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New Research: COVID-19 and Heartburn Medications

July 23rd, 2020

 

Research has become a significantly important part of our lives, particularly as we all hope to gain knowledge about COVID-19 and how to conquer the pandemic. Researchers across the globe are trying to piece together any answers to these puzzling times. The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found numerous risk factors that are linked to COVID-19. For instance, individuals of any age with particular medical conditions are considered high risk for contracting coronavirus. Now, there may be another possible risk factor to add to the already long list that could make you more susceptible to get COVID-19.

A new study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, reports that taking proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), a common medication to treat heartburn, acid reflux, and stomach ulcers, may place individuals at a higher risk of developing COVID-19. PPIs work by blocking an acid-producing stomach enzyme to lower the amount of acid made in the stomach. Although stomach acid is natural and a part of the body’s defense mechanism, having a surplus or if it’s found in the wrong place can be a real pain and harmful to the body. PPIs can be prescribed by your physician or found over-the-counter. Some brand name over-the-counter PPIs that you may have heard of include Prilosec (omeprazole), Nexium (esomeprazole), and Prevacid (lansoprazole).

The researchers of this study, guided by Dr. Brennan Spiegel at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, created an online survey which was emailed to a total of 264,058 adults in the United States from May 3 to June 24, 2020. 86,602 individuals were eligible participants and of these individuals more than 53,000 reported heartburn, abdominal pain, and acid reflux and were asked to disclose what medications, if any, they used for relief. Among them, greater than 3,300 tested positive for COVID-19. After data collection and analysis, researchers found that people who reported use of PPI medications were 2-4 times more likely to have COVID-19 compared to those not taking PPIs. In addition, the frequency of intake of PPIs also played a role in the results. They found that individuals taking PPIs twice a day were at a higher risk than individuals taking the medication once a day. Interestingly, those who reported taking histamine-2 receptor antagonists medication (H2 Blockers), which also treat heartburn and gastric ulcers, were not found to be associated with an increased risk of contracting COVID-19 in the study.

The researchers believe that the change in the stomach environment as a result of PPIs could create an environment where pathogens and viruses like COVID-19 can thrive. These results also mirror some common side effects of longterm PPI use in other research studies. For instance, PPIs have been linked to the bacterial infection C. difficile, which researchers believe also thrives due to less stomach acid being present to fight against pathogens.

Although this research is a step toward a possible association between PPIs and COVID-19, more research has to be done to determine a cause and effect relationship. Dr. Christopher Almario, one of the study authors, stated “By no means do we say that people need to stop their PPIs…We found an association here; This needs to be confirmed. Many U.S. residents take PPIs for severe acid reflux, heartburn or peptic ulcers, and these people should not lower their dose or switch medications without first consulting a health care provider.”

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.uspharmacist.com/article/proton-pump-inhibitors-considerations-with-longterm-use

https://decisionsindentistry.com/2020/07/possible-link-between-heartburn-medications-and-covid-19-risk/?inf_contact_key=c1aff9e57306be06b8e82905e898e2fbb7af0999dac2af6212784c39e05d2aef

https://time.com/5863532/covid-19-heartburn/

https://www.livescience.com/ppi-heartburn.medication.covid19-risk.html

https://www.drugwatch.com/proton-pump-inhibitors/

https://parenting.firstcry.com/articles/foods-to-avoid-with-acid-reflux-or-heartburn/

Sneaky Culprits of a Silent Epidemic: Noodles and White Bread

July 19th, 2020

As we continue to fight what seems like a long and strenuous battle against COVID-19, our children are also combatting a more silent epidemic: Tooth decay. Cavities, also known as tooth decay, are one of the most common chronic diseases impacting children in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 1 of 5 (20%) children aged 5 to 11 years have at least one untreated cavity. For children aged 12 to 19 years old, approximately 1 of 7 (13%) have at least one untreated cavity. Sadly, without treatment, children may experience trouble speaking, chewing, learning, and enjoying everyday life. In fact, approximately two million missed days of school occur annually in the U.S. as a result of poor oral health problems among children.

A recent study, done by the University of Auckland and Starship Children’s Hospital in New Zealand, revealed that a higher frequency of consumption of simple carbohydrates, including white bread, rice, noodles, soft drinks, cake, and breakfast cereals, for instance, led to a greater risk of tooth decay. It can be surprising for many to think of these common, and delicious, food items as enemies of our oral health!

The study looked at the dental records and reported diet of 4000 children beginning at the age of two years old. The researchers found that foods such as whole wheat bread, vegetables, and cheese were associated with less tooth decay coupled with proper oral hygiene practices. Parental help with toothbrushing, brushing at least twice a day, and brushing after meals/snacks were linked with fewer dental cavities. On a positive note, researchers found that ¾ of the tested children had no dental cavities at their first dental appointment.

They also observed that ethnicity and socio-economic status played a role in the study. Children of Pacific ethnicity were four times at risk of having four or more cavities at their first dental appointment. On the other hand, Asian and Māori children were only twice as likely to have four or more cavities at their first appointment. As in the United States, many oral health disparities exist for individuals of many ethnic and racial groups, often pertaining to accessibility and affordability of healthcare.

The results of this study support the many other studies that have shown a strong link between diet and oral health. Other studies, such as one done in Cambodia, found that common diets made up of noodles and rice shared comparable results.

We all want to keep our child’s teeth bright and cavity-free. Luckily, cavities are 100% preventable. Prevention is key to helping children avoid invasive and costly treatments in the future! Tooth decay results when bacteria, a food source, and a host are coexisting together. The normal bacteria within the oral cavity feed off of carbohydrates and as a result produce damaging acids that breakdown the surfaces of teeth. It’s best to try to limit how often you and your children are consuming carbohydrates and processed sugars. When it’s time for your child’s snack time, offer tooth-friendly options like cheese, nuts, and carrots. Food consistency matters too! Sticky and chewy foods like fruit snacks tend to get stuck on and in-between teeth longer, increasing the risk for decay.

Certain treatments, such as fluoride varnish and dental sealants can help prevent tooth decay. Dental sealants are applied to the pits and grooves on the chewing surfaces of teeth to prevent food from becoming trapped. Make sure that your child drinks fluoridated tap water and is brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste.

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.stuff.co.nz/national/health/122104452/noodles-and-bread-among-food-most-at-risk-of-causing-tooth-decay-in-children

https://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/basics/childrens-oral-health/index.html

https://www.rwjf.org/en/library/research/2016/09/the-relationship-between-school-attendance-and-health.html

 

 

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fhawaiifamilydental.com%2Fnews%2Fwhat-to-do-child-toothache&psig=AOvVaw1prvuyt7Vb65gPlK4Oa-gd&ust=1595273475038000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCMich_6G2uoCFQAAAAAdAAAAABAw

The Latest Science on Masks, Plus Skincare Tips!

July 16th, 2020

 

Face masks have become a normal part of society, and are a significant help in slowing the spread of COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging everyone to wear masks, especially as the number of cases and deaths is rampantly increasing across the United States. Numerous current studies reveal that asymptomatic individuals and individuals who later develop symptoms can transmit coronavirus during the time that they are pre-symptomatic.

The Director of the CDC, Dr. Robert R. Redfield, commented “cloth face coverings are one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus – particularly when used universally within a community setting. All Americans have a responsibility to protect themselves, their families, and their communities.”

Several research studies, including a review study published on Tuesday July 14th in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), have identified that cloth face coverings are helping prevent people with coronavirus from spreading the virus to other individuals. The review comprised two recent case studies, one from the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). This study observed two Missouri hair stylists infected with COVID-19 and symptomatic through contact tracing. One of the stylists saw customers for 8 days while experiencing common coronavirus symptoms, while the other stylist saw customers for 4 days while symptomatic. With all staff and customers wearing a mask in the salon per local government regulations, it was found that none of the 139 customers in contact with the two hair stylists became ill, and 67 customers who voluntarily were tested received negative test results for COVID-19.Both stylists reported wearing cloth face masks or surgical masks when taking care of their customers. Of the 139 customers at the salon, approximately 47% wore a cloth face mask, 46% wore surgical masks, and 5% wore N-95 respirator masks. Their appointment times ranged from 15 to 45 minutes. The CDC affirms that wearing face masks could add huge benefits to protecting the community against the virus.

Wearing a face covering is especially important when in public spaces or when in environments where it is hard to maintain social distancing. The CDC recommends that face coverings should not be worn by anyone under the age of two or anyone with certain medical conditions. If you feel sick or notice that you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, immediately seek medical care and self-isolate.

What are the different types of masks?

1. N95 respirators

These medical masks are meant to lower the exposure to small and large air particles. These masks are fit-tested for medical professionals to ensure a secure fit.

2. Surgical masks

These masks are loose-fitting masks, but still provide some barrier against large respiratory droplets. These masks are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

3. Cloth masks

The CDC also reports that cloth masks may help slow the spread of COVID-19. Some people have bought filters to add to masks, which are currently being researched to determine if they add any additional protection.

Experiencing skin trouble from wearing a mask?

If so, not to worry, there are recommendations that may help. Wearing a mask may aggravate certain skin conditions, such as eczema or acne, but there are ways to get it under control.

Director of the Dermatology Laser and Cosmetic Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Mathew Avram, shares that trying a silk face covering to wear in public may help individuals who have acne or sensitive. Silk may provide less friction between your mask and face, which may help lessen your risk of irritation or inflammation.

Clinical director of the Mohs Dermatologic Surgery Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Dr. Abigail Waldman, recommends using a face cleanser after wearing a mask to remove any trapped dirt and oil the collects under the mask. Avoid using any bar soaps that may irritate and cause your skin to feel tight. When looking for a face lotion, be sure that it is non-comedogenic, meaning that it does not block pores. Wearing a moisturizer before putting your mask on can help add a layer of protection between your skin and the mask. Also be sure to wash your face covering after each use.

Over-the-counter products may also help clear up breakouts. Acne products typically contain adapalene gel or other retinoids, which often help limit the accumulation of dead skin cells at a minimum, and/or have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects.

If you’re experiencing an acne breakout, try avoiding wearing makeup under the area covered by the mask. Makeup may block your pores and cause skin irritation when wearing a mask throughout the day. If wearing makeup, try to aim for wearing non-comedogenic products. If you notice that your skin condition gets worse or does not go away, contact your dermatologist.

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.bostonmagazine.com/health/2020/05/20/face-mask-breakouts-skincare-tips/

https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/pdfs/UnderstandDifferenceInfographic-508.pdf

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover-guidance.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/about-face-coverings.html

https://article.images.consumerreports.org/f_auto/prod/content/dam/CRO-Images-2020/Health/03Mar/CR-Health-facemask-corona-update-0320

https://www.chicagotribune.com/resizer/oUvQp1s0kDCCJACU03CSWcEyr-4=/1200x957/top/cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/tronc/WXFENVDHA553QDSRKEUN2HH3GA.jpg

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/social-media/mm6928e2_HairSalonCOVID19_IMAGE_14July20_1200x627-medium.jpg

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/coronavirus-face-masks-what-you-need-to-know

https://inside.akronchildrens.org/2020/04/01/help-akron-childrens-protect-our-patients-and-staff-with-diy-face-masks/

Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness & Prevention

July 12th, 2020

Each year, cleft and craniofacial conditions impact thousands of infants in the United States. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 1 in every 1,600 infants are born with both cleft lip with cleft palate in the United States. While approximately 1 in every 2,800 infants are born with only cleft lip, and about 1 in every 1,700 babies are born with only cleft palate. These phenomenons occur when an infant's upper lip or roof of the mouth does not completely fuse together during pregnancy. The month of July marks National Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness and Prevention Month, which is the perfect time to spread awareness and learn more about orofacial clefts and complex craniofacial conditions. The American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association (ACPA) aims to increase knowledge and create situations catered to help individuals with these conditions thrive.

What is Cleft Lip?

During the amazing development of an infant during pregnancy, body tissue from each side of the head grow toward the center of the face and come together to create the face. A cleft lip occurs if the tissue that creates the lip does not join completely. This creates an opening in the lip in the middle or on either side of the lip, and can sometimes extend to the nose. Lip formation normally occurs between the fourth and seventh weeks of pregnancy.

Baby wih a cleft lip

What is Cleft Palate?

A cleft palate results if the tissue of the roof of the mouth, also known as the palate, does not come together completely during pregnancy. This can occur in the front, back, or spanning across the entire palate. The formation of the roof of the mouth naturally occurs between the sixth and ninth weeks of pregnancy.

Baby with Cleft Palate

What Is Cleft Lip and Palate?

The most common cleft condition of the face is both cleft lip and palate combined. This occurs when there is both a separation in the upper lip and in the roof of the mouth.

What is Craniosynostosis?

Craniosynostosis occurs when the skull sutures fuse together during development. This can be noticeable at birth or during growth and development after birth.

What Is Plagiocephaly?

Plagiocephaly, also known as positional plagiocephaly, causes an infant's head to have a flattened appearance due to external pressure.

Orofacial clefts can cause children to experience other problems, including problems with their teeth, feeding, speaking, and hearing. Research is continuously being conducted to help become more knowledgeable of these conditions in hopes for prevention. Cleft and craniofacial conditions typically require long and challenging treatment methods, and require a multi-professional team approach consisting of medical, surgical, dental and other health professionals.

The causes of orofacial clefts are not completely known. Some may be due to genetics or other factors, according to the CDC. The CDC reports that women who smoke during pregnancy have an increased risk of having a baby with an orofacial cleft. In addition, women with a diagnosis of diabetes before pregnancy, and women who take certain medications during their first trimester, such as anticonvulsants, have an increased risk of having a baby with cleft lip/palate. It is important to talk with your medical professionals during your pregnancy about ways to increase your chances of having a healthy baby.

Orofacial clefts are normally diagnosed during pregnancy with routine ultrasounds or after the baby is born. Certain types of cleft palate, such as a submucous cleft palate and bifid uvula may not be diagnosed until later in life.

Treatment can vary depending on the severity of the condition, in addition to the child's age and presence of other birth defects. Cleft lip surgery normally occurs within the first year of life as recommended. It is recommended to repair cleft palate within the first 18 months of life or earlier. It is common for many children to need additional surgeries later on in life to help improve not only appearance, but breathing, hearing, and speech development. Children with orofacial clefts may also need special dental or orthodontic care. Treatment of orofacial clefts have been proven effective and most children lead a healthy life.

Join us in spreading the word!

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://acpa-cpf.org/2018/07/10/july-is-national-cleft-and-craniofacial-awareness-month-2/

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6425a5.htm?s_cid=mm6425a5_w

https://www.gillettechildrens.org/get-involved/cleft-and-craniofacial-awareness-month

https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/birthdefects/cleftlip.html

Mouth-Problems-722x406.jpg

http://www.nccapm.org

Plagiocephaly.jpg

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