Asthma

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/

133-spring-sprung-asthma-triggers-735x0.jpg

dad_daughter_outside_playing.ashx

September Is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

September 5th, 2018

What is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month?

Did you know that over 23 million children are obese or overweight in the United States? National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month is a yearly campaign with the goal of letting individuals know the health hazards of obesity, particularly for children. Approximately one third of children in the U.S. are at risk of type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease. But, with the knowledge and proper resources, we can make these statistics and the health of our children better. Several organizations and professionals will be joining together especially this month to raise money, conduct research, and provide treatment to help battle childhood obesity.

Childhood obesity is a serious public health problem that can have a lifelong impact on the overall health. Chronic conditions such as asthma, joint issues, Type 2 diabetes, and sleep apnea may develop at higher rates due to childhood obesity. Also, it has been found that children with obesity often are more likely to experience depression and lower self-esteem. Surprisingly, obesity is also linked with an increased risk of developing periodontal disease due to the body's inflammatory response.

Several factors play a role in childhood obesity, such as genetics, metabolism, your child's home and community environment, as well as eating behavior and level of physical activity. It is important to encourage your child to stay active, get regular sleep, and to have a tooth-friendly healthy diet. When your child's energy is balanced it allows for healthier growth.

Some ways to help prevent obesity include measuring your child's Body Mass Index (BMI). This can be done using the CDC’s Child and Teen BMI Calculator to help identify your child's risk for obesity. Most importantly, make sure your child is provided with nutritious meals that include fruits and vegetables. Now that school is starting up, make sure to pack healthy lunches, which will not only keep your teeth healthy, but also your body! Have your child avoid sugary foods and beverages. Allow a certain amount of time for your child to be involved in physical activity each day. Not to mention, be a role model by following the same guidelines!

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/basics/threats-to-dental-health/ada-09-september-is-national-childhood-obesity-awareness-month

https://www.cdc.gov/features/childhoodobesity/index.html

tips-on-childhood-obesity-awareness.jpg

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Gum Disease and Asthma

August 27th, 2016

Did you know that asthma is one of the many health problems you could develop if you have gum disease?

According to a new study published in the Journal of Periodontology, those with gum disease are five times more likely to develop asthma!

Therefore, by trying your best to avoid gum disease, you're also actively protecting your body from other illnesses or diseases.

Proper oral health care is especially important for middle-aged men who don't exercise regularly: they have a higher risk of developing gum disease.

Want to prevent gum disease? Follow these tips:

1. Brush your teeth (and tongue) two times a day

2. Floss at least once a day

3. Use a mouthwash to reduce plaque

4. Avoid smoking

5. Exercise regularly

6. Maintain a healthy diet

A healthy diet, BMI, and lifestyle, combined with a regular exercise routine, can reduce the risk for gum disease by forty percent!

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://az616578.vo.msecnd.net/files/2016/04/02/635951642805742415114442452_Asthma.jpg

http://dentistrytoday.com/todays-dental-news/9856-gum-disease-may-cause-higher-risk-of-asthma

https://www.perio.org/consumer/prevent-gum-disease

http://dentistrytoday.com/todays-dental-news/9878-middle-aged-men-may-have-higher-risk-of-gum-disease

Secondhand Smoke Is No Joke To Oral Health

May 29th, 2015

As you may have heard before, "secondhand smoke kills." It sure does. Nearly 54,000 people die each year from secondhand smoke. A combined total of more than 480,000 deaths a year are caused from smoking and secondhand smoke. It can sometimes be easy to forget that even non-smokers are in danger of health problems as a result of cigarette smoke. Not to mention, children are at a high risk of developing several chronic diseases and health issues because of secondhand smoke.

There are many reasons to avoid smoking, and in this article, we'll offer you yet another reason. Believe it or not, secondhand smoke can negatively impact your oral health. Although more research is needed in the area, it is believed that children are at risk of developing tooth decay from secondhand smoke.

15 studies were conducted and reviewed in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health by researchers in Japan about the possible correlation between secondhand smoke and the development of cavities in children. The studies reported weak to moderate evidence that secondhand smoke causes cavities in primary teeth, yet, more information is needed to make a conclusive argument.

Further, Researchers now have concluded that smoking is one of the causes of periodontal disease because tobacco can damage gums and leave teeth susceptible to infection. This makes smokers more at risk for developing periodontal disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 47% of adults have either mild, moderate or severe periodontitis in the United States. The early stages of periodontal disease is gingivitis, which can eventually lead to periodontitis if untreated.

In a recent study funded by the National Institutes of Health-National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, researchers investigated the link between serum cotinine, a metabolite of nicotine, and periodontitis in U.S. non-smokers. The study found that non-smokers exposed to Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) had 1.45 times the odds of moderate/severe periodontitis as unexposed non-smokers.

In addition, smokers and non-smokers exposed to secondhand smoke are more prone to significant amounts of oral bone loss. For example, research in the Journal of Periodontology showed the correlation between secondhand smoke and oral bone loss in rats. The study concluded that rats with periodontitis that were exposed to secondhand smoke were at greater risk of experiencing oral bone loss and ultimately tooth loss.

Along with serious oral issues, secondhand smoke has caused oral cancer, breast cancer, middle ear infections in children, pregnancy problems, asthma, lung disease, heart disease, among many other health problems.

If you are a smoker, quitting is the best option to keep yourself and those around you healthy. Whether being exposed in homes, cars, offices, or other public places, secondhand smoke is severely detrimental to oral and overall 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 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.

References:

http://www.no-smoke.org/getthefacts.php?id=13

http://now.tufts.edu/articles/secondhand-smoke-and-cavities

http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/health_effects/tobacco_related_mortality/

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150313083627.htm

http://helpforsmoking.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/SecondHandSmoke-43321674.jpg

Tongue Health is No Tongue-Twister!

March 9th, 2015

Girl Sticking Out TongueNever forget to brush your tongue! It's often referred to as the "strongest muscle in the body," yet it needs care. In this article, we will describe how you can care for your tongue, and then we will explain common health problems related to the tongue and what you should do if you see any symptoms of them. Armed with these facts, you can maintain a healthy mouth!Did you know that some toothbrushes are made specifically for your tongue? It’s true, but regular toothbrushes can get the job done too!  Place toothpaste on your brush and gently stroke your tongue from back to front to remove plaque and bacteria. Another option for brushing your tongue is to use a tongue scraper. Pull it across your tongue to clean it and improve your breath. Following these steps and practicing good oral hygiene, you can keep your tongue healthy!

Some people do develop tongue soreness or discoloration. Fortunately, these are often caused by easily treatable problems. One problem that people sometimes have is that their tongue develops a white coating or white spots. While there are a number of different conditions that can cause a tongue to have these symptoms, three of the most common causes of a "white tongue" include leukoplakia, oral thrush, and oral lichen planus. Leukoplakia occurs when too many cells grow in your mouth. The excessive amount of cells can cause white patches to form.  Although leukoplakia is usually not dangerous, it can sometimes be a precursor to cancer. A dentist can diagnose whether you have leukoplakia and inform you on how to treat it.

Oral thrush, also known as candidiasis, is another reason why some people have “white tongue.” Oral thrush is a yeast infection that can produce white patches on your mouth, including the tongue. It is especially common for infants and the elderly, individuals who use inhaled steroids to treat asthma or lung disease, and for those who have diabetes. It can also occur after a person uses antibiotics. See a dentist who can diagnose this infection and even provide you with medications to help cure it.

Oral lichen planus causes raised white lines to form on your tongue. Usually, doctors cannot diagnose the cause. Most of the time, this problem resolves on its own with time. Still, you can do your part to help your body get better by practicing proper dental hygiene and avoiding foods that irritate your mouth.

Other factors can cause a pink tongue to turn red. Vitamin deficiencies, geographic tongue (harmless condition causing red spots), scarlet fever, and kawasaki syndrome are frequent causes. If your tongue is an unhealthy red color, you may have vitamin deficiencies of B-12 or folic acid. You can simply take supplements in this situation. Kawasaki syndrome is an illness that affects the tongue's blood vessels and is usually seen in children less than five years of age. Children may develop a red tongue, a high fever, and redness in the hands and feet. Be sure to bring the child to the doctor immediately.

Some people have a black, hairy tongue. Fortunately, this is almost always benign. Your tongue has small bumps called papillae, which grow throughout your lifetime. For most people, daily activities wear down their papillae. However, for others, these bumps can continue to grow long. When papillae are long, more bacteria can live on them and create a dark, hairy appearance. Usually, this condition is seen in people who aren't practicing healthy dental hygiene or who are using chemotherapy or antibiotics. People with diabetes can also have this problem. Fortunately, a black, hairy tongue is usually not dangerous to your overall health.

 

Another common tongue condition involves painful, bumpy tongues. Causes include biting your tongue, canker sores, burning mouth syndrome, enlarged papillae, smoking, and other medical conditions.

Finally, be careful if you or someone has a swollen tongue. If the person also has trouble breathing, the person may have a severe allergic reaction and need emergency medical care. In rare cases, tongue problems can be symptoms of serious conditions, such as diabetes, anemia, and oral cancer can also cause tongue pain. Be sure to see a dentist and get a diagnosis if your pain is lasting for a significant amount of time. Follow these ideas to maintain a healthy tongue. Nobody wants a strawberry tongue!

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.

References:

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/tc/basic-dental-care-home-treatment

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/tongue-problem-basics-sore-or-discolored-tongue-and-tongue-bumps

http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/t/tongue-scrapers

http://www.everydayhealth.com/allergies/swollen-tongue.aspx

https://badabingbadabambadaboom.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/attitude.jpg

Can Having Asthma Give You More Cavities?

October 4th, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video on Asthma and Dry Mouth

Tooth decay and asthma are two of the most common health problems that plaque children, adolescents, and many young adults. Asthma stands to affect 20 million Americans, 6.3 million of which are children. There has been research detailing a possible link between these two seemingly different health issues. The a dental hygienist and researcher out of Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg looked at patients of varying age ranges, consisting of 3, 6, 12 to 16 and 18 to 24 year olds. Her results demonstrated that 3-year olds with asthma were more prone to cavities than 3-year olds without respiratory issues. When looking at patients in older age ranges, the children and young adults with asthma developed more cavities and even more gum disease than their asthma-free counterparts. Within the asthma group, only 1 out of 20 patients was caries-free, while 13 out of 20 patients were caries free in the asthma-free group.

 

A possible theory that has been posed of this correlation hints at asthma medications being the culprit to the increase in cavities. Because these inhaler formulas are often comprise of powders, they live a dry residue that sticks to teeth. These medications may inhibit the production of saliva, which would lead to an individual getting more cavities. Not only do these medications limit saliva secretion, these drugs, including inhalers, syrups, and even sugar-coated steroids, are taken throughout the day, leaving users’ teeth exposed to a lot of sugar. Children with asthma also have more of a tendency to breathe through their mouth. This would then lead to the case of dry mouth, which would have also contributed to the higher cavities prevalence.

 

Patients should be in communications with dentists about the medication they use and their oral hygiene habits. It is important for dentists to know enough to effectively help keep cavities at bay. 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! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com

 

References:

 

http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/ADA/2011/article/ADA-08-Youngsters-with-asthma-have-higher-risk-of-cavities.cvsp

 

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2004-05-30/features/0405300364_1_inhalers-asthma-drugs-decay

 

 

 

 

http://madisonkidsdentist.com/ for pic credit

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