AHA

Reminder: Take Good Care of your Heart!

February 12th, 2020

It's hearts all over the world each month of February, especially with Valentine's Day right around the corner. But, this month isn't just about the cards and candy, it's also American Heart Month, where the importance of heart health is advocated by communities across the world. Heart disease is sadly the number 1 killer of Americans, killing more people than all forms of cancer! Both heart disease and stroke are the cause of approximately 2,300 deaths each day. This year, it is the 56th consecutive American Heart Month, which was first implemented by President Lyndon B. Johnson in February 1964. Organizations such as the American Heart Association promote the importance of heart disease awareness.

Over the years, rising obesity rates in children and adults have contributed to the progression of heart disease in America. Luckily, heart disease can be prevented with the right healthy life-style choices. From being more physically active, to eating healthier diets, and tracking your heart health by regularly checking your blood pressure and weight. Most people also don't realize that managing your stress and sleep schedule plays a role in your heart health. Lack of sleep can increase your risk for developing chronic health problems because your body needs the rest in order to keep your mental and physical health regulated.

Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease and can lead to heart attacks. People are at a higher risk of developing heart disease if they have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, preeclampsia during pregnancy, or prediabetes or diabetes. In addition, people who smoke cigarettes, are over age of 55 for women or 45 for men, or people with a family history of heart disease are also at a higher risk for having heart disease. Although some risk factors cannot be change, most others are modifiable! It is important to make conscious choices to eat healthy and stay active.

Take a look at this list of food groups that should regularly be included in your diet:

  • Vegetables such as leafy greens (spinach, collard greens, kale, cabbage), broccoli, and carrots
  • Fruits such as apples, bananas, oranges, pears, grapes, and prunes
  • Whole grains such as plain oatmeal, brown rice, and whole-grain bread or tortillas
  • Fat-free or low-fat dairy foods such as milk, cheese, or yogurt
  • Protein-rich foods:
    • Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, tuna, and trout)
    • Lean meats such as 95% lean ground beef or pork tenderloin or skinless chicken or turkey
    • Eggs
    • Nuts, seeds, and soy products (tofu)
    • Legumes such as kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, black-eyed peas, and lima beans
  • Oils and foods high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats:
    • Canola, corn, olive, safflower, sesame, sunflower, and soybean oils (not coconut or palm oil)
    • Nuts such as walnuts, almonds, and pine nuts
    • Nut and seed butters
    • Salmon and trout
    • Seeds (sesame, sunflower, pumpkin, or flax)
    • Avocados
    • Tofu

It is important to limit sodium (salt), saturated and trans fats, added sugars, and alcohol. Reading food labels can be tedious but could also save your life! Sweetened drinks and desserts have a lot of added sugars which can not only impact your oral health but also your heart health.

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.heart.org/en/around-the-aha/february-marks-56th-consecutive-american-heart-month

https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/education-and-awareness/heart-month

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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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Brush Your Teeth, Your Heart Will Thank You

November 11th, 2018

Who would have thought that your dentist would be telling you how to help prevent heart disease? It’s commonly known that smoking, a poor diet, lack of exercise, and an uncontrolled weight can impact your heart. However, did you know that brushing your teeth is linked with maintaining a healthy heart? Research published in Scotland revealed that brushing your teeth can lower your risk of experiencing a heart attack or other issues impacting your heart.

Heart disease is a serious problem that unfortunately impacts a lot of people. According to the American Heart Association, about 2,600 people in the United States die each day from a heart attack, heart failure, or stroke. The study looked at approximately 12,000 women and men and observed their oral health habits, daily exercise, and smoking habits. About 60% of the individuals reported seeing a dentist every 6 months, and approximately 70% reported brushing their teeth two times each day. Those who stated brushing their teeth less often were found to have a 70% increased risk of heart disease and had increased amounts of C-reactive protein and fibrinogen, which are found in the blood indicating inflammation. Inflammation is a significant finding related to poor oral hygiene and atherosclerosis (accumulation of fat substances around artery walls). Periodontal disease, which is a chronic condition impacting the gums and tissues around teeth, is a result of poor oral hygiene and adds to the inflammatory response. Some signs of periodontal disease include red and swollen gums, bleeding gums when eating or brushing and flossing, pus or infection around gums, poor taste in your mouth, and loose teeth.

The American Heart Association also conducted a recent study analyzing brushing frequency in 682 participants and the link to heart disease risk. Those who stated brushing their teeth less than two times a day for less than two minutes had a 3 times higher risk of developing heart disease than those brushing for the recommended two times a day for 2 minutes or more. More research is needed to determine whether or not the link is a cause and effect relationship.

Practicing good oral hygiene habits and scheduling regular dental visits can help not only keep your smile healthy but also help keep your heart and overall health in check.

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.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/heart-disease/ada-06-consumer-news-heart-disease-tooth-brushing

https://www.cdapress.com/article/20181107/AP/311079959

https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/news/20050207/brush-your-teeth-help-your-heart#2

https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/news/20100527/brushing-teeth-may-keep-heart-disease-away

https://www.cigna.com/static/www-cigna-com/images/individuals-families/health-wellness/brush-teeth/brush-teeth-1-16x9-lg.jpg

https://www.medindia.net/patients/patientinfo/atherosclerosis.htm

High Blood Sugar Increases Risk of Heart Disease

October 27th, 2016

To be heart healthy, you not only need to pay attention to your habits, but also your diet!

According to a study published in the journal Nature, scientists discovered that cardiac arrhythmia, a condition that causes irregular heartbeats, is linked to a biological pathway activated by abnormally high levels of blood sugar. This finding explains why diabetes greatly increases the risk for heart disease.

The National Institutes of Health claims that diabetics are four times more likely to have heart disease, and the American Heart Association notes that about 65 percent of the death of diabetics are caused by heart disease or stroke. Therefore, if you have diabetes or high blood sugar levels, make sure to check on your heart health!

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and their newest addition to the team, Dr. Zarah Ali, if you have any thoughts or concerns. 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.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. VanDr. 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.

Resources:

http://s.doctoroz.com/78815991.jpg

http://dentistrytoday.com/news/science-a-medicine/item/60-how-high-blood-sugar-throws-off-heart-rhythm

Fruit Juices and Smoothies Can Harm Your Teeth!

April 19th, 2016

Now that it finally feels like spring with all the sunshine, you might think that it's a great time to enjoy some fresh fruit juices and smoothies. They appear to be great alternatives to soda, iced tea, or other sugary drinks. However, these beverages can be harmful for your teeth and actually contain a lot of sugar according to research recently published in the online journal BMJ Open.

While the American Heart Association (AHA) suggests consuming less than 3-4 teaspoons of sugar a day for children and less than 5 teaspoons of sugar for teens, the average sugar content of pure fruit juices was 2 teaspoons and 2.5 teaspoons for smoothies. Additionally, over 40% of these drinks have 4 teaspoons of sugar!

You might think that 100% fruit juice would be better, but its innocence is deceiving. Even the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends serving no juice to infants younger than 6 months old and no more than 4 to 6 ounces to children ranging from 1 to 6 years old. Fruit juices contain free sugars (glucose, fructose, sucrose, and table sugar added by the manufacturer, plus natural sugars such as honey, syrups, and fruit juice concentrates), which can cause tooth decay.

Therefore, some recommendations include:

  • not eating fruit in the form of juice
  • diluting fruit juice with water
  • limiting drinking fruit juice to 5 ounces per day
  • drinking water and milk

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and their newest addition to the team, Dr. Zarah Ali, if you have any thoughts or concerns. 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.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Van. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other periodontal or oral surgery needs, Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

Resources:

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/308290.php

http://media1.s-nbcnews.com/i/newscms/2015_32/716996/fruit-smoothies-today-tease-1-150805_f1b20de057704b0707570a6613e1f25a.jpg

The Effect of Birth Control on Oral Health

January 26th, 2016

blog

Birth control pills have many benefits and are a popular contraceptive method which increases estrogen/progesterone levels. However, they can also negatively affect your oral health.

According to The American Academy of Periodontology, many factors such as smoking, poor nutritiongenetics, and medications (including oral contraceptives, antidepressants, and heart medications) can impact gum health. These factors may increase risk for gum disease, which 75 percent of Americans, and especially periodontal disease, an advanced type of gum disease linked to osteoporosis, stroke, diabetes, heart disease, and low-birth-weight babies that 50% of Americans have.

Many studies have demonstrated the clear connection between dental health and sex hormones. The risk for periodontitis is especially high during puberty and pregnancy due to increased estrogen levels, which promote the flow of blood in the mouth and forces gums become red, swollen, and more susceptible to bacteria. Furthermore, women have a greater chance of having dental problems because of their hormones.

There is also evidence that those who use oral contraceptives had more bleeding sites, tooth attachment loss, gum gaps, inflammation, and gum destruction. If you are our patient, please let us know your history and habits so we can effectively treat and prevent gum disease. Certain medications can impact the effectiveness of antibiotics. To prevent and resolve gum disease, make sure to use an antimicrobial mouthwash, floss, and avoid smoking, stress, and sugar.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and their newest addition to the team, Dr. Zarah Ali, if you have any thoughts or concerns. 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.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. VanDr. 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.

Resources:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/caroline-beaton/birth-control-pills-may-cause-bad-breath----and-worse_b_8513492.html

https://www.perio.org/consumer/types-gum-disease.html

http://myfancytips.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/All-About-The-Serious-Side-Effects-Of-The-Birth-Control-Pill-3.jpg

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