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Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Will a Healthy Mouth Help?

September 28th, 2020

Believe it or not, bacteria found normally in your mouth may be involved with gut diseases and digestion issues. Digestive tract diseases, such as Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can be a real pain! The most common types of IBD include ulcerative colitis and Chron’s disease, which both involve chronic inflammation, and sometimes even painful sores (ulcers). Some common signs and symptoms of both ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease include severe diarrhea, abdominal pain, fatigue and weight loss. As these conditions take a toll on the digestive tract, it can be easy to forget that the mouth is a part of this system, too! Your dentist may even be the first to notice common oral signs of these gastrointestinal diseases that could lead to early diagnosis, such as cobblestoning of the oral mucosa, canker sores (aphthous ulcers), pyostomatitis vegetans, inflammation at the corners of the mouth (angular cheilitis), redness around the mouth, and inflammation of the tongue (glossitis), just to name a few! Here are some common oral conditions that may manifest as a result of Chron's disease and ulcerative colitis:

Several research studies in the past investigating the guts of individuals diagnosed with IBD have found an overgrowth of common oral bacteria present in the gastrointestinal tracts of studied participants. Now, a recent study at the University of Michigan School of Medicine and School of Dentistry has also uncovered further discoveries on the topic, and suggests that poor oral health may make IBD symptoms more severe. Researchers are warning that neglecting your oral health may lead to trouble beyond tooth decay- extending to other systemic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and potentially IBD. According to the study, IBD affects an estimated 3 million adults in the United States, and may be the latest condition made worse by poor oral health.

The study, published in the journal Cell, investigated mice and showed two pathways that involved oral bacteria appearing to exacerbate gut inflammation. In the first pathway, researchers looked at the gut microbes in mice with inflamed colons and periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease. They found that periodontitis led to an increase in oral bacteria, which were also found to be present within the guts of the mice by traveling through the digestive tract. They believe that the disease-causing oral bacteria may aggravate gut inflammation by disrupting the normal healthy gut bacteria. They also observed that these mice were found to have both greater weight loss and disease activity.

The second pathway involved the initiation of T cells (a main component of the immune system). The researchers believe that the inflammation resulting from periodontal disease triggers T cells, which can travel from the mouth to the gut where they may aggravate inflammation and prompt an immune response within the gut. Co-author Dr. William Giannobile, Professor of dentistry and chair of the department of periodontics and oral medicine at the U-M School of Dentistry, mentioned, "This exacerbation of gut inflammation driven by oral organisms that migrate to the gut has important ramifications in emphasizing to patients the critical need to promote oral health as a part of total body health and wellbeing,"

More research is necessary to determine the association between IBD and oral health, and exciting new research may provide more clues to how monitoring oral inflammation relates to improving systemic diseases like IBD. Practicing proper oral hygiene and attending regular dental visits to keep your oral care and inflammation under control is extremely important for keeping the rest of your body healthy!

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.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/06/200616113927.htm

https://labblog.uofmhealth.org/lab-report/could-cure-for-ibd-be-inside-your-mouth

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/inflammatory-bowel-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20353315

https://images.everydayhealth.com/images/digestive-health/crohns-disease/crohns-management-tips-for-seniors-1440x810.jpg?sfvrsn=2cf1348e_0

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4851452/#:~:text=Among%20the%20main%20oral%20manifestations,%2C%20perioral%20erythema%2C%20and%20glossitis.

https://decisionsindentistry.com/article/oral-manifestations-crohns-disease/

https://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(20)30681-4

https://image.slidesharecdn.com/oralpathology-en-lecture-6-170820102334/95/oral-pathology-enlecture6-31-638.jpg?cb=1503224626

 

Dangerous Oral Health TikTok Trends

September 23rd, 2020

Among the teen and young adult crowd, you may have been hearing about the recently popular app named TikTok. TikTok is a social media outlet that allows individuals to create and share short videos with the world. Many videos often are watched by thousands of people across the globe. But, as with all social media, there are certain potential dangers and exposure to harmful trends that can impact people, especially when targeted toward younger populations.

Dangerous trends even impact the dental world, particularly most recently on TikTok as people have showcased themselves filing their teeth down using nail files to make them look aligned. This dangerous trend has caught the attention of dentists and health professionals across the world, who are warning about the harm this can cause.

The outer surface of your tooth is composed of tooth enamel, which helps to keep your teeth strong to allow you to chew and enjoy your daily meals. Tooth enamel also adds a layer of protection around the sensitive inner layers of teeth, including the dentin, pulp, and blood vessels/nerves from the acids and bacterial plaque when exposed to foods. What’s really important to note is that once your enamel is destroyed, your body cannot replace or regenerate new tooth enamel, so it’s important to help make it last a lifetime! Individuals who are filing down their teeth are consequently causing irreversible damage, and increasing their risk of increased sensitivity and pain, tooth fracture, infection, and other dental issues that could develop later on. Filing your teeth can even change the way your teeth fit together (your bite/occlusion). Not to mention, you may add the need the for extensive (and expensive!) additional treatment to help repair the damage caused from this trend, including dental crowns or fillings for instance.

If you are concerned about the esthetics of your teeth, it is important to get evaluated by a dental professional who will help properly examine, diagnose, and recommend treatment options to help make sure that your smile is healthy and beautiful.

Unfortunately, another detrimental trend impacting oral health on TikTok has also made headlines, which involved individuals advertising dangerous methods to whiten teeth. Some TikTok users recommended applying 3% hydrogen peroxide to whiten their teeth using cotton swabs as a cheaper alternative to professional whitening procedures. The trend increased as over 15 million viewers watched the original video. However, dental professionals once again warned about this extremely harmful trend, which can cause irreversible damage. Waterpik spokesperson and dentist, Chris Strandburg, mentioned, “Prolonged bleaching with these high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide, especially when used multiple days in a row, can lead to highly irritated gums and sensitive teeth… significant bleaching can increase tooth sensitivity permanently with long term use.” Tooth whitening without the supervision of a professional dentist can lead to severe damage to your gums and tooth enamel. It is important to be careful in reviewing recommendations on social media. If you’re interested in brightening your smile, there are safe and effective whitening options available for in-office applications, along with at-home products supplied by dental professionals, and over-the-counter whiteners, which are approved by the American Dental Association (ADA).  Here at WDG we offer in-office teeth whitening with Philips Zoom, which is safe, simple, pain-free, and one of the fastest ways to improve the beauty of your smile.

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://metro.co.uk/2020/09/17/dentists-warn-against-filing-teeth-nail-files-tiktok-13285959/

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/national/article245815230.html

https://www.health.com/condition/oral-health/tiktok-teeth-bleaching

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-8714305/Leading-dentists-warn-extremely-harmful-TikTok-beauty-trend-cause-teeth-fall-out.html

https://www.pronamel.us/tooth-enamel/what-is-tooth-enamel/

https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/whitening

https://miro.medium.com/max/2400/0*_3_ShXoafikbzetC.jpg

Breastfeeding and Dental Health: Does it Cause Dental Problems?

September 19th, 2020

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that infants be breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months of their life in order to promote healthy growth and development. As defined, exclusive breastfeeding is no other food, drink or water except breastmilk. From a dental standpoint, breastfeeding reduces the chances of baby bottle tooth decay. Studies have also shown that exclusive breastfeeding reduced the likelihood of teeth alignment issues such as open bite, crossbite, and overbite.

An open bite is where the teeth do not align properly when the jaws are closed. Causes of open bite include thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, and skeletal problems.

Open Bite:

A crossbite has two classifications: Posterior and anterior crossbite. A posterior crossbite involves the lower back teeth fitting over the teeth in the upper jaw.

Posterior Crossbite:

An anterior crossbite involves the bottom front teeth fitting over the teeth in the upper jaw.

Anterior Crossbite:

An overbite involves the teeth in the upper jaw overlapping the teeth of the lower jaw. This is commonly known as “buck teeth”.

Overbite:

What  does research say happens if you breastfeed past 6 months?

A study by Pediatrics showed that prolonged breastfeeding increased the risk of cavities (tooth decay) in children. The research showed that children who were breastfed 24 months or longer were 2.4 more times likely to have severe cavities. Now does this mean that you should stop breastfeeding after 6 months? No! The study did not take into account the oral health habits of the children, frequency of breastfeeding, and the additional foods added to the baby’s diet once exclusive breastfeeding is no longer done. More recently, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition determined that there was no association between breastfeeding beyond the age of one and cavities. The factors that did lead to increased risk of cavities involved high sugar intake and socioeconomic status.

What are some causes of tooth decay?

  • Frequency of sugar

limiting the consumption of foods and drinks that have a high contact of sugar is important to reducing the risk of cavities.

  • Bacteria in the mouth

Streptococcus mutans bacteria, is the main source of cavities. This agent can be passed from caretakers to children through sharing of utensils and kissing.

  • Poor oral hygiene

Ways to protect from decay

  • Your child’s first dental visit should be around their first birthday
  • Teeth or gums should be cleaned twice a day. This can be done by wiping them with a wet washcloth
  • Once other foods have been introduced into the diet, offer water as this will wash away lingering sugar
  • Make sure that your child goes to sleep with a clean mouth- this means no juice or sugar filled foods before bedtime
  • Avoid putting your child’s toys, cups, utensils in your mouth to reduce the spread of bacteria from your mouth to theirs

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.speareducation.com/spear-review/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/frank1_22.png

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/26/Crossbite.jpg

https://www.ozident.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/screenshot-2014-03-05-19-19-32.png

https://www.ozident.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/screenshot-2014-03-05-19-19-32.png

https://thenewageparents.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/buck-teeth-in-children-what-to-do.jpg

https://www.healthline.com/health/open-bite

https://www.healthline.com/health/crossbite#definition

https://www.healthline.com/health/buck-teeth

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn%3AANd9GcT6NpB7mBH33ta2U478E4PmwEnqp_mMlxzYKg&usqp=CAU

https://thoroughdentsmiles.com/2020/03/25/breastfeeding-and-dental-health/

Risky Behavior: Vaping, Cigarette Use, and COVID-19

September 14th, 2020

We have all been impacted in some way by the COVID-19 pandemic, which makes us all in this fight together. Even though the virus still persists, great strides and global participation in social distancing, wearing face coverings, and following safety protocols are helping to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Scientists and researchers across the world are continuously uncovering important research and highlighting factors that increase the risk of battling coronavirus. From the beginning of the pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has emphasized, based on research and clinical expertise, that individuals with weakened immune systems, including older adults, and those with underlying medical conditions (examples: lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, and hypertension, just to name a few) are at an increased risk of severe COVID-19 illness. More recently a new study, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health and conducted by researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine, suggests teens and young adults who vape or smoke cigarettes are at an increased risk of COVID-19 infection.

Along with the COVID-19 pandemic (currently 29,182,627 worldwide cases and a disheartening 928,281 deaths reported), the devastating health crisis in many young adults: tobacco and electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes)/vaping product use, has still been an extensive public health issue across the nation. Back on September 24, 2019, the Governor of Massachusetts, Charles D. Baker, declared e-cigarette use a public health emergency following the significant link between e-cigarette products and severe lung disease leading to many deaths across the United States. Unfortunately, e-cigarettes have routinely been marketed as “safer” alternatives to cigarette smoking, although in reality they carry many of the same risks as well as new risks. The inhaled liquids are often composed of nicotine, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabinoid (CBD) oils, along with other substances. Each product, however, can have a variation of other ingredients and concentrations, which may be toxic to the body.

The study, entitled, Association Between Youth Smoking, Electronic Cigarette Use, and Coronavirus Disease 2019, consisted of an online survey conducted in May completed by 4,351 individuals across the United States ranging in age from 13 to 24 years old. The study participants were asked if they had ever used vaping products or cigarettes, and if they had vaped or smoked in the past 30 days. The participants were then divided between those who used nicotine products in comparison to those who reported never using nicotine products. The groups were asked if they had experienced COVID-19 symptoms, received a test for COVID-19, or tested positive for the virus. Taking into consideration reported medical conditions and sociodemographic factors, the researchers found that individuals who used both cigarettes and e-cigarettes in the last 30 days were approximately 5 times more likely to experience COVID-19 symptoms than those who never used nicotine products. Of the individuals who received a COVID test, those who had used e-cigarettes were 5 times more likely to be diagnosed with COVID-19 than those who never vaped. Plus, individuals who used both e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes within the last 30 days were approximately 7 times more likely to test positive for COVID-19. The study authors believe that the link between nicotine products and lung damage is thought to be the reason behind the resulting increased risk of coronavirus infection. "This study tells us pretty clearly that youth who are using vapes or are dual-using are at elevated risk, and it's not just a small increase in risk, it's a big one," Dr. Shivani Mathur Gaiha, one of the study's authors, warned.

Knowing the dangers about vaping and cigarette smoking is key. The Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program offers information and resources that can help individuals quit. Also, check out a list of resources and other helpful information on our WDG blog here.

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/2020/08/vaping-raise-risk-covid-among-teenagers-young-adults/

http://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2020/08/vaping-linked-to-covid-19-risk-in-teens-and-young-adults.html

https://www.news-medical.net/news/20200811/Smoking-and-vaping-significantly-increase-risk-of-COVID-19-in-teens-and-young-adults.aspx

https://www.tecc.org/tobacco-and-covid-19/

https://discoveries.childrenshospital.org/vaping-and-covid-19/

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