canker sores

Is Your Body Trying to ask for Vitamins and Minerals?

April 8th, 2019

It's been ingrained in us that a healthy and well-balanced diet is necessary for normal daily functioning and growth. However, it may not be that simple to realize when we're deficient in certain vitamins and minerals, even when we're eating healthy! Vitamins and minerals play a major role in carrying out the normal functions of our bodies, including synthesizing  tissues, removing waste products, and being necessary precursors for enzymes. Therefore, deficiencies can result in several health problems, so it is important to know what signs to look for in order to meet the body's needs! For instance, oral signs such as burning tongue and mouth sores, feeling tired after a good night's rest, having a pale appearance, or brittle fingernails can all be signs of particular nutrient deficiencies. In fact, it has been reported that when the proper nutrients are not consumed in adequate amounts, both physical and mental issues such as skin problems, bone abnormalities, and even dementia could be negative consequences.

Take a look at the signs of various vitamin deficiencies and how to make these symptoms improve or be gone altogether:

Severe hair loss

If you notice that you are losing more than the typical 100 strands of hair a day, this could be a sign of a deficiency in the minerals iron and zinc, in addition to the fatty acids linoleum acid and alpha-linolenic acid, and vitamins such as biotin (Vitamin B7) and Niacin (Vitamin B3):

  • Iron is necessary for the production of DNA, which is present in hair follicles.
  • Zinc is needed for the synthesis of proteins necessary for hair growth.
    • A deficiency in both iron and zinc can lead to hair loss or cause the hair to stop growing. A diet rich in meat, fish, eggs, legumes, dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds and whole grains can help manage a deficiency in iron and zinc.
  • Linoleic acid (LA) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) are integral to hair growth.
    • A diet comprising leafy vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and vegetable oils all offer a source of LA. ALA can be found in chia seeds and soy nuts.
  • Niacin (vitamin B3): Niacin is needed for keeping healthy strong hair.
  • Biotin (vitamin B7): Biotin helps form thick hair and stimulates hair growth.
    • Meat, fish, dairy, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds and leafy greens are rich in both niacin and biotin.

You may notice that there are also a lot of supplements advertised for hair loss prevention that include these nutrients. These supplements should be taken at the discretion of your health care provider, as there is limited research on their effects.

Brittle nails

A sign of brittle or splitting nails could be your body telling you that it is in need of iron or biotin.

  • Iron: In addition to brittle nails, a deficiency in iron can include fatigue, pale skin, chest pain, constant sensation of cold, inflamed or sore tongue, and dizziness just to name a few.
    • Iron-rich foods include in meat, poultry, seafood, and spinach.
  • Biotin: biotin deficiencies are rare, but can present as brittle hair or nails, in addition to fatigue, and muscle pain. Risk factors of a biotin deficiency include pregnancy, smoking, alcoholism, Crohn's disease, and individuals on some anti-seizure medications or prolonged antibiotic use. Consumption of raw egg whites can also lead to a deficiency in biotin because  the protein avidin within raw egg whites reduces the absorption of biotin.
    •  Egg yolks, organ meats, fish, meat, dairy, nuts, seeds, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, yeast, whole grains and bananas are good sources of biotin.

Mouth ulcers or cracks in the corners of the mouth

Mouth ulcers, also known as canker sores, and cracking around the corners of the mouth have been linked to deficiencies including iron, B1, B2, B6 and B12.

  • Iron
  • Thiamin (Vitamin B1) plays a role in maintining the nervous system and the release of energy from food.
  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) helps keep the skin, eyes and nervous system healthy, and helps the body release energy from food.
  • Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6) is responsible for the storage of protein and carbohydrates absorbed from food, and the formation of hemoglobin in red blood cells. A deficiency in B6 is typically rare.
    • Thiamin, riboflavin and pyridoxine can all be found in whole grains, poultry, meat, fish, eggs, dairy, organ meats, legumes, green vegetables, starchy vegetables, nuts and seeds.

In addition, cracking at the corners of the mouth could be caused by angular cheilitis (inflammation and an accumulation of microorganisms, particularly Candida albicans, at the corners of the mouth).

Bleeding Gums

Bleeding gums could be a result of several things, including gingivitis due to bacterial plaque, medications, brushing technique, and poor diet or oral hygiene habits. In addition, it could be due to a lack of vitamin C in your diet.

  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C plays a role in healing wounds, your immunity, and also helps prevent cell damage. If the deficiency is severe, the condition known as scurvy could develop. Symptoms of scurvy include tooth loss, weakness, fatigue, and muscle soreness.
    • Citrus fruit, guava, kiwi, broccoli, dark green leafy vegetables (broccoli, spinach, lettuce, kale), berries, tomatoes, cabbage, and brussel sprouts all are sources of Vitamin C.

Burning tongue

The sensation of a burning tongue or feet could be a result of a deficiency in Vitamin B12.

  • Vitamin B12: B12 is known to help produce hemoglobin in red blood cells, and is also needed for the proper function of the digestive system. Vegans are at an increased risk of B12 deficiency because meats and dairy products are common sources of good amounts of B12. Signs of a deficiency in vitamin B12 often include damage to your nervous system, memory changes, and can sometimes mimic anemia.
    • Vitamin B12 an be found in meats, shellfish, poultry, fish, dairy, almond milk, nutritional yeast, and fortified soy and coconut milk.

Muscle cramps

If you notice that you begin having muscle cramps, your body could be craving potassium. A deficiency in potassium is typically caused by loss of fluid (excessive sweat, vomit, diarrhea).

  • Potassium: Potassium is known to help build muscle and protein.
    • A good source of potassium can be found in sweet potatoes, bananas, avocados, and coconut water.

 

So, you may be wondering, "will dietary supplements help get me all of the nutrients I need?" The best way to ensure that you are getting adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals is to make sure your diet includes each major food group, rather than relying only on dietary supplements. Some individuals may be lacking certain vitamins or minerals due to an underlying medical condition. Be sure to have your regular check-ups with your primary care physician so that the proper diagnoses and treatment can be made.

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.express.co.uk/life-style/health/1101051/vitamin-deficiency-symptoms-B12-D-signs-tiredness-hair-loss-mouth-ulcers

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-deficiency#section1

https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2016/08/22/the-common-signs-of-vitamin-and-mineral-deficiencies_a_21456849/

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CAR_healthy_eating_young_people.jpg

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Reap the Potential Benefits of Coconut Oil

February 11th, 2016

cYou may have heard about oil pulling in the news, on blogs, or from friends. This latest trend is actually an old Indian oral therapy dating back 3,000 years! It's an inexpensive practice that involves the gentle swishing of approximately 1 tablespoon of oil through the teeth for about 10 minutes daily before rinsing out. However, it should be well noted that this procedure should never replace brushing, flossing, and other daily dental habits.

Research has found that coconut oil may be effective in keeping our mouths healthy. It was tested against strains of Streptococcus bacteria, which are often found in the oral cavity and aid in producing acids that cause tooth decay. The study reported that the oil was able to fight off cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth. A beneficial ingredient of coconut oil is lauric acid, which is well-known for its anti-microbial agents that help defeat gingivitis, plaque, and microbes that cause bad breath.

Not to mention, recently, there has been news of individuals using coconut oil as toothpaste (for both humans and pets!). The suggested reasons behind this trend are that coconut oil does not contain harmful antibacterial chemicals, for example triclosan, which are sometimes found in traditional toothpastes. These harmful chemicals have raised concerns about antibiotic resistance and endocrine disruption. In addition, coconut oil is believed to help maintain a healthier balance of lipids on your tongue in comparison to some toothpastes. Toothpastes often contain chemicals that create the foam-like texture of the toothpaste, including sodium laureth sulfate (SLS), or sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES). These chemicals interfere with phospholipids found on the tongue, which as a result can create a bitter taste in your mouth. Research has found that SLS may even negatively impact the health of individuals with recurring canker sores. However, further research is needed to prove the effectiveness of using coconut oil as toothpaste.

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.yahoo.com/health/the-4-best-uses-for-coconut-1343871427731510.html

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/features/oil-pulling

More Pets = Less Stress = Healthy Teeth!

February 2nd, 2016

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Do you have a pet? Well, good news! Research published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that pet dogs can decrease stress levels in children, which can have a positive impact on oral health as well. If you're looking for something to add to your family wishlist, make sure to include "cute puppies!"

How can dogs can improve our health?

They may help reduce social anxiety

Pets such as dogs follow human communication cues and help spark conversation. They also provide comfort and self-esteem to children, which can lead to emotional development. Through animal-assisted therapy (AAT), dogs improve attachment and decrease separation anxiety in children. This can result in improved mental health and decreased risk of developmental disorders (emotional, behavioral, and mental) during adolescence and later on.

They may decrease stress

According to a study conducted by researchers from Bassett Medical Center in New York, 21% of children who did not have pet dogs had anxiety, while only 12% of the children who interacted with dogs at home were tested positive for anxiety. Playing with dogs can reduce cortisol levels and release oxytocin, which helps decrease physiologic responses to stress.

How does stress affect oral health, you ask?

  1. Stress is linked to canker sores, grinding of teeth, poor hygiene, dryness, TMJ, gum disease, and burning mouth syndrome.
  2. It can result in chronically high cortisol levels, which can lead to a weaker immune system. This can make it more likely for plaque bacteria to attack the gums.
  3. There is a strong connection between stress and periodontal or gum disease, which can cause tooth loss.
  4. You may not brush or floss as frequently!

Make sure to take care of your teeth properly and don't get too stressed out. Get a pet dog for bonus points!

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.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/303276.php

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17668968

http://awomanshealth.com/stress-and-oral-health/

https://blog-photos.dogvacay.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/baby-flash-games-211.jpg

Is Mouthwash Necessary?

June 18th, 2015

As your walking down the isles in a drug store, it's easy to find a row full of mouthwashes.  From cosmetic to therapeutic mouthwashes, there are several types that can cater to your oral health needs. But, are they really necessary?

Although mouthwash should not be used as a substitute for brushing and flossing, it can be a positive habit to help improve oral health.

 Mouthwashes can be useful for both adults and children when used after brushing and flossing. They can provide many advantages, including:

  • Preventing Cavities

Mouthwashes containing fluoride can help reduce your risk of developing cavities. After swishing for approximately one minute, a small amount of fluoride sticks to teeth and is then quickly washed away by saliva.

  • Freshening Breath

There are many mouthwashes available that can help mask bad breath. These mouthwashes typically contain natural and artificial flavors that help give your mouth a fresh aroma. Rinsing can also help get rid of food particles left on teeth that have their own smelly scents. However, it is important to note that masking bad breath doesn't fix the underlying cause. Bad breath, or halitosis, may be a result of an infection, tooth decay, or other health issues.

  • Whitening Teeth

Some cosmetic mouthwashes contain a low concentration of the active ingredient, hydrogen peroxide, which is believed to help whiten teeth.

  • Preventing Dry mouth, Periodontal Disease, and Sensitivity

Mouth rinses can act as a therapeutic and help sooth canker sores. Many therapeutic mouthwashes contain xylitol, which may help prevent tooth decay. Some rinses help kill germs that can lead to gingivitis and periodontal disease. In addition, some can even help individuals with dry mouth produce more saliva.

 

A common myth about mouthwash is that the flavor or color offers additional benefits to oral health, however, it is mainly for atheistic purposes to attract consumers to buy the product. Once you've found the right mouthwash that addresses your needs, make sure to rinse according to the directions. For example, it is best to gargle and rinse twice a day with mouthwashes aimed to remove debris from teeth.

Incorporating mouthwash into your daily routine can help remove dental plaque, prevent tartar buildup, and left behind food particles from your teeth.

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://medicalxpress.com/news/2015-03-mouthwash.html

http://www.everydayhealth.com/dental-health/101/specialist/jacobs/need-to-use-mouthwash.aspx

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Travel/Pix/pictures/2011/8/27/1314438844663/Mouth-wash-007.jpg

Can Yoga Improve Your Oral Health?

April 30th, 2015

 

 

Stressed out? Your dentist can usually tell! Stress can have a significant impact on your oral health.  In fact, dentists can detect oral symptoms of stress, including canker sores, teeth grinding (bruxism), gum diseasetemporomandibular disorders (TMD), burning mouth syndrome, and dry mouth, just to name a few. Luckily, many studies have shown that yoga can help people relieve stress, anxiety, and believe it or not, dental troubles!

Many studies have revealed that individuals who are stressed are more likely to neglect their oral care. As mentioned above, the tension in jaw muscles can lead to jaw clenching and teeth grinding. The good news is that along with alleviating stress, yoga improves posture. Poor posture not only affects your body, but also your mouth. It can cause the jaw to shift and affect the alignment of teeth. This can lead to Temporo-Mandibular Joint disorders (TMJ), which can cause pain chewing, nerve inflammation, headaches, and more!

Stress can also lead to dry mouth, which occurs due to low amounts of saliva production. Saliva flow is essential in helping get rid of germs in the mouth. Dry mouth leads to bad breath (halitosis), and can eventually develop into tooth decay and periodontal disease. Further, stress has been shown to increase inflammation in the mouth and  body. Bacteria in your mouth can cause gum inflammation, which plays a huge part in gingivitis and periodontal disease.

Although yoga may not fight cavities, it can improve the condition of your mouth and the health of your body by eliminating tension and stress. Yoga is a popular form of exercise that dates years and years back from India. Yoga incorporates both physical and mental disciplines for the purpose of achieving a peaceful balance between body and mind.  It promotes relaxation and can boost your mood, which can help you live longer and age-well. It also can reduce your blood pressure.

Another great thing about yoga is that it encourages a healthy lifestyle. It typically prompts people to practice better oral hygiene habits, implement healthier diets, and to get rid of poor oral health habits, including smoking.

So why not enjoy the many health benefits of yoga? There are plenty more, including:

  • Improving flexibility
  • Increasing muscle strength 
  • Preventing cartilage and joint breakdown 
  • Boosting immunity
  • Lowering blood sugar
  • Helping you focus
  • Improving your balance
  • Helping you sleep better
  • Increasing your self-esteem 
  • Benefiting your relationships

Yoga may not have been the first thing that you thought of when discussing how to maintain a healthy mouth. However, few methods of stress relief compare to that of yoga! Eliminating stress through practicing yoga may be a great option for preventing pain and oral health problems.

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://lacunaloft.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Kids-Yoga-Portrait.jpg

http://awomanshealth.com/stress-and-oral-health/

http://yoganonymous.com/practice-for-the-teeth-3-ways-yoga-improves-dental-health

http://www.medicinenet.com/temporomandibular_joint_syndrome_tmj/article.htm

http://www.yogajournal.com/article/health/count-yoga-38-ways-yoga-keeps-fit/

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

Stress Undermines a Healthy Smile

April 25th, 2014

frustrated-child (1)Stress not only affects your body, but also your mouth, teeth, and gums! Stress is easy to come by, and can often be overwhelming. Stress weakens the immune system, which negatively impacts your body’s capability to fight against the bacteria that causes many oral health problems, including periodontal disease. Stressing out can result in mouth sores, teeth grinding, nail biting, poor health care habits, and developing a bad diet.

Stress can affect anyone, even your child. Common worries ,including separation anxiety, academic pressure, world events, natural disasters, family worries, and social pressures can prompt stress in children. These troubles can provoke a physical response in children that can negatively impact their oral health. Stress is often revealed in a child by a change in behavior.

Recognizing the signs of stress can help improve your child’s oral health and well-being:

Mouth Sores

Stress, along with fatigue, can increase the chance of having canker sores. Canker sores are small ulcers that emerge inside the mouth. Emotional distress can trigger cold sores and last for up to 10 days!

Teeth Grinding

Stress may initiate bruxism. Bruxism can lead to problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Night guards are commonly recommended to minimize teeth grinding.

Change in Diet

Unhealthy eating habits, including snacking, and a desire for sugary foods or drinks is often induced by stress. This can lead to tooth decay and tooth loss. Remember that nutrition is also related to your oral health!

Developing Poor Dental Habits

Stress may affect moods and lead to skipping essential dental habits, including brushing, flossing, and rinsing.

Gum Disease

Even a brief period of stress can result in the risk of gingivitis and an accumulation of dental plaque.

Stress can be controlled with practical strategies to overcome the challenges that arise from daily life. Your child’s overall health depends on their oral health! Encourage a balance in your child’s schedule and reiterate the importance of sleep and a healthy diet.

 

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.webmd.com/oral-health/healthy-teeth-2/stress-teeth

http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/ColgateNewandNow/Community/2013/September/article/SW-281474979201581.cvsp

http://www.betterparenting.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/frustrated-child.jpg

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