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Got Chapped Lips?

January 21st, 2021

Dry or chapped lips can be a true mood killer, especially when you’re trying to speak, eat, or smile! Chapped lips are extremely uncomfortable, and when they begin to peel it can be a real pain, both literally and figuratively.  Even so, dry lips also look painful. It’s important to know how to care for your lips and keep them healthy and protected.

But what causes dry lips to occur? According to the Cleveland Clinic, the skin that makes up the lips are thin and can dry out 10 times quicker than the skin on other areas of the face. People may experience dry lips as a result of an allergic reaction, trauma, cold weather, frequent licking of the lips, smoking, mouth breathing, dehydration, certain medications, medical conditions (i.e. lupus) , ultraviolet rays from sun exposure, and nutritional deficiencies, for instance.

With dry lips also may come cracking at the corners of the mouth, known as angular cheilitis. The corners of the mouth can also become infected by bacteria. Individuals who suck their thumbs or those who wear poorly fitted dentures have an increased risk of developing angular cheilitis.

Signs of angular cheilitis can include:

  • Bleeding
  • Blisters
  • Cracks
  • Crust
  • Itchy
  • Painful
  • Red
  • Scaly
  • Swollen

Another form of cheilitis is actinic cheilitis, which is dry lips caused by excessive sun exposure.

Luckily, dry lips can be managed! Be sure to keep your lips protected in both cold and hot environments, as both cool windy weather and sun exposure on a hot summer day can be harsh on your lips. Try using a lip balm with sunscreen to help keep your lips moist. The American Academy of Dermatology also recommends using lip balms containing petroleum jelly to help keep the lips moist. Plus, if you notice the air in your home is dry, a humidifier can help add moisture to the air and help manage dry lips. Not to mention, staying hydrated with water is particularly necessary to keep your skin healthy. If you notice any lip dryness or irritation after using a new lip balm or face moisture, be cautious with use as it may be a sign of an allergic reaction.

Avoid licking your lips when they feel chapped at all costs, as this makes them drier than before. It's also important not to peel or bite your lips when they feel dry and flaky. If these tips and tricks don’t seem to help, or if you notice your condition is severe, be sure to check with a dermatologist or doctor to help manage dry lips.

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.webmd.com/oral-health/angular-cheilitis#1

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/dry-mouth/waking-up-with-dry-mouth

https://health.clevelandclinic.org/6-tips-to-protect-your-lips-from-the-cold/

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.goodhousekeeping.com%2Fbeauty%2Fanti-aging%2Ftips%2Fa16642%2Fdry-skin-relief%2F&psig=AOvVaw2q6L4bDOs8a569C9nqWpYX&ust=1611288398240000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCKDjt5yTrO4CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAK

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wikihow.health%2FHelp-Chapped-Lips&psig=AOvVaw2q6L4bDOs8a569C9nqWpYX&ust=1611288398240000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCKDjt5yTrO4CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAQ

 

All About the Bacteria Living Inside of Us

January 15th, 2021

Believe it or not, bacteria living inside of our bodies is a natural part of our lives. Even within our mouths there are tons of bacteria living harmoniously. A new study performed by researchers at Harvard University in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology assessed the oral microbiome to learn more about why certain bacteria tend to be abundant in particular places of the mouth while not present in other places. The study, which was published in Genome Biology this past December, found numerous genes that may explain why this phenomenon occurs.

Lead author of the study Daniel R. Utter noted, "As microbial ecologists, we are fascinated by how bacteria can seemingly divide up any habitat into various niches, but as humans ourselves, we also have this innate curiosity about how microbes pattern themselves within our bodies." The study authors also questioned how bacteria may end up in the wrong place within our bodies, and how might we add the correct bacteria into its normal place when necessary? New technology in the field has helped researchers tackle these questions and some of the major challenges in analyzing the diverse groups of bacteria and their scientific properties.

According to the study, the mouth carries an astonishing amount of site-specific microbes in different areas. For example, the microbes found on the tongue are unique to the microbes found in the plaque on the surfaces of your teeth.  Co-author A. Murat Eren, assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Chicago, stated, "Your tongue microbes are more similar to those living on someone else's tongue than they are to those living in your throat or on your gums!"

The researchers first looked at 100 genomes representing four common oral bacterial species as references, and then compared them to the oral bacteria sampled in the mouths of hundreds of volunteer research participants from the Human Microbiome Project (HMP). They found a significant amount of variability of bacteria between different parts of the mouth, in particular on the tongue, cheeks, and tooth surfaces.  In several instances the researchers identified a specific group of genes that may play a role in the bacterial group's specific location within the mouth.

The researchers hope that these findings could help the future of targeted probiotics to help manipulate beneficial microbes to a specific location. They are looking forward to further research that could offer new knowledge on oral microbes and our health.

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/2020/12/201218165105.htm

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fdrania.com%2Fwhy-your-migraines-might-be-caused-by-oral-bacteria%2F&psig=AOvVaw0oGXkMwn-7bAtEvxTfSlml&ust=1610819537876000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCLj5kcbAnu4CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAJ

Could Poor Oral Health be Related to Metabolic Syndrome? 

January 11th, 2021

Having swollen or bleeding gums? No one likes that. Gum disease can involve pesky symptoms such as swollen inflamed gums, gums that bleed easily, bad breath, and painful chewing, for instance. A main cause of gum disease is dental plaque, which with good oral health practices can be managed and prevented! When dental plaque adheres to the surfaces of your teeth and is not removed, this can lead to gum inflammation. Gingivitis can progress into periodontal disease, in which irreversible bone loss and tissue damage begins to occur. Unfortunately, gum disease can lead to permanent tooth loss. But, that's not all! Periodontal disease has also been found in many research studies to be linked with several other systemic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, and now also metabolic syndrome, according to a new study.

Researchers at Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) found that a common bacteria known to cause periodontal disease, Porphyromonas gingivalis (P. gingivalis), also has the capability to cause skeletal muscle metabolic dysfunction through changing an individual's gut microbiome.The purpose of their study, according to the study's author Kazuki Watanabe, was to determine how infection with periodontal bacteria may lead to metabolic changes in skeletal muscle and ultimately lead to metabolic syndrome. However, the study reports that a direct link between the periodontal bacteria and the metabolic function of skeletal muscle has not been proven yet.

The oral cavitiy is a true window into the rest of the body. Oral inflammation caused by periodontal bacteria can influence inflammation within other parts of the body, and the study reports that it can lead to increases in body weight and increased insulin resistance. The body's resistance to insulin is a huge part of type 2 diabetes, in addition to the development of metabolic syndrome.

What's Metabolic syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome consists of multiple conditions in association with each other, including high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels, obesity, abnormal fat metabolism, and systemic inflammation.

The researchers studied individuals with metabolic syndrome and discovered that these individuals had high antibody titers against P. gingivalis, meaning they had likely been infected with the bacteria. In addition, they found a positive correlation between the antibody titers and increased insulin resistance. The researchers then observed mice given both a high fat diet, a common risk factor for developing metabolic syndrome, and P. gingivalis injected orally. As a result, they discovered that the mice developed an increased insulin resistance, fat infiltration, and lower uptake of sugar into the skeletal muscle creating metabolic dysfunction when compared to mice not infected with the bacteria. The researchers noted a significant difference in the gut microorganisms in the mice infected with P. gingivalis versus the mice that were not infected.

So, one important thing that the researchers noted in their study is how periodontal disease can impact other parts of the body, and not just the mouth. More research is needed to investigate the link between periodontal disease and metabolic syndrome.

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/2020/12/201208111428.htm

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/metabolic-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20351916

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fflairzhealth.com%2Fwhat-is-the-metabolic-syndrome%2F&psig=AOvVaw2Cz9QHTUqmTqo55YxjB1dP&ust=1610405890584000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCMiIksu7ku4CFQAAAAAdAAAAABA3

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dockeodental.com%2Fgum-disease%2F&psig=AOvVaw1fQ3ks6wQZmJ_Jv-DJufGS&ust=1610406249444000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCLi0-vm8ku4CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAp

New Year, New You: Dental Resolutions

January 5th, 2021

It’s a new year, which for many means starting the year off with a clean slate and resolutions to achieve throughout the year. 2021 is here, and like many individuals, improving health typically tops the list for New Year’s resolutions, as people often place exercising more and eating healthier as a high priority. What about your dental health? Improving your dental health can be another great resolution to incorporate on your list. Preventing tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues is key to improving your overall wellness. Sometimes, we make New Year’s resolutions that don’t always stick after the holidays, however, making small strides to achieve your goals can be a perfect start.

Check out these resolutions that can help improve your dental health this New Year:

Improve your Oral Hygiene Routine

As you know, brushing and flossing each day are key to helping fight against cavities and a long list of oral health issues. It is important to brush at least twice a day for two minutes each time, particularly after eating and before bedtime. For proper brushing, an ADA-approved soft bristled toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste are recommended. Your toothbrush should be angled toward your gum line when brushing and use gentle and short strokes to help remove the food particles and oral bacteria. You also don’t want to forget to brush your tongue! According to the American Dental Association (ADA), you should replace your toothbrush approximately every 3 to 4 months, or sooner if you have been sick or you notice the bristles are frayed. But, the fun shouldn’t stop there, flossing is equally important. It’s necessary to floss at least once a day to help remove food particles in hard-to-reach areas in between teeth where most cavities begin. Flossing is also important to help reduce your risk of gum disease. Flossing can be easy to forget sometimes, but try putting a reminder in your phone or calendar, or place a box of floss in your purse or out on the counter so that it is visible. Not to mention, flossing and brushing properly will help keep your breath fresh. Plus, using an antimicrobial and fluoride mouth rinse daily can be a great addition to improve your oral health.

Limit Sugary and Acidic Foods

Your diet plays a huge role in your oral health, too. Cavity-causing bacteria love to eat sugar and starches. If food particles are left on the surfaces of teeth, the bacteria can produce acids from the dental plaque which damages your tooth enamel and can lead to decay. In addition, acidic foods can lead to enamel erosion and weaken your teeth. Try checking food and beverage labels to see the sugar content and do your best to only consume these items in moderation. Instead of sugary treats, try adding more tooth-friendly healthy foods to your diet. This can include foods like dairy products, which are high in calcium. In addition, foods high in fiber often stimulate saliva and can help naturally remove dental plaque. If consuming sugary or acidic beverages, grab a straw to help limit the beverages contact with your teeth and be sure to drink water afterwards to help rinse your mouth.

Drink Lots of Water

Water not only will improve your overall health, but also your dental health, too. Staying hydrated with water is necessary to helping prevent cavities by diluting acids within the mouth and rinsing away food particles.

Quit Using Tobacco Products

This year, say no to tobacco use to help improve your oral and overall health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoking has been found to double your risk for gum disease, and is related to many other health problems. Try checking out the Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program, which 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.

Schedule your Dental Visit

Be sure to schedule your dental check-up to help maintain your oral health. Dental visits are necessary to ensure the health of your mouth and to catch any disease or oral health problem early so that it can be managed appropriately. The New Year is also the perfect time to finish or begin any dental work, for instance dental crowns, implants, or fillings. If you are interested in brightening your smile, talk with your dentist about whitening options. The New Year may also be a great time to correct an abnormal bite or straighten your teeth with orthodontic treatment.

So, what’s on your resolution list this year?

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.drappolon.com%2Fyour-2020-dental-health-resolutions%2F&psig=AOvVaw3UdZWSibfwUM2X_3HyhT0K&ust=1609698909190000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCJC3mPjx_e0CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAc

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/adult-oral-care/a-new-years-you-dental-health-resolutions

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/brushing-and-flossing/looking-after-your-teeth-five-new-years-resolutions-for-a-healthier-mouth

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/cavities/how-to-prevent-cavities-healthy-new-years-dental-resolutions

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwonderopolis.org%2Fwonder%2Fwhat-is-junk-food&psig=AOvVaw0NVDd4oVZg4fLnskBzTH3R&ust=1609821743313000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCOjFgMC7ge4CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAJ

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fmoffitt.org%2Fendeavor%2Farchive%2Fmoffitt-continues-the-countdown-to-quit-smoking%2F&psig=AOvVaw0dt7Ai5sWirDPFidYASb3k&ust=1609821820530000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCJDrnOS7ge4CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAD

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.timesofisrael.com%2Fis-this-water-safe-to-drink-israeli-startup-lets-you-know%2F&psig=AOvVaw2gYJQF0YbHsHoiNPTP6iZm&ust=1609821869743000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCMjmkPm7ge4CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAD

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dentalcare.com%2Fen-us%2Fpatient-education%2Fpatient-materials%2Fmanual-brushing-and-flossing&psig=AOvVaw1wmUVWNn4IE_X2w9yl2-W2&ust=1609821923248000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCLCU45G8ge4CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAD

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