allergies

Robbed of a Good Night's Rest?

August 10th, 2019

Sleep is an important part of each day, so much so that the effects of a restless night can change the entire productivity of our next day! Unfortunately, many people suffer from sleeping disorders. In fact, nearly 70 million adults in the United States have a sleeping disorder, the most common of which is sleep apnea. According to the National Sleep Foundation, a whopping 18 million adults in America have sleep apnea. So, what exactly is sleep apnea? There are two main types to know about:

  • The most common form, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), is a condition involving involuntary temporary interruptions in breaths for at least ten seconds at a time due to upper airway blockage. This causes a disrupted sleeping pattern and low blood oxygen levels, which can contribute to several health issues.
  • Central sleep apnea is much less common and is characterized by failure of the brain to signal the necessary muscles involved in breathing.

As a result of the interrupted breathing pattern, individuals with sleep apnea often produce snoring and choking sounds throughout the night. You may be wondering, what’s the big deal about having sleep apnea? Sleep apnea does not only just interrupt your night’s rest, it can also put you at a higher risk of developing many conditions, including high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, depression, and worsening of ADHD.

Who does sleep apnea affect?

Obstructive sleep apnea can impact people of all ages and any gender, however, there are some factors that can place some people at higher risk. This includes people 40 years of age and older, smokers, heavy alcohol users, males, African Americans, those who have a family history of sleep apnea, and individuals suffering from obesity, sinus problems, or allergies. Your anatomy also plays a role in your risk of developing sleep apnea. People with nasal septum deviations, a thicker neck, narrow throat, large tongue, small jaw, or enlarged tonsils are at higher risk of sleep apnea.

If you think you have sleep apnea or have been told that you may have sleep apnea by your doctor, don’t worry! Sleep apnea can be treated, and Wellesley Dental Group’s very own Dr. Emad Abdallah can help you conquer sleep-disordered breathing!  Dr. Emad Abdallah received his doctorate, certificate in orthodontics, and Master of Science in temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ) and orofacial pain from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. Don't be robbed of a good night's sleep, contact us today!

Stay tuned to our social media accounts including FacebookLinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter for more sleep-related posts!

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.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-apnea

https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/s/sleep-apnea-and-snoring

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/respiratory-conditions/is-sleep-apnea-or-snoring-robbing-you-from-your-sleep-0713

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My Lungs, Mouth, and Inhaler: What to Know

April 17th, 2019

It's that time of the year where blooming flowers and warm breezes take over and are welcomed by many. However, for some, this time of the year triggers asthma and allergies! Unfortunately, individuals with asthma may not share the same joy in this seasonal change. Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that is characterized by airway obstruction, coughing, and wheezing caused by constriction of the lung bronchi. But, that's not all! Since the body is all interconnected, this respiratory condition also has been found to increase your risk of developing gum disease (gingivitis and periodontal disease), tooth decay, malocclusion (overbite, overate, posterior crossbite), oral candidiasis, dry mouth, and oral sores. In particular, these conditions are often more prominent and aggressive in children. A contributing factor is that children's teeth have thinner enamel than adults, and consequently are more susceptible to harm and breakdown caused by bacteria that cause cavities. Here's how you can lower these risks and keep your mouth healthy so that it can last you a lifetime:

A recent study analyzing 40 children with asthma looked at the prevalence of dental cavities, gingival bleeding, the pH of saliva, composition of bacteria within the mouth, in addition to assessing their oral hygiene habits. It was found that the children with asthma experienced dry mouth, had at least 5-8 cavities, and a rapid formation of plaque. The children also had an increased acidity of pH within the mouth, which puts them at a higher risk of cavities and the fungal infection, candidiasis. Another study reported that individuals with asthma had approximately a 19% increased risk of suffering from periodontitis.

Fortunately, avoiding gum disease can be achieved by practicing proper oral hygiene techniques, including using a fluoride toothpaste, mouth rinse, brushing and flossing regularly, and making regular visits to the dentist. If you notice red puffy gums, bleeding with brushing or flossing, or persistent bad breath, these can be early signs of gum disease.  It is also important to always bring your inhaler to dental and medical appointments to ensure your safety in the case of an acute asthma attack.

The Effect of Asthma Medications

The medications taken to combat asthma also play a role in negatively impacting the oral cavity. This is because the protective mucous membrane within the mouth is less effective/reduced in individuals with asthma, lowering the body's immune system. Dry mouth is a major consequence of many medications, which allows for plaque build-up and bacteria accumulation that contribute to dental cavities, bad breath, and gum disease.

Inhaled corticosteroids, including Advair and Azmacort, may cause oral thrush, dental cavities, oral ulcers, and hoarseness. In addition, Albuterol, a medication used to treat bronchospasm, can have side effects including oral thrush, dry mouth, increased heart rate, high blood pressure, throat irritation, and nausea.

Tips for Managing Oral Health with Asthma

  • Rinsing with water after you using your inhaler can help avoid developing an oral fungal infection.
  • Stay hydrated in order to help combat dry mouth.
  • Keep your dentist informed about your medications and medical conditions. Make sure your dentist knows if you have asthma and what medications you are taking so that your health can be managed properly.
  • Manage allergies. Both asthma and allergies typically flare-up together. Managing both properly can help prevent mouth-breathing and dry mouth.
  • Practice good dental hygiene.

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.dentalhealth.org/news/asthma-found-to-increase-the-likelihood-of-gum-disease-by-a-fifth

https://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/asthma.html

http://www.thetotaldentistry.com/2018-07-dental-caries-in-asthmatic-children/

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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

burning-mouth-syndrome-chauvin-dental-lafayette-la.jpg

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Turmeric: The Future Mouthwash?

November 19th, 2015

Mouthwash can be a beneficial solution for your oral health problems. However, did you know that turmeric, a yellow spice that is extracted from the root of the Curcuma longa plant that is a key ingredient in curry, also has good effects and can even be safer than the typical chemical mouthwash? Turmeric has been used since ancient times for health benefits and to treat oral diseases, including removing plaque from the mouth and killing oral cancer cells.

Turmeric has around three to four percent curcumin, which is a yellow polyphenol that is a natural alternative for chlorhexidine. Chlorhexidine is a common ingredient in mouthwash that treats gingivitis, or gum inflammation. Some of the typical symptoms of gingivitis include halitosis (bad breath) and bleeding or swollen gums. If not treated properly, gingivitis can develop into an extremely harmful form of periodontal disease. Although chlorhexidine is effective at preventing dental plaque, there have been issues in patient safety. In 2012, the UK's Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) stated that chlrohexidine can provoke anaphylactic reactions, which are severe and life-threatening allergic reactions. Although these reactions are rare, if safer alternatives are more effective, they should be used instead.

A study published in the Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology in 2012 compared the effects of turmeric mouthwash (0.1% curcumin extract mouthwash and 0.01% eugenol) and chlorhexidine (0.2% chlorhexidine gluconate mouthwash) on subjects who had mild to moderate gingivitis. The results proved that the turmeric mouthwash was more effective than the chlorhexidine mouthwash in improving the oral health (in terms of the percentage reduction of the plaque index, gingival index, and bacterial activity) of the subjects. Furthermore, it was more effective at a concentration that was half of that of chlorhexidine. Further research has demonstrated that curcumin is an ideal alternative for chlorhexidine in plaque reduction and reduction in plaque-associated gum inflammation.

In addition, if one were to consume some of the curcumin-based mouthwash by accident, the consequences would not be as adverse as those that would result in swallowing chlorhexidine. Because of all the health benefits of turmeric, it may actually be beneficial. However, if you consider switching to turmeric mouthwash, make sure to consider the quality of the herb. Check whether it was produced organically and preserved in a way that eliminated mycotoxins and other microbial contaminants.

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. VanDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

 

Resources:

http://www.curejoy.com/content/turmeric-superior-chemical-mouthwash-oral-health/

http://authoritynutrition.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/turmeric-roots-and-a-jar-of-turmeric-powder.jpg

What's a Kid with Smelly Breath to Do?

August 14th, 2014

Bad breath, also referred to as halitosis, is often a condition that adults are conscious of, but did you know that even healthy children can experience halitosis? Surprisingly, even toddlers can have smelly breath! If you’ve noticed that your child’s breath is not so pleasant, there’s no need to worry! Although the main culprit is typically not brushing enough, there are also other conditions that could be causing your child to have bad breath.

It is important to inform your child of the importance of brushing, flossing, and rinsing after meals. Missing this routine can cause plaque buildup and bacteria in the mouth to multiply, thus resulting in oral odor. The main odor causing areas in the mouth are between teeth, under the gum line, and on the tongue. However, it is not abnormal for your child to experience morning breath. The unwanted bacteria eventually becomes washed away by your child's saliva as the day continues.

Here are some common causes of bad breath in children:

  • Dry mouth. When saliva production in your child's mouth is lower than normal, dry mouth can occur, which typically produces smelly odors. It is crucial to remind your child to stay hydrated, especially when participating sports or other physical activities, to avoid risk of dry mouth and bad breath. In addition, saliva also protects the mouth from tooth decay, cavities, and other oral health problems.
  • Mouth breathing. It is hard for saliva to wash away odor-producing bacteria when a child breathes through their mouth rather than through their nose. Mouth breathing dries out the mouth and can lead to other oral health problems for children.
  • Bacteria on the tongue. Remind your child when brushing to brush their tongue too! A lot of smelly bacteria reside on the tongue, which can be easily removed using a soft bristled brush!
  • Allergies or a sinus infection. Your child's sore throat or stuffy nose could be the cause of bad breath, due to bacteria within the nasal passages and throat.
  • Swollen tonsils. When tonsils become infected and inflamed, they often carry an unpleasant smell. Bacteria can gather on the swollen tonsils and cause bad breath.
  • A foreign object. As strange as it may sound, your child's bad breath could be the result of a small object stuck in their nasal passages. Sometimes a baby may place small items such as beads, food particles, tiny toys, or beans in his or her nose, which can lead to bad breath.
  • Your child's diet. Bad breath can be simply caused by what your child consumed for lunch. Foods with strong odors, including garlic or onions may be influencing the odor of your child's breath.
  • Medications. If your child is taking certain medications, the chemicals released within their bodies may result in bad breath.

Despite the cause of bad breath, it is important to teach children the importance of forming good oral health care habits at an early age. Consider obtaining flavored floss and a toothbrush with your child’s favorite television character on it, which can make brushing more fun. Also, try to avoid breath mints, which typically contain sugar that can lead to more oral bacteria!

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. Kim or Dr.PradhanDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

References:

http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/ColgateNewandNow/Family/2014/May/article/SW-281474979302506.cvsp

http://kidshealth.org/kid/stay_healthy/body/bad_breath.html#

Image credit: http://parentingmojo.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/child-hands-over-mouth-.jpg

 

Springtime Allergies Can Cause Dental Problems

May 5th, 2014

6e6fad0297cbe4e5_177817502_copy.xxxlarge_2xNow that the month of May is here, we can start enjoying warmer weather and more time in the sun.  However, the spring time can be a headache for many as allergy season is also starting up.  Some common symptoms of seasonal allergies include itchy and watery eyes, runny nose, and sneezing.  There are also a few lesser known symptoms of seasonal allergies pertaining to your teeth and mouth.

Tooth pain can be a result of allergies.  Elevated levels of pollen in the air result in sinus problems.  Some common symptoms of sinus problems include swollen/infected sinus cavities, congestion, sneezing, drainage, headache, and bad breath.  Additionally, because the maxillary sinus cavity rests above the top molars, its inflammation increases discomfort on facial nerves and tooth roots.  Typically, the pain caused by the sinuses will be especially noticed on the upper teeth.

Another consequence of springtime allergies is the buildup of excess mucus.  The body produces more mucus as a way to rid the body of allergens.  However, this mucus production can cause postnasal drip as the congestion begins to travel down the back of your throat.  Postnasal drip causes feelings of wanting to clear your throat and coughing that worsens during the nighttime.  Sometimes, the excess mucus can cause throat pain and general throat irritation.

Lastly, allergies can lead to dry mouth.  Proper saliva production is necessary to protect the insides of our mouths from cavity-causing bacteria and bad breath.  Furthermore, many common allergy medicines can cause side effects of dry mouth as well.  Therefor, It is crucial to stay hydrated by drinking water frequently.

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 781-237-9071or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

Sources:

http://elementsdentalofjohnstown.com/blog/3-ways-allergies-can-cause-sinus-pain-in-teeth/

http://www.24-7pressrelease.com/press-release/tooth-pain-a-sign-of-allergy-season-reports-focusedcaredentalcom-220287.php

http://www.webmd.com/allergies/postnasal-drip

Image credit: http://media1.onsugar.com/files/2014/04/06/852/n/1922153/6e6fad0297cbe4e5_177817502_copy.xxxlarge_2x.jpg

Consuming Cheese Can Prevent Cavities

January 20th, 2014

Happy National Cheese Lover's Day!

Dairy has been long known to be packed with a great amount of calcium, protein, and vitamin D in every serving. It has always been said that drinking milk and other dairy products will keep bones healthy and strong, but there has not been much research done on how beneficial dairy products are to oral health until recently. General Dentistry just published in their most recent journal issue that cheese and other dairy products have the potential of keeping cavities at bay.

Researchers that conducted the study looked at 68 participants between the ages of 12 and 15. The subjects had their dental plaque pH checked before eating cheese, milk, or sugar-free yogurt. Previous studies indicate that a pH level below 5.5 makes an individual more susceptible to the wearing down of enamel, resulting in tooth erosion. The higher the pH level, the lower the chance an individual has of getting cavities.

The subjects were randomly split into three groups: one that ate cheddar cheese, another that drank milk, and a final group that ate sugar-free yogurt. After eating their chosen type of dairy for 3 minutes, the subjects were asked to rinse their mouth with water. The pH level of each subject’s mouth was then measured 10, 20, and 30 minutes the dairy product was consumed. The researchers found that the individuals who drank milk and ate sugar-free yogurt did not have a significant change in pH level; however, those who ate cheese showed a great increase in pH levels after each time interval, indicating that this particular dairy product may be the key to preventing cavities. The results suggest that because there is more of a need to chew when consuming cheese, there is an increase in saliva production, which also leads to an increase of pH levels. The researchers also found compounds inherent in cheese binds to tooth enamel, preventing acid from causing further damage.

This new finding gives us more of a reason to add a slice of cheese to a sandwich. Continue to make sure daily that your diet increases and strengthens oral health!

If you have any questions, thoughts, or concerns feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group; 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.

References:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130605130118.htm

http://online.wsj.com/article/PR-CO-20130605-908423.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/6-reasons-to-get-your-diary

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-204_162-57587876/cheesy-grins-may-protect-teeth-from-cavities/

Picture Credit: http://dailym.ai/17rk9ET

Local recommendation: Wasik Cheeseshop 

Beware of BPA: Found to Damage Tooth Enamel

January 12th, 2014

girl looking in the mirrorThere has been much talk about the dangers of ingesting BPA through plastic sippy cups and even water bottles that we bring on the go. BPA, also known as bisphenol A, is a chemical found in hard plastics of food and drink containers and acts in a similar way to estrogen, and other hormones in the body.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had originally deemed BPA to be a safe substance, but recent studies have shown that this chemical has lead to disruption of normal hormone levels, possible brain and behavior problems in infants and young children, and an increased risk of cancer and heart problems.

Recently, researchers have tied enamel damage to early exposure to BPA. A team led by Ariane Berdal of the Universite Paris-Derot showed that rats that have been treated daily with low doses of BPA resulted in damaged enamel. The rats were observed during a 30-day development window where researchers exposed the rats to the doses of BPA. The earliest observations founds on the rats were white marks found on their incisors. On a macroscopic level, the teeth with white marks were found to have fragile and brittle BPA. On a microscopic level, the enamel showed a decreased level of crucial minerals, the teeth were more susceptible to cavities.

The damage found on the teeth of these rats is comparable to damaged tooth enamel found in 18% of children between the ages of 6 and 8. These researchers believe that enamel damage is another effect of BPA damage to the body. It is important to check products for a “BPA-free” label before they are bought. While the FDA has cracked down on plastics containing, be cautious when buying baby bottles, sippy cups, baby formula cans, and other products for young children. Our pediatric dentist, Dr. Pradhan and Drs. Ali & Ali at Wellesley Dental Group will be very happy to answer your questions. Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com!

Resources:

http://children.webmd.com/environmental-exposure-head2toe/bpa

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130610133246.htm

http://www.voanews.com/content/bpa-teeth-13jun13/1681088.html

100th Anniversary of Dental Hygiene

June 21st, 2013

Completing my first year in my career as a Registered Dental Hygienist I, as well as well as all the other well earned Dental Hygienists, get to celebrate the 100th anniversary of our profession. Dental Hygiene started right here in New England, back in 1913 by Dr. Alfred Fones.

Dr. Fones was practicing dentistry when he started to notice many of his patients would lose their teeth due to dental caries (cavities) or periodontal disease (gum disease). He thought that if he could prevent these diseases from occurring, he could save or prevent tooth loss. Dr. Fones realized that if he could remove plaque, calculus and sugar from the teeth and gums, this would prevent disease. He started on his mission and in 1906 he trained the first Dental Hygienist in the world, Irene Newman. Irene was trained to provide preventative dental cleanings. The results of these dental cleanings were so successful that in 1913, Dr. Fones opened the first ever Dental Hygiene school called Fones School of Dental Hygiene in Bridgeport, CT. Since then, dental prevention had begun. The Encyclopedia Brittanica states “Dental Hygiene was the most important development of the dental arts appearing in 1911-1922.”

Since 1913, Dental Hygiene has come a long way, but what remains the same is prevention. If we Dental Hygienists can educate our patients to understand the importance or good oral health and hygiene habits, then we have done our job. I am proud to be a part of the 100th anniversary celebration of dental hygiene and our successful profession.

Written by: Andrea Geoffrey-White, RDH

http://www.cdha-rdh.com/home/historyofdentalhygiene.html

Sweet (But-Teeth Friendly) Desserts

June 18th, 2013

It’s summer time! The school year is finally winding down, and we are excited to make are way down to the beach and enjoy some time out in the sun. Summer also brings ice cream, popsicles, cotton candy, and a whole bunch of food that may be delicious, but are also definitely not doing your teeth a favor.

Every grocery store is bound to have a section of an aisle dedicated to frozen desserts, which can range from strawberry ice cream to jolly rancher-flavored popsicles. Your taste buds may think it’s an excellent idea to grab a few on the go, but your teeth will beg to differ. Popsicles tend to have high sugar content, which will leave teeth susceptible to cavities and tooth decay. These frozen sweets also contain artificial coloring dye, which has been shown to contain carcinogens and maybe contribute Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Instead of getting a pack of popsicles from the grocery store, here are some healthy and enjoyable alternatives.

Smoothies: Milk shakes tend to be a summer favorite after a long soccer practice. While they do contain dairy, which is wonderful for teeth, they also contain lots of sugar, which is wonderful for bacteria in the mouth, not so much for teeth. Bacteria love feeding on sugary residue left in the mouth, and definitely won’t hold back when they are offered a ton from milk shakes. Instead of making a trip to the local diner, start the blender and add in some low-fat milk, yogurt, bananas, strawberries, and blueberries. A yummy smoothie will result, chock full of calcium, antioxidants, and vitamins. Homemade smoothies will allow you to control the amount of sugar that goes into the drink, and sweet and healthy fruit will do just the trick! Here’s a quick and easy recipe (link: http://bit.ly/16upE68) that will satisfy sweet-tooths but will keep teeth happy.

Yogurt Pops: Yogurt, cheese, milk and other dairy products are great saliva generators, protecting teeth from tooth decay. Calcium and phosphates found in milk and other dairy products can put minerals back in teeth, making them healthy and stronger. Here’s ( http://bit.ly/112tASF ) a great recipe for these delicious pops that will make the kids wanting more!

Remember: Desserts can be delicious and healthy at the same time; there’s always great foods out there that are also a treat for teeth as well. Here’s to a summer of healthy choices and yummy eats! If you have any concerns, Drs. Ali & Ali and their team at Wellesley Dental Group will be very happy to answer your questions. Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com!

References:

http://online.wsj.com/article/PR-CO-20130605-908423.html

http://www.forbes.com/sites/rachelhennessey/2012/08/27/living-in-color-the-potential-dangers-of-artificial-dyes/

The Link Between Periodontal Disease and Diabetes

June 13th, 2013

26 million adults are known to be affected by diabetes. Statistics show that 1 out of 10 healthcare dollars are spent on diabetes. The link between periodontal disease and diabetes has been extensively studied over the past 50 years. There is strong evidence that diabetes is a risk factor for periodontitis and gingivitis. A study dating back to more than 30 years ago has already shown that children suffering from type 1 diabetes had a higher prevalence of gingival inflammation. Ervasti et al. examined patients with gingival bleeding and determined that there was greater amount of bleeding in patients with poorly controlled diabetes when compared to subjects that do not have diabetes and subjects with well-controlled diabetes. Research has also shown that types with type 2 diabetes also tend to have more gingival inflammation than the control group in the study.

Studies also show that the risk of developing periodontitis is increased when one has diabetes. Teenagers with type 1 diabetes have been found to be five times more likely to develop periodontitis. Research also supports the idea that there may be more bone loss linked to adults with diabetes. Subjects suffering from type 2 diabetes are three times more likely to develop periodontitis compared to subjects without diabetes.

Doctors were able to pinpoint the root cause of this relationship between diabetes and periodontal disease. There is a protein known as the c-reactive protein (CRP), which is found in the blood stream. CRP levels rise with inflammation of blood vessels, which has been linked to type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Researchers have also shown that CRP is continuously produced in the presence of periodontal diseases. It is important to note that an individual cannot keep diabetes under control if he or she is also suffering from periodontal disease. It is absolutely crucial that diabetic patients maintain good oral health to keep CRP at bay.

Periodontal disease can affect your general health; read more here.

If you have any more questions, feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group; they will be happy to answer your questions! They can assess the risk of periodontal disease and if need be our periodontist, Dr. Ghazwan Ghazi, can help.Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

References:

Cianciola L, Park B, Bruck E, Mosovich L, Genco R. Prevalence of periodontal disease
in insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (juvenile diabetes). JADA
1982;104(5):653-60.

Ervasti L, Knuuttila M, Pohjamo L, Haukipuro K. Relation between control of
diabetes and gingival bleeding. J Periodontol 1985;56(3):154-7.

http://www.diabetes.org/news-research/research/access-diabetes-research/greenfield-protein.html

http://www.ada.org/sections/professionalResources/pdfs/Perio_diabetes.pdf

http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/diabetes-statistics/

Can playing a musical instrument effect oral health?

June 11th, 2013

It has been widely accepted that playing a musical instrument can increase and nourish intelligence in children, but playing a used instrument can be a health risk as well.

General Dentistry published a clinical study that revealed that woodwind and brass instruments that have been previously used were found to be ridden with various bacteria and fungi some that have been linked to serious infectious and allergic diseases, which can further lead to conditions such as mouth breathing. Click here to read more about mouth breathing. Children who are involved with their school band or orchestra typically rent their instrument for over the course of the year. These instruments have already been played by other students and without proper cleaning, bacteria an fungi have been indubitably thriving in the instrument. The same growth has been seen in dentures, athletic mouth guards, and tooth brushes.

In the clinical study, 117 instrumental pieces, including mouthpieces, internal chambers, and cases were tested on 13 previously used instruments. There were 442 different bacteria found on the instruments, along with 58 molds and 19 yeasts. Mold can lead to the increased likelihood of developing asthma, while yeasts found on the instruments can lead to skin infections around the mouth and lips. These bacteria, fungi, mold, and yeast that are presence on these instruments are highly resistant to the antibiotics that are normally prescribed, which highlights the importance of sterilizing instruments that have been previously played. It is essential to wipe areas that come in contact with the skin and mouth frequently. Instruments should be cleaned on a regular basis with cleaning cloths and solution.

If you have any concerns, Drs. Ali & Ali and their team at Wellesley Dental Group will be very happy to answer your questions. Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com!

References:

http://jada.ada.org/content/142/5/490.3.fullv

The Importance for Teens to Balance a Fast-Paced Life and Oral Health

June 10th, 2013

Once that alarm starts going off in the morning, teens are on a jam-packed schedule, shuffling through classes, extracurricular activities, and sometimes even part-time jobs. In order to keep up with the pace, teens often make a grab for quick meals in form of carbonated beverages and “nutrition bars” to keep them on edge and alert for all of their obligations; however, this kind of lifestyle may leave teens with permanent damage to oral and overall health.

In a 2003 issue of General Dentistry, studies have shown that teens that constantly indulge in sugary drinks can result in premature loss of tooth enamel and the weakening of overall tooth structure. While research has deemed carbonated beverages and energy drinks detrimental for oral health, these sugary drinks can also affect overall bone growth in teens. Read more here. Adolescence is the known time period of optimal bone growth, when more nutrient-packed calories are necessary to fuel growing bodies and to strengthen teeth and bones. These calories tend to be counteracted when teens continue to take in high-carbohydrate foods, which are instead replacing healthy foods such as milk, vegetables, and fruits.

Reports have shown that these beverages are the main causes of increases cavities and obesity in teens today. Unfortunately, researchers expect obesity to remain a major issue as more pre-school-aged children continue to become more addicted to caffeine and sugar. The various acids found in sodas and energy drinks breakdown tooth enamel around cavity sealants and previously done restorations, which leads to more necessary dental treatment to prevent tooth loss.

Phosphoric acid in many carbonated drinks limits calcium absorption, influencing body density. By age 16, girls have acquired 90-96% of their bone mass, making adequate calcium intake extremely important. However, national statistics indicate that only 19% of girls ages 9-19 are receiving the recommended 1,3000 mg of calcium per day. The lack of calcium intake indubitably affects bone structure of the mouth, which can lead to complications such as periodontal bone loss.

While it is important for teens to work hard and strive to do their best, it is just as essential for them to watch what they consume and maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you have more questions, be sure to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group; 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.

References:

http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=T&iid=333&aid=1335
http://www.healthywomen.org/condition/oral-health

Pacifiers:Do They Boost or Weaken Your Child’s Health?

June 7th, 2013

Many parents have been taught that sharing utensils or sucking on pacifiers to clean them can help a child build immunity. The journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics has even published a study detailing the immunological benefits of adult saliva. However there has been much debate about whether parents should follow this rule of thumb.

The American Dental Association (ADA) was quick to follow up this study with their respond, explaining that this may not be a good idea. ADA noted that the adult saliva contains a whole host of microorganisms that may be harmful to a child health. The transfer of saliva may end up increasing a baby’s chance of developing tooth decay in the future. Dr. Jonathan Shenkin, who is a spokesperson for the ADA, points to Streptococcus mutans as a bacteria present in adult saliva that my end up doing some serious damage to teeth.

However, there are others that continue to support the American Academy of Pediatrics. While they understand the risks of being more susceptible to bacteria, proponents of adult saliva transfer believe that should not be the main concern at hand. It has been argued that certain adults may not even have these harmful microorganisms present in their oral cavity. What should be priority is parents’ responsibility to provide good oral hygiene for their child. These dentists argue that no matter what, babies will continue to be exposed to different harmful microorganisms, whether it Is from what they consume or touch throughout the day. The key to limiting the progression of child tooth decay is to keep up with proper oral care. Parents need to be reminded of the importance of proper brushing, rinsing, and flossing for their child. Dentists believe that this aspect of oral health takes precedent over staying away from microorganisms that can harm the child.

Our pediatric Dentist, Dr. Pradhan, will more than willing to take care of your child's dental needs. Also, feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts, questions,or concerns; they will be happy to answer them! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

References:

http://www.ada.org/news/8582.aspx

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2013/04/30/peds.2012-3345

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/260144.php

Five Green Foods That Can Bring About Good Oral Health

June 4th, 2013

Have you been looking to get healthier and searching for how to change up your current diet? Here are a couple green healthy foods that can get you started on spicing up what you eat and also can be beneficial for your oral health!

Green tea: get ready to cut out sugary and carbonated beverages and look into a lighter and calming alternative. While green tea has been proven to reduce the risk of both stroke and oral cancer, it contains catechins, which are a type of antioxidants that also prevents cavities and gingivitis. Green tea also prevents halitosis by hindering bacterial growth. Make sure to read our blog to find out more about green tea health benefits!

Celery: these crunchy greens can help produce saliva, freshening up the mouth while neutralizing bacteria that results in cavities. Celery is also known to stimulate and massage gums during chewing and also cleanses areas between teeth.

Wasabi: the spicy Japanese horseradish not only adds flavor to sushi and sashimi, but can also be front line defense for teeth. What makes wasabi taste hot is a substance known as isothiocyanates, which also prevents the growth of bacteria in the mouth. Eating green paste can keep cavities away!

Parsley: these leaves can add flavor to a variety of dishes but can also help freshen up the mouth after a meal. These greens contain monoterpenes, which are substances that travel through the lungs and bloodstream; their odor ends up being released through one’s breath.

Kiwi: most fruits contain an assortment of vitamins, but kiwis are known to be jam-packed with Vitamin C, which allow maintains the collagen in gums, preventing tenderness and vulnerability to bacteria. Snacking on these sweet green fruits is another way to prevent cavities.

If you have any more questions, thoughts, or concerns feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group; 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.

References:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091105084848.htm

http://www.nytimes.com/2000/12/26/health/it-works-on-sushi-it-could-help-teeth-too.html

http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/getting-your-vitamin-c-from-kiwi-fruit.html#b

Green Tea May Prevent the Onset of Oral Cancer

June 3rd, 2013

Green tea has been shown to a soothing drink that has the ability maintain healthy teeth and gums. Research also reveals that green tea extract can be used as a chemopreventative agent to fight oral cancer. The Daily Meal also reports that "Green tea has also been proven helpful to people who suffer from diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol and blood pressure, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, as well as even skincare and tooth decay."

Cancer Prevention Research published online that out of the oral leukoplakia patients who took the green tea extra, more than half of them experienced a clinical response. Their preclinical models indicated that green tea is filled with polyphenols, which can prevent the progression of cancer. Researchers have noted that while these clinical trials may not show definitive proof that green tea can be used to prevent cancer, these results can lead to more studies focusing on patients who are at risk for oral cancer. Green tea has shown to be promising because of its nontoxic nature, which is essential to prevent further harm in individuals battling cancer.

In phase 2 of their study, oral leukoplakia patients were given either the green tea extract or a placebo at one of three dosage amounts. Participants ingested the tea or the extract for three times a day for three months. After these three months, the patients underwent oral tissue biopsies. These biopsies were able to reveal that green tea extract were beneficial to the patients but also lead the researchers to believe that antiangiogenetic effects (growth and development of tissue) were the mechanism of action.

Out of the patients that took the two highest doses ended up, 58.8% of the patients had a clinical response, compared to the 36.4% of patients that took the lowest dose of green tea extract. Although these results were not statistically significant, researchers noted that the extract was well received by the patients and only a few of the patients that took the highest extra dosage showed signs of insomnia and nervousness.

The researchers note that there were only a few patients that participated in their clinical trials and that more research needs to be done to see if green tea can conclusive prevent oral or other types of cancer. Green tea needs to be looked at to determine whether it can provide long-term prevention for patients. However, this research proves to be a promising stepping-stone for further studies.

Green tea is stimulatory in nature as it contains some caffeine, which will naturally boost your metabolism. Green tea is also an antioxidant that, like wine, cranberries, and dark chocolate, will target and scavenge for toxins that could lead to cancer, blood clots, and even atherosclerosis.

We recommend an oral cancer screening annually and this can be done at your next preventative visit. If you have any more questions, 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.

References:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12004708
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091105084848.htm
Photo Credit to http://www.thedailymeal.com/health-benefits-green-tea-could-save-your-life

Myth Proven: Thumb Sucking Can Lead to Buck Teeth

May 30th, 2013

It is a precious sight for parents when they see their newborn baby playfully giggling and sucking their thumb. Some often worry about bacteria and germs that that babies may be placing in their mouth but others also hold the belief that thumb sucking can lead to buck teeth. David Horwitz, a pediatrician at the New York University School of Medicine, was able to show that this is in fact not a myth.

It has been shown that about 80% of infants and children tend to suck on their thumbs, which is a behavior that has been considered rather normal during the first few years after birth. However, thumb sucking can start causing problems down the line. The American Dental Association predicts that by age 6, a child’s permanent teeth start to come in and it is very likely that misalignment of teeth, also know as malocclusion, can occur. If a child continues to suck his or her thumb, the thumb slowly pushes the top teeth out, changing the relationship between a child’s upper and lower jaw. This movement may go unnoticed to parents, but can be identified by the orthodontist.

Dr. Horwitz explains that this thumb sucking habit can be noticed early on in child development. Ultrasounds of mothers often show babies that seem to be sucking their thumbs even in the womb. Dr. Horwitz believes that some babies may be thumb suckers since the time there are born. It has been recommended that parents can put socks or gloves on babies’ hands before they sleep at night. There are also dental devices that can be placed on the roofs of babies’ mouths to make thumb sucking more difficult.

We have a great pediatric dentist that would be happy to evaluate your child. 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.

References:

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/27/health/27real.html?_r=0

http://www.uamshealth.com/?id=5256&sid=1

Detecting Breast Cancer Through Saliva Analysis

May 29th, 2013

In 2006, the America Cancer Society predicts that there would be 212,920 new cases of invasive breast cancer, and in that year, 40,970 women would die from it. While breast cancer is the second leading cause of death for women in the United States, many lives can also be saved if a diagnosis was given earlier. Studies recently show that salivary tests can now be used to make early diagnoses for breast cancer.

In General Dentistry, researchers explain that there are proteins levels in saliva that can play a role in forming a diagnosis, treatment plan, and potential follow-up care for a patient with breast cancer. That would put general dentists in a position to assist with diagnosis samples. Because patients tend to make more frequent dental visits than physician visits, it would make sense for dentists to easily take saliva samples from patients’ mouths during checkups.

Salivary tests have also shown to have advantages over blood testing. Researchers have compared saliva and blood samples and explained that while saliva is clear and colorless, blood can change in color, which may affect test results. Saliva collection is also safe and non-invasive, and can be taken without causing the patient any pain.

This method of diagnosis is still pending and under the consideration of the Food and Drug Administration. If salivary testing does get approved, dentists and physicians can work together to help catch the onset of breast cancer early on. However, this does not mean that women should not go in for mammogram screenings or blood analysis; they are still considered the first line of defense. Even if breast cancer was detected via a salivary sample, a mammogram or imaging test is still needed to find the location of the cancer.

The possibility of detecting breast cancer early on through something as non-invasive as salivary analysis is truly promising. 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.

References:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080110123921.htm

Wellesley Parade and Picnic

May 23rd, 2013

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Wellesley’s Wonderful Weekend was once again truly wonderful—what an amazing experience to celebrate another year of this great community tradition!

Thank you to the Wellesley Celebrations Committee for organizing such wonderful events for the community and the volunteers who support it. We also want to thank the Wellesley Police Department for not only keeping everyone safe this weekend but for also representing our town in the OneFund by selling BostonStrong t-shirts and donating proceeds to those who were affected by the recent Boston Marathon tragedy.

Our tractor float caught a lot of attention this year! It was all thanks to the little smile ambassadors we had on board helping our team promote healthy, happy smiles. The fun continued later at the picnic, where the Wellesley Dental Group tent was a real party! We had face painting and feather extensions, guest appearances from the Tooth Fairy and Chuckles the Dinosaur, and lots of treats for all our young smile ambassadors! Even a little rain didn't dampen the community spirit, and the night came to a perfect end with some truly spectacular fireworks. We can’t wait to sponsor them again next year!

Spring sniffles can lead to poor oral health

May 17th, 2013

After a long winter, spring can literally be a breath of fresh air. However, for some, spring may mean going through countless tissue boxes. Seasonal allergies can mean lots of sneezing, and a lot of congestion, which is usually coupled with “mouth breathing.” While this may seem harmless, a clinical study published in General Dentistry pointed out that there can also be oral health repercussions to mouth breathing.

 

Mouth breathing, also known as upper airway obstruction, has been shown to cause abnormal facial and dental development, including long, narrow faces and mouths, and gummy smiles. Mouth breathing can lead to lack of saliva in the mouth. Saliva is essential for the reduction of acid and bacteria in the mouth, which causes individuals who lack saliva to end up with gingivitis. Crooked teeth can also be caused by an upper airway obstruction due to poor position of the tongue. Mouth breathers tend to rest their tongue on the roof of their mouths, causing cheek, muscles to relax and rest on the upper teeth. This causes the upper jaw to become more narrow leading to crooked teeth down the line. This condition can lead to poor sleeping habits, and can lead to poor oxygen concentration in the blood stream, resulting in possible high blood pressure-related conditions. Children who suffer from mouth breathing usually do not get enough rest, leading to tiredness throughout the day and lack of concentration on academics.

 

But no fear! There are possible treatments for mouth breathing, and it is very beneficial to discover this condition early on.  A dentist is able to look for mouth breathing symptoms, including dry, cracked lips, dry mouth, bad breath, snoring and daytime fatigue. Swollen tonsils are also known to be a prominent symptom of this disease. If there is the presence of inflamed tonsils, they can be surgically removed by an ear-nose-throat (ENT) specialist. If one has narrow face and mouth, dentists are able to use expansion appliances to aid in the widening of sinuses and the opening of nasal airway passages. After surgery and orthodontic treatment, patients have been shown to improve in behavior, energy level, academic performance, and peer acceptance.

 

If you believe that you are a mouth breather, be sure to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group; they will be happy to answer your questionsContact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

References:

 

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100406125714.htm

 

http://www.webmd.com/allergies/video/josephson-mouth-breathing

 

 

Mom's Who Eat Nuts Tied to Less Allergies in Children

July 25th, 2012

We're sure you've heard the saying "You are what you eat" before. Well, it couldn't be more true! According to a recent study of 62,000 Danish mothers, those who consumed peanuts and tree nuts while they were pregnant were less likely to give birth to children with asthma or allergies.

Before, it was considered to be just the opposite. Many organizations and doctors recommended staying away from nuts during pregnancy.

The articles states,

"There is little research implicating even peanuts, specifically, eaten by a pregnant mother and her child's risk for peanut allergy - much less a wider range of sensitivities. Yet the fear continues to lead many expectant mothers to steer clear of nuts."

You can read the full article here. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to contact us at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com!

Child Allergies and Antibacterial Agents

July 3rd, 2012

A new study is linking the use of antibacterial agents in things such as toothpaste, mouthwash, and soap to the development of allergies in children.

Data was used from a survey taken of 860 kids between the ages of 6 to 18. The relationship between levels of antibacterials and preservatives found in urine were that are found in many personal hygiene products and the presence of IgE antibodies in the children's blood.

According to the study,

"Children with the highest levels of the antibacterial agent triclosan had more than twice the risk of food allergies and nearly twice the risk of environmental allergies as children with the lowest levels, the findings revealed." You can read the article in full here.

Is our society too germ cautious, and as a result, future generations will feel the effects? Let us know in the comments!

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