acidic beverages

GERD Awareness Week: Don't Ignore the Signs!

November 7th, 2021

It's National GERD Awareness Week (November 21-27, 2021) and we're here to spread the word about this common condition that can even play a major role on your oral health. GERD is short for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, and impacts approximately 1 in every 5 Americans.

This national campaign has a rich history, and first began in November 1999. The International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD) aims to educate and provide resources and support for those who know loved ones or are themselves suffering from GERD. Annually, this observance occurs during the week of Thanksgiving, which is often a time when many Americans may experience common symptoms of GERD, for example heartburn, surrounding the beloved Thanksgiving feasts. If symptoms like heartburn become chronic or you notice other strange abnormalities, this could be a sign that something more serious is occurring. Other common signs and symptoms of GERD, many of which are noticeable within the mouth, include:

  • Regurgitation of food or liquids
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Chest pain, especially while lying down
  • Hoarseness and sore throat
  • Belching, nausea, vomiting
  • Stomach ache and pain on awakening
  • Sinus infections
  • Worsening symptoms of asthma
  • Burning mouth
  • Tooth enamel erosion, increased wear and tooth decay due to constant acid exposure
  • Tooth chipping
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Yellow tooth discoloration
  • Bad breath
Acid reflux/gastroesophageal reflux results when stomach acids enter the esophagus and move upward toward or sometimes into the mouth. Stomach acids naturally are made by the body to help with food digestion, and the esophageal sphincter muscle is supposed to close once food passes through to the stomach. In individuals with GERD, the esophageal sphincter does not close properly, allowing the stomach acid to move backwards into the esophagus. When acid reflux occurs frequently, this can lead to GERD. Overtime, the lining of the esophagus can become inflamed and damaged. In addition, more serious conditions can arise, including a disease called Barrett’s esophagus, or even esophageal cancer. This is why early detection and diagnosis are extremely important, as it can help prevent or delay progression of this condition before permanent damage occurs. If you believe you may have GERD, speak with your healthcare professionals.

Wondering how you can spend this GERD Awareness week? Here's how:

  1. Make good food and drink choices.The foods we eat can impact a lot, including oral health, and conditions like GERD. Avoid acidic foods and drinks such as caffeine like coffee, sodas, citrus fruits, cranberries,  chocolate, peppermint, and spicy foods to help control GERD symptoms. This will also help lower your risk of developing tooth decay. Plus, limiting the amount of food you intake at each meal, avoiding eating close to bedtime, as well as eating more slowly can help improve digestion.
  2. Avoid alcohol or tobacco use, as these habits can worsen acid reflux symptoms and can negatively impact your teeth and body.
  3. Monitor your weight and posture, as obesity and poor posture increase acid reflux symptoms.
  4.  Maintain good oral hygiene. Be sure you are having your regular dental and cleaning appointments, brushing twice a day, and flossing daily. Use a toothpaste containing fluoride. Toothpastes with baking soda can also help neutralize acids. It is important not to brush immediately after oral exposure to acid, as this can can cause more damage to teeth (It is recommended to wait at least 30 minutes afterwards). Instead, rinse immediately with water.

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:

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

Popular "Health" Trends that aren't so Healthy!

July 28th, 2019

From online ads to television commercials, we are surrounded by many popular trends that are intended to improve our overall health. But are these trends truly thinking about your health overall? Often these trendy recommendations leave out the health of your pearly-whites, which play a critical role in the health of your body. Not to mention, you might be wondering are they backed by scientific evidence or just out to get your money? Take a look at these popular trends that could be doing more harm than good:

Juice Cleanses

Juice cleanses have become relatively popular for individuals looking to lose weight or detoxify the body. This diet often is based on drinking only juice from vegetables and fruits and is marketed as a way to help increase vitamin and mineral intake, as well as help improve digestion. However, many of the claimed benefits have not yet been proven scientifically. In addition, juice cleanses are not tooth-friendly because juices typically are high in sugar and can put you at a higher risk for tooth decay. Some fruit juices are also highly acidic, which can wear down your tooth enamel overtime. When consuming acidic beverages it is important to wait to brush until approximately 45 minutes later so that you do not harm your enamel during its weakened state.

Non-Dairy Milk

Almond and soy milk have become advertised as healthy alternatives to milk, but how true is this? Non-dairy milks often are high in sugar, which can be detrimental to your smile. In addition, non-dairy milk may be lacking calcium, which is an essential part of your dental health. Be sure to check the calcium content and aim for buying products with at least 120 milligrams of calcium per 3.4 fluid ounces.

Charcoal Toothpaste

There has been a lot of talk about charcoal toothpaste lately, particularly for its claimed whitening properties. Yet, a recent study showed that charcoal toothpaste can lead to permanently stained teeth. When choosing a toothpaste, the best option is one that contains fluoride, which will help promote enamel remineralization.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Could Apple cider vinegar keep the doctor away? This product has been said to help alleviate bloating and heartburn, lower blood sugar, and help with weight loss. However, according to the University of Chicago Medical Center these claims are not strongly supported by evidence. Not to mention, consuming apple cider vingar can cause enamel erosion due to its acidity.

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.msn.com/en-in/health/wellness/are-these-health-trends-hurting-your-teeth/ar-AACOZV3

https://www.businessinsider.com/healthy-habits-that-damage-your-teeth-2017-10

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Each Bite Counts: National Nutrition Month

March 10th, 2019

The popular saying, "You are what you eat," reminds us that a healthy diet is important in order to keep our bodies healthy, vibrant, and energized. National Nutrition Month is a yearly initiative each March created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to educate individuals on healthy food choices. What we eat on a daily basis not only effects our general health, but also the health of our teeth and gums. In fact, the initial signs of poor nutrition can often first be seen in the mouth.

Healthy teeth aren't just a result of daily toothbrushing and flossing...nutrition plays a major role, too! It is important to include a variety of nutrient-rich foods from all the food groups.

Here are some tips to help you make informed choices on foods and beverages that are tooth-friendly and heart-healthy:

  • Be sure to educate your children about the benefits of eating smart and keeping hydrated with milk and water over sugary sodas and sports drinks. If consuming acidic foods or beverages, it is best to drink water immediately, but wait 30 minutes before brushing your teeth to avoid damaging your enamel since it is at a weakened state during this period. If you have an infant, only send them to sleep with water, as milk or juice can lead to baby bottle tooth decay.
  • Find out your nutritional and calorie needs, based on your age, gender, amount of physical activity, and other health factors. A balanced diet should include:
    • Fruits and Vegetables
      • Fruits and vegetables contain a high water and fiber content, which is beneficial for your teeth and body.
    • Whole Grains
      • Whole wheat bread
      • Brown rice
      • Oatmeal
    • Dairy (low-fat or fat-free)
      • Cheese, milk, and plain yogurt help keep your pearly whites strong!
    • Protein
      • Lean beef
      • Skinless poultry and fish
      • Eggs
      • Beans
      • Peas
      • Legumes

  • Avoid foods that harm your dental health, including empty calorie foods like candy, sweet desserts and non-nutritional snacks. Foods and drinks high in sugar, starch, and carbohydrates, stick to tooth enamel and the bacteria within your mouth consume the sugar. In return the bacteria then release harmful acid that breaks down tooth enamel. It is best to limit your consumption of soda, juice, and sweetened coffee or tea, as these choices promote tooth decay. Not to mention, coffee, tea, and wine are big culprits of causing tooth staining.
  • Nutrients including phosphorus, calcium, Vitamin D, and probiotics, help strengthen enamel and fight against tooth decay. Also, Vitamin C , found in citrus fruits, tomatoes, peppers, spinach, broccoli, and potatoes to name a few, helps promote gum health.
  • Snacking between meals can expose your teeth to more sugar and acids, so it is best to limit snacking. If you do snack, make a conscious nutritious choice, such as cheese, yogurt, fruits, vegetables, or nuts.
  • In addition to eating healthy, make sure you are staying physically active for at least 1 hour a day.
  • If you have medical conditions including gastrointestinal reflux or an eating disorder, your risk of cavities and enamel erosion may be higher.

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 and consultation.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. DerekDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Stephens would be more than willing to help.

References:

https://www.eatright.org/food/resources/national-nutrition-month/national-nutrition-month

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/basics/nutrition-and-oral-health/ada-march-is-national-nutrition-month

https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/nutrition/food-tips?utm_source=mouthhealthyorg&utm_medium=mhrotator&utm_content=nutrition-month

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Is Your Mouth Feeling Sizzling Hot?

October 20th, 2018

Being in pain is one of the worst feelings, especially when you don't know the cause. Thanks to new research, knowledge is increasing about chronic oral pain, also called Burning Mouth Syndrome. This condition commonly impacts middle-aged women and can be very debilitating for most people. In past years this condition has been quite ambiguous, but new discoveries are currently being made.

People experiencing Burning Mouth Syndrome often report a sensation of stinging on their tongue, palate, lips and/or gums. This condition can also cause dry mouth, and bitter or metallic taste sensation in the oral cavity. These symptoms can occur gradually overtime or appear suddenly. For many people, it can lead to difficulty eating, sleeping, and cause anxiety or depression.

A dissertation at Sahlgrenska Academy reported that when 56 women with Burning Mouth Syndrome were asked to rate the condition from 0 (not difficult at all) to 100 (unbearable), the average response was 66. It was also found that 45% of the patients experienced altered taste, and 73% had a burning, stinging, numbness, or combination of the three sensations. Burning Mouth Syndrome was strongly correlated with self reports of teeth grinding, multiple medication use, allergies, and skin diseases. Not to mention, mucin proteins detected in the patients were altered and contained less carbohydrate structures that normally impact the immune system. These patients were found to have higher inflammatory levels than the control group of individuals without Burning Mouth Syndrome. With this information, researchers are looking for methods to help with diagnosis and treatment options.

If you're experiencing some of the symptoms mentioned, this can be evaluated during your dental visit. Burning Mouth Syndrome can be secondary to dry mouth from several factors including multiple medications, fungal infections such as oral thrush, nutritional deficiencies (B1, B2, B6, B9, B12, Iron, Zinc), ill-fitting dentures, stomach acid reflux (GERD), diabetes, or consumption acidic beverages.

In the meantime, to help ease the pain, avoid irritants such as tobacco smoking, hot spicy foods, alcoholic beverages or mouth rinses with alcohol, and acidic foods and beverages.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and their newest addition to the team, Dr. Zarah Ali, if you have any thoughts or concerns. Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Van. Dr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other periodontal or oral surgery needs, Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

The caring team at Wellesley Dental Group will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

References:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/09/180921151427.htm

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/burning-mouth-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20350911

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