citrus fruits

What's the Deal with Canker Sores?

April 29th, 2020

With the summer season around the corner, citrus fruits and fresh vegetables are aplenty. However, acidic foods such as oranges or tomatoes often trigger the appearance of canker sores. Additionally, salty and spicy foods or lack of vitamins and minerals can also lead to canker sores. According to the American Academy of Oral Medicine, canker sores (also known as recurrent aphthous stomatitis) are experienced by over half the population and typically first emerges in young teens. The oral condition affects the softer tissues of the mouth, such as the lips, cheeks, tongue, or soft palate. Sores are typically less than 1 centimeter in diameter and disappear without treatment, but it is not uncommon for sores to reappear in the same location. 

While the exact cause of a canker sore is not known, canker sores are thought to arise due to an accumulation of white blood cells in the mucosal tissue. Diet, stress, or hormonal changes are all considered possible triggers. If the canker sore is accompanied by a fever, abdominal pain, or fatigue, the sores could be a function of a systemic issue such as Crohn's, Bechet’s, or Celiac disease, and you should seek immediate medical attention. It is fairly common for canker sores to be a result of orthodontic treatment such as braces. If that is the case, ask your dentist for wax to cover any intrusive wires. 

 

To subside the pain and minimize the reoccurrence of canker sores, avoid any toothpaste or mouthwash that contains sodium lauryl sulfates and refrain from acidic, salty, or spicy foods that appear to irritate your mouth. Ask your dentist about over the counter gels available that can be applied to the sore to further ease the pain. Rinsing with warm salt water can also help. If the canker sores cause difficulty with eating, extreme pain, or the sores persist for more than two weeks you should immediately speak with your dentist to be further evaluated. 

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.aaom.com/

https://wa.kaiserpermanente.org/

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/canker-sore/

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Acid Reflux: A Dental Threat

January 17th, 2020

An upset stomach can ruin your whole day! Individuals who experience acid reflux, a chronic digestive disease in which stomach acid travels into the esophagus, often experience a range of uncomfortable symptoms. Some symptoms of acid reflux include heartburn, chest pain, and regurgitation, leaving a sour or bitter taste in the mouth. Acid reflux is commonly referred to as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and this disease particularly impacts your oral health. This is because during those uncomfortable times of stomach acid entering your oral cavity, your tooth enamel is being surrounded by acid, which in turn can cause enamel erosion. Underneath the tooth enamel, the outer layer of the tooth, is dentin, which can then become exposed once the enamel is worn down. In addition, the lining of your esophagus can also become damaged as a result of acid reflux.

Not to mention, what you eat plays a huge role in this condition as well! Acid reflux can be exacerbated by certain foods, including tomatoes, citrus fruits, mint, chocolate, coffee, tea, sodas, spicy foods, garlic, onions, or fatty foods.

Your dentist may notice signs of acid reflux during your oral exam. This condition can affect all ages, even children! A study done at the University of California at San Francisco reported that children with acid reflux are six times more likely to experience damage to their tooth enamel than children without this condition. Your child may not recognize that they have acid reflux, but once diagnosed the proper steps can be taken to help protect their teeth.

Remember, prevention is key, so it is important to see your dentist regularly to ensure the proper diagnoses and treatment. Fluoride can add an extra layer of protection to teeth exposed to acid by helping to add important minerals to the tooth enamel. It is important to consume fluoridated water and use toothpaste containing fluoride. Your Doctor may prescribe medication to help with acid reflux depending on the severity. In addition, avoiding foods that typically trigger acid reflux is necessary to help keep acid reflux under control.

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.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/gastrointestinal-disorders/acid-reflux-a-dental-disaster-in-the-making-1013

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