eating disorders

Every Body Has a Seat at the Table: Eating Disorder Awareness

February 21st, 2021

Every year, many organizations and individuals across the nation recognize National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (#NEDAwareness), which is the biggest and most recognized eating disorders education effort in the United States. This year, NEDAwareness Week runs from Monday, February 22 - Sunday, February 28. This national event aims is to shed light on eating disorders through educating, spreading hope, and making resources accessible to individuals in need. The theme for 2021 is "Every Body to Has a Seat at the Table."

According to the campaign, approximately 30 million people in the United States will be affected by an eating disorder during their lifetime. Even though this year brings additional challenges as we combat COVID-19, communities across the nation are still coming together to raise awareness through social media events, virtual discussions, and more informative and cool activities.

As reported by the National Eating Disorders Association, eating disorders have been found to be most common in teenagers and young adult women, although they can effect people of any gender or age. Eating disorders can negatively impact a person's physical and mental well-being, and have an effect on personal relationships, confidence, and overall performance at life tasks. In addition, eating disorders can have a significant impact on an individual's oral health. Your teeth, gums, and the surrounding oral tissues depend on healthy nutrients and a healthy diet.

Eating disorders can stem from many physical, mental and social hardships. If you suffer from an eating disorder, it’s important to talk to your health care providers so that proper diagnosis and treatment can begin.

So, what are some of the different types of eating disorders?

  • Anorexia: Individuals with anorexia may experience severe fear of gaining weight and may experience negative thoughts on the way their body appears. Signs may include individuals starving themselves to avoid gaining weight, and excessive exercise.
  • Bulimia: This condition is similar to anorexia in the sense that individuals may also have fears of being overweight. However, individuals may also experience periods of overeating/binge eating followed by self-induced vomiting, purging, misusing laxatives, or fasting throughout the day or several times throughout the week.
  • Binge Eating or Compulsive Overeating: This condition involves individuals who binge eat but do not regularly try to purge the food. Individuals may experience feelings of guilt, making it easier to continue to overeat.

In fact, your dentist may be the first to notice the signs of an eating disorder as changes in the mouth are often the first physical signs that become noticeable. Unfortunately, eating disorders can cause permanent damage to the teeth and oral tissues. Recognizing the signs of an eating disorder early can help lead to a better and easier road to recovery for the body and mouth.

Some of the oral consequences of eating disorders include:

  • Easily bleeding gums
  • Swollen salivary glands which may cause Individuals to experience chronic dry mouth, increasing the risk of developing tooth decay.
  • Lack of nutrients that promote healthy teeth such as calcium, iron and vitamins B and D can also increase the risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease. Lack of iron can lead to the development of oral sores. Similarly, improper amounts of vitamin B3/niacin can lead to bad breath (halitosis) and the development of oral canker sores. Gums may also become puffy and red.
  • Frequent vomiting causes the tooth enamel, or the outer layer of your teeth, to become weak, eroded, soft, and become yellow in color due to the highly acidic environment created from stomach acids. This can create tooth sensitivity when eating hot or cold foods or drinks, and eventually lead to tooth and tissue loss. As enamel wears away, the layer underneath, the dentin, can become exposed and in extreme cases the pulp, which is the next layer of the tooth underneath the dentin, can be exposed and cause infection and pulp death. Tooth decay can even be worsened by extensive tooth brushing following vomiting due to the acidity and weakened state of the mouth.

    Water should be rinsed with following purging to help reduce the high acidic content in the mouth. Vomiting can also induce inflammation, cuts, and soreness of the roof of the mouth/soft palate.

  • Degenerative arthritis of the jaw's temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are also associated with eating disorders. This can lead to jaw pain, chronic headaches, and problems chewing and opening/closing the mouth.

If you suffer from an eating disorder, it is important to contact a health professional. To help reduce associated oral health issues it is also important to maintain oral health care by proper tooth brushing and flossing, and frequent visits to your dentist. Your dentist may provide fluoride rinses or other products to help remineralize tooth enamel.

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.nationaleatingdisorders.org/get-involved/nedawareness

https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/dental-complications-eating-disorders

https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/e/eating-disorders

Celebrating Men's Health Month

June 26th, 2020

There’s often a lot of celebration in the month of June with many holidays and the fresh start of summer. But, you may not have known that June also represents Men’s Health Month! Promoted by the Congressional Health Education Program, Men’s Health Month is often celebrated across the United States with health screenings, and the promotion of health education through the media and fun activities. The goal of this national campaign is to highlight health issues that many men face and to promote healthy lifestyle choices to help prevent diseases early on.

With greater awareness, we hope that many of the health statistics for men will change. Research has found that compared to women, men are more likely to make risky health choices, including greater consumption of alcohol and smoking tobacco. In addition, men are less likely than women to seek care from health professionals. Major mental health problems that also impact men at high rates include depression, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and schizophrenia.

There are also health conditions that only impact men, such as prostate cancer. Fortunately, some major health problems that men may encounter can be detected and treated early on, for instance colon cancer or heart disease. This is one of the many reasons why regular check-ups with your health professionals are significantly important. Sadly, According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the leading causes of death for men include heart disease and cancer.

Here are some health guidelines to promote in celebration of #MensHealthMonth:

Get your regular physical.

We all know the saying, “prevention is key.” It’s true. By regularly visiting your primary care physician, your provider will be able to establish baselines for many health parameters like blood pressure, weight, and cholesterol. Plus, they will screen for cancers, and catch potentially harmful health issues early on.

 

Don’t skip your dental visit: Gum disease & prostate health linked

Attending your regular scheduled dental visits is important for your dental and general health. Missing appointments can cause untreated problems to get worse, and lead to bigger and sometimes more expensive treatment. Your dentist can also diagnose conditions such as oral cancer and gum disease early when treatment is usually less invasive. Compared to women, men are two times more likely to develop oral cancer. Also, according to the American Academy of Periodontology, periodontal disease is present in approximately 56% of men in the U.S. as compared to about 38% of women. Gum disease unfortunately is not only tied to your oral cavity. It has also been linked to increased risks of heart disease, cancer, and even prostate health in men. According to research at Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine and the Departments of Urology and Pathology at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, prostate inflammation improved in research participants with treatment of gum disease, and vice versa. It was found that prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels were higher in those individuals with both periodontal disease and prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate gland).

Stay hydrated and active

Dry mouth can also be pretty common in men, which can be damaging to oral health. When less saliva is around, your teeth are more at risk of tooth decay and acid breakdown from oral bacteria. Saliva helps neutralize acids and wash away leftover food particles and harmful bacteria to help keep your enamel strong. Be sure that you are drinking plenty of water and staying physically active.

Remind yourself and your loved ones that making healthy lifestyle choices can help enhance your life in the long run!

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. Our office follows the recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

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:

http://www.menshealthmonth.org

https://health.gov/news-archive/blog-bayw/2018/06/june-is-mens-health-month/index.html

http://www.menshealthmonth.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/MHM-Poster-2015-v1.pdf

https://medlineplus.gov/menshealth.html

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/mens-health.htm

https://www.mhanational.org/infographic-mental-health-men

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/05/150505102437.htm

Indulgence in Sugary Sodas Can Lead to Poor Oral Health & Cardiovascular Disease

January 24th, 2014

colaThe proven connection between poor oral heath and increased risk of cardiovascular disease should re-enforce the importance of new heath policy creation, focusing on reduction of sugars such as those contained in junk food, particularly fizzy drinks,  say experts writing in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.

Poor oral hygiene and excess amount of sugar in the diet can cause periodontal disease and decay of the teeth-supporting bone. It is thought that chronic infection brought on by gym disease can lead to inflammation that will over time cause heart disease through atherosclerosis, hardening of the arteries. Despite sufficient evidence of the connection between the poor oral health and premature heart disease, the recent suggested UK national guidance on Cardiovascular disease prevention at population level does not suggest the strong need to reduce sugar consumption.

Dr Ahmed Rashid, Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge, who co-wrote the paper, said: "As well as having high levels of fats and salt, junk foods often contain a great deal of sugar and the effect this has on oral health may be an important additional mechanism by which junk food elevates risk of CVD." He added: "Among different types of junk food, soft drinks have raised particular concerns and are the main source of free sugar for many individuals."

The authors refer to the well-knows  New York 'soda ban' controversy which has brought a lot of attention to the issue. They stress more can be done about making the sugary sodas dominating the public areas in the United States. Dr Rashid said: "The UK population should be encouraged to reduce fizzy drink intake and improve oral hygiene. Reducing sugar consumption and managing dental problems early could help prevent heart problems later in life."

Reference: http://goo.gl/ppiqpM

Cholesterol Medication Can Help Decrease Gum Inflammation

December 12th, 2013

youngoldHeart disease is one of the leading health issues in the United States. Arteries within the body become inflamed and patients are often recommended to take medication that lowers cholesterol

Statins is a commonly prescribed medication that helps patients with heart disease. But what’s more is that a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology demonstrated that statins can also be beneficial for those suffering from gum disease.

Periodontal disease is marked by chronic gum inflammation that affects approximately half of the U.S. adult population. Dr. Ahmed Tawkol of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School notes that there is a connections between heart and gum disease: both periodontitis and atherosclerosis are driven by inflammation. These inflammatory conditions are often seen to occur together, indicating to researchers that their biologies may be related.

A study was administered to test this theory. Patients with either heart disease or considered to have high heart disease risk were asked to take 80 mg of statin or 10 mg of stain daily for 12 weeks. PET/CT scans were used to observe inflammation over the course of the study. Results indicated that the 59 patients in the study demonstrated a significant reduction in gum inflammation, some after only 4 weeks of treatment. The researchers also found that the improvement of inflammation in the gums related closely with the improvement seen in inflammation in the arteries.

This study provides strong evidence that links atherosclerosis and periodontal disease. This research opens doors to new methods of treatments. Because of the relationship between these two diseases, medications that originally targeted one of these diseases may also be beneficial for the other. These results also points to better and improved oral hygiene to reduce inflammation in the gums can also lead to reduced atherosclerosis.

This study again shows the strong relationship between oral health and overall systemic health. Maintaining proper oral care can really go a long way for the body as a whole. Keeping up with oral hygiene can truly lead to a healthier smile and a healthier you!

If you have any questions or concerns please don't hesitate to ask Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group or our periodontist, Dr. Ghazwan Ghazi. We would all be more than happy to help. Please contact us at (781)237-9071 or email smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com.

 

References:

 

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131002185652.htm

http://consumer.healthday.com/dental-and-oral-information-9/misc-dental-problem-news-174/statins-drugs-may-boost-your-gums-health-too-680723.html

http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/news/20131002/cholesterol-drugs-may-boost-your-gums-health-too

 http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/ADA/2013/article/ADA-10-Mouth-Changes-May-Be-Related-To-Menopause.cvsp

 

Menopause: Possible Mouth Changes to Watch Out For

October 28th, 2013

shutterstock_59839630Menopause is a season where women tend to feel the many changes that occur. Many focus on the bodily changes and usually overlook differences that could be found in the mouth, where hormones can lead to unfavorable consequences. While this process is completely natural, signaling the end of female fertility, women should be aware of the mouth changes they are experiencing. Here are some of the potential changes and problems that have been associated with menopause:

 

Dry mouth: Because of the hormone fluctuations that occur during the time of menopause, the decreased levels of estrogen can lead to mouth dryness. Without sufficient saliva in the oral cavity, teeth become more susceptible to tooth decay and other infections. Saliva also plays an important role in the chewing and breaking down of food, allowing nutrients to enter the body.

 

Burning mouth syndrome: This condition tends to affect the tongue, gums, and lips, and even inside the cheeks of the mouth. The burning sensation primarily comes forth from problems with taste and sensory nerves, but can also be the consequence of dry mouth, nutritional deficiency, and allergic reactions to certain foods and medications. It is important to look out for these symptoms and to consult a dentist on possible ways to ease the pain.

 

Periodontitis and mucosal changes: Gum disease is also something to look out for when hitting menopause. Mucosal changes can also results in changes in appearance of gums, where they tend to look more pale, dry and shiny. Gums also tend to bleed more due to these changes.

 

Eating disorders: Going through menopause can take a psychological toll on some women, resulting in inconsistent and improper eating habits. These eating habits can be very detrimental for teeth, leading to erosion of tooth enamel. When tooth enamel is stripped down, teeth become more sensitive to hot and cold foods and they are more susceptible to cavities.

 

While these are problems that may arise during menopause, it is always possible to discuss possible solutions to these issues. Dentists should be notified of these changes, and they can aid in alleviating these symptoms and suggesting viable treatment plans. 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.mayoclinic.com/health/cavities/DS00896/DSECTION=risk-factors

http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/ADA/2013/article/ADA-10-Mouth-Changes-May-Be-Related-To-Menopause.cvsp

 

 

 

Eating Disorders and Teeth

April 23rd, 2012

Did you know that eating disorders are a leading cause of dental problems? These compulsive diseases are known to cause several problems, such as enamel erosion, sensitivity to hot and cold, and decreased saliva production.

Continuous vomiting leaves teeth susceptible to stomach acids, which eat away at enamel. The teeth deteriorate and become candidates for major problems. Extensive decay, breakage, and even tooth loss are all associated with eating disorders.

Numerous cavities over a small amount of time are a major problem for patients with eating disorders. Binging and purging are to blame for this. The sugar in food assaults tooth enamel when it’s consumed and purging subsequently washes the teeth in stomach acid. This acid is highly corrosive to teeth. Also, because eating disorders leave teeth highly fragile, infection is a possibility.

At Wellesley Dental Group, Drs. Ali are happy to help turn your oral health around. They will evaluate your mouth and devise a treatment plan to restore your smile to its radiant beauty. Please call us at 781-237-9071 or email us at smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to schedule an appointment today!

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