How many times have you chalked up weight gain, brain fog, and feeling tired to getting older? The many symptoms we assume to be a natural part of the aging process are far too often related to one single pillar of health: sleep. In fact, 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, yet most people who have it never get diagnosed.
On today’s Broken Brain Podcast, our host, Dhru, talks to Dr. Mark Burhenne, a practicing sleep medicine dentist in Sunnyvale, California. He received his degree from the Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco and is a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, Academy of General Dentistry, American Academy for Oral Systemic Health, and the Dental Board of California. Dr. Burhenne is passionate about helping people understand the connection between oral and overall health. He spends a lot of time educating patients and readers about the importance of healthy sleep, and is the author of the #1 bestseller, The 8-Hour Sleep Paradox.
In this episode, Dhru and Dr. Burhenne dive deep into the topic of sleep apnea and upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS). They discuss who is at risk for sleep apnea, how to identify the underlying cause, and the long-term health risks associated with sleep apnea. They talk about the difference between mouth breathing and nose breathing, and how mouth breathing reduces the quality of your sleep, disrupts the balance of your oral microbiome, and makes your more prone to tooth decay. They also get into the benefits of mouth taping for improved sleep and overall health.
In this episode, we dive into:
- The connection between oral health and systemic health (5:55)
- The risk factors for sleep apnea (9:24)
- Sleep apnea and brain health (18:15)
- The connection between mood disorders, TMJ, and sleep apnea (20:42)
- How sleep apnea can cause anxiety (21:55)
- Mouth breathing vs. nose breathing (25:19)
- How mouth taping can improve sleep and overall health (30:32)
- Why mouth breathing is the #1 cause of cavities (40:52)
- The connection between gum disease and autoimmune conditions (1:04:21)
- Why we should avoid fluoride (1:10:10)
- Dr. Burhenne’s toothpaste recommendations (1:17:05)
- Mouthwash and the root cause of bad breath (1:18:42)
- Dr. Burhenne’s three-step plan for improving sleep and overall health (1:23:11)
- Learn more about Dr. Burhenne and his work (1:42:23)
I know you’ll love this episode of The Broken Brain Podcast as much as I did.
Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, MD
PS – For more on Dr. Mark Burhenne, be sure to follow him on Instagram @askthedentist and on Facebook @askthedentist. Check out his website https://askthedentist.com and https://www.drburhenne.com. You can find his book, The 8-Hour Sleep Paradox, right here.