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Let's End Oral Cancer!

April 3rd, 2020

Many may not know much about oral cancer, but not to worry, we've got you covered! April is Oral Cancer Awareness month throughout the United States, and we are excited to join the Oral Cancer Foundation's (OCF) fight to end oral cancer by spreading awareness. Spreading information on oral cancer can help lead to earlier detection and thus save lives! According to the OCF, about 53,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with oral cancer each year. It's estimated to be about 132 new people each day. Sadly, one person will die from oral cancer every hour of every day of the year. In fact, oral and pharyngeal cancers have a high death rate which is highly attributed due to late detection of the cancer. Surprisingly, oral cancer is becoming widely seen in young, healthy, nonsmoking people possibly because of the increased risk of the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus 16 (HPV16). However, individuals who smoke tobacco are also still high risk. The majority of oral cancers are classified as oral squamous cell carcinomas.

Let's dive in to some of the risk factors of oral cancer:

  • Men are two times more likely to have oral cancer than women.
  • Approximately 25% have no known risk factors.
  • Infection with the sexually transmitted HPV16 virus
  • Alcohol and tobacco, including vaping, smokeless tobacco, pipe smoking, etc. (Individuals who use both in combination are 15 times more at risk)
  • Prolonged sun exposure increases risk of developing lip cancer
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Poor nutrition
  • Infectious diseases
  • Chronic physical trauma

Potential Signs and Symptoms:

  • A sore or lump on the lip or in the mouth that does not heal (monitored by dental professional, typically for 2 weeks)
  • A white or red patch on the gums, tongue, tonsils or lining of the mouth
  • Bleeding, pain or numbness in the lip or mouth
  • Change in voice
  • Loose teeth or dentures that no longer fit well
  • Trouble chewing, swallowing, or moving the tongue or jaw
  • Jaw swelling
  • Sore throat

Some individuals may not experience any symptoms at all. Early Detection is key! It is important to check your oral cavity regularly to identify any changes. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends performing these self-exams monthly. It is also necessary to keep up with your regular dental appointments and to notify your dentist if you notice anything unusual.

If a definitive diagnosis of oral cancer is determined and staged, treatment will involve multiple disciplines likely including surgeons, oncologists, dentists, nutritionists, and rehabilitation and restorative specialists.

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.aaoms.org/media/raise-oral-cancer-awareness/posters-and-infographics

https://www.aaoms.org/docs/media/oral_cancer/2017_oral_cancer_fact_sheet.pdf

https://oralcancerfoundation.org/events/oral-head-neck-cancer-awareness-month/

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Will Eating Yogurt Help Reduce the Risk of Breast Cancer?

March 27th, 2020

Inflammation has been a common link to many systemic diseases. Inflammation is our body's way of fighting against potentially harmful pathogens. Gum disease, which includes periodontitis, is one of the most common inflammatory diseases and has been linked to several inflammatory conditions and cancers. Now, new research published in the journal Medical Hypotheses by Lancaster University is suggesting that one of causes of breast cancer may be due to inflammation in response to harmful bacteria. Although our body consists of more than10 billion bacterial cells, most of which are nontoxic, some can produce toxins that can initiate the inflammatory response within the body. But there is good news: The researchers recommend eating natural yogurt, as it contains the "good bacteria," also known as probiotics, that can help lessen the inflammatory response. It was found that the lactose fermenting bacteria within yogurt is remarkably similar to the bacteria /microflora found in a mother's breastmilk during lactation. They found that for each year of breast feeding, the risk of developing breast cancer is reduced by 4.3%!  Not to mention, the probiotics may also help to slow the growth of dental cavity causing bacteria.

Other studies have also suggested a positive link between consuming yogurt and a reduction in breast cancer risk, which researchers believe is because of the beneficial bacteria disrupting the harmful bacteria.

So, consuming yogurt may help lower your risk of breast cancer and help your gums. Plain yogurt is definitely tooth-friendly because of its high protein and calcium content, which help to keep your tooth enamel strong. Plus, yogurt helps make your mouth less acidic, which makes your oral environment one that bacteria have a hard time surviving in. By eliminating harmful bacteria that can produce smelly odors, this also can help to combat bad breath!

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/2020/01/200124073857.htm

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Can a Toothpaste Help Prevent Heart Attacks or Strokes?

March 21st, 2020

Our immune response to illness and injury is pretty amazing. Inflammation is our body's defense mechanism to help our body heal, however, chronic inflammation can sometimes cause harm to our bodies. When arteries become blocked by a buildup of plaque, a composition of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances, this can initiate an inflammatory response that can increase your risk of developing a heart attack or stroke. And, it's no secret that oral health has been connected with many systemic inflammatory diseases, as inflammation significantly affects the oral cavity. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 47.2% of Americans over the age of 30 have some form of periodontal disease, which is a pathological inflammatory disease of the gums and oral tissues that surround the teeth. Inflammation within the body is measured by high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), which circulates throughout the blood and increases in response to inflammation. Doctor's can monitor the amount of hs-CRP in the blood to help lower the risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
Now, new research has suggested that the first toothpaste to identify dental plaque, Plaque HD®, may help to lower the risk of heart attacks and strokes by lowering C-reactive protein! The study, published in the American Journal of Medicine, conducted by researchers from Florida Atlantic University's Schmidt College of Medicine, Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, and the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health looked at whether or not the toothpaste Plaque HD® reduces hs-CRP in individuals. Plaque HD® helps make dental plaque visible on the surfaces of teeth in addition to weakening the dental plaque so that it can easily be removed with regular toothbrushing. Participants of the study were randomly split into groups, one group with Plaque HD® toothpaste, and the other group with a similar non-plaque identifying placebo toothpaste. The participants were monitored for 30 days. It was found that those who used Plaque HD® toothpaste had a statistically significant reduction in hs-CRP in comparison with the placebo group. However, more research is needed to determine if the Plaque HD® toothpaste directly correlates to a decrease in heart attacks or strokes.

Remember that it is important to take care of your teeth and practice good oral hygiene habits to help keep a healthy body.

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/2020/02/200224100554.htm

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Temporary Closure 3/17 - 4/7/2020

March 16th, 2020

Dear Wellesley Community and our Patients,
As healthcare providers, our first responsibility is the health and safety of the ones we serve — our patients, our community, and our colleagues. During these unprecedented times, we must all do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19.
To that end, Wellesley Dental Group will be closed from Tuesday, March 17th to Tuesday, April 7th. This decision was not taken lightly, and is based on public health recommendations and out of an abundance of caution.
A few important notes:
  • All existing appointments will be postponed until the office re-opens on 4/8/2020.
  • During this time, we will only be open for emergency appointments. If you are in a dental emergency, please call us at 781-237-9071. Our emergency line is open 24/7.
  • Our regular phone line will also be open from Monday through Thursday from 8 AM - 12 PM for help with rescheduling existing appointments, questions on treatment plans, or scheduling future appointments.
During this time, we will continue to compensate our employees — the people that make Wellesley Dental Group so special. We urge other dental providers to also commit to flattening the curve while ensuring their employees can support their families and loved ones.
Over the next few weeks, we’re figuring out how to best help our community. From engaging in public health dialogue to assisting local non-profits, we’re doing everything we can to keep our community — especially those most vulnerable — safe, protected, and taken care of.
If you have any questions or comments, we’re here to help. Please give us a call at 781-237-9071 or email us at smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com.
Our sincerest wishes for your continued health during these trying times.
Best,
Drs. Ali & Ali and the Caring Team at Wellesley Dental Group

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