Got a tooth question? We have answers!

toothHey, friends, I’m back.  This time with a slew of questions from all of YOU about your teeth.  Last Sunday on the radio broadcast we talked about dental topics  – something I don’t do very often.  I don’t talk about the teeth much because basically in medical school we learn exactly NOTHING about teeth.  Happily, HCMC (the health care system that employs me) has a terrific group of dentists and oral surgeons.

On the show, we intended to talk about dental implants and other oral surgeries. Eventually, we did do this.  But I, of course, had other insightful and probing questions for my guest (oral surgeon Louis Christensen) – questions like:

  • “Why are they called ‘wisdom teeth’?”
  • And maybe more to the point, “Did I get dumber when I had my wisdom teeth yanked out?”

I think the correct answer to the first questions is “nobody knows” and the answer to the second question is “Yes.

Dental implants are really cool if you are a hockey player.  Or even if not a hockey player.

Christensen studioFortunately, listeners to the show had questions that were much more en pointe, as they say.  We learned cool stuff from Dr. Louis Christensen (that’s him in the picture) who joined me early on a Sunday morning in the WCCO studios in downtown Minneapolis.  He’s an oral surgeon who does surgeries not only on wisdom teeth, but he does dental implants, jaw reconstruction, face reconstruction (oh my!) and lots of other work to keep our teeth and faces in top shape.

As is often the case, though, we didn’t get to cover all the questions people had, so in this post we’ll try to answer some.  If you missed the show, you may want to check out the podcast here. Continue reading “Got a tooth question? We have answers!”


Dying too young

CandleThis has been a tough week as too many people have died way too early.  I’m going to write a few thoughts about young lives cut short – one from my own life and one from the nation.  No links to medical information, no medical advice, nothing funny and probably not too uplifting.  I think I just need to make note of these young lives. Sorry it is a sad read.  Just some reflections and a poem at the end.   Thanks for reading. Continue reading “Dying too young”


Coffee, WHO and You: the best news in a long time

cup-of-coffee-1414919__180OK, before I say one thing about this topic, we need to set the mood by playing this very short audio clip.  Make sure the sound is turned up on your computer or mobile device and click the “play” arrow.

This is going to be epic:



Hallelujah!  Yes, indeed, the medical community has determined that drinking coffee is not only probably not bad for you, it may actually be good for you.

Here I am celebrating (undoubtedly after having had a couple cups):


That news is proof of a divine being, I say.

Continue reading “Coffee, WHO and You: the best news in a long time”


Home, sweet (medical) home

A cute little steep roofed home and fence

Hey and how are ya?  C’mon in, grab a cup of coffee.  Thanks for stopping by to my Healthy Matters home.

Today I’m going to talk about Health Care Homes, aka Medical Homes, aka the Next-Generation-of-Medical-Delivery, aka the Clinic-Where-Everybody-Knows-Your-Name, aka the World’s Greatest Clinic Idea, aka the Clinic-System-We-All-Wish-We-Had.

You may have heard, but probably not, about Medical Homes.  It is a term that has appeared in the past few years, really gaining traction around 2010 when the Affordable Care Act became law in the United States.  Medical homes are an attempt to make the health care system more patient-friendly, less fragmented, easier to navigate, and more cost-effective.

To start, please watch the following video about the HCMC Coordinated Care Clinic, a nationally-recognized and award-winning program in the Health Care Home model.   The doctor in the video (Dr. Paul Johnson) was and is a colleague and teacher of mine.  He’s wicked smart and simply an awesome doctor. 

Continue reading “Home, sweet (medical) home”


I eat too much butter: motivating for healthier living


For breakfast a few days ago I ate French toast and bacon.  I melted some butter and soaked the French toast in it then covered it all in maple syrup.  Then I drank about 4 cups of coffee.  Later that day I ate a handful of chocolate-covered raisins.  And a bunch of tortilla chips straight from the bag with salsa.  I snacked on crackers and cheese later.  Somewhere in there I grilled a steak and drank a 16-oz IPA, followed by more chocolate-covered raisins.   I did exercise a little, having dug up some shrubs in the yard, so there’s that.

I got on the scale.  10 pounds heavier than last year. All in my expanding belly.

This little parable of mine represents a sad lack of healthy living on my part.  At least our dog, Zoe, joined me by finishing half the bag of tortilla chips and leaving the empty bag on the floor, thus preventing me from doing the job myself.

The next day I signed up for the Twin Cities Marathon in a moment of either insanity or brilliant goal-setting. Continue reading “I eat too much butter: motivating for healthier living”