dentures

Abnormal Tooth Enamel: Amelogenesis Imperfecta

March 17th, 2016

 enamelAmelogenesis imperfecta is an inherited disorder in which tooth enamel forms abnormally. As a result, individuals with this condition are at a higher risk of developing cavities. It typically causes teeth to be smaller than usual, discolored, grooved, easily damaged, among other dental problems that can vary by the individual. Secondary effects could be early tooth loss, periodontal disease, tooth sensitivity, and jaw problems.

Unfortunately, Amelogenesis imperfecta can negatively impact both primary teeth and permanent teeth. Around 14 forms of this condition have been determined by researchers. It has also been found to affect approximately 1 in 700 people in northern Sweden to 1 in 14,000 people in the United States.

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Many cases of Amelogenesis imperfecta are a result of mutations in the AMELX, ENAM, MMP20, and FAM83H genes, which are normally responsible for making proteins essential for normal tooth and enamel development (ameloblastin, enamelin, tuftelin and amelogenin). Tooth enamel is a hard outer layer rich in calcium that functions to protect the tooth. As a result of a mutation, tooth enamel becomes thin and weaker than normal, and may even appear yellow or brown in color. The genetic causes of other cases have not yet been identified.

This condition can be inherited in both an autosomal dominant pattern and autosomal recessive pattern. In an autosomal dominant pattern, once copy of the mutated gene in each cell can cause Amelogenesis imperfecta. An autosomal recessive pattern involves two mutated copies of the gene in each cell. Researchers found that around 5 percent of amelogenesis imperfecta cases are due to mutations in the AMELX gene and are inherited in an X-linked pattern. They also found that males with X-linked amelogenesis imperfecta have more severe dental problems than females with this form of the condition.

Preventive and restorative dental treatments can help make teeth impacted by this condition look normal and remain healthy. Full crown restorations are often used to treat this disorder. For severe cases, teeth may have to be extracted and implants or dentures may be required. If you feel like you have Amelogenesis imperfecta or any other enamel conditions, our very Dr. Ejaz Ali is an expert at fixing the issue, bringing the teeth back to ideal form, function, and esthetic. Dr. Ali was trained at Tufts School of Dental Medicine, and also did additional training at New York University’s in “Full Mouth Reconstruction: Advanced Principles and Practice for the GP” with special focus on Implants, Aesthetics, and Occlusion.

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:

Healthy Teeth, Healthy Aging

October 1st, 2015

National Healthy Aging Month emphasizes the importance of practicing good health habits as age increases. In the United States, the current life expectancy for men and women is nearly 85 years. With continuing advances in public health, medical technology, and greater access to health insurance, people are living healthier and longer than preceding generations. With that said, oral health, regardless of age, plays a significant role in the overall health of your body! Especially as you get older, ignoring the health of your teeth and mouth can lead to more serious consequences than just a cavity.

As your age changes, your mouth also changes and it is even more vital to take care of your teeth. It is commonly believed that losing your teeth when you get older is inevitable. However, this is a misconception! If teeth are properly taken care of, they can last a lifetime!

Help your teeth age elegantly with you by keeping these few tips in mind:

Brush at least twice a day

Brushing your teeth is an essential oral health habit that applies in all stages of life. Brushing helps eliminate plaque, which contributes to tooth decay.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately one-third of older adults have untreated tooth decay. When brushing, remember to brush along the gumline and tongue. With age, gums may begin to wear away or recede, leaving the root of the tooth exposed. Tooth decay is more likely to develop around the softer root or old filling.

Floss daily

Taking care of your gums is just as important as taking care of your teeth! Flossing helps prevent plaque from building up between teeth and below the gum line, where decay and periodontal (gum) disease often develop. Many adults in the United States show mild or severe signs of gum disease. It is this disease, and not the progression of aging, that is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. Unfortunately, periodontal disease affects about 23 percent of adults aged 65 to 74, according to the CDC. Recent studies have concluded that the health of your gums may correlate to some chronic disease, including  Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease and diabetes.

Establish a balanced and nutritious diet

What you eat can not only help improve the health your body, but also keep your teeth healthy. Vitamins and other nutrients found in certain fruits and vegetables can improve your body’s ability to destroy bacteria and protect your teeth and gums.

Schedule regular dental visits

Regular dental check-ups and cleanings are an essential part of maintaining good oral health as you age. With age, the risk of developing chronic diseases increases. The dentist can diagnose and watch for oral problems that may point to other health problems.

Avoid smoking

Not only does smoking increase your risk for lung cancer, it also increases your risk for periodontal disease, mouth pain, gum recession, tooth decay, tooth loss and other oral health problems. According to two 30-year studies at Tufts University, smokers are approximately twice as likely to lose their teeth as non-smokers.  Also, a study conducted by the Journal of Dental Research shows that smokers are nearly twice as likely as non-smokers to need a root canal.

The use of medications also increases with age, many of which can negatively impact oral health. Some medications may cause dry mouth, which will lead to a decrease in saliva production and possibly lead to tooth decay. Saliva is critical for oral health, as it helps wash away bacteria and food particles. Also, if you wear full or partial dentures, remember to clean them daily! Food can become stuck between teeth, causing gum problems or halitosis (bad breath). By keeping your teeth healthy and strong, you might be surprised at what a difference a healthy mouth makes!

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://healthyaging.net/september-is-healthy-aging-month/

http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/a/aging-and-dental-health

http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/oral-care/problems/5-oral-care-need-to-knows-aging.htm#page=0

http://www.ssa.gov/planners/lifeexpectancy.htm

http://www.worldwidehealth.com/images/article/smallest/3680.jpg

 

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

The Success of Dental Implants in Women with Osteoporosis

August 13th, 2015

Aging can be a beautiful process. Yet, with age, we can expect for gradual changes within the body to occur. For instance, post-menopausal women with osteoporosis often have a greater risk of losing their teeth. New research has found that dental implants can help improve the lives of women suffering from osteoporosis.Both osteoporosis and dental implants are more connected than you may think. Osteoporosis is a condition involving one's bones, where the bones become thinner and brittle due to a loss of calcium. As a result, the  bones become more prone to fractures. It is important to note that this condition does not only affect the spine and bones within the core of the body. It can also have an impact on bones within the jaw, and thus contribute to tooth loss. Bone loss in the jaw can lead to a change in the shape of a person's face and loss of function in keeping teeth secure.

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine studied over 200 women with osteoporosis. In addition, all of the women had at least two adjacent teeth missing. Some women had dental implants, fixed partial dentures, or removable dentures, while others had no restoration work done. The study titled, "Dental Implant Supported Restorations Improve the Quality of Life in Osteoporotic Women," was published in the Journal of International DentistryEach participant was given a survey which questioned their satisfaction with replacement teeth and how it impacted their lives socially and emotionally. Participants who had dental implants reported the highest overall satisfaction with the quality of their lives, followed by individuals with fixed dentures, false teeth, and no dental restoration work, respectively. This study may indicate that dental implants provide individuals with the highest satisfaction after losing teeth.

Along the same lines, a different study observed over 600 dental implants in approximately 200 patients over the age of 50. The study found that dental implants had a 94% success rate. The success rate was also high for individuals taking osteoporosis medications. If you have osteoporosis, it's important to let your dentist know what medications you are taking and how long that you've been taking them to ensure the success of dental implants.

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.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150611131517.htm

http://downtowndentalsc.com/the-connection-between-dental-implants-and-osteoporosis-a-quick-look/

http://womensbrainhealth.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/o-OLDER-WOMAN-facebook.jpg

Does the Word "Diet" Make Soda Any Healthier?

April 2nd, 2015

You know what they all say, “Sip All Day, Get Decay!” It's not only a catchy phrase, it's the truth! There is a clear correlation between soda consumption and tooth decay, as well as to other health complications including diabetes, kidney problems, and obesity. We all are familiar with the fact that bacteria in the mouth convert sugars and carbohydrates from the foods and beverages you consume to acids, which decays tooth enamel. What's even scarier is that the acids can remain in the mouth for 20 minutes after snacking or drinking.

To avoid this reality, many turn to diet soda thinking that there will be no consequences for their teeth. You may have even been asked at one point or another, "Which is better, Diet Coke or regular Coke?" It turns out that their damaging effects on teeth are roughly the same!

What many individuals may not realize is that diet soda is still acidic, which negatively impact the health of your teeth.  Research from the Minnesota Dental Association, the Missouri Dental Association, and the University of Cincinnati Biology Department shows the pH of a regular Coke is around 2.6, which is highly acidic. On the other hand, the pH of diet coke is about 3.2. For comparison, the pH of battery acid is 1, which isn't too far off from the pH values of soda! While diet soda may not be as bad as regular soda, they do contain acids, which can cause serious damage to teeth. Phosphoric acid and citric acid is often present in many diet sodas to add flavor to the drink. These acids can demineralize and decalcify teeth. Sometimes the damage may require fillings, root canals, dental crowns, dental implantsdentures or other dental procedures.

Not to mention, many beverages use artificial flavorers and sweeteners in place of sugar for the purpose of maintaining the flavor. Although they may not contain sugar, they can make beverages acidic and can cause many problems for your teeth.

In addition to having negative oral health effects, diet soda can have a significant impact on your kidneys. According to an 11-year study at Harvard Medical School with 3,000 women participants, researchers discovered that diet cola is linked with a two-fold increased risk for kidney failure. Kidney function began to decline as women drank two or more sodas a day.

A consistent consumption of both regular and diet soda is one of the leading causes of tooth decay. Children and young adults are most prone to tooth decay because their tooth enamel is not yet fully developed. Unfortunately, many children and young adults in the United States  have decreased their intake of milk  and increased their intake of soda. In fact, according to research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, children are consuming it more than double the rate of the last 10 years. Soda consumption among adults has grown approximately 25 percent!

A healthy diet plays an important role in your overall health. It is essential to choose foods and beverages that provide vitamins and minerals for not only a healthy body, but also a healthy mouth. Avoid giving the label, "diet or sugar-free" the same meaning as, "healthy for teeth!" You can prevent tooth decay and other health problems by staying hydrated with water and implementing good oral health habits. If you are a soda-lover, make sure to drink in moderation. Also, limit your intake of carbonated beverages, including sports drinks and juice. Most importantly, make sure that you are not substituting acidic beverages for water.

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://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/diet/Sugar-free-drinks-Are-they-safe-for-teeth/articleshow/46515368.cms

http://www.wda.org/your-oral-health/sip-all-day

http://www.myhousecallmd.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/diet-soda.jpg

Health Benefits of Dental Implants

August 26th, 2014

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Did you know that the average adult between the ages of 20 and 64 has three or more decayed or missing teeth? The reasons can vary - sports-related injuries, cavities & infection, periodontal disease, etc. Although replacing a missing tooth is often considered a purely aesthetic need, filling a hole in your mouth has multiple health benefits.

Your teeth were designed to last a lifetime, but sometimes they don't! Replacing missing teeth is important to your general health and to the health of your other teeth. Not only do you lose chewing ability when a tooth is lost, but unreplaced teeth can cause other teeth to be lost, tipped or crowded and create subsequent problems.

Also, there are the obvious problems of poor appearance and loss of self-esteem caused by one or more missing teeth. Replacement of lost teeth with dental implants has been used for treating missing teeth for more than 50 years and is recognized as an effective treatment choice. Treatment is considered more predictable than bridgework, resin bonded bridges and endodontic treatment. To learn in detail what a dental implant is and how the procedure of inserting one is done, please read here. For our excellent implantologist, Dr. Ghazi's credentials, go here. If you are concerned with the financial side of the matter, whether your insurance will be able to cover it, now is a great time to plan your treatment, before the insurance benefits run out at the end of the year. Wellesley Dental Group office offers financing, CareCredit and is happy to guide you through the process (call 781-237-9071 with questions).

Am I a candidate for implants? Implants may be the right choice for anyone missing one or more teeth. Your dentist can determine if you are a candidate for dental implants after a careful evaluation of your dental and medical history.

Do I have enough bone? It is important for a patient to have enough bone to support the implant. If you don't, there are many safe and effective ways to correct bone deficiency. Your dentist will assess this and advise you if additional bone material is needed.

How long does the process take? Treatment time can vary greatly depending on your needs. Each situation needs a separate evaluation; your dentist will be able to give you an approximate timetable.

Whom should I consult for my implant treatment? Your general dentist is your first resource. The key is the implant dentist's training, experience and credentials. AAID credentialed dentists Include general dentists, periodontists, prosthodontists and oral surgeons who perform the surgical and/or restorative procedures. See here for our excellent implantologist, Dr. Ghazi's credentials

Benefits:

1. Functions and looks like a natural tooth. Improving biting/chewing, the look and feel of the tooth that was lost.

2. Preserving the integrity of facial structures. The implants is preventing the bone resorption, that can otherwise occur - the jawbone can deteriorate, losing its strength and firmness. Dental implants are the only dental restoration option that preserves and stimulates natural bone, actually helping to stimulate bone growth and prevent bone loss.

3. Confidence boost, quality of life improvement. With implant supported replacement teeth, the appearance of the smile is more natural and the teeth function more like natural teeth. The result is increased comfort and confidence when smiling, speaking, and eating your favorite foods. Long term esthetics are usually much better with an implant supported replacement tooth than with a traditional tooth supported bridge.

4. Long-lasting solution. Traditional, tooth-supported dental bridges only last five to seven years, and with proper care often more than 10 years, but at some point they may need to be replaced. While dental implants may need periodic adjustments, they can last a lifetime when properly placed and cared for over time. It is considered an orthodontic treatment with one of the most reliable and predictable results in the industry. 

5. Improved appearance. Since implants preserve bone, preventing deterioration of the facial structures, appearance is improved. Collapse of the lower one-third of the face caused by complete tooth loss can be visually corrected and the remaining bone preserved. The appearance of wrinkles around the mouth caused by posterior bite collapse, or complete facial structure collapse is virtually eliminated.

6. Adjacent teeth are not compromised to replace missing teeth. Sometimes, patients prefer choosing a traditional tooth-supported bridge that requires grinding down the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth/teeth, so that the bridge can be cemented onto them. This tooth structure can never be replaced and the long-term health of these teeth is compromised. Partial dentures have clasps that hook onto adjacent teeth, putting pressure on them as the partial rocks back and forth. Eventually these teeth can loosen and come out as a result of this pressure. Replacing missing teeth with implant supported crowns/bridges does not involve the adjacent natural teeth, so they are not compromised, or damaged.

7. Convenient oral hygiene. It is much easier to care for an implant supported crown, which can be cleaned like a natural tooth. In comparison, a tooth supported bridge requires the use of a floss threader for proper cleaning. It is also more convenient to clean a full set of implant supported replacement teeth than a traditional denture. Also, there is no more worrying that your dentures might slip or fall out.

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. Kim or Dr.PradhanDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions, dental implants or any other oral surgery set up an appointment with Dr. Ghazi.

References: http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/adults-40-60/

http://www.aaid-implant.org/about-dental-implants/what-are-the-benefits-of-dental-implants-over-other-treatments/

http://www.missingteeth.org/benefits.html

Image credit: Wellesley Dental Group

Dental Implants: a Great Alternative to Replacing Missing Teeth

May 7th, 2013

If you have missing teeth, dentures are just not comfortable enough, or if you want to keep tooth structure intact, dental implants may be the way to go.

Implants have been considered one of the biggest breakthroughs in dentistry within the past 40 years and have provided an innovative alternative when it comes to replacing missing teeth. Dental implants are made from titanium and other materials that are very compatible with the human body. The titanium implant fuses with the jawbone and acts as a sturdy anchor for the replacement teeth. It is also shaped and colored to blend right in with the rest of your pearly whites.

When going through the process of receiving dental implants, there are three major phases one goes through.

1. The titanium implant is surgically placed into the patient’s jawbone. During this time, dentists recommend that patients should consume soft or cold foods and warm soup during the healing process following the surgery.

2. Next comes the period where the bond surrounding the implants begins the healing process, known as osseointegration. Eventually, the implant combines with the bond and forms a sturdy base for the replacement tooth. This integration usually takes several months to occur.

3. The final step is the placement of the new artificial tooth. For a single tooth, a dentist would customize a dental crown that will serve as the replacement. This crown is picked just so that its color, shape, and size will fit perfectly with the surrounding teeth. Because it takes some time to create this, the dentist will make a temporary crown, bridge or denture in the meantime; this will allow the patient to still be able to eat and speak normally until the permanent replacement tooth is ready.

If you believe that dental implants may be the right option for you, Drs. Ali & Ali and their team at Wellesley Dental Group will be very happy to discuss possible procedures that can be done. Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up a consultation!

 

References:

MouthHealthy.org

The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

Happy Holidays from WDG

December 13th, 2012

There's a nip in the air and soon enough, the snow will fall, leaving in its wake a quiet and reflective atmosphere. Most of all, it will be a warm sense of family that will keep the winter from feeling too cold.

We at Wellesley Dental Group have built our team through that sense of family. It was only this weekend that we joined together at the home of Drs. Ali and Ali and shared with each other the joy that comes with the holidays.

We want to extend that joy to you, our patients. Our family. Through your support and trust, together, we have created the community that is Wellesley Dental Group.

We want to wish you all a very happy, warm, and beautiful Holiday Season.

 

From the Caring Team at Wellesley Dental Group,

 

Happy Holidays!

 


Are You Sensitive?

December 11th, 2012

Over 40 million adults in the U.S. have experienced pain from sensitive teeth. So what causes this uncomfortable sensation that’s so widespread?

The underlying cause is that the dentin, which is under your enamel (the hard protective layer covering your teeth) is exposed. The dentin has tiny tubes full of fluid that trigger nerves found in the pulp of the tooth when the dentin is exposed to heat, cold, or acidity. When that trigger happens, you feel pain.

Why does the dentin get exposed in the first place? There numerous reasons, but the most common are:

  • Brushing too hard: you can wear down your enamel by brushing too hard. An easy way to see if you are brushing too hard is to take a look at your brush. If all the bristles are pointing different ways, you need to ease up. Using soft bristles is also a good idea to minimize enamel erosion.
  • Bruxism (grinding your teeth): your teeth flex when you grind your teeth, which increases enamel erosion.
  • Gingivitis (or gum disease): gum sensitivity can lead to increased tooth sensitivity because more underlying dentin root surface is exposed.
  • Tooth decay: especially painful when the pulp is exposed.
  • Certain whitening products: although there are more recent whitening options available, such as our Sinsational Whitening, that cause minimal to no sensitivity.
  • Acidic foods: these foods increase enamel erosion, which exposes more dentin.
  • Plaque build-up: especially when the build-up is near the root surface.
  • Recent dental procedures: however, this sensitivity should only last between four to six weeks.

Now that you understand some reasons why you may be experiencing sensitive teeth, you should visit your dentist. Drs. Ali & Ali will be more than happy to help, so be in touch by calling (781)-237-9071 or email them at smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com.

In the meantime, boost your oral health by reducing enamel erosion and take steps to:

1. Maintain good oral hygiene
2. Use a soft-bristled tooth brush
3. Use a desensitizing toothpaste
4. Be careful not to eat acidic food
5. Use fluoridated dental products
6. Get a mouthguard if you are grinding your teeth

Sensitive teeth is a treatable discomfort and with proper management, you have great chances of feeling better.

At Wellesley Dental Group, we can apply sealants, desensitizing agents, fluoride, as well as other specialized treatments for your discomfort. Come in for a consultation!

Sources:
Crest
Sensodyne
WebMD

The Silent Destroyer

December 3rd, 2012

Gingivitis. If you don’t know the signs, it’s easy to miss until it’s too late. Put simply, Gingivitis is gum inflammation and generally comes before full-blown periodontitis, or gum disease. Not all cases of gingivitis, however, lead to gum disease, so make sure to visit your dentist, to keep your gums healthy!

Usually starting painlessly, Gingivitis has few indicators, some of which may be:

• Gums that bleed during and after tooth brushing or upon flossing
• Red, swollen, or tender gums
• Persistent bad breath or bad taste in the mouth
• Receding gums
• Formation of deep pockets between teeth and gums
• Loose, shifting, or misaligned teeth
• Changes in the way teeth fit together upon biting down, or in the fit of partial dentures.

Even if you don’t have any of these symptoms, you may still have gum disease, so make sure you regularly visit your dentist.

It’s especially good to visit your dentist for a check up if you have been ill or have had hormonal changes. Even changing medication, especially to one that causes dry mouth, can increase your risk of gingivitis.

Bad habits, such as smoking and general bad oral health practices, such as not flossing, also increase your risk. Also, check your family history since gingivitis and periodontitis are more frequent in people whose family has dealt with gum disease. In fact, the American Academy of Periodontology says that up to 30% of Americans may be genetically susceptible to gum disease.

In the meantime, before you meet with your dentist about your gums, here are some things you can do to increase your oral health and decrease your chances of gum disease:

• Stop smoking. Smokers are seven times more likely to get gum disease than nonsmokers, and smoking can lower the chances of success of some treatments.
• Minimize stress. Stress may make it difficult for your body's immune system to fight off infection.

• Eat healthily. Eating foods with antioxidants can help your body get over an infection.
• If you clench or grind your teeth, get fitted for a mouth-guard. Grinding and clenching can put force on supporting teeth, which can increase gum damage.

And don’t forget to brush and floss your teeth! Removing plaque daily is one of the best ways to keep your gums and teeth happy and healthy.

Sources:
American Academy of Periodontology.
American Dental Association.
Web MD

Flex Spending | Are you ready for the New Year?

November 26th, 2012


The Holiday season is upon us and 2012 is in its last month. That means, time is running out to use up your flex spending before the New Year comes in! Use your dental insurance benefits and make an appointment now, before the Holidays come into full swing. Use it or lose it!

Wellesley Dental Group strives to provide our patients with the best possible care, and an important part of this process is informing patients of their dental needs. Many individuals who are paying for dental insurance do not realize that their plans provide coverage up to a certain dollar amount annually. It’s not too late to maximize your dental benefits! You still have time, so make the most of it, what are you waiting for?

There are many more options available to you so you can utilize your remaining flex spending. Remember to check your plan and take the necessary steps to make the most of you flex spending. Here are some available options:

• Invisalign
• Crowns
• Fillings
• Orthodontic Treatment
• Gum treatment and surgery
• Dental Implants
• Root canals
• Wisdom teeth extraction

Check with your insurance or dentist to find out exactly what is covered and how it fits with your current needs.

Remember, for most individuals, insurance benefits and flex spending do not carry over into the next year.

We would love to help you with your necessary treatments and find the best financial options for you. Take advantage of your tax-free dollars now before it’s too late by making an appointment now. Our office will be closed for the holidays from December 23rd -January 2nd, so be sure to get in early!

If you have already used up your flex spending for this year, it’s the perfect time to come in and start planning for 2013. It’s never too early to read up on new Healthcare Flex Spending account rules so you can start the New Year ahead of the game.

We highly recommend becoming familiar with both your dental benefits and needs. Planning for necessary and preventative treatment now will save you unnecessary risk, cost, and stress later. Drs. Ali & Ali and their team at Wellesley Dental Group will be very happy to answer your questions and advise you on how best to maximize your remaining dental benefits. Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com!

Insurance and Flex Spending for 2012

October 3rd, 2012

As the season starts to grow cold, we are reminded that the year is now coming to an end. Before we all become wrapped up in all that this entails, now is the time to remember that time is running out for dental insurance benefits and flex spending for 2012.

Wellesley Dental Group strives to provide our patients with the best possible care, and an important part of this process is informing patients of their dental needs. Many individuals who are paying for dental insurance do not realize that their plans provide coverage up to a certain dollar amount annually. This means that it’s not too late to maximize your dental benefits! You still have time and you should make the most of it.

There are many options available to you for utilizing the remainder of your flex spending. Remember to check your plan and take the necessary steps to make the most of you flex spending. Here are some commonly available options:

  • Crowns
  • Fillings
  • Orthodontic Treatment
  • Gum treatment and surgery
  • Dental Implants
  • Root canals
  • Wisdom teeth extraction

There are many more available! Check with your insurance or dentist to find out exactly what is covered and how it fits with your current needs.

The New York Times offers some suggestions on ways to maximize this insurance benefit before it is too late.

It bears repeating that for most individuals, insurance benefits and flex spending do not carry over into the next year. In essence, what you do not use, you lose.

Studies show us that patients who postpone dental needs run a higher risk of emergency care in the future. Putting off dental treatment does not make the problem go away – it worsens it, which in turn increases the cost.

We highly recommend becoming familiar with both your dental benefits and needs. Planning for necessary and preventative treatment now will save you unnecessary risk, cost and stress later. Drs. Ali & Ali and their team as Wellesley Dental Group will be very happy to answer your questions and advise you on how to best maximize you remaining dental benefits. Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com!

Ten Easy Steps

July 21st, 2010

Would you like to know ten very easy ways to maintain or improve your oral health?  There are more than ten, for sure, but here's a good start.

1.) Replace your toothbrush at least once every 3 months or when the brush shows signs of wear. It’s also important to switch to a new toothbrush if you’ve recently recovered from a sickness like a cold or the flu.

2.)  Use a rechargeable electric toothbrush with oscillating-rotating action or sonic technology if you are able to.  The head should still be replaced every 3 months or if it becomes worn out before three months.  The toothbrush will do most of the work for you and is a great tool for removing plaque.  It can take a while to get used to using an electric toothbrush, but I highly encourage it. 

3.)  Brush at least twice per day, after eating breakfast as well as before bed.  Try to limit the amount of snacking between meals.

4.)  Two minutes or longer is the appropriate amount of time to spend each time you brush.  You may divide that time up among the four “quadrants” – upper left, upper right, lower left, and lower right.

5.) When you’re done brushing your teeth, use your toothbrush to gently scrape your tongue. Germs can collect on your tongue, often causing bad breath, and this will help remove them.

6.)  Floss at least once daily.  Check with your dentist to see if you are doing it correctly.  Many people are never shown proper flossing techniques and it can really make a difference.  Disposable “flossers” and toothpicks are alright for removing trapped food, but should not replace dental floss.  Floss is the only thing that can safely get into the gum line to remove plaque.  Talk with your dentist about alternatives if you have difficulty holding the floss. 

7.)  See a dentist at least once every 6 months or as recommended.  Adults become more susceptible to dental cavities as they age, and regular cleanings can help keep this risk in check.  Even if you have dentures, you should still be seen by a dentist for an annual exam.  The dentist can monitor your gum health, cheeks, tongue, and will check you for any abnormalities.

8)  Do you wear dentures? If so, they may need to be realigned, so check with your dentist. Properly fitting dentures are very important for chewing and talking and can make daily living more comfortable.  If they don’t fit comfortably, you may be using too much denture cream to keep them in place.

9)  Let your dentist know if you’re experiencing dry mouth. Dry mouth, also known as “xerostomia”, is a side effect of many common medications, but it’s detrimental to your oral health.  It reduces the amount of saliva in the mouth, allowing for more plaque to build up on the teeth and along the gum line. 

10.)  Ask as many questions of your dentist as necessary.  If you have any questions or concerns whatsoever, I am here as a dental resource for you, and I’d be happy to speak with you.  Please do not hesitate to call me, Dr. Femina Ali, at 781-237-9071.   

 If you’d like a free dental care kit with a new toothbrush and paste, please stop into Wellesley Dental Group at 5 Seaward Road in Wellesley (behind Fraser Medical Building) between 8 am and 5 pm Monday through Thursday.

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