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A Great Reason to Celebrate: World Sleep Day

March 19th, 2021

World Sleep Day®, which sounds like one of the coolest days ever, is put on yearly to celebrate sleep and inform the public on the importance of sleep, which can often be overlooked. This year it's held today, Friday March 19th, 2021, with this year's slogan being ‘Regular Sleep, Healthy Future.’ ! Organized by the World Sleep Day Committee of the World Sleep Society, this day of awareness brings to light prevention and management of sleep disorders, education about sleep, sleep medications, and driving issues related to sleep.

Why is sleep important?

There are many benefits to getting a regular amount of sleep, and it's an essential part of life. Several research studies have reported that having a regular bedtime and getting the recommended amount of sleep for your age plays an important role in the quality of your life, including its effect on your mood, psychomotor performance, and even your academic performance. That's why a lack of sleep or chronic sleep interruptions can negatively impact your health.

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is one of the more common sleep disorders that you may have heard a lot about, which impacts approximately 25 million Americans, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Common signs of sleep apnea include snoring, insomnia, trouble remembering, trouble breathing, gasping for air during sleep, daytime tiredness, trouble concentrating, dry mouth, headaches shortly after waking up, frequent urination during night time, and sexual dysfunction. Children may also show signs of sleep apnea including worsening of asthma, hyperactivity, bed-wetting, and trouble concentrating in school. Individuals with sleep apnea are plagued with constant breathing interruptions during their sleep cycles due to a lack of oxygen reaching the lungs. According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, approximately 4% of children ages 2-8 years old have sleep apnea. Surprisingly, untreated sleep apnea can even be threatening if not enough oxygen reaches the lungs.

Is there a specific cause of sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea could be caused from many different factors, including weak airway muscles, an enlarged tongue, enlarged neck, obesity, small jaw bone, nasal or sinus issues, and the position of your lower jaw. In addition, males and individuals with a family history of snoring or sleep apnea are at an increased risk of having sleep apnea.

How is sleep apnea treated?
There are different treatment options to alleviate sleep apnea depending on each individual case, including a CPAP machine, orthodontic treatment, orthognathic surgery, behavior modifications, and dental mouth guards for example.

How does my oral health factor into sleep conditions?

Plus, sleep disorders like sleep apnea can also impact your dental health and vice versa. Getting adequate rest helps reduce the risk of having bad breath, oral sores, and worsening of gum disease. Individuals with sleep apnea often have temporomandibular disorders (TMJ), experience teeth grinding or clenching, and also mouth breathing. A research study showed individuals with sleep apnea are 3 times as likely to have a TMJ disorder, which is often characterized by trouble chewing, jaw, head, neck and shoulder pain, clicking sounds of the jaws, and locked jaw where the jaw is unable to open or close temporarily. In addition, mouth breathing can also cause dry mouth which is another factor that contribute to gum disease and dental cavities, and if not resolved can even result in tooth loss.

Wondering how much sleep your body requires? Check out the recommended sleep requirements by age reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The World Sleep Society recommends these 10 tips to help you achieve better sleep leading to a healthier overall life:

If you believe you suffer from a sleep condition, be sure to discuss your symptoms with your primary Doctor and dental professional.

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. Bahar Houshman and Dr. Marisa Reason is happy to help with your TMJ and orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs, Dr. Reisman would love to help, and our gum-specialist Dr. Singh can help with your gum-related concerns.

References:

https://worldsleepsociety.org/programs/world-sleep-day/

https://www.verywellhealth.com/sleep-apnea-and-oral-health-4587690

https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_sleep/how_much_sleep.html

https://worldsleepday.org/tips-for-adults

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fholisticdentalcenternj.com%2Fsleep-oral-health%2F&psig=AOvVaw3Km_gH_SEXjLbWXF8PaFiL&ust=1616166659444000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCPiJq52Quu8CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAY

Multiple Sclerosis & Maintaining a Healthy Mouth

March 14th, 2021

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurodegenerative disorder which effects the myelin sheath, altering the communication between the central nervous system (CNS) and the rest of the body. During March, MS Awareness week is held to shed light on the progress and stories of people across the world who manage & bravely fight this disease despite the challenges. MS is a progressive disease and is also considered an autoimmune disease. The exact cause of is currently still unknown. Many factors may play a role in the condition, including genetics, environmental factors, presence of immune system disorders, infection, vitamin deficiencies, smoking, and systemic inflammation. Researchers are also investigating the potential of the gut microbiome and chronic stress in relation to MS. MS can cause CNS changes in motor, sensory and cognitive functions, but the symptoms can vary between each individual.

In addition, World MS Day, created by the  Multiple Sclerosis International Federation (MSIF), will be celebrated on May 30, 2021, which aims to unite people and organizations from across the world to help learn more about the condition and help us all move to elimination of MS. Worldwide more than 2.3 million people live with multiple sclerosis. During this time loads of information and research is highlighted to help everyone understand this complex and unpredictable disease. Explore powerful stories of people with MS.
There are different types of MS, the most common being relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), which 85% of people with MS have. This is characterized by symptom flare-ups, then times of improvement. The flare-ups may last for days to weeks, and then start to resolve overtime. It has been reported that approximately half of the relapses can cause permanent damage to the CNS. Overtime, the disease can progress to secondary progressive MS, which consists of consistent worsening of symptoms.

Another type of MS is called Primary-Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (PPMS), in which individuals (10-15% of people diagnosed with MS) experience progressive worsening symptoms with few or no recovery periods. This type is often more severe and disabling,  and nerve damage is often found more in the spinal cord than in the brain.

Some symptoms of MS can include pain, vision issues, motor impairment and fatigue. MS may also have a negative effect on bladder and bowel problems, sexual dysfunction, trouble focusing and memory problems, and depression. Facial pain including partial facial paralysis or muscle spasms, and trouble speaking and chewing may also occur. 

Individuals with MS may also experience challenges with their oral health. Individuals are at a higher risk of developing dental caries and gum disease, for instance due to physical complications of MS and the lowered immune response. Systemic inflammation has been linked as a potential trigger for MS as well as periodontal disease, a severe form of gum disease. Plus, manual dexterity may be compromised in some individuals, making it hard for them to brush and floss adequately. In these cases, modified toothbrushes and/or electric toothbrushes may be more helpful. In more severe cases, caregivers may need to help provide help with oral care. Patients with MS may also need to be seen by the dentist more frequently for visits and cleanings. Your dentist may even recommend fluoride treatment or prescription fluoride toothpaste as an added protective treatment.

There is currently no cure for MS, but numerous medications and treatment methods have been found to help manage/slow the progression of the disease and relapse occurrences. However, MS medications may also produce negative effects on oral health, including dry mouth (also known as xerostomia), inflamed gingival tissues, altered taste, and fungal infections including oral candidiasis and angular cheilitis, for instance. Immunosuppressants may increase the risk of developing infections and cancers as well. Be sure to inform your health care providers of all of the current medications you are taking.

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. Bahar Houshman and Dr. Marisa Reason is happy to help with your TMJ and orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs, Dr. Reisman would love to help, and our gum-specialist Dr. Singh can help with your gum-related concerns.

References:

https://www.nationalmssociety.org/Get-Involved/Raise-Awareness

https://decisionsindentistry.com/article/oral-health-risks-multiple-sclerosis/

https://www.everydayhealth.com/multiple-sclerosis/living-with/how-ms-affect-oral-health/

https://www.nationalmssociety.org/NationalMSSociety/media/MSNationalFiles/Brochures/Brochure-Dental-Health.pdf

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fhealthykcmag.com%2Fmultiple-sclerosis-awareness-month%2F&psig=AOvVaw1pEiJpXj4ePew6y5snrUFR&ust=1615644189477000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCLD5pYz2qu8CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAK

Ready to Personalize Your Plate?

March 11th, 2021

National Nutrition Month® is back and always an important topic of discussion as our diet significantly impacts our oral and overall health. This annual campaign each March put on by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics highlights knowledge about healthy food choices, the nutrition our body's need, and the importance of physical activity. It's important to note that there's no one single way to approach nutrition and health, as we all have individual shapes, sizes, and different taste preferences.

In 1973 the first National Nutrition Week campaign occurred with a presidential proclamation and a lot of media coverage, featuring the theme, Invest in Yourself—Buy Nutrition. This year's theme in 2021 is Personalize Your Plate, which emphasizes creating healthy meals to meet your specific cultural and personal food needs.

National Nutrition Month 2021 Logo

Plus, the second Wednesday of March is also recognized as Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day, which celebrates the hard work of registered dietitian nutritionist (RDNs) around the world. There are tons of resources available as part of the campaign to help spread the message of good nutrition and positive lifestyle habits. For updates on virtual events/resources check out the National Nutrition Month® social media including Facebook and Twitter using #NationalNutritionMonth.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics also has an online Find an Expert service which allows you to find registered dietitian nutritionists in your area. MyPlate is another great resource that allows you to see your plate organized by recommended nutrients, grains, protein-rich foods, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat or fat-free dairy.

One of the messages promoted is that proper nutrition is important at each stage of life. National spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in Philadelphia, Pa, and registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN), Colleen Tewksbury, stated “What works for you in your twenties won’t necessarily work for you in your fifties. As you age and evolve, so do your health and nutrition needs. It’s important to eat right for life.” In your teens and 20's, it's important to build bone density by keeping your diet rich in foods and drinks containing calcium, including fat-free or low-fat dairy milk, yogurt, or calcium-fortified soy beverages. Non-dairy calcium can also be found in fortified cereals, beans, and some leafy greens, for instance. In your 20's to 30's, it's essential to help lower your risk of developing detrimental medical conditions like obesity, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Fiber, such as whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds should be included in your diet. Sources of folate, including beans, peas and dark-green leafy vegetables, and folic acid like breads, cereals and other grain products. Throughout life it is always important to exercise regularly and limit added sugars, salt and saturated fat.

Take a look at some healthy tips on how to shape your month, and each month thereafter:

 

 

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.eatright.org/food/resources/national-nutrition-month

https://www.newswise.com/articles/national-nutrition-month-2021-eat-right-for-life-stages

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwell-concepts.com%2Fnational-nutrition-month-2018%2F&psig=AOvVaw3QmPo7ua5d5cgodmpnG3xX&ust=1615471026428000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCPC0_4Hxpe8CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAJ

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.eatrightutah.org%2Fblog%2F2020%2F02%2F25%2Fnational-nutrition-month-are-you-ready%2F&psig=AOvVaw3QmPo7ua5d5cgodmpnG3xX&ust=1615471026428000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCPC0_4Hxpe8CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAQ

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

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