brain

How Does Alcohol Impact My Oral Health?

April 18th, 2020

Alcohol in moderation may not be harmful, but excessive alcohol use can leave a damaging effect on your entire body, in particular your brain, heart, liver, immune system and oral cavity! Several studies have reported alcohol as a risk factor for oral and other cancers, heart disease, and liver cirrhosis, just to name a few diseases. In fact, alcohol acts as a depressant of the central nervous system, and with heavy usage overtime can even lead to memory loss and impaired cognition.

Many organizations linked with the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) bring awareness, especially in the month of April during Alcohol Awareness Month, to important resources and information on alcohol consumption. This includes the causes of alcoholism, the signs and effects, how to communicate with a loved who is facing a drinking problem, and available treatment options. This is even significantly important during the current pandemic, as individuals struggling with alcoholism may be at an even greater risk during COVID-19.

In the United States, over 15 million people struggle with an alcohol use disorder, with only 8% of the individuals receiving treatment. Alcohol use has also been reported to take the lives of approximately 4,700 teenagers each year, which is more than all illegal drugs combined. In addition, according to a study in The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) in 2018, about 27% of individuals 18 years and older reported binge drinking, which is classified typically as 4 drinks for women and 5 drinks for men in approximately 2 hours. The statistics surrounding unhealthy alcohol can be overwhelming, and many organizations and communities are joining together to help spread awareness about alcohol addiction and the dangers of alcoholism in order to help protect and save lives!

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), moderate alcohol use is classified as 1 drink a day for women, and no more than 2 drinks a day for men. In terms of your oral health, the CDC reports that alcohol dependence is the 2nd most common risk factor for oral cancer. Plus, heavy drinkers tend to have higher dental plaque levels, increasing their risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease. It was also found that heavy drinkers are 3 times more likely to experience permanent tooth loss.

Alcohol can even lead to dry mouth making you feel dehydrated, which creates even more problems. A lack of saliva can cause bad breath, also known as halitosis, and increase your chance of developing cavities as saliva helps to remove dental plaque and neutralize acids caused by oral bacteria. Plus alcohol can stain your pearly-whites. Beer and wine, for instance, are acidic and the dark colors can discolor your tooth enamel. It is important to brush your teeth after waiting at least 30 minutes after the consumption of alcohol to avoid harming your tooth enamel which is weakened by the acidic content of the alcohol.

 

 

If you or a loved one are struggling with alcoholism, know that this is not a fight that has to be done alone. For help with alcohol addiction, please check out these resources with 24/7 availability.

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.alcohol.org/awareness-month/

https://talbottcampus.com/alcoholism-statistics/

https://www.healthline.com/health/dental-and-oral-health/what-does-alcohol-do-to-your-teeth#teeth

https://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/5-myths-about-alcohol-consumption-and-your-oral-health.html

images

Gum Disease Doesn't Just Affect Your Gums!

August 3rd, 2016

What do Arthritis, Alzheimer's, cancer, and diabetes have in common? If you have periodontal (gum) disease, your risk for all these diseases could increase.

People once thought that the mouth and the body had no relation each other, and dental care used to be the job of barbers in the Middle Ages! It wasn't until the 1700's that dentistry was finally recognized as its own science and the late 1990's that the connection between oral bacteria and heart disease was studied in animals.

When you don't brush or floss thoroughly, bacteria can become trapped between your teeth and your gums. This can cause plaque to accumulate, which can eventually lead to the break down of the gums and oral tissue and make other parts of the body prone to infection.

Preventing the buildup of plaque from reaching oxygen will cause it to favor anaerobic (without oxygen) bacteria, which can travel all throughout the body through the bloodstream.

When neutrophils (white blood cells) attempt to destroy the bacteria on the gums, they not only don't succeed in controlling the infection, but they also release enzymes that further deteriorate oral tissue.

Therefore, periodontal disease affects more than just your oral health; it could also affect the heart, the liver, the gut, and even your child if you're pregnant. Some studies have also shown a link between gum disease and increased bacteria in the brain and increased risk for tumors.

Make sure to take proper care of your teeth. Your body will thank you later!

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.

References:

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/gum-disease-opens-body-host-infections

https://www.sciencenews.org/sites/default/files/2016/04/041616_gum_flowchart_730.png

http://newteethforme.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/gum-disease.jpg

Do you wake up breathless?

July 13th, 2016

sleep-apnea

Do you often feel sleepy or fatigued throughout the day for no reason? Or snore loudly and wake up short of breath in the middle of the night? Then you may experience sleep apnea, a condition that stops your breathing periodically while you sleep (up to 20-30 times per hour).

When you stop breathing, your brain wakes you up due to the lack of oxygen in order to restart your breathing. Many people don't remember waking up in the middle of the night, so they think they're getting enough sleep but end up feeling drowsy during the day.

Sleep apnea, a serious medical problem, can lead to high blood pressure, which increases the risk for heart failure and stroke. The drowsiness during the day can be dangerous for driving or cause complications with medications or surgery.

Some symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • insomnia (difficulty sleeping)
  • loud snoring
  • waking up breathless
  • snorting or choking sounds
  • headaches when waking up
  • falling asleep unintentionally during the day
  •  extreme drowsiness throughout the day

The three types of sleep apnea are:

  1. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) (due to collapsing of soft tissue in the back of the throat)
  2. Central sleep apnea (CSA) (muscles don't receive proper brain signal)
  3. "Mixed" or "complex" sleep apnea (combination of obstructive and central)

Risk factors include:

  • OSA is more common in males and in older adults (40+)
  • obesity
  • smoking
  • drinking
  • using tranquilizers/sedatives
  • family history
  • heart disorders
  • neuromuscular disorders
  • strokes
  • brain tumors

Treatment options:

  • losing weight
  • stop smoking
  • sleep on side instead of on back
  • oral devices
  • surgery (if severe)

Please contact our office so we can refer you to a sleep apnea specialist if you suspect that someone you know suffers from this medical problem.

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.wellesleydentalgroup.com/sleep-apnea

Laughter is the Best Medicine...Happy National Humor Month!

April 7th, 2016

It's way too easy to get so caught up with work that you become too stressed out, but don't forget that a little humor and laughter can help you feel so much better! Here at Wellesley Dental Group, we always make sure that you leave our office smiling :) That's why we smile ambassadors are so glad that April is National Humor Month and that we were able to start it off with April Fool's Day!

National Humor Month was founded in 1976 by comedian and Director of The Carmel Institute of Humor, Larry Wilde. The current Director of National Humor Month is Steve Wilson, who is a joyologist and the founder of World Laughter Tour. The purpose is to spread public awareness about the health benefits of humor, which include increased morale, better quality of life, and improved communication! Laughter is incredibly important for reducing stress levels as well.

Short-term benefits include:

  • The stimulation of organs
  • More endorphins released by the brain
  • Muscle relaxation
  • Increase in circulation
  • Lower stress levels

There are many long-term effects as well:

  • Improved immune system
  • Pain relief
  • Better mood!

These inspirational quotes say it all!

"I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it's the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It's probably the most important thing in a person." - Audrey Hepburn

"Laughter is an instant vacation." - Milton Berle

"A day without laughter is a day wasted." - Charlie Chaplin

For more fun, check out these resources:

Top 100 April Fool's Day Hoaxes of All Time

100 Funniest Jokes of All Time

Sense of Humor Quiz

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.humormonth.com/

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress-relief/art-20044456

Request an
Appointment

patient
forms

read
our blog

Top