clenching

Could Oral Bacteria be a Cause of Migraines?

February 26th, 2021

Migraines can be a nuisance! If you've ever suffered a migraine, you know how significant an attack can feel. Could your dentist help relieve your migraines? In some cases, yes! A study published by the American Society for Microbiology suggests that certain oral bacteria known to increase nitric oxide in the bloodstream can cause the blood vessels in the brain to widen, which consequently can trigger the onset of a migraine.

As you may know, there are many factors that could be the cause of your headaches or migraine, and treatment requires a correct diagnosis. Migraines are commonly known to be triggered by foods high in nitrates and nitrites, which are often found in processed meats like hot dogs, ham and bacon, alcohol, and even chocolate.

In addition, migraines may be triggered by other certain factors, including:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Female hormonal changes
  • Bright or flashing lights
  • Loud noises
  • Strong smells
  • Medications
  • Excess or lack of sleep
  • Sudden changes in weather or environment
  • Increased physical activity
  • Tobacco
  • Caffeine or caffeine withdrawal
  • Skipped meals
  • Medication overuse

What exactly does a migraine entail?

A migraine often presents with severe throbbing or pulsating pain that typically occurs on one side of the head. According to MedlinePlus, approximately 12% of Americans experience migraines. Females, individuals with a family history of migraines, and individuals with certain medical conditions including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, sleep disorders, and epilepsy, are at an increased risk of having migraines.

Migraines often involve 4 different stages:

  • Stage 1: Prodrome

This stage is the first stage that occurs before you actually experience the migraine. Early signs may be food cravings, unexplained mood swings, fluid retention, frequent urination, and uncontrollable yawning.

  • Stage 2: Aura

During the aura phase which occurs often right before the start of a migraine, individuals may see bright lights or zig-zag lines. Individuals may also experience muscle weakness.

  • Stage 3: Headache

The severity of migraines often occurs gradually. Some individuals may experience a migraine without a headache, but instead experience sensitivity to light, sound, and smell, nausea and vomiting, and pain when moving.

  • Stage 4: Postdrome

The final stage of a migraine is the postdrome stage, in which individuals often experience fatigue, weakness, and potential confusion lasting sometimes around 1 day after the migraine.

Our body's are full of bacteria that naturally and harmlessly live within us. However, some bacteria can be harmful and lead to cavities, gum disease, and even migraines. This is one of the many reasons why regular dental visits and proper oral care at home is essential. It is important to brush at least twice a day for two minutes each time to help remove dental plaque and prevent it from causing tooth decay. Flossing is also necessary to remove dental plaque that is stuck in hard-to-reach places like in-between teeth, which is where cavities commonly are initiated. Rinsing with an anti-microbial and fluoride containing mouth rinse can also help kill bacteria and strengthen your teeth.

Your dentist can check to see if your headaches or migraines are caused by other oral conditions such as temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) or oral habits such as clenching/bruxism. Toothaches from dental infection by oral bacteria can also cause significant pain in the head and jaw area.

Speak with your doctor and dentist if you feel that you are experiencing chronic migraines.

This pandemic has impacted us all, but our community is indeed all stronger together. Our team at WDG always has your safety and health as our top priority, and we have implemented additional safety measures and equipment to help prevent the transmission of all infections, including COVID-19. Wellesley Dental Group has completely reopened since June 8th, 2020 for all dental procedures and cleanings! Thank you for entrusting your health and dental care to us at Wellesley Dental Group.

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.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/migraines-oral-bacteria.html

https://drania.com/why-your-migraines-might-be-caused-by-oral-bacteria/

https://blog.themigrainereliefcenter.com/connection-between-migraines-and-tooth-pain

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.infinitydentalfoxlake.com%2Fdental-concerns%2Ffrequent-headaches%2F&psig=AOvVaw37hxjRFQJvc6UPujGNOF7b&ust=1613951004832000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCIjc9f_S-e4CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAm

https://medlineplus.gov/migraine.html

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fgenesisresearchservices.com%2Fmigraine-symptoms-treatment-clinical-trials%2F&psig=AOvVaw2YMfuEAnZGCULPV5PlPlxP&ust=1613957134912000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCND76oDp-e4CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAJ

My Tooth Hurts, Now What Do I Do? 

April 7th, 2020

We all know the uncomfortable feeling of a toothache. Yet, it turns out that there could be several possible culprits behind the pain.

If you are experiencing sharp pain after the consumption of hot or cold beverages, you may have sensitive teeth. Tooth sensitivity can be a result of worn tooth enamel, a fractured tooth, deteriorated fillings, tooth decay, or receding gums. You should see your dentist to confirm a diagnosis and discuss possible treatment options, but until then try using a tooth sensitivity toothpaste with a soft bristle brush to help with the pain. Excessive teeth whitening and acidic foods should also be avoided. If instead you are experiencing a more constant throbbing pain, you may have an infected or abscessed tooth.

If the pain feels like it's radiating from the jaw, it could be a result of an impacted tooth, a temporomandibular disorder, arthritis, excessive teeth grinding or clenching. Sinusitis could be the underlying cause of the pain if you are experiencing discomfort on both sides of your face or in your upper teeth.

Regardless of the current level of pain you are experiencing, you should always make an appointment with your dentist so an exact diagnosis can be determined and to prevent the pain from developing further. What feels like a slight discomfort now, can quickly develop into acute pain down the line.

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/tooth-sensitivity/potential-causes-of-toothaches-its-not-always-a-cavity-0213

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/tooth-sensitivity/how-to-relieve-sensitive-teeth-naturally-1214

https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/top-dental-symptoms

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toothachefinal-01-10c405795ca848d2954926164536cd5a.png

Experiencing Toothaches from Winter Weather?

January 13th, 2019

As you're walking outside this winter, do you ever feel a cringing pain in your teeth from the cold air? Not only can the cold cause dry skin, it can also cause some tooth sensitivity, especially if you already struggle with sensitive teeth. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, approximately 40 million Americans have sensitive teeth. This causes many people to avoid foods that are either very cold or very hot, such as ice-cream or soup. So, why does tooth sensitivity occur?

The bulk of your teeth are composed of dentin, which is covered but your enamel on the outside, your gums, and also by cementum on the roots. Inside the dentin is a lot of nerve endings, so once dentin is exposed your nerves respond painfully to hot and cold!

Numerous factors can cause your dentin to become exposed, take a look:

  • Periodontal disease: Gum disease is a common cause of tooth sensitivity. Over time if plaque builds up on your teeth, your gums can become inflamed leading to gingivitis. If not treated, periodontal disease can arise which leads to gum recession and exposed roots and dentin. Be sure to keep up with regular brushing twice a day, flossing, rinsing, and dental check-ups to ensure that your gums stay healthy.
  • Improper brushing techniques: It's true, there is a science to brushing! Brushing aggressively can cause your enamel to wear down and eventually expose your nerve endings within dentin. Make sure you have a soft bristled tooth brush and that you are brushing toward the gum line lightly to remove bacteria within your gum pockets. 
  • Teeth clenching and grinding:  Someone may have told you that you grind your teeth at night, or you may notice that you're clenching your teeth throughout the day. Clenching and grinding can cause your enamel to wear down and also cause headaches and cracks within your teeth. Let your dentist know if you are clenching or grinding and treatment options such as a night guard can be discussed.
  • Tooth decay: If you begin experiencing cold sensitivity on a regular basis, it is important to let your dentist know because it could be a sign of tooth decay. Tooth decay and fillings that have cracked can cause exposure of dentin and result in tooth sensitivity.
  • Tooth whitening/dental treatment: Sometime bleaching agents and recent dental procedures such as fillings and crowns can cause temporary sensitivity. Be sure to let your dentist know when you begin experiencing sensitivity.
  • Acidic diet: Foods and beverages with high acid content, including sodas, coffee, juice, pickles, etc., can cause enamel erosion and exposure of dentin.
To help your winter go smoothly, when going outside try breathing through your nose as much as possible so that the cold air has less contact with your teeth. Make sure that you are bundled up when going outside. Fluoride rinses and toothpastes geared to help with sensitivity can also help decrease your pain to cold. Your dentist may recommend root canal treatment if the pulp inside the tooth is infected, or a procedure to cover your root surfaces to help improve gum recession.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Aliand their newest addition to the team, Dr. Zarah Ali, if you have any thoughts or concerns. Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. VanDr. Emadis happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other periodontal or oral surgery needs, Dr. Ghaziwould be more than willing to help.

The caring team at Wellesley Dental Groupwill be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.comto set up an appointment and consultation.

References:

https://www.guardiandirect.com/resources/articles/winter-and-sensitive-teeth

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/tooth-sensitivity/what-causes-sensitive-teeth-0714

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GettyImages-891373786-5a4d1675842b17003794de14.jpg

Festive Stress Taking a Toll on Your Mouth?

December 15th, 2018

As we approach the holidays, it can be an exciting, yet stressful time as we prepare to decorate, shop, and entertain for our loved ones. Even traveling, finances, or just having a large to-do list can add stress to your body and oral health. Sometimes you may not notice the negative impact that stress is causing to your teeth. Take a look at these common stressors and how they could be harmful to your smile:

Snoring

Snoring does not only cause loud noises at night time-It could also be causing issues with your oral health! Snoring occurs when there is not enough air moving through the throat and nose while sleeping. Snoring could be a result of many conditions, and some risk factors include being male, 40 years of age or older, family history of snoring, and pregnancy. A main complication of snoring is dry mouth. Dry mouth occurs when there is a lack of saliva, which is necessary for neutralizing acids made by bacteria within the mouth, and for moistening your gums and teeth. When there is a lack of saliva you may develop oral problems such as bad breath (halitosis), burning mouth syndrome, cavities, gingivitis, or mouth sores. Depending on the cause, interventions can include an oral appliance, weight loss, or a reduction in alcohol or smoking.

Tooth Grinding

A commonly known issue impacting your teeth is called bruxism, also known as tooth grinding. This often occurs during your sleep which can make it hard for you not to notice. In addition, jaw clenching can also cause similar effects including wearing your enamel down, gum recession, and weakening the supporting structures in your mouth that keep your teeth in place. Not to mention, it can also break or chip existing fillings in your mouth. Grinding and clenching are often due to anxiety or stress, but can also be caused by an abnormal bite. Some of the signs that can clue you in that you may be clenching or grinding include a sore jaw when you wake up in the morning, or your partner may notice clicking sounds during your sleep. Not to worry though, there are treatment options that can fix this. A night guard may be suggested, or relaxation methods including exercise or other stress management interventions may be advised by your dentist to prevent damaging your pearly whites.

Depression

Depression is a common condition for many individuals, and it can come and go in spurts during a person's life. It is important to talk with a Doctor or someone who can help if it begins to interfere with daily life including with the care of your oral and overall health.

Holiday stressors are real! Stay stress-free this holiday and be sure to keep up on health. Brushing, flossing, and making sure your scheduling your regular dental check-ups is particularly important during the holidays when lots of sweets are involved!

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Aliand their newest addition to the team, Dr. Zarah Ali, if you have any thoughts or concerns. Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. VanDr. Emadis happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other periodontal or oral surgery needs, Dr. Ghaziwould be more than willing to help.

The caring team at Wellesley Dental Groupwill be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.comto set up an appointment and consultation.

References:

getty_134936674_2000133320009280167_75133.jpg

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/respiratory-conditions/what-causes-snoring-its-effect-on-oral-health-0713

https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/stress-teeth#1

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/bruxism

Don't Bite into Bruxism

September 17th, 2015

bruxism

 

At some point in time, you've probably experienced grinding or clenching your teeth. This condition is known as bruxism. Most of the time, individuals don't even know when they're doing it! When teeth grinding becomes a habit, it can result in severe dental damage, discomfort, and even an interrupted sleep pattern.

Teeth grinding can happen during the day, but in many cases it happens during sleep. Do you often get up in the morning with a headache, sore mouth or jaw? Have you ever been told by a loved one that you're grinding your teeth at night? If so, it's important to visit your dentist before more dental problems arise, including abnormal bite or crooked teeth.

Clenching or grinding teeth during sleep is medically termed sleep bruxism. According to a study, 8% of adults grind their teeth during the night and more than 1/3rd of parents indicate to the dentist that their children are experiencing symptoms of bruxism. Children who still have all their baby teeth or are starting to grow in their permanent teeth can even experience bruxism. Many people typically learn that they grind their teeth by a loved one who can hear the grinding at night.

The causes of bruxism are still not clear, although many studies commonly associate it with stress, anxiety, alcohol consumption, certain medications, cigarette smoking, sleep problems, and snoring. It's possible that treating sleep apnea can help alleviate sleep bruxism.

Teeth grinding may not seem like a big deal, however, it can lead to fracturing, misalignment, or tooth loss. It can also affect the dental appliances within your mouth, such as crowns, root canals, bridges, implants, and dentures. Bruxism also affect your jaws, which can result in TMD/TMJ issues, hearing loss, and a change in the appearance of your face. Your dentist may suggest wearing mouth guards to avoid the damage caused by tooth grinding. If severe, your dentist may even recommend braces or oral surgery.

Remember, Don't use your teeth as tools. For example, chewing on pencils, ice, and other hard objects can cause serious wear on your teeth. Try to manage your stress and train yourself not to grind your teeth by relaxing your jaw muscles.

Keep a stiff upper lip and make sure that you are practicing the necessary oral habits in order to prevent the wear and tear to 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://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bruxism/basics/treatment/con-20029395

http://beautifulsmilesrgv.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/bruxism.png

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

https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-disorders-problems/bruxism-and-sleep

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