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Finding yourself Grinding your Teeth?

March 5th, 2021

Many have noticed they might clench or grind their teeth on occasion, especially when stressed out. As you may know, teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, can cause damage to your teeth and even lead to other oral health issues. For instance, it can cause your teeth to fracture, diminish in size, become loose, or even lead to the loss of teeth. This can result in the need for expensive dental procedures down the line, such as crowns, root canals, bridges, or prostheses to replace missing teeth including implants or partial dentures.

As the COVID-19 pandemic persists, dentists across the nation, and even world, are seeing some of the toll it has taken on individuals, even on their teeth. There has been a significant increase in reported teeth grinding and other oral health issues since the start of the pandemic, as reported by the American Dental Association’s Health Policy Institute. A survey conduced by the American Dental Association (ADA) found that there has been a 59.4% increase in cases of teeth grinding and clenching found in dental offices since the start of the pandemic. In addition, they found that temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), and chipped and cracked teeth has increased over 50%, which may be associated with the increased teeth grinding. Although there is not a direct correlation between the increase in teeth grinding and the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Matt Messina, clinic director of Ohio State Upper Arlington Dentistry, stated, “it does demonstrate the signs of increased stress in the population.”

Teeth grinding can even be experienced in children, too. In fact, approximately 15% to 33% of children grind their teeth. Often, it has been found that children may grind their teeth during the time when their baby teeth begin to come in and also during the transition into their permanent dentition. Luckily, teeth grinding in children is often not permanently damaging and children often outgrow the habit.

Many people commonly grind their teeth when they are sleeping, and is often pointed out by individual's partners or loved ones who hear them doing this habit at night. This phenomenon is particularly present in individuals who have sleep disorders, malocclusion, and/or  crooked teeth. Individuals who grind their teeth may be pained by a dull, constant headache when they wake up, or even a sore jaw. Teeth grinding can result in or worsen Temporomandibular disorders (TMD). 

Some other symptoms of teeth grinding include:

  • Neck pain.
  • Ear pain.
  • Jaw pain, soreness and stiffness.
  • Painful or sensitive teeth.
  • Pain while you chew.
  • Popping, clicking or grinding noises when moving the mouth and jaw.
  • Cracking or chipping of teeth or fillings.
  • Loose teeth or pain on biting.

You may be wondering what to do about teeth grinding. Some tips to help stop teeth grinding include avoiding certain foods and drinks such as alcohol, caffeine, sodas, and chocolate. Plus, it can help to try to help relax your jaw muscles by holding a warm washcloth against your cheek. If you notice that you grind your teeth during the daytime, try to become conscious of what your are doing, and position the tip of your tongue  between your teeth to help train your jaw muscles to relax. Try avoiding chewing gum as it can increase the strain on your jaw muscles. 
If you think teeth grinding may be happening during your sleep, or even find yourself doing it throughout the day, it is important to talk with your dentist. Commonly, dentists will recommend a night guard for individuals suffering from teeth grinding to wear at night to help protect the surfaces throughout sleep. Other treatments that have been found to be beneficial include stress counseling, jaw relaxation training, exercising, and muscle relaxants or anti-inflammatory medications. However, treatments are determined after a comprehensive examination and diagnosis by your dentist.
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://health.usnews.com/health-care/patient-advice/articles/what-to-do-about-teeth-grinding

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dentalcare.com%2Fen-us%2Fpatient-education%2Fpatient-materials%2Fteeth-grinding-bruxism&psig=AOvVaw3cEiLNHlmlO4Bq2J1TDNv0&ust=1614995968340000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCMiJqoOHmO8CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAK

https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/teeth-grinding-bruxism

Could Oral Bacteria be a Cause of Migraines?

February 26th, 2021

Migraines can be a nuisance! If you've ever suffered a migraine, you know how significant an attack can feel. Could your dentist help relieve your migraines? In some cases, yes! A study published by the American Society for Microbiology suggests that certain oral bacteria known to increase nitric oxide in the bloodstream can cause the blood vessels in the brain to widen, which consequently can trigger the onset of a migraine.

As you may know, there are many factors that could be the cause of your headaches or migraine, and treatment requires a correct diagnosis. Migraines are commonly known to be triggered by foods high in nitrates and nitrites, which are often found in processed meats like hot dogs, ham and bacon, alcohol, and even chocolate.

In addition, migraines may be triggered by other certain factors, including:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Female hormonal changes
  • Bright or flashing lights
  • Loud noises
  • Strong smells
  • Medications
  • Excess or lack of sleep
  • Sudden changes in weather or environment
  • Increased physical activity
  • Tobacco
  • Caffeine or caffeine withdrawal
  • Skipped meals
  • Medication overuse

What exactly does a migraine entail?

A migraine often presents with severe throbbing or pulsating pain that typically occurs on one side of the head. According to MedlinePlus, approximately 12% of Americans experience migraines. Females, individuals with a family history of migraines, and individuals with certain medical conditions including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, sleep disorders, and epilepsy, are at an increased risk of having migraines.

Migraines often involve 4 different stages:

  • Stage 1: Prodrome

This stage is the first stage that occurs before you actually experience the migraine. Early signs may be food cravings, unexplained mood swings, fluid retention, frequent urination, and uncontrollable yawning.

  • Stage 2: Aura

During the aura phase which occurs often right before the start of a migraine, individuals may see bright lights or zig-zag lines. Individuals may also experience muscle weakness.

  • Stage 3: Headache

The severity of migraines often occurs gradually. Some individuals may experience a migraine without a headache, but instead experience sensitivity to light, sound, and smell, nausea and vomiting, and pain when moving.

  • Stage 4: Postdrome

The final stage of a migraine is the postdrome stage, in which individuals often experience fatigue, weakness, and potential confusion lasting sometimes around 1 day after the migraine.

Our body's are full of bacteria that naturally and harmlessly live within us. However, some bacteria can be harmful and lead to cavities, gum disease, and even migraines. This is one of the many reasons why regular dental visits and proper oral care at home is essential. It is important to brush at least twice a day for two minutes each time to help remove dental plaque and prevent it from causing tooth decay. Flossing is also necessary to remove dental plaque that is stuck in hard-to-reach places like in-between teeth, which is where cavities commonly are initiated. Rinsing with an anti-microbial and fluoride containing mouth rinse can also help kill bacteria and strengthen your teeth.

Your dentist can check to see if your headaches or migraines are caused by other oral conditions such as temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) or oral habits such as clenching/bruxism. Toothaches from dental infection by oral bacteria can also cause significant pain in the head and jaw area.

Speak with your doctor and dentist if you feel that you are experiencing chronic migraines.

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.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/migraines-oral-bacteria.html

https://drania.com/why-your-migraines-might-be-caused-by-oral-bacteria/

https://blog.themigrainereliefcenter.com/connection-between-migraines-and-tooth-pain

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.infinitydentalfoxlake.com%2Fdental-concerns%2Ffrequent-headaches%2F&psig=AOvVaw37hxjRFQJvc6UPujGNOF7b&ust=1613951004832000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCIjc9f_S-e4CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAm

https://medlineplus.gov/migraine.html

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fgenesisresearchservices.com%2Fmigraine-symptoms-treatment-clinical-trials%2F&psig=AOvVaw2YMfuEAnZGCULPV5PlPlxP&ust=1613957134912000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCND76oDp-e4CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAJ

Every Body Has a Seat at the Table: Eating Disorder Awareness

February 21st, 2021

Every year, many organizations and individuals across the nation recognize National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (#NEDAwareness), which is the biggest and most recognized eating disorders education effort in the United States. This year, NEDAwareness Week runs from Monday, February 22 - Sunday, February 28. This national event aims is to shed light on eating disorders through educating, spreading hope, and making resources accessible to individuals in need. The theme for 2021 is "Every Body to Has a Seat at the Table."

According to the campaign, approximately 30 million people in the United States will be affected by an eating disorder during their lifetime. Even though this year brings additional challenges as we combat COVID-19, communities across the nation are still coming together to raise awareness through social media events, virtual discussions, and more informative and cool activities.

As reported by the National Eating Disorders Association, eating disorders have been found to be most common in teenagers and young adult women, although they can effect people of any gender or age. Eating disorders can negatively impact a person's physical and mental well-being, and have an effect on personal relationships, confidence, and overall performance at life tasks. In addition, eating disorders can have a significant impact on an individual's oral health. Your teeth, gums, and the surrounding oral tissues depend on healthy nutrients and a healthy diet.

Eating disorders can stem from many physical, mental and social hardships. If you suffer from an eating disorder, it’s important to talk to your health care providers so that proper diagnosis and treatment can begin.

So, what are some of the different types of eating disorders?

  • Anorexia: Individuals with anorexia may experience severe fear of gaining weight and may experience negative thoughts on the way their body appears. Signs may include individuals starving themselves to avoid gaining weight, and excessive exercise.
  • Bulimia: This condition is similar to anorexia in the sense that individuals may also have fears of being overweight. However, individuals may also experience periods of overeating/binge eating followed by self-induced vomiting, purging, misusing laxatives, or fasting throughout the day or several times throughout the week.
  • Binge Eating or Compulsive Overeating: This condition involves individuals who binge eat but do not regularly try to purge the food. Individuals may experience feelings of guilt, making it easier to continue to overeat.

In fact, your dentist may be the first to notice the signs of an eating disorder as changes in the mouth are often the first physical signs that become noticeable. Unfortunately, eating disorders can cause permanent damage to the teeth and oral tissues. Recognizing the signs of an eating disorder early can help lead to a better and easier road to recovery for the body and mouth.

Some of the oral consequences of eating disorders include:

  • Easily bleeding gums
  • Swollen salivary glands which may cause Individuals to experience chronic dry mouth, increasing the risk of developing tooth decay.
  • Lack of nutrients that promote healthy teeth such as calcium, iron and vitamins B and D can also increase the risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease. Lack of iron can lead to the development of oral sores. Similarly, improper amounts of vitamin B3/niacin can lead to bad breath (halitosis) and the development of oral canker sores. Gums may also become puffy and red.
  • Frequent vomiting causes the tooth enamel, or the outer layer of your teeth, to become weak, eroded, soft, and become yellow in color due to the highly acidic environment created from stomach acids. This can create tooth sensitivity when eating hot or cold foods or drinks, and eventually lead to tooth and tissue loss. As enamel wears away, the layer underneath, the dentin, can become exposed and in extreme cases the pulp, which is the next layer of the tooth underneath the dentin, can be exposed and cause infection and pulp death. Tooth decay can even be worsened by extensive tooth brushing following vomiting due to the acidity and weakened state of the mouth.

    Water should be rinsed with following purging to help reduce the high acidic content in the mouth. Vomiting can also induce inflammation, cuts, and soreness of the roof of the mouth/soft palate.

  • Degenerative arthritis of the jaw's temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are also associated with eating disorders. This can lead to jaw pain, chronic headaches, and problems chewing and opening/closing the mouth.

If you suffer from an eating disorder, it is important to contact a health professional. To help reduce associated oral health issues it is also important to maintain oral health care by proper tooth brushing and flossing, and frequent visits to your dentist. Your dentist may provide fluoride rinses or other products to help remineralize tooth enamel.

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.nationaleatingdisorders.org/get-involved/nedawareness

https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/dental-complications-eating-disorders

https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/e/eating-disorders

Wine and Chocolate to the Rescue!

February 14th, 2021

Our loving team at WDG is wishing you a Happy Valentine's Day! Valentine’s Day is known for being a day full of love and sweet treats in appreciation of our relationships with others. Although delicious, we all know that sugary treats can be harmful to our teeth. But, what if we told you that there are some treats with added heart-healthy benefits to them?

Red wine and dark chocolate are two delights that have been found to have some overall health and oral health benefits. Both are high in antioxidants, which play a big role in helping to decrease the "bad cholesterol" and protect the inside of your blood vessels. Antioxidants are known to protect against free radicals, which are highly chemically reactive molecules that are involved in the cellular aging process. Take a look at some of the other surprising benefits of red wine and dark chocolate:

Ready to Pour a Glass of Red Wine?

Red wine has been found to help fight against heart issues, diabetes, and neurodegenerative problems, while also helping to boost your gut's immune system. New studies have even suggested that red wine may add protective benefits against the adverse effects of aging.

It also contains resveratrol, which has been found to lower the amount of "bad cholesterol" also known as LDL cholesterol. Resveratol also helps lower your blood pressure, which can make you feel more relaxed and at ease. Plus, it increases the amount of omega-3 in plasma and red blood cells, which helps lower the risk of developing blood clots. Furthermore, ethanol alcohol, another ingredient in wine, helps improve your “good cholesterol," also known as HDL cholesterol. 

Not to mention, researchers have even found red wine to be beneficial for your oral health. They have suggested that polyphenols in red wine can help block specific bacteria from sticking to your teeth and causing harm such as tooth decay and gum disease. Plus, when absorbed into the small intestine, they can help fight off the bad gut bacteria and help keep your digestive system functioning properly. But, the downside is that red wine can stain your teeth.

Have a Craving for some Chocolate?

Dark chocolate is another tasty delight that has been found to have blood pressure lowering effects.The flavanols inside can help loosen the lining of the arteries, allowing blood to flow more easily through the blood vessels. They also help lower LDL cholesterol levels and raise HDL cholesterol levels.

However, not all chocolate is created equally. The darker the chocolate, the better. This is due to the fact that unprocessed cocoa beans have lots of antioxidants that get removed during the refining process, plus high amounts of sugar are often added to manufactured chocolate. It's important to read nutrition labels to keep an eye out for potentially counteractive health effects. You'll want to aim for having chocolate with 70% or higher cocoa content. Dark chocolate typically contains less sugar and is a better option than other types of chocolate. It has also been found that theobromine in chocolate has similar effects as fluoride, which can help strengthen tooth enamel.

But, this doesn't mean to go to town on consuming chocolate and wine in surplus. It's important to enjoy these items in moderation, as too much of these treats can be unhealthy. So, remember this Valentine's Day, it's important to show your mouth some love, too!

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.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bluffton.com%2Fheres-healthy-valentines-day-wine-chocolate%2F&psig=AOvVaw2m7c1F4F3HsTvEfXpPj2o8&ust=1613432092968000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCJDMtYnF6u4CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAE

https://www.bluffton.com/heres-healthy-valentines-day-wine-chocolate/

https://www.healthline.com/health-news/red-wine-can-help-protect-your-teeth#Looking-ahead

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321028#Polyphenols-to-the-rescue

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.synergyworldwideblog.com%2F2016%2F06%2Fnew-antioxidant-infographic.html&psig=AOvVaw0ae2yQJxrIQofLC1Jb4Ipk&ust=1613436254395000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCPjf5MjU6u4CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAJ

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