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Vaping: A Public Health Emergency

September 28th, 2019

You may have heard about the recent devastating health crisis in young adults: electronic cigarettes (e-cigarette) and vaping products causing severe lung disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and state health departments, are looking into the link between e-cigarette products and lung disease. As of September 24, 2019, Governor of Massachusetts, Charles D. Baker, declared a public health emergency on this issue and initiated a temporary four-month statewide ban on the sale of vaping products, including tobacco and marijuana, in stores and online until January 25, 2020. The latest news reports 805 cases of lung damage from 46 states in America, with 12 current deaths. According to the CDC, 67% of cases are aged 18 to 34 years old, 38% are under the age of 21 years old, 17 % are over 35 years old, and 16% are under the age of 18. A majority of the individuals reported using e-cigarette products with THC and nicotine. The direct cause of the lung problems is still being investigated.

E-cigarette use is also known as vaping, and works by warming up a liquid which becomes inhaled into the lungs. E-cigarettes have become increasingly advertised over the past few years. So much so that Juul, an electronic cigarette company, increased their sales by almost 800% from 2017 to 2018. Sadly, they have 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 made up of nicotine, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabinoid (CBD) oils, along with other substances. Each product, however, may contain a variation of other ingredients and concentrations, which may be toxic to the body.

Both cigarettes and vaping products are not only damaging for your lungs and body, but also are not good for your oral health. Nicotine has been found to prevent healthy blood flow within the gums, which can increase your risk of developing gingivitis and periodontitis. In addition, one of the ingredients found in vaping products, propylene glycol, has been found to cause dry mouth. Dry mouth plays a detrimental role in oral health because it can lead to tooth decay and oral thrush. Not to mention, e-cigarettes can contribute to DNA damage and result in oral cancer.

For your health and safety, avoid smoking all e-cigarettes/vaping products and use of tobacco cigarettes. The Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program offers information and resources that can help individuals quit. Massachusetts also partners with national resources for teens interested in quitting smoking or vaping via My Life, My QuitTM and This is Quitting powered by Truth® program.

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.foxnews.com/health/vaping-harming-teeth-study

https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/e-cigarettes/severe-lung-disease.html

https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/marijuana/2019/09/24/governor-baker-make-vaping-announcement-amid-spate-lung-illnesses/o8sO6mf3GOmX4mOpLLtcEL/story.html

https://www.mass.gov/guides/vaping-public-health-emergency#-information-for-providers-

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Does My Tea or Coffee Really Need Sugar?

September 22nd, 2019

It's not a surprise that sugar is bad for our teeth, but it's sometimes hard to resist consuming each day. We are often asked, "would you like sugar in your coffee?" or "would you like sugar added to your tea?" This can lead to a spiral of adding one teaspoon of sugar to even three or four teaspoons for that perfect tasting cup of tea or coffee. It might sound like a small amount, but each day as you have your morning jump-start of caffeine it can add up and take a harmful toll on your teeth. The American Heart Association (AHA) states that the maximum amount of added sugars you should consume each day is 37.5 grams/9 teaspoons for men, and 25 grams/6 teaspoons for women. These numbers are quick to reach, for example, one can of coke contains a whopping 36 grams of sugar! According to a study conducted by Euromonitor in 2015, the United States is the #1 country that consumes the most sugar per person each day (126.4 grams). The impact of sugar on oral and overall health is significant, as sugar can increase the risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and most widely known, tooth decay.

Reducing or cutting out adding sugar completely to your tea or coffee can be a great start to a healthier lifestyle. Natural sweetness such as xylitol have been found to help reduce the risk of tooth decay and can be a great alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners.

Remember, your diet plays an important role in your dental and general health. Be sure to notice when food labels mention words such as sucrose, glucose, fructose, maltose, or corn syrup, for instance, as these are also masked terms for sugar.

Take a look at some tips to help reduce sugar in your daily diet:

Eat a healthy breakfast

Starting the day off with a healthy filling breakfast can give you the energy you need to get through the day and help you avoid snacking throughout the day on items that may contain a lot of sugar. Try picking out cereals that have no added sugar, and having tooth-friendly items including cheese, or yogurt. It's best not to consume sugary snacks throughout the day because frequency of sugar exposure is more detrimental for your teeth than the amount of sugar consumed. When we eat sugary and acidic foods, the pH of our mouths become lower and more acidic, which can put your teeth in a weakened state. When you do need a snack, be sure to choose healthy snack options.

Note that fat free does not equal sugar free
Some items are highlighted as healthy products because they are fat-free. However, fat-free items may still contain high amounts of sugar which can negatively impact your teeth. Be sure to look at the nutrition label when buying fat-free products to see how much sugar is in them.
Avoid sticky foods
Sticky foods such as candy, and even dried fruits can become trapped within teeth and harm your tooth enamel.
Keep up with your dental visits 

Your dentist can help you keep up with maintaining your pearly-whites and ensuring that they are healthy. It is important to schedule regular dental check-ups and cleanings.

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.dentalhealth.org/blog/phasing-out-our-addiction-to-sugar-one-sugarless-tea-and-coffee-at-a-time

https://coach.nine.com.au/diet/the-20-countries-who-eat-the-most-and-the-least-sugar/76adbc2d-1c89-4e7c-9693-0b875afadaad#1

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Tips on Living Long and Healthy

September 16th, 2019

Now that we're into the month of September, it's time to focus our attention on how to improve our overall health in honor and celebration of Healthy Aging Month! This yearly observance focuses on highlighting tips to help individuals improve their physical and mental health as adults get older. This means also focusing on oral health, since the mouth is a window to the rest of the body. In fact, gum disease, which is common in older people, has been found to be linked with memory loss. Which means taking care of your mind may rely heavily on taking care of your mouth! It is important to realize that as we continue to age, there are changes that occur within the mouth that affect our teeth and the surrounding gums and bone. It is key to minimize damage to our oral cavity at any age by maintaining regular dental visits, and keeping up with good oral hygiene habits each day. Often, poor oral health becomes a factor that worsens existing chronic health problems that an individual may face, including heart disease and diabetes.

In addition, older adults may often be taking several medications daily, which can lead to dry mouth. Not only is the feeling of dry mouth annoying, but it also is harmful to your teeth because it can increase your risk of developing tooth decay due to less saliva being present within the mouth.

No matter what age we are, it is always a great time to start practicing healthy lifestyle habits. Take a look at these tips for healthy aging:

NIH Living Longer Infographic

1. Drink plenty of water!

Staying hydrated is very important for our bodies. Tap water is the best resource because it contains fluoride, which plays a major role in keeping your teeth healthy.

2. Healthy snacks are the way to go

We need to be a little picky with our food choices in order to have a diet that is healthy for our teeth and body. Snacks filled with protein including yogurt, cheese, and nuts make great healthy and tooth-friendly snacks. Also eating foods high in iron, such as spinach, meats, and beans, can help give you the energy you need for each day. Avoid eating sugary foods and candy, as these items aren't so tooth-friendly despite their tastiness.

3. Brushing and flossing habits at home

It is important to brush at least twice a day, and floss at least once a day to help wash away all of the food particles and bacteria within the mouth that could cause harm to your pearly whites. If you wear any oral appliances, such as a retainer or denture, be sure to clean these since bacteria can harbor themselves there too! Fluoride Mouthwash also makes for a good addition to your oral care habits. Not only does the mouth wash help make your breath smell nice and fresh, it also may contain beneficial fluoride and can easily be added to your night and/or morning time routine.

4. Be active

Exercise is essential for staying healthy as we get older. Adults are recommended to get at least 150 minutes of exercise each week.

5. Schedule your dental visit

Be sure that your are visiting your dentist for a regular check up at least twice a year to ensure that your teeth are healthy.

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://healthyaging.net/healthy-lifestyle/oral-health/

https://www.deltadentalma.com/About-Us/News/2016/For-Healthy-Aging-Month,-know-your-mouth-may-hold

https://healthyaging.net/healthy-lifestyle/september-is-healthy-aging-month-10-tips-to-celebrate/

https://healthyaging.net/healthy-lifestyle/healthy-aging/

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Why Should I Donate Blood?

September 10th, 2019

Donating blood may not be on your to-do list, but there are many great reasons to donate blood. By donating blood, you can help someone's life, even across the world! You may have noticed that your social media timelines, television screens, and phone news notifications were filled with news of Hurricane Dorian, the destructive Category 5 hurricane affecting the Bahamas, Southeastern United States, and Atlantic Canada recently. Blood donations are invaluable, especially during natural disasters when many people are in need. Not to mention, the selfless act of donating blood can help save 3 lives. People in hospitals, accidents, or with certain medical conditions, for instance, can benefit from blood donations.
Plus, the good thing is that it's a very easy process! There are some requirements needed before the blood donation can be given, such as you must weigh at least 110 pounds, be in good health and feeling well, and be over the age of 16.
Individuals with Type O blood are known as universal donors, and people with all blood types can receive this blood donation. But, interestingly enough, you are benefiting from the blood donation just like the person recieving the donation. Donating blood helps improve your cardiovascular health, lowers your risk of cancer, allows the production of new blood cells, and you can receive a free health screening.
Don't worry, donating blood is not harmful to your body. After about a day your body replaces the lost fluids. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids and eat a healthy meal before donating blood.

Our caring team at the Wellesley Dental Group is happily co-hosting a community blood donation drive with the American Red Cross and the Wellesley Community Center this month of September! Check out the details:

  • Date: Wednesday September 18th, 2019
  • Time: 1:00 pm-5:00 pm.
  • Location Wellesley Community Center
    219 Washington Street
    Wellesley, MA 02482.

For more information and to register for the blood drive, you can call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or register online here. We hope to see you there!

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.redcrossblood.org/donate-blood/blood-donation-process/donation-process-overview.html

https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/blood-donation/about/pac-20385144

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