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Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness & Prevention

July 12th, 2020

Each year, cleft and craniofacial conditions impact thousands of infants in the United States. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 1 in every 1,600 infants are born with both cleft lip with cleft palate in the United States. While approximately 1 in every 2,800 infants are born with only cleft lip, and about 1 in every 1,700 babies are born with only cleft palate. These phenomenons occur when an infant's upper lip or roof of the mouth does not completely fuse together during pregnancy. The month of July marks National Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness and Prevention Month, which is the perfect time to spread awareness and learn more about orofacial clefts and complex craniofacial conditions. The American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association (ACPA) aims to increase knowledge and create situations catered to help individuals with these conditions thrive.

What is Cleft Lip?

During the amazing development of an infant during pregnancy, body tissue from each side of the head grow toward the center of the face and come together to create the face. A cleft lip occurs if the tissue that creates the lip does not join completely. This creates an opening in the lip in the middle or on either side of the lip, and can sometimes extend to the nose. Lip formation normally occurs between the fourth and seventh weeks of pregnancy.

Baby wih a cleft lip

What is Cleft Palate?

A cleft palate results if the tissue of the roof of the mouth, also known as the palate, does not come together completely during pregnancy. This can occur in the front, back, or spanning across the entire palate. The formation of the roof of the mouth naturally occurs between the sixth and ninth weeks of pregnancy.

Baby with Cleft Palate

What Is Cleft Lip and Palate?

The most common cleft condition of the face is both cleft lip and palate combined. This occurs when there is both a separation in the upper lip and in the roof of the mouth.

What is Craniosynostosis?

Craniosynostosis occurs when the skull sutures fuse together during development. This can be noticeable at birth or during growth and development after birth.

What Is Plagiocephaly?

Plagiocephaly, also known as positional plagiocephaly, causes an infant's head to have a flattened appearance due to external pressure.

Orofacial clefts can cause children to experience other problems, including problems with their teeth, feeding, speaking, and hearing. Research is continuously being conducted to help become more knowledgeable of these conditions in hopes for prevention. Cleft and craniofacial conditions typically require long and challenging treatment methods, and require a multi-professional team approach consisting of medical, surgical, dental and other health professionals.

The causes of orofacial clefts are not completely known. Some may be due to genetics or other factors, according to the CDC. The CDC reports that women who smoke during pregnancy have an increased risk of having a baby with an orofacial cleft. In addition, women with a diagnosis of diabetes before pregnancy, and women who take certain medications during their first trimester, such as anticonvulsants, have an increased risk of having a baby with cleft lip/palate. It is important to talk with your medical professionals during your pregnancy about ways to increase your chances of having a healthy baby.

Orofacial clefts are normally diagnosed during pregnancy with routine ultrasounds or after the baby is born. Certain types of cleft palate, such as a submucous cleft palate and bifid uvula may not be diagnosed until later in life.

Treatment can vary depending on the severity of the condition, in addition to the child's age and presence of other birth defects. Cleft lip surgery normally occurs within the first year of life as recommended. It is recommended to repair cleft palate within the first 18 months of life or earlier. It is common for many children to need additional surgeries later on in life to help improve not only appearance, but breathing, hearing, and speech development. Children with orofacial clefts may also need special dental or orthodontic care. Treatment of orofacial clefts have been proven effective and most children lead a healthy life.

Join us in spreading the word!

This pandemic has impacted us all, but our community is indeed all stronger together. Our team at WDG always has your safety and health as our top priority, and we have implemented additional safety measures and equipment to help prevent the transmission of all infections, including COVID-19. Wellesley Dental Group has completely reopened since June 8th, 2020 for all dental procedures and cleanings! Thank you for entrusting your health and dental care to us at Wellesley Dental Group.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist, Dr. Derek, and Dr. Emad is happy to help with your TMJ and orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs, Dr. Stephens would love to help, and our gum-specialist Dr. Singh can help with your gum-related concerns.

References:

https://acpa-cpf.org/2018/07/10/july-is-national-cleft-and-craniofacial-awareness-month-2/

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6425a5.htm?s_cid=mm6425a5_w

https://www.gillettechildrens.org/get-involved/cleft-and-craniofacial-awareness-month

https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/birthdefects/cleftlip.html

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http://www.nccapm.org

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Will Nasal Breathing Help Fight Coronavirus?

July 8th, 2020

As the number of COVID-19 cases across the United States continues to rise, scientists and researchers are continuously trying to find ways to help control and beat the virus. Research is currently being conducted to determine if nasal breathing can help lower the risk of contracting coronavirus. You may be wondering, why would breathing through your nose be beneficial?

Interestingly, breathing through your nose and mouth are two completely different methods of breathing. Nasal breathing is connected to your diaphragm and signals a response from your parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), also known as your rest and digest system. The PNS acts on your heart, lungs, and digestive tract. On the other hand, breathing through your oral cavity signals your sympathetic nervous system (SNS), also known as the fight or flight system. The SNS acts in opposition to the PNS, and instead elevates your pulse and breathing rates, while slowing digestion. Breathing through your nose, rather than your mouth, is the best way to receive the optimal amount of oxygen. Here’s why:

Your nose produces nitric oxide, which helps increase the transport of oxygen throughout your body by allowing your blood vessels to dilate. It also helps relax and open your airways in the lungs, acting as a bronchodilator. Nitric oxide is a huge plus to the immune system too, as it has antifungal, antiviral, antiparasitic, and antibacterial effects. In addition, your nasal turbinates function to warm and humidify air as it moves into the lungs, helping to filter and block harmful particles from entering your body.

According to scientists, humming has been found to increase the production of nitrous oxide in the sinus cavities surrounding the nose. Researchers revealed that the sound waves from humming increase the speed of gas exchange, and can help provide some relief for individuals with a sinus infection (Sinusitis). Foods high in nitrates, including leafy green vegetables, beets, and garlic for example, may also increase the concentration of nitrous oxide in the body and provide the same health benefits. In hopes to find treatment and prevention methods against COVID-19, clinical trials have currently begun to investigate the direct application of nitrous oxide to the respiratory system.

It can be hard to breathe through your nose at times, especially when you have sleep apnea, allergies, or are sick and congested, or even when you have your mask on to help fight coronavirus. Having a stuffy nose is a pain, and we often don’t notice how important the nose is until it isn’t functioning properly.  When your airway is obstructed, your mouth naturally opens to allow air flow to your lungs. However, breathing through your mouth doesn’t offer the same benefits as nasal breathing, and can even lead to health problems. Breathing through your mouth increases dehydration and inflammation in the body. Mouth breathing can cause enlarged tonsils/adenoids, dry mouth, bad breath (halitosis), chronic fatigue, irritability, dry lips, periodontal disease, and throat/ear infections, and other conditions. Many studies have also shown that breathing through the mouth can make individuals with asthma experience worse symptoms.

In children, mouth breathing can lead to several physical and cognitive challenges. Children who aren’t treated for mouth breathing can develop misaligned teeth, gummy smiles, facial deformities including long narrow faces/mouths, sleep disorders, lack of concentration, poor posture, or poor growth.

Talk with your dentist if you notice or believe that you or your child is mouth breathing. Practicing nasal breathing makes perfect! Also, be sure to try to reduce your stress levels, as stress can also lead to abnormal breathing patterns.

Breathing through your nose is important for your health! It can be our first line of defense against airborne particles, and is especially important to make a habit during these unprecedented times. While wearing your mask, initiate slow breaths through your nose to help lower the amount of carbon dioxide inhaled. This will help reduce your risk of experiencing trouble breathing, headaches, and dizziness.

This pandemic has impacted us all, but our community is indeed all stronger together. Our team at WDG always has your safety and health as our top priority, and we have implemented additional safety measures and equipment to help prevent the transmission of all infections, including COVID-19. Wellesley Dental Group has completely reopened since June 8th, 2020 for all dental procedures and cleanings! Thank you for entrusting your health and dental care to us at Wellesley Dental Group.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist, Dr. Derek, and Dr. Emad is happy to help with your TMJ and orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs, Dr. Stephens would love to help, and our gum-specialist Dr. Singh can help with your gum-related concerns.

References:

https://decisionsindentistry.com/2020/06/nasal-breathing-help-reduce-risk-covid/?inf_contact_key=7a5419cd2ce100bb3ce3a594e8fa09441b0a3f0fd3ee5d9b43fb34c6613498d7

bigstock-Side-View-Profile-Portrait-Of-296792812-1014x487.jpg

https://www.healthline.com/health/mouth-breathing#symptoms

nose-vs-mouth_orig.png

The Global Race for a COVID-19 Vaccine

July 5th, 2020

With Covid-19 on the rise in many states and across the globe, scientists and researchers are racing to produce a safe and effective vaccine. To date, there are currently 11,304,534 confirmed cases worldwide, with approximately 531,659 deaths reported. The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that AstraZeneca, a global biopharmaceutical organization, in collaboration with Oxford University are leading the way with an experimental Covid-19 vaccine. WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan stated AstraZeneca’s experimental vaccine is “the most advanced in terms of development.”

AstraZeneca has started large-scale, mid-stage human trials of the vaccine candidate and are currently in Phase III. The company has signed its tenth supply-and-manufacturing deal this past week. Brazil recently signed an agreement to begin producing the vaccine, and has estimated that it will make 30 million doses by January 2021. The CEO of AstraZeneca believes that the vaccine will provide immunity against Covid-19 for 1 year.

WHO’s chief scientist also stated that Moderna Inc., a United States based pharmaceutical company, is “not far behind” in its production of a vaccine, although she believes, “AstraZeneca certainly has a more global scope at the moment in terms of where they are doing and planning their vaccine trials.” Moderna Inc. is currently in Phase II trails of the vaccine and plans to make 100 million doses starting this July. Moderna is partnered with other companies including the pharmaceutical company Catalent, Johnson and Johnson, and AstraZeneca.

However, in total there are approximately 140 experimental vaccines currently being developed, with more than 13 experimental vaccines undergoing clinical trials. The WHO is also in contact with Chinese and Indian manufacturers and researchers regarding potential vaccines. It is their hope that companies will collaborate to help create a vaccine to help fight the virus.

Although nothing is set in stone yet, scientists predict that it is possible to have a COVID-19 vaccine within one year, according to the Director-General of the World Health Organization.

This pandemic has impacted us all, but our community is indeed all stronger together. Our team at WDG always has your safety and health as our top priority, and we have implemented additional safety measures and equipment to help prevent the transmission of all infections, including COVID-19. Wellesley Dental Group has completely reopened since June 8th, 2020 for all dental procedures and cleanings! Thank you for entrusting your health and dental care to us at Wellesley Dental Group.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist, Dr. Derek, and Dr. Emad is happy to help with your TMJ and orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs, Dr. Stephens would love to help, and our gum-specialist Dr. Singh can help with your gum-related concerns.

References:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-who-development/astrazeneca-moderna-ahead-in-covid-19-vaccine-race-who-idUSKBN23X1WA

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/british-pharma-major-astrazeneca-ahead-in-global-race-for-covid-19-vaccine-all-you-need-to-know/story-wAc0QNcBaul7VyDUzOie8J.html

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Vaccine-graphicnews

Could Dogs also be COVID-19 Frontline Heroes?

July 1st, 2020

Dogs can definitely be your best pal. These furry bundles of joy are helpful companions, even during coronavirus! Now, current research is being done to determine whether dogs can use their nose to detect the presence of COVID-19 in humans. Fascinatingly, dogs outpower our sense of smell by an enormous magnitude. Their sense of smell is 10,000 to 100,000 times stronger! In addition to their trained ability to sniff out contraband food items and drugs, some research has also connected dogs to their ability to smell other medical conditions, including Parkinson’s disease, malaria, and some cancers. So, will dogs be on the front lines serving as potential screeners of COVID-19?

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania are in the process of training and researching 8 Labrador retrievers. The goal of the study is to determine whether dogs can identify a smell associated with coronavirus. Prior knowledge has been gained that respiratory diseases can impact body odor. If the study is proven to be effective, dogs would be a tremendous help in screening individuals at airports, hospitals, and other establishments.

Within a few weeks, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine will begin conducting similar research by collecting COVID-19 samples and training dogs with the help of Medical Detection Dogs. Researchers predict that each dog will be able to screen up to 250 people an hour. Researchers report that the Labradors and Cocker spaniels will be trained to identify an odor first, then saliva and urine samples from patients who tested positive and negative for COVID-19 at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. They predict that the training will last for approximately 6-8 weeks. Researchers hope to further research the possibility of creating an electric detector of coronavirus.

 

This pandemic has impacted us all, but our community is indeed all stronger together. Our team at WDG always has your safety and health as our top priority, and we have implemented additional safety measures and equipment to help prevent the transmission of all infections, including COVID-19. Our office follows the recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Wellesley Dental Group has completely reopened since June 8th, 2020 for all dental procedures and cleanings! Thank you for entrusting your health and dental care to us at Wellesley Dental Group.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist, Dr. Derek, and Dr. Emad is happy to help with your TMJ and orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs, Dr. Stephens would love to help, and our gum-specialist Dr. Singh can help with your gum-related concerns.

References:

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-52686660?fbclid=IwAR01T9Mf--Ao0O5M6YNTqnQrBi2elHt1GIAvnOCpo7dekKJtrXZhVDivl_Y

https://www.washingtonpost.com/science/2020/04/29/coronavirus-detection-dogs/

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/06/17/fact-check-can-dogs-sniff-out-coronavirus-maybe/3204745001/?for-guid=b9fa359a-5e8b-11ea-9855-1267072b3abf&utm_source=usatoday-Coronavirus%20Watch&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=baseline_greeting&utm_term=list_article_thumbhttps://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/article/dogs-sense-of-smell/

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