to mention was Oral Infections. Where somebody has an infection or around the root canal, that that has that. It’s not symptomatic, but it is problematic, you know, that if somebody has pain around the tooth. It’s because that infection is trying to spread, our immune system is letting it spread and that pressure of the infection, wanting to expand the immune system, trying to prevent it.

That pressure builds up and it causes pain and throbbing. But what if it’s a chronic condition where you don’t amount, you’ll mount an immune system reaction, and that bacteria can just drip into the system, then then you don’t have any symptoms. Or if you do have symptoms, they may not be at that around the teeth, you know, and they’re all sorts of ways that supposedly you can detect it, including applied kinesiology and different things. But with the introduction of 3D cone beams, that those teeth that look perfectly fine when you take a 3D image and then you could spin around it and look at an angle you never saw.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:26:44] Totally got total revelation. Total revelation. I mean, we sit around as a group, the four, five partners, and we show each other cases. And collectively, we have over, I guess, over a hundred years or more of experience, but we are blown away by what we may have missed.

Dr Howard Hindin [00:27:04] And, you know, and that’s before you you can’t see what you don’t know and you don’t know what you can’t see. But now, between all the things that are available today, we have the ability to see more and know more. And, you know, one of the challenges is the line between medicine and dentistry.

Really, I wouldn’t say it’s getting blurred. I think it really never was a line. It was an artificial line. I guess I’m not sure why, but I read about the history of medicine and dentistry, then in nineteen sixty-eight in the United States, when they introduced Medicare dentistry for it not to be included in Medicare, they didn’t want to be subject to to the lower fees that would be controlled by the government. And from 1968 to around 2008, every single year, the average dentist did better than the year before, until the financial crisis. And if you’re doing so well, my class in dental school was the first class with a high-speed drill. And then following that, there was the special rubber-based oppression material. And so all of a sudden, dentistry could do so much more and a dentist could do so well financially.

Just doing repair work and doing all this work actually produces more work because high-speed drill can maybe it could overheated tooth, maybe you could end up needing a root canal treatment so orthodontics boom and then maybe crowns don’t fit as well, maybe they’re not shaped properly or maybe the materials aren’t good, which led to periodontal disease, which led to periodontal treatment. And so a lot of the repair we got, we got more repair and dentistry has done better and better.

At the same time, the health of our country hasn’t been better. I mean that you look at the statistics, we have so much covid in our country, but if you like, break out the numbers. It’s mostly people who are older, people who have coexisting condition comorbidities, mostly the two of the greatest are are obesity and metabolic disease which are rampant in our country. And so, if you don’t mind, we can talk a little bit about that.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:30:00] Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, you are in. Well, when we first met, Howie, you were actually in the hot spot in America and New York was in a really bad way. And how are you seeing it all happening? How’s it going in America?

Dr Howard Hindin [00:30:16] Well, you know, now there’s everybody is just waiting for the parade to march down the street with the vaccine so people can be vaccinated. And, you know, the reports are it’s ninety-five percent successful. But in the history of pandemics and diseases, there are always two approaches.

One was to try to find a vaccine or a medicine, and the other was maybe more sanitary conditions being healthier, you know, get out of the squalor of the city into the country, get fresh air. And so that’s sort of the challenge that we have between the wait for the vaccine and get the vaccine and all over the news this past week about how has the virus mutated, what does it look like?

But in my career, there has been a hepatitis scare. We started in dentistry. We didn’t wear gloves. We mixed Agami and then squeeze cloth. So then there was hepatitis and HIV, which everybody started to wear gloves. Yes. And then there were other diseases and now covid. And there’s no reason to believe that we’re not going to have more and more as it goes forward. And what do you do? You lock yourself away until they find a vaccine. That’s one possibility.

Dr Howard Hindin [00:31:48] But they’ve also found that healthier people, they may feel like they get the flu or a cold and a couple of days are sick and that they’re functioning better again. The problem is those two things shouldn’t be in opposition, that there’s no reason why the vaccine should be available. But at the same time, that shouldn’t be in place of being healthier. I love the letter that you wrote to the health ministry, trying to get get them to listen.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:32:27] Yes, well, I think that’s one of the things that has struck me around the world. Actually, I haven’t seen too much change here. And that is that we’ve approached this pandemic the way we approach every chronic disease, and that is one disease at a time in isolation, as though one doesn’t have any connection to the other.

And I just see this opportunity. This is such an incredible opportunity because we’ve got a world focused on health like never before. We can say that unequivocally. And this is an opportunity. We’ve got a captive audience that are interested in their health. And given the right opportunity, we could actually emerge from this a much healthier world.

Dr Howard Hindin [00:33:11] And that was the philosophy, one of the best doctors I knew, my mother. My mother lived through the Spanish flu of 1918 when one of her sisters died as a result of that and there was nothing doctors could do about it. And then there were no even antibiotics. And up until World War Two and her belief was you had to get good sleep.

The baby had to go out and get an airing every day, even if it’s cold out, bundle the baby up in the crib in there in the stroller and took them out to get sunshine on your face, vitamin D and you couldn’t be stressed. And that, you know, with everything was an open seven days a week and on the days of rest, whatever, it was just nothing. And you sat around with your family and social connections were important.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:34:15] And everybody was eating organic food because there was no such thing except organic food in that time wasn’t even called that.

Dr Howard Hindin [00:34:23] One of my drug was to go shopping with my grandmother. And they just opened the first supermarket AMP supermarket in the neighborhood where we were. And she said, never buy anything in a package because they’re trying to hide something. If you can’t touch it, smell it, feel it, don’t buy it. That was those are. So what has that been replaced with? That’s been replaced by people picking up the packages and they read the packages super fresh. Oh, must be fresh. Let me buy it. You know,.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:34:58] Low fat.

Dr Howard Hindin [00:34:59] You know, you read the advertisements, says the. People don’t know our tastes have been polluted, that is an experiment anybody can do, get up in the morning, have a glass of orange juice. It’s a sweet. Get up in the morning, brush your teeth, then have the orange juice to taste better. Why is that? Because all toothpaste has a sweetener in it, not sugar, but it’s artificial sweetener. And the way that we judge food is by comparison, one thing next to the other.

Fresh vegetables are sweet, but not sweet compared to the processed foods where sugar is added. So even though I believe sugar is bad, the real crime and danger of sugar is that you lose the ability to discern which fresh and healthy you take sugar out of children’s diet. They will choose healthier, healthier foods and. And dental decay is solely a disease of sugar. There was no sugar. There would be no dental decay.

You know, I was one of my best friends, grew up in New Zealand, and he told me the horror stories because dental nurses who came into the school and they would pick people out from the classroom, we would have to get treatment. And so we learned how to, like, slide under his desk and disappear under his desk. He wasn’t picked around, you know, and that’s the way dentistry looked at things. You know, when he really gets bad, let’s do something like let’s treat it, you know, but. We’re talking about covid. And the great potential, we have to do something about it now.

Dr Howard Hindin [00:37:04] You know, there’s a lot of publicity and in the news about the vaccine, the vaccine and the vaccine and unfortunately, the other approach, the more get healthier program, even though there seems to be an incredible demand for it. It’s not getting the press. So, you know, hopefully, podcasts like yours and webinars that we do will help get the word out.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:37:32] I think I’m an optimist and I actually do think that we are going to be faced with this, that this may not sound like an optimistic prediction, but I think we’re going to be living with this for the next couple of years. And I think in the next few months and certainly the next six to 12 months, I think people’s mentality is going to come around too high. What else can we do? Because it was interesting. I was listening to a news program that did two stories juxtaposed on each other. One was the report of the rollout of the vaccine in America in the US.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:38:10] And it was hailed as, you know, everyone was being photographed having the shot and they were being applauded. And isn’t this terrific? Well, the cavalry has finally arrived and we’re going to be OK. And literally after the break, they went to another story about what’s happening in Australia. And the medical officer in Australia said, listen, you know, the vaccinations are not without their challenges. We’re not sure about their efficacy. We’re not sure about the side effects.

We’re actually not sure whether they will be effective on old people or on comorbid people with comorbidities, because we haven’t really tested them on that. We don’t know how long it will last. We know that it will reduce somebody’s ability, somebody’s likelihood to get sick, but it won’t stop them being infected or being contagious.

So I think we need to explore we need to continue with our social distancing, our hygiene, and other strategies to reduce our risk. And I thought the two stories juxtaposed in the one news bulletin really highlighted what was going on. And I believe we’re going to be moving along because it’s going to there are so many issues still to be overcome in this vaccine, many which I’ve just outlined there.

Dr Howard Hindin [00:39:31] So a lot of the information that we put out in our webinars, which was mostly geared to practitioners. And we began to invite the public to listen in.

And we’re also encouraging our practitioner members of our organizations, not practitioners, have a website or on Facebook to share the information because. One of the things that is that’s causing a problem is the unknown, and nothing is more fearful of the unknown. And if you just go back and you look at the news, how it changes every day, this is good. This is bad.

Your words are a prime example of that. We need leaders. We need people who are not leaders who are going to just give sermons about what you should do, but leaders who have the information and can share the information and answer the questions. My patients ask me all the time what I think about the vaccine, I said. The results are great.

I wouldn’t be the first on line to get it, that certainly if I had the vaccine in there, whenever I do a study, you have including factors in excluding factors, and they basically only did this study on healthy people. They didn’t do it on people who had a lot of comorbidity. And some of those people had side effects. And there was at one time they were given Tylenol with the vaccine because some people were running fevers and nothing terrible. And so I said to myself, OK, what happens when you give the same thing to people with a coexisting condition? Are they going to be worse off? Are they going to have more serious effects? Or maybe they won’t? We don’t know. And then. Having that knowledge of what you know and don’t know, people that still choose to have the vaccine or not, but it’s always good to have more information, and then the vaccine is something new.

It’s a messenger RNA, which they’ve never used before. You know, historically, what do you do with a vaccine? You give somebody a little bit of dose of something a week dose and your immune system responds to that. And when you have something similar to that, your immune system recognizes this is actually changing the way your immune system identifies things. You’re reprograming the immune system at a cellular level, maybe a breakthrough that be the most fantastic thing ever. But they’ve never done that before. And it’s not something, you know. This may not be as good as we thought when.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:42:29] We brought it up to 100 million people. Sorry.

Dr Howard Hindin [00:42:32] How do you erase it? Yes. How do you erase it? So but while the same time, if you’re going away and exercise a certain amount of caution, why not spend the time becoming healthier? When I’m looking at the things you didn’t look for before, everybody has more time. A lot of people have said, I want to get more healthier. I’m going to do that when I have time. Well, now there’s time.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:43:05] That’s it.

Dr Howard Hindin [00:43:05] No more excuses.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:43:06] Which is how we a great way of segueing into the book that you and Michael Gelb have written. It’s called Gasp Airway Health The Hidden Path to Wellness. And I actually thought I wasn’t sure whether I was reading this correctly, whether it was the hidden path or the Hinden path to wellness. But either way, you talk in this book, huh?

I like that you hadn’t thought of that. The whole I thought it was a play on words. But anyway, Howie, you reference a term called airway-centric approach, and you’ve alluded to it. I wondered if we might just focus on that. What do you mean by an airway-centric approach?

Airway-centric Approach

Dr Howard Hindin [00:43:50] OK, so. It comes from an old term in dentistry, maybe not so well, called centric relationship.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:43:59] Yes.

Dr Howard Hindin [00:44:01] That in dentistry, you know, going back to the beginning of our conversation, we talked about TMJ, which is called the lower jaw and the upper jaw meet. And there are different beliefs in dentistry where it should be all the way back, back in and forward a little bit more forward.

Michael Gelb’s father, Harold Gelb, came up with the four seven position and you would put different groups of dentists in a room. They’ll literally kill each other, that they won’t even talk to each other. Because if you believe something different than they believe it was, it was blasphemy. It was terrible.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:44:43] Now, Howie, before we go on, let me just explain to our listener about the various positions of the jaw joint. I think what people need to be aware of is the mouth is so sensitive it can pick up 10 microns, which is half the thickness of a hair. And so when dentists we’re arguing about should the jaw joint be here, they’re here or they’re what they were actually referring to was an area within a millimeter or two, maybe three of each other. This was a huge argument.

So this is what centric relation alluded to, which was finding that ideal position go on because ultimately you wanted to rebuild the teeth and restore them and you had to make them meet in a certain relationship to the juror. So airway, centric means, instead of looking at any one of those things.

Maybe the best position for the jury to be in is where the airway is, is the best, where the airway is the most open and people can breathe better. And so the next step was. Airway is the number one priority in treatment before you do anything else, you want to find a position where the airway, it is the best. You know that when somebody has a sleep apnea.

Dr Howard Hindin [00:46:20] And they record the incidence of sleep apnea during the night before every single episode of sleep apnea is a bruxism event. That’s the way our brain tries to protect our airway by grinding and clenching our teeth together, which contracts the muscles of the tongue.

Try to keep our tongue out of the out of our airway. And so bruxism or grinding or clenching of your teeth is a sign of an airway problem. And many years of wearing away your teeth makes your teeth shorter and will make the house that your tunnel is in smaller because the roof comes down, because the teeth are shorter and actually make sleep worse, which will make the bruxism worse, and then it will be just self-perpetuating.

So we try to promote the fact that airway should be the number one priority in determining how dentistry is done. And I would go in going back to we said you have to look at airway if you’re looking at periodontal disease or you’re doing detoxification.

I talked to functional medical doctors all the time, you change the diet, you change the nutrition, you do everything really right. In some cases, miraculous changes. But if you’re not looking, what happens at night when they sleep? Eight hours a day, one-third of the life you’re undoing, that you’re missing something, and if somebody has an airway problem and I and they’re not breathing well at night, they absolutely have an airway problem during the day. You know, your listeners can do ask themselves. Do you sigh at all sighing is usually occurs after somebody forgets to breathe and because, you know, we go about our day where we’re where we keep we don’t think about breathing and we really concentrate on something and then we forget to breathe.

Dr Howard Hindin [00:48:35] And all of a sudden we realize we forgot to breathe. We saw and we take a deep breath. That’s a sign of an airway problem. And so in our book, we talk about airway-centric. And the fact that my key phrase is the hidden problem, because I know absolutely 100 percent guaranteed anybody walks into my office is breathing. They wouldn’t be there if they weren’t breathing. And so when I tell somebody they have an airway breathing problem, they can look at me like I have two heads, but they have other things.

They have other things like neck pain, shoulder pain, children, chronic ear infections, trouble in school, ADHD behavior problems, people who have high blood pressure, but under control medication, except when they get up in the morning, diabetics who they’re under control with medication except their morning sugar is high. What’s the difference? And when you uncover or show them and treat their hidden airway problem and it doesn’t have to be with a dental device, it could be anything. There are other ways.

Dr Howard Hindin [00:50:00] All are my wishes that every single practitioner would be their dentist, a physician, physical therapist, you name it, screen for an airway problem and then get that patient to the appropriate hands of somebody who can help them. Or does it have to be one practitioner? And sometimes it could be multiple practitioners. You know, I don’t know whether I’ve told you that.

Dr Howard Hindin [00:50:25] One day a month, I work with a physical therapist, I go to his office, and one day a month he comes to my office and how we breathe, how we move is related to how we breathe. If we can’t move our arms, we can’t breathe. That we need that movement in order to move our ribcage and get things moving. So a dentist thinks about, well, airway is the nose in the mouth and the back of the tongue.

But airway is much more than that has to do with what happens when our when we take a deep breath in. And we expand our lungs, expand more towards the back and to to the front. We think about taking a deep breath and our chest expands, but our lungs actually expand more, more to the back. And we have patients who have I’ve help, but not as much as I can. But the Brad physical therapist finds they have the ribs aren’t moving properly. They have a poor posture. Their mid-back is stiff. That especially sitting over a chair, the thoracic spine, the below the neck and above the lower back is very stiff. It doesn’t bend it’s not flexible.

So the two things that we do most now is dentists are work on patients and sitting in front of them screens, which we don’t get a lot of mobility in our midback, which is going to hinder our breathing. So if people get nothing else out of this podcast is to recognize the possibility that an airway problem might be part of your problem, a problem of your children or your family, and at least ask the question, go online. There’s so much information. You have to ask your practitioners to do something because if it’s not a problem, you just move on and you do the next thing. But if it’s a problem and if it’s not addressed, you will never progress beyond a certain point.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:52:37] Well, I know our listeners have been exposed to this. This is a topic we come back to frequently. And you will, of course, know Dr. Rosalba Courtney, who actually introduced us. How is she? She got us together.

And you introduced me then to Sharon Moore, who I’ve done a wonderful podcast interview with recently about Sleep Wrecked Kids and myofunctional therapy. So it’s a theme that I make no apology about regularly revisiting because we need to be reminded of it. And I often say that if your practitioner hasn’t even elevated it to the point of a question of significance, it’s either because they themselves have a breathing or sleeping problem which they don’t want to address or they just don’t know. And therefore it’s not important to them or their patients, although it clearly is.

There was another thing that you introduced me to, and this is what I have so valued about not only meeting you personally, but professionally. What I’ve learned from you is the story of heart rate variability. And incidentally, I am now wearing a woot, which is a device that measures my heart rate variability. You introduced me to this term and related to it as well, to oral health, which are even after 42 years. That was a total aha moment to me. Share with us what heart rate variability is and why does it matter?

What is heart rate variability and why does it matter?

Dr Howard Hindin [00:54:11] So I, I think looking at heart rate variability is the communication tool that really will unite all people who were doing this kind of work that. We know what heart rate is, it’s how our heart beats, so if we have a heart rate of 60, you might say that it’s one beat per second, but in actuality, it’s not. If you measure the time between each beat, it could be a one-second point, nine seconds, one point, one second. It varies.

That variability between beats is called heart rate variability. Why is it important? Because every time you breathe in, your heart rate goes up a little bit and every time you breathe out, your heart rate goes down. And looking at that variability is a way that we can measure.

The two parts of our autonomic nervous system are not a nervous system is the communication of our brain, our nervous system to the rest of the body, the part that never even consults us. It takes care of everything that we need to get done. It raises our blood pressure. If it needs to be, it needs to be. If we are sitting down and we jump up too fast, sometimes we’ll get lightheaded. And it could be because there’s a leg.

But generally, instantaneously, the blood pressure will be raised. I think I once told you an example of from Nick Gonzalez’s book on the autonomic nervous system, how miraculously it works on an airplane. We’re ready to get off the airplane. We have to get our luggage out of the overhead compartment.

The minute we think about that, the blood flow to the muscles required to undergo that action, the blood flow increases to those muscles only to those muscles and no other muscles. And so everything that we’re doing is always an adjustment from moment to moment. Our temperature fluctuates.

You know that we now take temperatures of everybody comes into our office and the variation in temperatures from even from the same person every day varies to stand on two feet and to not topple over. Requires an incredible amount of work we reach over to get something, the muscles have to tighten on one side so we don’t tilt over. So these are all the basic functions that’s managed by the autonomic nervous system. And the autonomic nervous system has two components.

One is the sympathetic and one is the parasympathetic, which is like the yin and yang in China. Chinese medicine, the sympathetic or yang part is when we’re putting out energy and doing things and expend the energy and the parasympathetic or a yin is when we’re restoring ourselves and rebuilding then ourselves. And life is about how well those two parts are balance. All of the organs that are below our diaphragm are parasympathetic or yin organs. And so that and the ones that are above heart, lungs and are more yang or are basically more sympathetic. So that main line of defense, you are threatened, you’re going to need to get more oxygen in so that you can fight or run away, get more blood flow and be prepared for battle.

When when the battle is over, you go back to your little and or you cave in you and you have your food and you need to digest it and eliminate the waste. But in today’s society. There are threats all the time, even though there you listen to the news about covid, you’re going to feel a difference. If you measured it with heart rate variability, you would see immediately that there’d be a shift more to more to the sympathetic side. And so and so having variability is good. The loss of variability is bad. Variability is a measure of your resiliency. And God knows we need more. We all need to be more resilient.

Now, resiliency is the ability to adapt to changes. Who are the most vulnerable to severe covid? Those people whose immune system can adapt. Not that it’s necessarily weak, but it might overreact. These are people who are stuck in this sympathetic tone. They don’t have that resiliency of flexibility. And so you can measure that there are different ways of measuring. Like you’re watching and they have something called the Oring. And there’s more sophisticated equipment that has less of artifacts and gives you a better result. But there are basically. Four things that I know of that will improve heart rate variability, which are better nutrition, better sleep, and breathing, movement and exercise, and mindfulness are good, good thoughts, which I think of four of the five pillars of your health care system and. And so the different practitioners who are offering treatment, you will see an improvement with each treatment added to that person over time, their health will get better.

There is no drug, pharmaceutical, drug or medication that will improve heart rate variability. It may get rid of the symptoms. And you may feel better, but you won’t actually be better, you’ll be less symptom-free. I look at it as. Heart rate variability is measuring imbalances in the body before they become diseases. Diseases are the expression of the imbalance. If you treat the expressions of the imbalance, you can make them go away, make these depressions go away. But you haven’t addressed the imbalances. And so that expression will be taken care of until it comes up somewhere else. And so maybe. All the different things that happened may not be separate diseases, they may be all manifestation of the same disease, you know, now they call Alzheimer’s is now called type three diabetes, glaucoma. They’re calling Alzheimer’s or the eye because they’re all similar.

They all seem to have had some component of chronic inflammation and chronic inflammation caused by the same things in the world we live in and. If we look at that, those imbalances as a pandemic, it is far greater pandemic than covid than all the other diseases that have occurred in a long time because. I’m sure in Australia, your population is healthier than ours. It is only because you’re so healthy, it’s because we’re so unhealthy.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [01:02:05] That’s right. You know, I was going to say I didn’t want to say, you’ve set the bar. You haven’t set the bar real high there when you talk about it. We’ve got our own problems, but point taken. But listen, we have covered here a lot of territory.

And I’m going to have links to this wonderful book that you and Michael have written because there’s so much great information in there. Howie, I want you to take a step back. Finally, before we finish, take a step back from your role as a dentist and as an educator, because we are all on this health journey in our lives. And I’m interested to know what you think the biggest challenge is for individuals on that journey in this modern world.

The Biggest Health Challenge

Dr Howard Hindin [01:02:54] The biggest challenge is to know how to filter information. You know, the. If I just go, for example, talking about mercury toxicity when I first get involved in that, we had to educate people. And that is why it was important. And this was at the time when the Internet was just getting started and then what happened? People have so much information they would come in with the treatment they wanted to have because they read it on the Internet or they know somebody.

And I quote, Some people say you probably heard a lot of time. I know this person had the same exact thing I have and they did this and they got better. I want the same treatment, you know, and maybe they had the same thing. Maybe they didn’t. So one of the most important things is. How you get the information, how you process the information. Can you find a practitioner who will spend as much time talking to you about what they’re going to be doing as doing it and it may not have to be the doctor themselves, but somebody on their staff? I find that now.

Post covid when we open our office in June. People just want that time to talk and share what’s going on and share their fears. Maybe it’s social isolation or whatever, but sometimes too much information can be as harmful as too little information.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [01:04:42] Well, this information you’ve shared with us today is a very important part of that puzzle for people that are really grateful for you for that. Thank you so much for joining us today and sharing your wisdom with us.

Dr Howard Hindin [01:04:56] It’s been such a pleasure. It’s I just love our growing relationship and the relationship of our organizations. And I look forward to seeing growing together will help make the world a much better place. Thank you, Ron.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [01:05:10] Thank you.


Dr Ron Ehrlich [01:05:13] Isn’t it interesting I mean, you if you’re a regular listener, you’ll know I do like to ask my guests and I don’t give them any warning about this, about what they think the biggest challenge is. And often so many people relate that point about information and this overwhelming amount of information that’s out there. And, you know, here we are doing a podcast giving you more information. But what I really believe in is about personal empowerment. And I also believe that people are very well, very capable of dealing with information and assessing it not. And if you haven’t had a medical background or a health background, health in health professions, sometimes assessing that information with an open mind puts you in an even more powerful position. And I’m also very often have said that is the world we live in becomes more complex. I believe the solutions are remarkably simple, accessible and cheap. And that’s why I focus on those five pillars of health and wellness, which incidentally also impacts on your heart rate variability, which also impacts on your resilience and your ability to deal with the stresses of our modern world.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [01:06:34] And the four pillars that Howie referred to was nutrition, sleep, exercise and mind. And I my five pillars are sleep, breathe, nourish, move and think. And I pulled sleep and breathe out for a reason. And that is that we also breathe during the day. And I believe there is a difference, as you will have gathered, between just breathing and breathing well, I just love talking to Howie. And honestly, after 42 years of clinical experience, to be had to listen to somebody who has even more experience than I do and learn so much.

I mean, his heart rate variability, his and now that he’s categorizing of the yin and the yang, that the yang is that above the diaphragm, the heart and the lungs preparing us for fight and flight, the yin yang is below the diaphragm, the parasympathetic nervous system, our internal organs.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [01:07:30] I’ve never heard that. I’d like to love that. And the whole business of heart rate variability, which we’re definitely going to be doing more episodes on coming up. And as I said, I’m exploring it by wearing a device which I really don’t like to wear. I don’t like wearing these devices, but I thought I would for the next month or two just to check on my heart rate variability and also to remind myself about how important sleep is. Look, it’s a great book. It’s a terrific book. Gasp Airway Health, The Hidden or Hidden Path to Wellness. And we’ll have links to that. I hope you had a good break over this over the summer. I hope you enjoyed our summer series.

We’ve got some great things planned this year. Don’t forget to download the app Unstress. With Dr Ron Ehrlich. There’s going to be a lot of information flowing through that there’s online courses available will be hopefully running some face-to-face workshops. Who knows what this year will how will all unfold. And of course, don’t forget to leave a review on iTunes. I’m getting my head around social media. I’m learning to swipe right and do all sorts of different and creative things. I’m going to be having some fun with that this year as well. So I had this finds you well until next time. This is Dr Ron Ehrlich be well.


This podcast provides general information and discussion about medicine, health, and related subjects. The content is not intended and should not be construed as medical advice or as a substitute for care by a qualified medical practitioner. If you or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately qualified medical practitioner. Guests who speak in this podcast express their own opinions, experiences, and conclusions.