cdc

Take a Deep Breath: Vaping Effects On Your Lungs

October 20th, 2019

Many of us have been following the devastating news of young adult deaths related to vaping across the country. Vaping has recently become an epidemic and major public health issue. With Respiratory Care Week beginning today, October 20th-26th, and  Healthy Lung Month the entire month of October, we would like to highlight all of the necessary information needed to keep our lungs breathing well to last us an entire lifetime!

The statistics on lung disease are disheartening, with greater than 35 million Americans living with a chronic lung disease such as asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Not to mention, lung cancer is the #1 cause of death related to cancer for both women and men in the U.S. Many lung diseases have been a result of cigarette smoking. Cigarette use has decreased in comparison to the past, however the rise of e-cigarettes/vaping has drastically made its way into society, particularly with young adults. The use of e-cigarettes has been reported by approximately 20% of high school students in the U.S. within the last month. Surprisingly even 5% of middle school students in the U.S. have reported using e-cigarettes within the last month. In Massachusetts, the numbers are even higher: 40% of high school students and 10% of middle school students have used e-cigarettes within the past month. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over 1000 people have become affected with respiratory issues as a result of vaping. As of today, the CDC reports that there have been 33 deaths in 24 states.

The use of e-cigarettes not only damages lungs and brain development, but also one’s oral health, and it is important to our caring team here at WDG to keep you in the loop and ensure your safety and health. Sadly, vaping has been marketed as a “healthy” alternative to smoking tobacco cigarettes. With research still ongoing, vaping can contain the addictive substance nicotine, and chemical particles within the vapor, including volatile organic compounds, flavoring agents, cancer-causing chemicals, and heavy metals which can all negatively impact your health. Plus, e-cigarettes can cause dry mouth, gum inflammation, and increase the amount of cavity-causing bacteria. Long-term effects of vaping are still being researched.

It is important to spread the word about the dangers of vaping and provide individuals who are vaping with the information and resources needed to quit, which can be found below:

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://nationaltoday.com/respiratory-care-week/

https://www.lung.org/about-us/mission-impact-and-history/our-impact.html

http://www.deltadentalma.com/The-Brush-Up/Blog/What-Dentists-Need-to-Know-About-the-Teen-Vaping-E

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Vaping: A Public Health Emergency

September 28th, 2019

You may have heard about the recent devastating health crisis in young adults: electronic cigarettes (e-cigarette) and vaping products causing severe lung disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and state health departments, are looking into the link between e-cigarette products and lung disease. As of September 24, 2019, Governor of Massachusetts, Charles D. Baker, declared a public health emergency on this issue and initiated a temporary four-month statewide ban on the sale of vaping products, including tobacco and marijuana, in stores and online until January 25, 2020. The latest news reports 805 cases of lung damage from 46 states in America, with 12 current deaths. According to the CDC, 67% of cases are aged 18 to 34 years old, 38% are under the age of 21 years old, 17 % are over 35 years old, and 16% are under the age of 18. A majority of the individuals reported using e-cigarette products with THC and nicotine. The direct cause of the lung problems is still being investigated.

E-cigarette use is also known as vaping, and works by warming up a liquid which becomes inhaled into the lungs. E-cigarettes have become increasingly advertised over the past few years. So much so that Juul, an electronic cigarette company, increased their sales by almost 800% from 2017 to 2018. Sadly, they have been marketed as “safer” alternatives to cigarette smoking, although in reality they carry many of the same risks as well as new risks.The inhaled liquids are often made up of nicotine, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabinoid (CBD) oils, along with other substances. Each product, however, may contain a variation of other ingredients and concentrations, which may be toxic to the body.

Both cigarettes and vaping products are not only damaging for your lungs and body, but also are not good for your oral health. Nicotine has been found to prevent healthy blood flow within the gums, which can increase your risk of developing gingivitis and periodontitis. In addition, one of the ingredients found in vaping products, propylene glycol, has been found to cause dry mouth. Dry mouth plays a detrimental role in oral health because it can lead to tooth decay and oral thrush. Not to mention, e-cigarettes can contribute to DNA damage and result in oral cancer.

For your health and safety, avoid smoking all e-cigarettes/vaping products and use of tobacco cigarettes. The Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program offers information and resources that can help individuals quit. Massachusetts also partners with national resources for teens interested in quitting smoking or vaping via My Life, My QuitTM and This is Quitting powered by Truth® program.

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.foxnews.com/health/vaping-harming-teeth-study

https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/e-cigarettes/severe-lung-disease.html

https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/marijuana/2019/09/24/governor-baker-make-vaping-announcement-amid-spate-lung-illnesses/o8sO6mf3GOmX4mOpLLtcEL/story.html

https://www.mass.gov/guides/vaping-public-health-emergency#-information-for-providers-

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Stop Oral Cancer- Be Aware!

April 24th, 2019

You may have noticed that your dentist checks for more than just cavities during your dental exam. This includes an oral cancer screening. In 2019, about 53,000 people in America will be diagnosed with oral or oropharyngeal cancer. Sadly, approximately one person every hour each day dies due to these cancers, and 40% of the individuals newly diagnosed with oral and oropharyngeal cancer do not survive longer than 5 years.  This notably high death rate is is mainly caused by late diagnoses of these cancer! Fortunately, when these cancers are found and treated early, the death rate and other health complications become less common.That's why this Oral Cancer Awareness month we are spreading the word that early detection saves lives! Luckily, maintaining your regular dental visits can help inform you of any harmful developments and cancers early, and keep your oral and overall health in check. Take a look at the common risk factors of oral and oropharyngeal factors and how you can lower your risk:

There are several factors that may influence the development of oral cancer. There has been a lot of research showing that heavy alcohol and tobacco users who are middle aged often present with oral cancers, but there is a current shift to younger individuals who are developing oral cancers due to the rise of the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus 16 (HPV).

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)

The CDC reports that there have been approximately 9,000 cases of head and neck cancer associated with HPV each year in America. Most of the cancers associated with this sexually transmitted disease occur at the back of the tongue or around the tonsils, with a majority of the cases being found in younger nonsmoking individuals. The death rate and chance of it reoccuring is often low, but detection is often late.

The signs of HPV-realted cancers often present as a painless swelling in the neck area, sore throat, trouble or pain when swallowing, ulcerations, and/or swelling in the tonsillar area that last for longer than 2-3 weeks.

Gender

Oral cancers are two times more prevalent in men than women.

Age

HPV related oral and oropharyngeal cancers are often seen in younger individuals, while a majority of cancers associated with other factors tend to be found in individuals aged 50 years or older.

Smoking

Tobacco in any form creates a higher risk for developing oral cancers, in addition to cancers found throughout the body. Individuals who use a pipe to smoke often develop cancer of the lips. Chewing tobacco can cause several problems in the oral cavity even in addition to cancer.

Alcohol

Alcohol is a significant risk factor for the development of oral cancer. The American Cancer Society states that 7 out of 10 oral cancer patients are heavy drinkers (An average of two drinks a day for men, and more than one drink a day for women). Smoking in combination with drinking also increases your risk significantly higher.

Be attentive to any signs or symptoms that appear abnormal to you and make sure you are regularly visiting your dentist and health care professional. 

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.aaom.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=140:april-is-oral-cancer-awareness-month

https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/Oral-Cancer-Slideshow?utm_source=mouthhealthyorg&utm_medium=mhrotator&utm_content=oral-cancer-awareness

https://oralcancerfoundation.org/events/oral-head-neck-cancer-awareness-month/

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Oral Cancer
Awareness

Sharks and Human Tooth Regeneration

May 4th, 2016

Sharks can seem scary, but did you know they can help us learn more about tooth regeneration? In December 2015, we blogged about Lake Malawi cichlids and their process of regenerating teeth. Turns out we can also discover properties of tooth regeneration from other animals underwater!

Tooth Loss (Edentulism)

Before finding ways to regenerate teeth, we need to learn more about the problem of human tooth loss. Take a look at these facts from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention:

  • The average number of teeth that adults aged 20-64 have: 24.92 (as opposed to a full 32)
  • 3.75% of adults between 20 and 64 have no remaining teeth
  • Older, less-educated Black or Hispanic adults who smoke and have lower incomes are more likely to have fewer teeth
  • 27% of adults aged 20-64 had untreated tooth decay
  • 52% of adults between 20 and 64 had lost at least one tooth from dental disease
  • Cavities and untreated tooth decay are the main causes of tooth loss in adults

Fun Facts about Sharks

Now that we've studied human teeth loss, let's take some time to learn about teeth in sharks:

  • The number of teeth that sharks can have up to: 3,000!
  • Human teeth are set in the jaw, but shark teeth are fixed in the gums
  • Sharks can constantly regrow their teeth - they lose over 30,000 in a lifetime!
  • Genes in sharks are linked to the development and regeneration of teeth
  • Humans have these same genes - Dr. Gareth Fraser from the University of Sheffield and his team claim that this conclusion can lead to the development of more treatments for human tooth loss!

What's the Connection Between Sharks and Humans?

By studying gene expression in the teeth development of catshark embryos, Dr. Fraser's team discovered that certain genes contributed to creation of a set of epithelial cells called dental lamina. These cells were responsible for the regeneration of teeth in sharks. What's interesting is that humans have the same genes that help form dental lamina, which lead to the formation of the growth of both baby and adult teeth! However, the dental lamina disappears after all adult teeth have grown in.

The team also observed that these genes have been around for 450 million years in sharks and could be the force behind tooth development of all vertebrates. Sharks have held these genes due to the fact that maintaining their teeth are crucial for hunting, but the ability for humans to regenerate teeth has evolved to disappear.

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:

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/306583.php

http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/DataStatistics/FindDataByTopic/ToothLoss/ToothLossAdults20to64.htm

http://www.cdc.gov/

http://public.media.smithsonianmag.com/legacy_blog/SmileyShark.jpg

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

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

Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Fluoride?

January 28th, 2015

Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in water and many foods. It can also be applied to teeth through several dental products. Fluoride helps protect teeth from developing cavities by making the tooth more resistant to acids from plaque bacteria in the mouth. It also helps reverse early stages of tooth decay.

Fluoride intake is critical for infants and children between the ages of 6 months and 16 years, when primary and permanent teeth are developing. It is also beneficial for adults.

Intuitively, it may seem like the more fluoride, the better! However, this is not the case! Too much fluoride, particularly in young children can be damaging to tooth enamel. It can lead to a tooth discoloration called dental fluorosis.

Children 8 years of age and younger, when permanent teeth are forming underneath the gums, are at risk of dental fluorosis. Once permanent teeth have come in fully, fluoride will no longer cause dental fluorosis. Although fluorosis can be cosmetically treated, the stains left by fluorosis are permanent and may darken over time.

But how bad is it really? Dentists have rated the severity of fluorosis using the following degrees:

  • Questionable: The enamel may show a few white spots or lines.
  • Very mild: Less than 25% of the tooth surface is affected by small opaque white spots.
  • Mild: Less than 50% of the tooth surface is affected by white opaque areas . Research suggests that mild cases of fluorosis may actually be beneficial for children. A 2009 study published in The Journal of the American Dental Association suggests that molars with fluorosis are more resistant to cavities than normal molars.
  • Moderate: 50% of the enamel surface is affected by white opaque areas.
  • Severe: All enamel surfaces are affected. Teeth may also have pitting and are at risk of dental erosion.

Common sources of fluoride include tap water, toothpaste, mouth rinses, gels, beverages and foods, and prescription supplements. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 75% of individuals' fluoride intake is from drinking water and processed beverages. You can minimize the risk of your child developing dental fluorosis by monitoring their fluoride intake. Find out how much fluoride is in your drinking water at home. Recommendations for adequate fluoride levels in drinking water are 0.7 to 1.2 milligrams per liter. According to the World Health Organization, fluoride levels above 1.5 mg/L can lead to dental fluorosis.

Fluoride in toothpaste is important to protect kids' teeth against tooth decay. However, the CDC recommends avoiding fluoride toothpaste at all until age 2. Only place a pea-sized amount on your child's toothbrush and monitor your child’s brushing to ensure that they are not swallowing the toothpaste. To promote spitting out toothpaste, avoid purchasing toothpastes containing flavors your child is likely to swallow. If a child ingests a large amount of fluoride in a short period of time, it may cause nausea, diarrhea, vomiting or abdominal pain.

If treatment is necessary for your child, most options vary from tooth whitening to veneers or full crowns. Make sure to keep all fluoride-containing products out of the reach of young children.

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. Van Orenstein. Dr. 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.everydayhealth.com/dental-health/dental-fluorosis-what-you-should-know.aspx

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19571049

http://www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/safety/dental_fluorosis.htm

http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/f/fluorosis

http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/oral-care/products/how-much-fluoride1.htm

http://www.webmd.com/children/fluorosis-symptoms-causes-treatments?page=3

http://images.goodfood.com.au/2012/12/24/3911889/smilewide-620x349.jpg

http://parentingpatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Fluoride-Supplements-for-Infants-Hot-Topic-Tuesday-Blog-Hop.jpg

Are toothbrushes actually clean?

July 29th, 2013

Researchers at England’s University of Manchester have looked into the various kinds of germs found in bacteria, and they found that toothbrushes are crawling with them! They discovered that a toothbrush could harbor more than 100 million bacteria, with the likes of diarrhea-causing E. coli and skin-infecting staphylococci bacteria. This may sound completely unsanitary, but wait! The mouth isn't the cleanest place to begin with. There are hundreds of microorganisms in the mouth on a daily basis. Medical professionals note that this is perfectly normal and it is not something to sweat over. But what individuals need to worry about is when there is an unhealthy balance of bacteria in the mouth. Many people forget that the plaque that develops inside the mouth (if proper brushing is not taking place) is, in fact, bacteria. Toothbrushes are continuously introduced to bacteria every time it is placed into the mouth.

 

So if there are constantly bacteria on toothbrushes, can they make people sick? Researchers think that it’s not likely. Considering there are already bacteria in the mouth, the body’s natural defenses make it difficult for an infection to occur just from brushing teeth. However, one should not take the body’s ability to defend itself for granted. There are still ways to keep fewer bacteria from entering the mouth. In many homes the bathroom sink is in close vicinity to the toilet. But that should not be the excuse for placing toothbrushes near where flushing occurs! Every time the toilet flushes, it sends sprays of bacteria into the air. Try to place toothbrushes as far as possible from the toilet, giving bacteria less of a chance in getting into the mouth.

 

Bacteria love moist environments and it is important that the brush dries through and through between each brushing. Try to avoid covers that enclose the brush, which would leave the toothbrush moist and bacteria-friendly. It is also a good idea to keep the toothbrush upright in a holder, instead of lying it down. Also, no matter how clean your sister or any of your other members of your family, don’t ever use each other’s brushes. Don’t even place toothbrushes in the same cup! Whenever toothbrushes come in contact with each other, they can easily exchange bacteria.

We recommend that you replace your toothbrush every season(3 months) to help prevent bacterial growth and to maintain oral 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

 

References:

 

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/healthy-teeth-2/the-ugly-truth-about-your-toothbrush

 

http://www.ada.org/1887.aspx

 

3 Tips On Keeping Your Breath Fresh!

July 26th, 2013

Are you worried about the prospect of having breath? Don’t worry you’re not alone; according to the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, there are 40 millions Americans that suffer from bad breath. However, it doesn't need to be this way! Here are a few ideas on how to go about your day without worrying about halitosis.

1. Keep up with brushing and flossing

After a big meal, people are bound to have food caught in between the many crevices of their mouths. Food that has been left behind can break down, resulting in sticky build-up known as plaque. To keep this plaque build-up from happening, try brushing and flossing after meals, which can keep the mouth clean and breath fresh.

 

2. Don’t forget the tongue!
After brushing and flossing at night, many people just turn off the bathroom lights and hit the hay. But wait; the tongue can harbor tons of bad-smelling bacteria! Without proper maintenance, a white layer can form on the tongue. People tend to find toothbrushes to big to reach to back end of the tongue without causing discomfort. Dentists suggest using tongue scrapers, which can easily maneuver the tongue, getting rid of bacteria, leftover food, and even dead cells that brushing can’t take away.

3. Pass on the onions and garlic
Although they are undeniably great additions to a great sandwich, these two food ingredients are infamous bad-breath causers. Unfortunately, brushing after consuming garlic and onions does not do the trick; substances within these foods actually travel down the blood stream and into the lungs, where they constantly get breathed out. If you know fresh breath is necessary for a certain social meeting, save onions and garlic for another time!

 

These are simple tips to keep in mind, but they do go a long way. Always maintain good oral health and soon enough, you’ll be able to say goodbye to bad breath! 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/get-rid-bad-breath

http://www.uihealthcare.org/Adam/?/HIE%20Multimedia/1/003058

Tips to Conquer Dental Fear!

July 25th, 2013

Let’s be honest: many people tend to be scared or nervous before a visit to the dentist’s office. Dental phobia is something that people continually cope with; however, it doesn’t always have to be this way! Here are a few tips on how to beat dental fear.

 

Look for a dentist that you feel most comfortable working with. There are many dentists out there with different personalities, and finding one that suits an individual can be key in feeling less anxious and nervous during an appointment. Dentists are willing to work through fears and are happy to go slow if need be.

 

Ask the dentist to go through the procedure beforehand. Having a dentist go through the steps can allow individuals to prepare for what is to come. Patients always have the right to know what kind of work their dentist will be doing on them.

 

Don’t be afraid to let the dentist know when the procedure is uncomfortable. Patients are able to establish “stop” signals with dentists. This allows the patient to take breaks when needed and can allow them to relax before proceeding.

 

Breathing exercises are also a great way to calm the nerves and prepare for a dental procedure. Here are six breathing exercises (hyperlink six breathing exercises and use: http://healthland.time.com/2012/10/08/6-breathing-exercises-to-relax-in-10-minutes-or-less/ ) that can bring about relaxation. Turning up your favorite music can also help turn down the anxiety. When sitting in the waiting room, pop in your earphones and listen to calming music or even music that you love. There are also dental offices that have TV monitors in the exam rooms. This is also a great way to take your mind off of the fear and anxiety and to tune into a great show.

 

There are medications that allow patients to relax. Dentists recommend nitration oxide, anti-anxiety medicine or sedation for patients who can become extremely nervous during an appointment. If you believe that medication can help cope with a dental visit, find a dentist that can cater to your needs.

 

Here at the Wellesley Dental Group, we need to make our patients feel as comfortable as possible. 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 questionsContact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com

 

References:

http://psychcentral.com/library/phobia_dentist.htm

http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/dental-fear-our-readers-suggest-coping-techniques-20100825327

http://healthland.time.com/2012/10/08/6-breathing-exercises-to-relax-in-10-minutes-or-less/

READ MORE HERE!!!

http://wellesleydentalgroup.com/blog/?p=1981

http://wellesleydentalgroup.com/blog/?p=600

Healthy Lifestyle = Good Oral Health!

July 9th, 2013

A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the German Institute of Human Nutrition reported that adult men and women who never smoked, kept a healthy diet, maintained physical activity, and had a body mass index (BMI) under 30 were 78% less likely to develop chronic conditions, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and stroke. Those who stuck it out with only one of these four healthy lifestyle factors lowered their chronic disease risk by almost 50%, and risk levels decreased as individuals adapted more of these healthy behaviors.

So how does this connect to dentistry and oral health? Well, when looking these healthy factors from the flip side, poor eating habits, tobacco use, and excess body weight have strong correlations with oral health, especially periodontal disease, along with other health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

The participants in the study ranged from ages 35-65 and at the start of the study, each individual’s weight and height were measured. Participant’s health history, physical activity and eating habits were also recorded. They were tracked for almost 8 years and their health was tracked throughout that time. Out of the participants that actively exhibited all four healthy behaviors, they had a 93% reduced risk for diabetes, 81% reduced risk for heart disease, 50% reduced risk for stroke, and 36% reduced risk for cancer.

Dentists continue to back up the importance of eating healthy, getting enough physical activity, and limiting tobacco use. Dental research continues to document oral health benefits that come with tobacco cessation, leading a healthy diet, and maintaining a healthy weight. Dentists continue to push for less frequent exposure to soft drinks and beverages with a high sugar content, which can lead to both tooth decay and an unhealthy increase in body mass index.

Remember: monitoring what you eat not only benefits your oral health but also benefit your overall body. Continue to be mindful of how much you exercise and what you decide to put in your mouth. Your teeth and your entire body will thank you! 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.ada.org/3127.aspx
http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1108507

Safety and Infection Control at the Dentist

April 3rd, 2013

[caption id="attachment_4454" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Image from IntelligentDental.com"][/caption]

Recent news reports have come out regarding dental practice safety and infection control, notably, involving a Tulsa, Oklahoma practice. We want to take a moment and share what we do to ensure the safety of our patients. We take universal precautions in sterilization practices that are applied to everyone who comes through the doors of Wellesley Dental Group. Our top concern is in abiding by strict infection control guidelines for the health of our patients, team, and Drs.; “Do No Harm” is our mantra.

Every day, every hour, and every minute we adhere to a very strict regimen to disinfect and sterilize everything that comes into contact with our patients. We want to let you in on the behind-the-scenes processes that are as much a part of our routine as the teeth cleaning, crowns, and x-rays we do every day.

  • Hand washing
    • We wash our hands consistently, especially before and after interacting with any patients.
    • We follow the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Bloodborne Pathogens Standards.
  • Plastic barriers are placed on all surfaces that are potentially touched to prevent any cross contamination:
    • Before any patient enters, the operatory is cleaned with a medical grade disinfectant and all plastic barriers are changed. Disinfected surfaces include equipment and surfaces, such as x-ray units and countertops.
    • Masks and safety glasses are worn.
    • Gloves are worn at all times and are changed between every patient.
    • Sometimes numerous gloves are thrown out during particularly long procedures for a given patient. We go through boxes upon boxes of gloves every day.
    • All pillows, light handles, etc, are draped with protective covers.
  • All disposable instruments (needles, suction tips, etc) are disposed after one use. These instruments are disposed in puncture resistant biohazard containers.
  • Non-disposable instruments are sterilized in small, individual packages in our autoclave. The autoclaving process destroys all forms of microbial life.
    • Instruments (drills, filling and cleaning instruments, etc) are brought to the sterilization room
    • The instruments are scrubbed by hand and washed.
    • Steeped in a solution for 20 minutes as they undergo an ultrasonic bath
    • Dried and placed into special, small, individually wrapped packages
    • These packages are then autoclaved.
    • After the autoclaving, there is a color indicator on the package that changes, confirming that process was done correctly.

When it comes to knowing whether the autoclave works correctly every time, we don’t solely rely on the color indicator on the packages. Our autoclave is a brand-name, state of the art machine that blasts instruments with extreme heat and high, steam pressure in an airtight enclosure. Every week, to ensure it is working according to the manufacturer’s standards, we do a spore test.

  • We put a closed packet of spores into the autoclave
  • The packet undergoes the autoclaving process
  • The autoclaved packet is then sent to an independent lab for analysis.
  • To pass the test, all spores must be inactivated.

[caption id="attachment_4457" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Image from Med101Dental.com"][/caption]

We take the safety of our patients very seriously and will continue to follow the highest standards laid forth by the CDC, AGD, and OSHA. As members of the AGD (Academy of General Dentistry), we strive to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to protecting our patients from the transmission of diseases. We think that AGD President Jeffrey M. Cole, DDS, MBA, FAGD sums up our beliefs very concisely:

“Because many dental procedures involve direct contact with blood and saliva, safety protocols are put in place to help stop the spread of disease. Heat sterilization of dental instruments helps prevent the spread of diseases like hepatitis and HIV. By following stringent best practices, AGD dentists maintain a commitment to patient health and safety. If your dentist is an AGD member, you can be confident that he or she strives to provide the best quality care to their patients by utilizing the most current safety protocols.”

Our patients can always expect the highest standards of quality and care. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to be in touch with us. Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group are infection control advocates; we will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com!

 

Sources:

AGD:

OSHA

CDC

 

Vacation week!

February 19th, 2013

It’s school vacation week! At WDG, we had an amazing President’s Day where we saw so many of our wonderful patients. We’re looking forward to seeing so many more this week. It really makes us happy when vacations come because it means that our busiest patients will have enough time to put their health first and come visit us for their much-needed care. This is especially true for our youngest patients who attend school.

 

Have you visited your dentist recently? Now might be a great time. It’s so important to prioritize your oral health, especially for children. Starting good oral health habits early on lead to a life of better oral and general health.

Besides visiting your dentist, here are some fun things you can do this vacation week!

1. Visit the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and check out their special learning opportunities with your child. Workshops are from 10 am – 4 pm.

2. It’s February Vacation week at the zoo! Visit the Franklin Park Zoo and experience the wonders of the animal kingdom and the jungle with your child. This week, the zoo is offering extra learning opportunities for young enthusiasts.

3. Even though it’s still chilly, if your child is outdoorsy, here are some great suggestions for family hikes from Mommy Poppins, like Walden Pond. It may be a good idea to call beforehand to make sure there are no weather-related issues.

4. Check out your local library for fun events, concerts, and movies! The Wellesley Free Library even has a Young Scientist event where they are bringing in owls!

5. Spend family time together. No matter what you do, having fun as a family is special! Get off the computer and connect with one another the old fashioned way. Cook, take walks, listen to music. It doesn't matter as long as you have each other.

Keep smiling and have a safe vacation!

Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group will be very happy to answer your questions and advise you on your oral health needs. Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com!

We love you, too!

February 15th, 2013

 

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="330" caption="Image from Pinterest"][/caption]

We had such amazing Valentines with our wonderful WDG family! The very lucky Jobson family won the free whitening certificate while Andrew Harrison and Shana Hardgrave won a certificate 50% off their choice of whitening. We know it will make them smile.

Here are some of our favorite Valentines we received this year:

“Roses are red, violets are blue, who doesn’t love clean teeth? All of us do!” Kate F.

“We love <3 <3 <3 Drs. Ali, Emad, and Pradhan!” – The J. Family

“Wellesley Dental, where you never leave without a smile!” – Andrew H.

“Happy Valentine’s Day” Shana H.

“Thanks for helping to keep me smiling.” –Chris L.

“Thank you for all your kind care and help” – Tahera R.

“Wellesley Dental Group. Thanks for taking good care of my teeth!” - Trish L.

 

"I never had a dentist where I almost fall asleep during a treatment, known by name by every team member and are welcomed with the warmest smile. Your service is outstanding!" Miriam C.

“Happy Valentine’s Day! You are all wonderful!!” - Irene C.

“I love you WDG. We are the best team ever!”

“Wellesley Dental Group. Best wishes, thanks for everything” – Guido V.

“<3 Wellesley Dental for doing such a good job!”  - John Q.

“Thank you for giving me a great smile!” - Kate Y.

“Please make my smile brighter this Valentine’s Day! Thank you!!”

"OXOXOXOXO" Janet F.

Drs. Ejaz and Femina Ali and the Caring Team at WDG wants to let you all know, we love you too!


Keep your kids cavity free!

February 12th, 2013

Sure, they may have baby teeth that will fall out soon enough; however, prioritizing good oral health practices in your children early on is important. Building good habits in your kids will positively influence their overall health for years to come. So what can you do now to help your child’s future?

  • Make sure they brush twice a day every day and start flossing early on so they get into the habit now. Plaque, a bacterial film, builds up and in between the teeth, so consistent removal is important. If plaque is left to sit, it can cause decay and gum problems.
  • Make an appointment for your child’s first visit if you haven’t yet. It’s a good idea to make an appointment as soon as the child’s first tooth comes in or no later than their first birthday.
  • Set a good example by prioritizing your own oral health and remember, the way in which you talk about the dentist will affect your child’s expectations of their own dental visits. By staying positive and sharing good experiences with your child, you will keep your child at ease. Going to a dentist is a positive thing and it’s great when children look forward to it. Ask you dental office if you can bring your child beforehand for a show and tell! Help your dentist build a lasting relationship with your child.
  • Watch what your child eats. Sugars don’t come solely from candy and juices. In fact, a recent study discovered that the food that causes the most cavities isn't sweet at all, crackers. Most crackers are highly processed foods and are a feasting ground for bacteria, which deteriorates tooth enamel. A better option for your children are whole grains, unprocessed foods and be sure to stay away from sticky foods, which can get caught between teeth and within the groves of the tooth surface.

 

Oral hygiene is an integral part of the day, like eating breakfast. Help your child set him/herself apart from the alarming number of children who have tooth decay. In fact, according to the CDC, 25% of children between the ages of 2-5 have tooth decay. With better oral health practices from the start, this can change.

For more great health tips, please visit the ADA's website. If you want an in depth guide, go to this wonderful resource from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentists that goes from pacifiers to fluoride treatments.

 

We love you, do you love us?

February 7th, 2013

It’s almost Valentine’s day – let your smile say “I Love You”. Share the love and say something sweet to WDG and be entered to win a drawing for a free whitening service. Tell your friends and family, anyone can enter!

 

Send WDG a valentine on our Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or email us a love note and you will be entered to win a free whitening (retail value up to $550). Two runners up will also be selected in a blind drawing to win 50% for a whitening.

Not feeling tech savvy? Stop by our office and fill out one of our cute Valentines with your contact information to enter.

The drawing will take place on February 14th. Kid's you can still enter and save your win as a present for Mother's or Father's Day! Must be 18 years of age and older to receive whitening treatment.

Our favorite love notes will be featured on our social media on Valentine's Day. Feeling shy? You can always send us a love note anonymously.

May cupid be on your side!

Stomach flu (gastroenteritis)? The new norovirus is here...

January 25th, 2013

 

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With the flu season just off its peak, there's a new bug to worry about. The norovirus. A new strain that first showed up in Australia, it will likely affect millions Americans this year. According a the CDC epidemiologist,  "people haven't been exposed to it before, so they're more susceptible" - so make sure to wash your hands frequently with soap and water, as it is the best defense against this bug. Also, the CDC recommends that you disinfect surfaces with a diluted bleach solution, which is made of 5-25 tablespoons of household bleach with one gallon of water. This diluted bleach solution and hand washing  help control this highly contagious bug.

 

 

[caption id="attachment_4104" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="An electron micrograph of the norovirus virus from USA Today."][/caption]

 

How can you differentiate between the flu and the "stomach flu" (or gastroenteritis)? When you are infected by the norovirus, you will experience nausea, severe vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Good news is, most people recover after 1-3 days without any treatment. However, if you feel dehydrated and cannot keep anything down, please consult your physician as you may need some re-hydration with liquids or IV fluids. As with the flu epidemic, the elderly and children under 6 years of age experience the most severe symptoms.

 

For more information, please visit:

CDC

USA Today

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