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Beware of BPA: Found to Damage Tooth Enamel

January 12th, 2014

girl looking in the mirrorThere has been much talk about the dangers of ingesting BPA through plastic sippy cups and even water bottles that we bring on the go. BPA, also known as bisphenol A, is a chemical found in hard plastics of food and drink containers and acts in a similar way to estrogen, and other hormones in the body.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had originally deemed BPA to be a safe substance, but recent studies have shown that this chemical has lead to disruption of normal hormone levels, possible brain and behavior problems in infants and young children, and an increased risk of cancer and heart problems.

Recently, researchers have tied enamel damage to early exposure to BPA. A team led by Ariane Berdal of the Universite Paris-Derot showed that rats that have been treated daily with low doses of BPA resulted in damaged enamel. The rats were observed during a 30-day development window where researchers exposed the rats to the doses of BPA. The earliest observations founds on the rats were white marks found on their incisors. On a macroscopic level, the teeth with white marks were found to have fragile and brittle BPA. On a microscopic level, the enamel showed a decreased level of crucial minerals, the teeth were more susceptible to cavities.

The damage found on the teeth of these rats is comparable to damaged tooth enamel found in 18% of children between the ages of 6 and 8. These researchers believe that enamel damage is another effect of BPA damage to the body. It is important to check products for a “BPA-free” label before they are bought. While the FDA has cracked down on plastics containing, be cautious when buying baby bottles, sippy cups, baby formula cans, and other products for young children. Our pediatric dentist, Dr. Pradhan and Drs. Ali & Ali at Wellesley Dental Group will be very happy to answer your questions. Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com!

Resources:

http://children.webmd.com/environmental-exposure-head2toe/bpa

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130610133246.htm

http://www.voanews.com/content/bpa-teeth-13jun13/1681088.html

Are toothbrushes actually clean?

July 29th, 2013

Researchers at England’s University of Manchester have looked into the various kinds of germs found in bacteria, and they found that toothbrushes are crawling with them! They discovered that a toothbrush could harbor more than 100 million bacteria, with the likes of diarrhea-causing E. coli and skin-infecting staphylococci bacteria. This may sound completely unsanitary, but wait! The mouth isn't the cleanest place to begin with. There are hundreds of microorganisms in the mouth on a daily basis. Medical professionals note that this is perfectly normal and it is not something to sweat over. But what individuals need to worry about is when there is an unhealthy balance of bacteria in the mouth. Many people forget that the plaque that develops inside the mouth (if proper brushing is not taking place) is, in fact, bacteria. Toothbrushes are continuously introduced to bacteria every time it is placed into the mouth.

 

So if there are constantly bacteria on toothbrushes, can they make people sick? Researchers think that it’s not likely. Considering there are already bacteria in the mouth, the body’s natural defenses make it difficult for an infection to occur just from brushing teeth. However, one should not take the body’s ability to defend itself for granted. There are still ways to keep fewer bacteria from entering the mouth. In many homes the bathroom sink is in close vicinity to the toilet. But that should not be the excuse for placing toothbrushes near where flushing occurs! Every time the toilet flushes, it sends sprays of bacteria into the air. Try to place toothbrushes as far as possible from the toilet, giving bacteria less of a chance in getting into the mouth.

 

Bacteria love moist environments and it is important that the brush dries through and through between each brushing. Try to avoid covers that enclose the brush, which would leave the toothbrush moist and bacteria-friendly. It is also a good idea to keep the toothbrush upright in a holder, instead of lying it down. Also, no matter how clean your sister or any of your other members of your family, don’t ever use each other’s brushes. Don’t even place toothbrushes in the same cup! Whenever toothbrushes come in contact with each other, they can easily exchange bacteria.

We recommend that you replace your toothbrush every season(3 months) to help prevent bacterial growth and to maintain oral hygiene.

 

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.webmd.com/oral-health/healthy-teeth-2/the-ugly-truth-about-your-toothbrush

 

http://www.ada.org/1887.aspx

 

3 Tips On Keeping Your Breath Fresh!

July 26th, 2013

Are you worried about the prospect of having breath? Don’t worry you’re not alone; according to the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, there are 40 millions Americans that suffer from bad breath. However, it doesn't need to be this way! Here are a few ideas on how to go about your day without worrying about halitosis.

1. Keep up with brushing and flossing

After a big meal, people are bound to have food caught in between the many crevices of their mouths. Food that has been left behind can break down, resulting in sticky build-up known as plaque. To keep this plaque build-up from happening, try brushing and flossing after meals, which can keep the mouth clean and breath fresh.

 

2. Don’t forget the tongue!
After brushing and flossing at night, many people just turn off the bathroom lights and hit the hay. But wait; the tongue can harbor tons of bad-smelling bacteria! Without proper maintenance, a white layer can form on the tongue. People tend to find toothbrushes to big to reach to back end of the tongue without causing discomfort. Dentists suggest using tongue scrapers, which can easily maneuver the tongue, getting rid of bacteria, leftover food, and even dead cells that brushing can’t take away.

3. Pass on the onions and garlic
Although they are undeniably great additions to a great sandwich, these two food ingredients are infamous bad-breath causers. Unfortunately, brushing after consuming garlic and onions does not do the trick; substances within these foods actually travel down the blood stream and into the lungs, where they constantly get breathed out. If you know fresh breath is necessary for a certain social meeting, save onions and garlic for another time!

 

These are simple tips to keep in mind, but they do go a long way. Always maintain good oral health and soon enough, you’ll be able to say goodbye to bad breath! 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/oral-health/healthy-teeth-2/get-rid-bad-breath

http://www.uihealthcare.org/Adam/?/HIE%20Multimedia/1/003058

Tips to Conquer Dental Fear!

July 25th, 2013

Let’s be honest: many people tend to be scared or nervous before a visit to the dentist’s office. Dental phobia is something that people continually cope with; however, it doesn’t always have to be this way! Here are a few tips on how to beat dental fear.

 

Look for a dentist that you feel most comfortable working with. There are many dentists out there with different personalities, and finding one that suits an individual can be key in feeling less anxious and nervous during an appointment. Dentists are willing to work through fears and are happy to go slow if need be.

 

Ask the dentist to go through the procedure beforehand. Having a dentist go through the steps can allow individuals to prepare for what is to come. Patients always have the right to know what kind of work their dentist will be doing on them.

 

Don’t be afraid to let the dentist know when the procedure is uncomfortable. Patients are able to establish “stop” signals with dentists. This allows the patient to take breaks when needed and can allow them to relax before proceeding.

 

Breathing exercises are also a great way to calm the nerves and prepare for a dental procedure. Here are six breathing exercises (hyperlink six breathing exercises and use: http://healthland.time.com/2012/10/08/6-breathing-exercises-to-relax-in-10-minutes-or-less/ ) that can bring about relaxation. Turning up your favorite music can also help turn down the anxiety. When sitting in the waiting room, pop in your earphones and listen to calming music or even music that you love. There are also dental offices that have TV monitors in the exam rooms. This is also a great way to take your mind off of the fear and anxiety and to tune into a great show.

 

There are medications that allow patients to relax. Dentists recommend nitration oxide, anti-anxiety medicine or sedation for patients who can become extremely nervous during an appointment. If you believe that medication can help cope with a dental visit, find a dentist that can cater to your needs.

 

Here at the Wellesley Dental Group, we need to make our patients feel as comfortable as possible. If you have any more questions, 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 questionsContact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com

 

References:

http://psychcentral.com/library/phobia_dentist.htm

http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/dental-fear-our-readers-suggest-coping-techniques-20100825327

http://healthland.time.com/2012/10/08/6-breathing-exercises-to-relax-in-10-minutes-or-less/

READ MORE HERE!!!

http://wellesleydentalgroup.com/blog/?p=1981

http://wellesleydentalgroup.com/blog/?p=600

I’m pregnant! But what about oral health?

July 24th, 2013

During pregnancy, women tend to look towards an overall healthier way of living. Many primarily seek out medical professionals that can keep them on track with a good diet and care for the coming baby. However, many expecting mothers tend to put oral health on the back burner during pregnancy.

 

It is highly recommended that good oral health be maintained before, during and after pregnancy. Pregnancy is known to kick start hormonal changes that can increase the risk of gum disease, which can in turn affect the coming baby. Because dental procedures have the potential of influencing the baby’s growth and development, it is recommended that mothers should avoid dental treatments during critical times for the baby, notably the first trimester and second half of the third trimester. But, routine dental care can be done on mothers in their second trimester. This also means that expecting mothers should be extra careful in keeping up with good oral hygiene during these critical stages of pregnancy.

 

It is important to keep the dentist informed of all the drugs that are taken during pregnancy; this can range from medications and even prenatal vitamins that have been prescribed. Dentists can potential modify the dental treatment plan based off of the drugs that are ingested. There are key drugs, including tetracycline, which can influence the expecting child’s teeth and should be avoided during pregnancy.

 

With these pointers in mind, it is essential to understand that being pregnant does not mean that it is a ticket out of a dental appointment. In fact, it should be more of a reason to make a visit to the dentist. Regular gum exams are very important during this time, for hormonal changes increase the risk of periodontal disease. It is important to pay close attention to any changes in the gums, whether there are signs of swelling or even bleeding.

 

The months of pregnancy can be both an exciting and stressful time, but with proper maintenance of both oral and overall systemic health, expecting mothers are then set on a path to a smoother pregnancy.  If you have any more questions, feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group; they will be happy to answer your questionsContact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com

 

References:

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/dental-care-pregnancy

 

http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=h&iid=325&aid=1309

 

http://www.ada.org/sections/scienceAndResearch/pdfs/forthedentalpatient_may_2011.pdf

 

Bleeding Gums: What Can This Mean?

July 23rd, 2013

When the topic of oral health is brought up, the focus is usually placed on teeth and the possibility of getting cavities. However, there is definitely more to the mouth! Gums can be a good indicator of oral health as well as one’s overall health! Individuals may find that after brushing their gums may look red and they may even start bleeding. Many tend to dismiss these signs and just attribute them to good and thorough brushing. But wait! This is not the case.

First things first, there is a misconception that to get clean teeth, brushing needs to be done vigorously to get all the grime off. While afterwards your teeth may feel clean, your gums are not too pleased.

Remember: gums are made of soft tissue and when aggravated they can become sore and red. When choosing a toothbrush, it is important to opt for soft nylon bristle with blunt ends. Stores may carry brushes with medium or hard bristles; however they may damage the enamel on teeth and can cause swollen gums. The idea of being gentle goes the same for flossing. The goal of flossing is to remove leftover food and plaque stuck between teeth; it does not mean these particles need to be forcefully taken out. It is important to refrain from forcing the floss in between teeth; instead, carefully slide the floss up and down, following the curve of each tooth.

Aside from proper brushing and flossing, bleeding gums is actually a sign of gum disease. When proper dental hygiene is not practiced, bacteria takes over and plaque starts forming. The same bacteria that jumpstarts the formation of cavities as makes gums irritated and swollen. Bleeding gums is an early sign of gum disease, also know as gingivitis, and symptoms can be reversed with good oral hygiene. But if these symptoms are ignored, gingivitis can get worse, eventually leading to tooth loss. Be on the lookout for these symptoms:

- deep pockets between teeth and gums
- changes in the way teeth come together
- gums that bleed during/after toothbrushing
- shifting teeth
- red, swollen, tender gums

If you experience these symptoms, be sure to set up an appointment with the dentist to determine the necessary steps to keep these symptoms from getting worse. 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.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/gum-problem-basics-sore-swollen-and-bleeding-gums

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003062.htm

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

Read more at http://wellesleydentalgroup.com/blog/?p=4564http://wellesleydentalgroup.com/blog/?p=3457

Stick with Mussels: they can help strengthen and rebuild teeth!

July 19th, 2013

Good news for all you seafood lovers out there. The Journal ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces have found something very special about mussels’ adhesive nature. Not only does it let these creatures hold fast to rocks in the ocean, researchers have found that they also can be beneficial for teeth.

Quan-Li Li, Chun Hung Chu, and other researchers noted that there are three out of four people who have teeth sensitive to hot, cold, sweet or sour foods and drinks. These scientists were determined to look for ways to rebuild enamel and dentin, which are important factors that determine tooth sensitivity. They found that mussel’s natural adhesive, which allows them to attach to rocks, can be a synthetic substance used to reform the eroded enamel and dentin. They worked under the hypothesis that the sticky substance in mussels would have the ability to keep essential minerals in contact with dentin long enough for reformation to occur.

In 2011, an international team of scientists that mussel’s adhesive proved to be a successful alternative to other coatings used in teeth. While most coatings tend to make teeth weak and brittle over time, the synthetic coating created from mussel adhesive had the ability to heal itself when damaged. The researchers also found that minerals in other coatings were only able to reform enamel while the synthetic adhesive was able to reform both enamel and dentin. Phil Messersmith of Northwestern University have taken into account mussels’ incredible adhesive properties and have created a polymer used in coating that can mend tears in just a matter of minutes!

While these scientists continue to incorporate this newfound adhesive to the clinical setting, there are still ways to battle sensitive teeth. Doctors continue to recommend that individuals practice good oral hygiene (brushing twice a day and making sure to floss carefully). Those with sensitive teeth can also be extra careful when consuming acidic foods such as juices, vinegar in salad dressings and soft drinks. A good way to protect teeth is to rinse the mouth with water after consuming these foods. Teeth grinding can also leave teeth susceptible to sensitivity; ask the dentist about a mouth guard for nighttime use to prevent teeth grinding.

If you have any more questions, feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com

References:

Sensodyne on sensitive teeth
ACS journal website
Science Daily website
Yahoo Health
http://www.empowher.com/dental-amp-oral-health/content/sticking-mussels-beneficial-sensitive-teeth

Safety First: Protecting Your Teeth in Sports

July 18th, 2013

When people go out for a game of basketball or soccer, many don’t usually think about teeth. Dentists recall numerous stories where patients have come in with chipped or even missing teeth due to an intense game on the court. In order children and a

dults, sports injuries tend to be common. It has been estimated that 13-39% of dental-related injuries happen when an individual is engaged in sports. About 80% of the injuries are located in the front teeth or even the tongue and cheek. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recognizes high rate of sports-related dental injuries in today’s youth and continues to look for means for prevention. 

Even if an individual takes one to the mouth and ends up with a missing tooth, a dentist is able to save the tooth. Cracks and chips in tooth can be repaired through using tooth-colored materials that are just as strong as the original tooth. Although dentists can easily come to the rescue, these injuries can turn out to be pretty serious and procedures are not a small cost. Dentists have strongly recommended the use of mouth guards for football players. With this movement, mouth guards have been able to prevent about 200,000 injuries annually.

There are various means of protection when playing a sport. Here are two types of protection that are recommended:

Mouth guards: like it was previously mentioned, mouth guards have done a great job in protecting sports players. They can prevent injury to one’s teeth, tongue and lips. Dentists tend to recommend athletes to get a custom-fit mouth guard; however, individuals can opt for ready-made mouth guards that can be found in sporting-goods stores.

Helmets
: people usually do not think that protecting their head means protecting their teeth as well. As a matter of fact, helmets are very effective in protecting both the head and the oral cavity in high speed and impact sports. These sports usually include hockey, football, bike riding, and skating. It is important to note that there are helmets specially made for a certain sport. When purchasing a helmet, be sure to check and see if the helmet fits correctly.

Sports are definitely a healthy way to distress and have some fun. But make sure that safety is first! If you have any more questions, 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.aapd.org/m

edia/Policies_Guidelines/P_Sports.pdf

http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/Oral-and-Dental-Health-Basics/Dental-Emergencies/Sports-Safety/article/Sports-Safety-Avoiding-Tooth-and-Mouth-Injuries.cvsp

http://www.ada.org/news/6955.aspx

General and Oral Health Benefits of Breastfeeding

July 16th, 2013

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued a policy statement back in 2012 stating that breastfeeding and the use of human milk have show to reduce health risks for infants, children, and mothers, also including advantages such as developmental, nutritional, immunological, and psychological benefits. The APP exclaims that breast milk is the best nutrient source for babies. It contains immunological agents, including secretory immunoglobulin (g) A and IgG, along with anti-inflammatory properties that act as protection for the infant’s immune system.

Researchers found that compared to formula-fed children, children who were breast-fed had a lower risk of diarrhea by coating intestinal lining and killing dangerous pathogens that leave babies prone to infection. Breast milk also combats severe lower respiratory infections, including pneumonia and virus bronchiolitis; a child’s risk of developing asthma is also reduced. The immunological and anti-inflammatory properties of breast milk controls to onset of infection and illnesses, reducing sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Breastfed-children are also less likely to develop obesity, which is a prevalent disease that 12.5 million children and teens suffer from today. Breastfeeding helps protect against obesity by improving self-regulation of energy intake and recognizing when one is full. On top of these general health benefits, breast-fed children showed better occlusion, where their top and bottom teeth came together more favorably.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) suggests that parents should clean infants’ gums even if they do not have teeth. Parents can use a soft washcloth to clean the gums. The AAPD also recommends that breastfeeding should be exclusive for about the first six months of life; this should continue past six months with the gradual introduction of foods fit for the baby. If you have any concerns our pediatric dentist Dr. Pradhan, and Drs. Ali & Ali at Wellesley Dental Group will be very happy to answer your questions. Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com!

References:

http://jada.ada.org/content/144/2/143.full.pdf+html

http://jada.ada.org/content/144/2/143.short?rss=1&%3bssource=mfr

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gina-ciagne/how-to-become-a-healthier_b_697162.html

Healthy Lifestyle = Good Oral Health!

July 9th, 2013

A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the German Institute of Human Nutrition reported that adult men and women who never smoked, kept a healthy diet, maintained physical activity, and had a body mass index (BMI) under 30 were 78% less likely to develop chronic conditions, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and stroke. Those who stuck it out with only one of these four healthy lifestyle factors lowered their chronic disease risk by almost 50%, and risk levels decreased as individuals adapted more of these healthy behaviors.

So how does this connect to dentistry and oral health? Well, when looking these healthy factors from the flip side, poor eating habits, tobacco use, and excess body weight have strong correlations with oral health, especially periodontal disease, along with other health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

The participants in the study ranged from ages 35-65 and at the start of the study, each individual’s weight and height were measured. Participant’s health history, physical activity and eating habits were also recorded. They were tracked for almost 8 years and their health was tracked throughout that time. Out of the participants that actively exhibited all four healthy behaviors, they had a 93% reduced risk for diabetes, 81% reduced risk for heart disease, 50% reduced risk for stroke, and 36% reduced risk for cancer.

Dentists continue to back up the importance of eating healthy, getting enough physical activity, and limiting tobacco use. Dental research continues to document oral health benefits that come with tobacco cessation, leading a healthy diet, and maintaining a healthy weight. Dentists continue to push for less frequent exposure to soft drinks and beverages with a high sugar content, which can lead to both tooth decay and an unhealthy increase in body mass index.

Remember: monitoring what you eat not only benefits your oral health but also benefit your overall body. Continue to be mindful of how much you exercise and what you decide to put in your mouth. Your teeth and your entire body will thank you! 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.ada.org/3127.aspx
http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1108507

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