dehydration

Got Chapped Lips?

January 21st, 2021

Dry or chapped lips can be a true mood killer, especially when you’re trying to speak, eat, or smile! Chapped lips are extremely uncomfortable, and when they begin to peel it can be a real pain, both literally and figuratively.  Even so, dry lips also look painful. It’s important to know how to care for your lips and keep them healthy and protected.

But what causes dry lips to occur? According to the Cleveland Clinic, the skin that makes up the lips are thin and can dry out 10 times quicker than the skin on other areas of the face. People may experience dry lips as a result of an allergic reaction, trauma, cold weather, frequent licking of the lips, smoking, mouth breathing, dehydration, certain medications, medical conditions (i.e. lupus) , ultraviolet rays from sun exposure, and nutritional deficiencies, for instance.

With dry lips also may come cracking at the corners of the mouth, known as angular cheilitis. The corners of the mouth can also become infected by bacteria. Individuals who suck their thumbs or those who wear poorly fitted dentures have an increased risk of developing angular cheilitis.

Signs of angular cheilitis can include:

  • Bleeding
  • Blisters
  • Cracks
  • Crust
  • Itchy
  • Painful
  • Red
  • Scaly
  • Swollen

Another form of cheilitis is actinic cheilitis, which is dry lips caused by excessive sun exposure.

Luckily, dry lips can be managed! Be sure to keep your lips protected in both cold and hot environments, as both cool windy weather and sun exposure on a hot summer day can be harsh on your lips. Try using a lip balm with sunscreen to help keep your lips moist. The American Academy of Dermatology also recommends using lip balms containing petroleum jelly to help keep the lips moist. Plus, if you notice the air in your home is dry, a humidifier can help add moisture to the air and help manage dry lips. Not to mention, staying hydrated with water is particularly necessary to keep your skin healthy. If you notice any lip dryness or irritation after using a new lip balm or face moisture, be cautious with use as it may be a sign of an allergic reaction.

Avoid licking your lips when they feel chapped at all costs, as this makes them drier than before. It's also important not to peel or bite your lips when they feel dry and flaky. If these tips and tricks don’t seem to help, or if you notice your condition is severe, be sure to check with a dermatologist or doctor to help manage dry lips.

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.webmd.com/oral-health/angular-cheilitis#1

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/dry-mouth/waking-up-with-dry-mouth

https://health.clevelandclinic.org/6-tips-to-protect-your-lips-from-the-cold/

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.goodhousekeeping.com%2Fbeauty%2Fanti-aging%2Ftips%2Fa16642%2Fdry-skin-relief%2F&psig=AOvVaw2q6L4bDOs8a569C9nqWpYX&ust=1611288398240000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCKDjt5yTrO4CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAK

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wikihow.health%2FHelp-Chapped-Lips&psig=AOvVaw2q6L4bDOs8a569C9nqWpYX&ust=1611288398240000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCKDjt5yTrO4CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAQ

 

How Does Alcohol Impact My Oral Health?

April 18th, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist, Dr. Derek, and Dr. Emad is happy to help with your TMJ and orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs, Dr. Stephens would love to help, and our gum-specialist Dr. Singh can help with your gum-related concerns.

References:

https://www.alcohol.org/awareness-month/

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

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

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

images

Why is my Tongue White?

August 6th, 2019

 

The human body is amazing in so many ways. Our bodies often try to tell us things about our health through triggering certain signs and signals. The oral cavity can be an easy spot to indicate signs of specific health conditions developing. For instance, the color and texture of your tongue could be a clue that something is going on within your body.

The normal anatomy of the tongue is comprised of tiny nodules known as papilla. The color is typically a shade of pink, although food debris may temporarily stain the tongue. An indicator of poor oral health or possibly an underlying health condition is the presence of a white tongue that remains for a prolonged period of time. A white tongue has been associated with mouth breathing, smoking, oral thrush (fungal candidiasis infection), infections, excessive alcohol use, medication side effects, and congenital heart disease.

Most frequently it is linked with dry mouth and dehydration, which increases the risk of developing tooth decay and infections. Saliva is crucial for helping us breakdown food and protecting our teeth due to the proteins and minerals found within it. Without it, the dry environment promotes bacteria and fungi growth and typically produces an odor.

Other conditions that have been known to cause white tongue include oral lichen planus, geographic tongue, oral cancer, and HIV/AIDs.

Although white tongue is typically harmless, if you notice any pain or persistence of white tongue for a prolonged time that does not respond to oral care, be sure to contact your dentist.

It is important to remember to brush your tongue with either a toothbrush or tongue scraper each day to remove all of the plaque and leftover food particles that become trapped between the papilla on the surface of the tongue. Also, staying hydrated is important, especially during these hot summer days!

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.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319814.php

https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/white-tongue/basics/causes/sym-20050676

what-makes-your-tongue-white.jpg

SM_01904_tongue-cleaning_1200x628r-1030x539.jpg

Staying Hydrated Smart

June 20th, 2014

After eating a meal, working out, or even after performing routine activities, do you immediately grab a sports drink or a soda? These beverages are typically acidic and contain large amounts of sugar, leading to tooth decay. Even some fruit juices are packed with decay-causing sugar. Acids and sugars damage tooth enamel. Enamel is the outer surface of the tooth that helps protect them from an ordinary day's use. Once damage is caused to enamel, the damage is irreversible. Before you turn to sports drinks and sodas for hydration, consider reaching for a glass of water!

Staying hydrated, especially in the warm weather months, is essential for your overall health. Since water makes up more than half of your body weight, it is needed for proper function of tissues and organs, as well as for survival. Without water, your blood pressure, body temperature, and metabolism are at risk! A deficiency in body water can lead to dehydration and negative physical and psychological changes in your body. Those involved in sports, or have certain medical conditions are at a higher risk of dehydration and should consume greater amounts of water.

Some symptoms of dehydration include:

  • Dry or sticky mouth
  • Darker yellow urine
  • Dry skin
  • Headaches
  • Muscle cramps
  • Irritability or confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Sunken eyes

Did you know that staying hydrated also helps your mouth? Hydration is particularly important in maintaining good oral health. Dehydration can lead to halitosis, dry mouth, gum disease, and possibly even heart disease! Drinking water will help increase your levels of bacteria-fighting saliva, and ultimately help reduce your chances of developing these common oral health problems. Along with brushing and flossing, drinking an adequate amount of water will help wash away bacteria in your mouth. The recommended daily intake of water for women is about 8 cups, and roughly 13 cups for men. Even though water is often the best option for staying hydrated, a glass of milk can also be a good beverage for replenishing energy after a day of hard work.

Here are a few tips for staying hydrated:

  • Try carrying a reusable water bottle around with you during the day.
  • If you find water to be too plain, consider adding a slice of lemon.
  • Make sure to drink water before, during and after your exercise.
  • Start and end your day with a glass of water.
  • Order water when dining out. It’s not only healthy, but also free!
  • Try drinking water with each meal or snack to help make it a routine.

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/food-recipes/features/quest-for-hydration?page=1

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/water/art-20044256

http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/prevention-wellness/food-nutrition/nutrients/hydration-why-its-so-important.html

http://media.coreperformance.com/images/411*308/knowledge-hydration1.jpg

 

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