Early Exposure to Chemicals is Harming Our Youth

September 15th, 2016


It seems like chemicals are all around us, often showing up in things we use everyday, including cosmetics, household appliances, and plastic bottles. Unfortunately, these chemicals may be causing many health problems. According to recent research presented at the European Congress of Endocrinology, chemicals in plastics may be damaging children's tooth enamel by interfering with hormones that stimulate tooth enamel development. Enamel is one of the hardest substances in the body and it is found on the outer layer of each tooth. It is made up of mainly minerals and serves the purpose of protecting your teeth from plaque and ultimately tooth decay.

Researchers looked at the effects of daily doses of Bisphenol A  (BPA) alone or with Vinclozolin on rats. BPA is chemical commonly found in plastics including water bottles and food containers, and vinclozolin is a common fungicide typically found on raspberries, lettuce, kiwi, and onions. Both BPA and vinclozolin are referred to as endocrine disruptors, which are chemicals that interfere with mammalian hormones. The doses given were similar to those a human would be exposed to daily from birth to 30 days old. Then, researchers took cell samples from the rats’ teeth and found that the expression of genes involved in mineralization (important for tooth enamel) were impaired due to the exposure to BPA and vinclozolin. They concluded that children with developing teeth who are exposed to these chemicals could be at higher risk of having molar incisor hypermineralization (MIH), which can lead to tooth sensitivity and damaged tooth enamel. It is important to note that once tooth enamel is gone, it cannot be replaced!

In addition, researchers analyzed rat ameloblast cells, which deposit enamel during tooth development. They found that sex hormones including estrogen and testosterone helped boost tooth enamel development. However, exposure to BPA and vinclozolin blocked these hormones from functioning properly, which as a result weakened tooth enamel. Leading researcher, Dr. Katia Jedeon stated, "Tooth enamel starts at the third trimester of pregnancy and ends at the age of 5, so minimizing exposure to endocrine disruptors at this stage in life as a precautionary measure would be one way of reducing the risk of enamel weakening.” Further research on other chemicals found in things we commonly use are currently being studied. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) states that many endocrine disruptors have the greatest health threat to individuals during early infant development.

If you have concerns about chemicals impacting you children, your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Van. Dr. Van is a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and is passionate about improving the health of all of his patients.

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.

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.





Plastic Can Be Dangerous for Your Teeth!

June 21st, 2016

If you use refillable water bottles or plastic food containers, your children may be at risk!  A new study shows that being exposed to chemicals in these plastic objects could weaken the teeth of children.

These chemicals degrade teeth, because they interact with the hormones that create tooth enamel (the outermost layer of the tooth). Because enamel is not a bone, it cannot regrow. Therefore, any damage done to the enamel is irreversible.

Some chemicals commonly found in plastic containers include bisphenol A (BPA), which disrupts hormones, and vinclozolin, which is used to destroy fungi in vineyards, orchards, or golf courses. Phthalates also interefere with hormones.

Another potentially dangerous chemical is polyethylene teraphthalate (PET-type 1), which is usually in juice, salad dressing, water, peanut butter, or mouthwash containers. This chemical contains antimony, which has the potential of being a human carcinogen. It is advised not to reuse this type of plastic. Polyvinyl chloride (type 3) should also be avoided.

18 percent of children between the ages of 6 and 9 experience molar incisor hypermineralization (MIH), a condition affecting the enamel that causes there to be sensitive spots on the first permanent molars and incisors. Scientists have proven through experiments with rats that MIH could be caused by exposure to BPA. The expression of the genes responsible for tooth enamel mineralization was altered after the rats were exposure to the chemical.

There are however some safe plastics, including high-density polyethylene (type 2), low-density polyethylene (type 4), and polypropylene (type 5).

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.





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!





BPA In Canned Foods Dangerous

June 26th, 2012

Recent studies have shown that people who consume canned food are exposed to BPA. Tests indicate that these levels are now known to harm laboratory animals. Several factors were examined in the study, such as amount of canned food consumed, levels of it in the body, etc. Conditions such as prostate damage and diabetes have been linked.

Below is a section of the article about the relationship between BPA and pregnancy:

"EWG analyzed chronic exposures for women who eat either 1, 2, or 3 servings of canned food daily throughout pregnancy. We compared the percent of women in each of these scenarios who would exceed a given dose, against a number of toxic doses measured in lab studies. In each case, we found that significant fractions of women who regularly eat canned food would exceed safe levels of BPA exposures on average throughout pregnancy. Our analysis relies on government canned food consumption data and measured BPA levels from our tests of commonly eaten canned foods. We did not include soda consumption in these analyses."

One easy way to avoid BPA exposure is to look for canned foods that say "BPA Free" on the label. Also, purchasing food in glass jars is a wise choice. You can read the full study here.

Bisphenol A (BPA)

August 10th, 2009

From the Massachusetts Department of Public Health on August 3, 2009

Public Health Advisory Regarding Bisphenol A (BPA)

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) is issuing a public health advisory for consumers concerning bisphenol A (BPA). BPA is present in baby products, including baby bottles and some infant formula. A number of studies in laboratory animals have raised concerns about potential health effects during fetal development and among nursing or formula-fed children who may be exposed to BPA. These effects include but are not limited to: changes in the infant’s developing nervous system, such as thyroid function and brain growth; changes in behavioral development, such as hyperactivity; and changes in the normal development of the prostate gland.

DPH is specifically advising parents and caretakers of children up to two years old to avoid the use of products that contain BPA for making or storing infant formula and breast milk. DPH is further advising pregnant and breastfeeding women to avoid products that may contain BPA. Current research suggests that BPA levels in newborns may be much higher than in adults. While researchers caution that more research needs to be conducted, it seems prudent to reduce exposures for pregnant and breastfeeding women to the extent possible in order to reduce levels in their newborn children.

BPA is used as a liner in some food and beverage cans to prevent spoilage. It is used in a variety of other consumer products to enhance the structural integrity of plastic containers. Alternatives to plastic containers that have BPA as a component are available, and some are made by the same companies that produce products containing BPA.

Transparent (clear or colored) plastic containers or baby bottles with the recycling number 7 and the letters PC, which stand for "polycarbonate" plastic, should be avoided to the extent possible. Heat can increase the release of BPA from polycarbonate plastic. Therefore, consumers should consider the following:

  • Avoid heating plastic containers with the recycling number 7 and the letters PC in microwave ovens, in water on the stovetop, or by adding boiling water into them, particularly when preparing infant formula.
  • Wash the containers by hand with warm water and soap, instead of in dishwashers.
  • Stainless steel and glass do not contain BPA.
  • Replace worn or scratched polycarbonate plastic containers, preferably with glass or stainless steel containers.
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women can eat or cook with fresh or frozen products instead of canned foods — which may contain BPA — to reduce fetal or infant exposure to BPA.

Some studies have found BPA in containers of canned liquid infant formula. Powdered formula does not appear to contain detectable levels of BPA. If special formula is required because of a medical condition, parents should not make any changes to their baby’s diet without consulting with their health care provider first. It is likely that known medical risks from discontinuing the use of special formula may be far greater than those that may result from BPA exposure from this source. The most effective means of reducing BPA exposure to infants is to breast feed. For both baby and mother, breastfeeding has many well-documented health benefits:

  • Breastfed babies have lower rates of some of the most serious chronic diseases: asthma, diabetes, and some childhood cancers.
  • Breastfeeding reduces the risk and severity of infectious diseases: pneumonia, diarrhea, and ear infections.
  • Women who breastfeed have lower levels of ovarian and breast cancer, and breastfed daughters also have lower rates of breast cancer when they grow up.

The federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently considering the scientific evidence related to health risks associated with BPA in foods and consumer products and is expected to determine the need for regulatory action in 2009. Current research on health effects associated with BPA exposure includes effects during fetal developmental and among infants, and children. Recent preliminary studies also suggest that BPA may interfere with the effectiveness of breast cancer chemotherapeutic drugs in cell culture, and may also be associated with diabetes and cardiovascular conditions in adults.

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