flu

Coconut Oil Can Help Fight Tooth Decay

March 14th, 2014

coconut oil
Did you know that coconut oil acts as a natural antibiotic when digested? Did you also know that it kills the bacteria responsible for tooth decay?
It's true! There's also evidence to suggest that the antibiotic part of the oil can be added to oral hygiene products.

Dr. Damien Brady and his team at the Athlone Institute of Technology in Ireland are responsible for these findings. They set out to see if the natural antibiotic in coconut oil could be used to fight strains of streptococcus bacteria, which is commonly found in the mouth and responsible for tooth decay.

The researchers tested the impact of coconut oil, vegetable oil and olive oil in their natural states and when treated with enzymes, in a process similar to digestion.  The oils were then tested against Streptococcus bacteria which are common inhabitants of the mouth. Only the enzyme-modified coconut oil showed an ability to halted most strains of bacteria from reproducing. It also attacked Streptococcus mutans, an acid-producing bacterium which is a major cause of tooth decay.

Test studies have also found that semi-digested coconut oil kills Candida albicans, a yeast that causes thrush. The scientists think that enzyme-modified coconut oil, meaning in its semi-digested state, could possibly have antimicrobial properties in oral healthcare, specially in hygiene products.

The research gave some insight into the workings of antibacterial activity in the human gut. "Our data suggests that products of human digestion show antimicrobial activity. This could have implications for how bacteria colonise the cells lining the digestive tract and for overall gut health," said Dr Brady.

Dr. Brady said: "Dental caries is a commonly overlooked health problem affecting 60-90% of children and the majority of adults in industrialized countries. Incorporating enzyme-modified coconut oil into dental hygiene products would be an attractive alternative to chemical additives, particularly as it works at relatively low concentrations."

nutiva coconut oil

spectrum coconut oil

barleans coconut oil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    Drs. Ali & Ali are happy to answer any questions you may have about this exciting new discovery! Or, if you have a different question or concern, don't hesitate to contact us at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com.

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 or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

coconut oil uses good

References:
http://www.ait.ie/aboutaitandathlone/newsevents/pressreleases/2012pressreleases/title-16107-en.html
http://www.bbc.com/news/health-19435442
http://www.swansonvitamins.com/en_US/images/ItemImages_SW/images_Xl/BAR033_Xl.jpg
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/71SWHpNlPeL._SL1500_.jpg
http://images.iherb.com/l/SPE-11201-1.jpg
http://foodmatters.tv/images/coconut-oil.jpg
http://www.lesliekeegan.com/sites/default/files/coconut-oil1.jpg

Scared of the Dentist?

March 5th, 2014

Every now and then studies come about that put fear of death, public speaking and dentists at the very top of the list of the most terrifying things. Patients fearing a visit to the dentist continue to delay necessary treatment. A study shows that these emotions of fear can be transferred from parent to child.

Studies done in the past have pinpointed the relationship between fear levels of parents and their children, but there was never research done on the different roles that mothers and father play. America Lara Sacido, one of the researchers at the Rey Juan Carlos University of Madrid explain that there is a more relevant role that fathers play in this emotional transmission when compared to mothers.

This study, which was published in the International Journal of Pediatric Dentistry, analyzed 183 children between the ages of 7-12 and their respective parents. The authors verified that, similar to previous studies, when there is higher level of dentist fear or anxiety in one family member, there is also a higher level in the rest of the family. Research showed that fathers are key in transmitting dentist fear from mothers to their children. Researchers found that the children mainly paid attention to the emotional reactions of the fathers when determining the level of stress a visit dentist would cause.

The researchers state that it is important to involve both mothers and fathers in dentist fear prevention campaigns, and that fathers can help appease a child’s dental visit through displaying no signs of fear or anxiety. Parents should continue to ensure their children and keep them relaxed. They concluded that through the transmission of positive attitudes, parents can set the right attitude for their children and visits to the dentists may not be as big as a problem.

 

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! Please call before your child’s appointment, especially if you have anxiety. Coming into the office before your child’s appointment  is a great idea to ensure a happy appointment. Contact us today at 781-237-9071or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

We have a wonderful pediatric dental specialist, Dr. Pradhan, and hope that with your new insight on dental visits, future visits with your child will be enjoyable! Your little ones and teens will also be happy to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Kim. Dr. 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:

América Lara-Sacido, Antonio Crego and Martín Romero-Maroto. Emotional contagion of dental fear to children: the fathers' mediating role in parental transfer of fear.International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 2012; 22:324-330

Science Daily

Bioteeth: the Possibility of Biological Tooth Replacement

January 31st, 2014

man woman happy smile

Scientists have recently created a method for replacing missing teeth through the use of bio-engineered material developed from a person’s own gum cells. Up until now, dentists have been using implant-based methods to accommodate tooth loss. However, with this new breakthrough in dental research, perhaps patients may be able to receive a biological tooth replacement down the road!

Professor Paul Sharpe, a specialist in craniofacial development and stem cell biology King’s College London, published his findings in the Journal of Dental Research and was excited to present studies showing promising results on creating of “bio-teeth,” which is the generation of immature teeth that are similar those found in embryo. Professor Sharpe believes that these can be transplanted into adults and eventually develop to become perfectly functioning teeth. The team’s research showed that these embryonic immature teeth can grow normally in the adult mouth and may potentially be used clinically.

So far, the researchers have been able to isolate epithelial cells derived adult human gum tissue taken from patients at the Dental Institute at King’s College London. They were grown in the lab and then combined with mice cells that were known to form teeth. Through transplanting, Professor Sharpe and his team were created hybrid human/mouse teeth that had formed dentine and enamel, along with viable roots. This research shows that these easily accessible epithelial cells may be a feasible source for creating the human bio-tooth. Professor Sharpe explains there is still some ways to go in the progress of creating bio-teeth. Still more research needs to be done in identifying adult sources of specific epithelial cells, which are cells that line the surfaces of structures throughout the body; these cells may be the key in forming bio-tooth. Currently, scientists have only been able to create viable teeth through the use of embryonic cells; it is important for more research to be done to look for ways to manipulate adult human cells to develop into tooth. With more effort dedicated to this field of research, researches may one day be able to make bio-teeth a reality in patients needing teeth replacement!

But for now, patients have the opportunity to receive implants, which have been a successful method in dentistry to replace teeth. Usually made from titanium, implants are placed within the bone; quite amazingly, the bone in the jaw accepts the new structure and the implant readily fuses with the bone. Dentists have been using this method for restoring a single tooth and even a group of teeth that could have gone missing due to significant tooth decay or fracture.

If you believe that you may be in need of dental implants, 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 to set up an appointment and consultation.

References:

Journal of Dental Research

WebMD

How Exactly Does Smoking Affect Oral Health?

January 28th, 2014

While smoking has been found to lead to various unhealthy consequences, it also has been linked with resulting in poor oral health.

Smoking and tobacco-based products have been shown to result in gum disease. It damages bone and soft tissue of teeth and interferes with the functioning of gum tissue cells. This leaves smokers more susceptible to infections, including periodontal disease, and also tends to lessen blood flow to the gums, which would hinder wound healing.

The Journal of the American Dental Association published results showing that cigar smokers have experienced tooth loss and alveolar bone loss, which is the bone within the jawbone responsible for anchoring teeth. The rate at which bone and tooth are loss for cigar smokers are very similar to cigarette smokers. Pipe smokers also are in danger of tooth loss; moreover, they are also at risk for oral and pharyngeal (throat) cancer, even if the smoke is not inhaled. Other oral health consequences included halitosis, stained teeth, and gum disease.

While some smokers believe that using smokeless tobacco products tend to be safer, that is not the case. Similar to cigars and cigarettes, smokeless tobacco products, including chewing tobacco, contain at least 28 chemicals that have shown to increase the risk of oral cancer, along with cancer of the throat and esophagus. Smokeless tobacco can also irritate gum tissue, leading to the receding and pulling away of teeth. When gum tissue recedes, teeth roots are left more exposed, which increases the chance for tooth decay to occur. The Journal of the American Dental Association also showed that chewing tobacco users were four times more likely than nonusers to have tooth decay. Smokeless tobacco also contains sand and grit, which can easily wear down teeth.

Even though you may be a tobacco product user, it is never too late to quit. Studies have shown that 11 years after quitting, former smokers were found to have risks of developing gum disease that were not too different from those who had never smoked. Cutting out tobacco products can truly lead to healthier oral health. 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/guide/smoking-oral-health

http://www.dentalplans.com/dentalhealtharticles/53837/smoking-tobacco-may-affect-oral-health.html

The Daily Grind

January 21st, 2014

stress woman

Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, may be a habit that can easily go unnoticed. Most people usually grind their teeth throughout the day, and for the most part, occasional teeth grinding does not cause significant harm. However, grinding can continue on a regular basis and often occurs during sleep. After a night of grinding, people tend to wake up with a headache and even a sore jaw.

Although teeth grinding may not initially seem too big of a problem, chronic bruxism can lead to the fracturing and loosening of teeth. Constant grinding can also result in micro-cracks in the enamel, which makes teeth more susceptible to decay. Bridges, crowns, root canals, and implants may then be necessary down the road. Teeth grinding not only results in tooth loss, but can also cause hearing loss and problems with the jaw.

Here are some tips to prevent teeth grinding:

Researchers have attributed teeth grinding to stress and even anger. When things get heavy, take a break and go for a walk. Learn how to find an outlet during stressful and frustrating situations; your teeth will thank you!

Try to avoid foods and drinks that contain caffeine, such as certain carbonated drinks and coffee.

Chewing on pencils and pens may be a way to pass by time, but it can allow jaw muscles to become used to clenching frequently, leading to a higher likelihood of teeth grinding.

It is possible to also train yourself from clenching and grinding teeth. Be mindful of jaw movements throughout the day. Positioning the tip of your tongue between your teeth can help allow jaw muscles to relax.

If you believe that you may be grinding teeth, or you are aware that teeth grinding continues to persist, don’t hesitate to come in for a consultation. We can look for signs of bruxism and assess its causes whether it be stress-related, TMJ, bite issues, etc, and see if a night guard is necessary to protect your teeth.

Drs. Ali & Ali and their team at Wellesley Dental Group will be very happy to answer your questions about oral health and teeth grinding. Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com!

References: Webmd, mayoclinic

Pic credit: http://goo.gl/qiQh1K

Consuming Cheese Can Prevent Cavities

January 20th, 2014

Happy National Cheese Lover's Day!

Dairy has been long known to be packed with a great amount of calcium, protein, and vitamin D in every serving. It has always been said that drinking milk and other dairy products will keep bones healthy and strong, but there has not been much research done on how beneficial dairy products are to oral health until recently. General Dentistry just published in their most recent journal issue that cheese and other dairy products have the potential of keeping cavities at bay.

Researchers that conducted the study looked at 68 participants between the ages of 12 and 15. The subjects had their dental plaque pH checked before eating cheese, milk, or sugar-free yogurt. Previous studies indicate that a pH level below 5.5 makes an individual more susceptible to the wearing down of enamel, resulting in tooth erosion. The higher the pH level, the lower the chance an individual has of getting cavities.

The subjects were randomly split into three groups: one that ate cheddar cheese, another that drank milk, and a final group that ate sugar-free yogurt. After eating their chosen type of dairy for 3 minutes, the subjects were asked to rinse their mouth with water. The pH level of each subject’s mouth was then measured 10, 20, and 30 minutes the dairy product was consumed. The researchers found that the individuals who drank milk and ate sugar-free yogurt did not have a significant change in pH level; however, those who ate cheese showed a great increase in pH levels after each time interval, indicating that this particular dairy product may be the key to preventing cavities. The results suggest that because there is more of a need to chew when consuming cheese, there is an increase in saliva production, which also leads to an increase of pH levels. The researchers also found compounds inherent in cheese binds to tooth enamel, preventing acid from causing further damage.

This new finding gives us more of a reason to add a slice of cheese to a sandwich. Continue to make sure daily that your diet increases and strengthens oral health!

If you have any questions, thoughts, or concerns 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 to set up an appointment and consultation.

References:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130605130118.htm

http://online.wsj.com/article/PR-CO-20130605-908423.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/6-reasons-to-get-your-diary

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-204_162-57587876/cheesy-grins-may-protect-teeth-from-cavities/

Picture Credit: http://dailym.ai/17rk9ET

Local recommendation: Wasik Cheeseshop 

INVISALIGN® Special Event

January 15th, 2014

smile-familyLEARN HOW INVISALIGN CAN WORK FOR YOU

Thursday, January 23rd
3 - 6 pm

Drs. Ali & Ali will be providing FREE consultations to answer your questions about Invisalign treatment, the clear way to straighten teeth. If you have wondered if Invisalign is right for you, make an appointment for this special event.

Down payment matching with dollar value up to $500
Complimentary teeth whitening - a $550 value
Financing options available

Space is limited to the first 10 appointments.

If you would like to schedule or have any questions please don't hesitate to call
(781)237-9071 or email smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com

Read more about Invisalign here!

How Can You Help Prevent Cavities?

December 18th, 2013

shutterstock_31383964Prevent Cavities with Fluoride Varnish

Growing up, children start to develop a sweet tooth and begin to dig in to various desserts and candies. While sweets may leave kids happy, their teeth may be battling the development of cavities. A great way to slow down or help cavities from getting bigger is to give a child fluoride varnish. Fluoride varnish is a protective coating that can be painted on a child’s teeth to keep cavities from forming. If a child already has cavities, no fear! Fluoride varnish can be painted over teeth with cavities to prevent them from worsening. This varnish can be painted on a child’s teeth one or two times per year. Researchers have deemed ...the application of fluoride varnish to be safe and accepted. While this resin-based varnish adheres to teeth, fluoride is ingested over a period of time as the varnish slowly comes off. While a fluoride varnish can help maintain good oral health, it is not a ticket out of visiting a dentist to receive routine check ups. When this varnish is applied, the child’s teeth may look yellow in color and be a bit sticky to the touch on the first day. No worries; the color and the stickiness will eventually disappear. After a coat of fluoride varnish is applied, children can drink water at any time. However, children should only eat soft foods for their next meal and they should try to avoid sticky foods for the remainder of the day. These foods can include chewing gum, gummy bears, toffee, etc. A fluoride varnish also allows children to have a free pass on brushing their teeth for the day; this is the only time children should not brush or clean their teeth until the following day.

 

Don't forget, fluoride varnishes are also recommended for adults!  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

 

Also, check out this AGD fact sheet!

 

 

References:

 

http://www.health.gov.sk.ca/fluoride-varnish

http://www.astdd.org/docs/Sept2007FINALFlvarnishpaper.pdf

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12137653

http://www.ada.org/sections/newsAndEvents/pdfs/fluoridation_facts.pdf

Mouth Sores: How to Differentiate and Alleviate

July 10th, 2013

As you are getting dressed for a night out, you notice a tingling sensation near your lips. One glance in the mirror reveals an unsightly sore forming. Is it a cold sore or a canker sore?

Canker sores also occur in the mouth, but unlike cold sores, they are not contagious. But canker sores can also be triggered by stress, genetics, trauma, medications, menstruation, food allergies, or even unrelated medical problems. To treat canker sores, one can acquire over-the-counter oral anesthetics. With a visit to a dentist, a treatment plan can be instigated for more serious outbreaks.

Cold sores are usually found to be small, clear fluid-filled blisters that form near the mouth, which are caused by herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1). These blisters usually do not show up on the lips, instead, they are found inside the mouth, on the face, or even inside the nose. In most cases, these sores do not last for more than two weeks; however one should be cautious. Sores are very contagious and are prone to come back due to stress, sunlight, fever, or illness. With the onset of a cold sore, one can apply ice cubes to the sores to help relieve pain. Cold sores can be treated with topical medication, which can prevent the sore from becoming more severe. Antiviral medication can also be used for serious cases.

Academy of General Dentistry ran clinical studies that revealed that students that are surrounded by a high stress environment are more likely to have canker sores or cold sores. It was found that after graduation, when stress levels have come down, sores become less prevalent as well. But sometimes it may be difficult to escape stressful situations. In this case, a natural soothing gel can do the trick. For more than 2,000 years, the aloe vera plant has become a great alternative treatment for a whole host of oral health problems, including sores, lichen planus and gingivitis. The Academy of Dentistry’s clinical, peer-reviewed journal found that the gel from the aloe has the able to cure canker sores and cold sores, both inside and outside of the mouth.

Mouth sores can be a hassle, but there are various treatments to alleviate their symptoms. 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://kidshealth.org/teen/your_body/skin_stuff/cold_sores.html
http://kidshealth.org/teen/diseases_conditions/mouth/canker.html
http://www.agd.org/public/OralHealthFacts/files/FS_MouthSores.pdf

100th Anniversary of Dental Hygiene

June 21st, 2013

Completing my first year in my career as a Registered Dental Hygienist I, as well as well as all the other well earned Dental Hygienists, get to celebrate the 100th anniversary of our profession. Dental Hygiene started right here in New England, back in 1913 by Dr. Alfred Fones.

Dr. Fones was practicing dentistry when he started to notice many of his patients would lose their teeth due to dental caries (cavities) or periodontal disease (gum disease). He thought that if he could prevent these diseases from occurring, he could save or prevent tooth loss. Dr. Fones realized that if he could remove plaque, calculus and sugar from the teeth and gums, this would prevent disease. He started on his mission and in 1906 he trained the first Dental Hygienist in the world, Irene Newman. Irene was trained to provide preventative dental cleanings. The results of these dental cleanings were so successful that in 1913, Dr. Fones opened the first ever Dental Hygiene school called Fones School of Dental Hygiene in Bridgeport, CT. Since then, dental prevention had begun. The Encyclopedia Brittanica states “Dental Hygiene was the most important development of the dental arts appearing in 1911-1922.”

Since 1913, Dental Hygiene has come a long way, but what remains the same is prevention. If we Dental Hygienists can educate our patients to understand the importance or good oral health and hygiene habits, then we have done our job. I am proud to be a part of the 100th anniversary celebration of dental hygiene and our successful profession.

Written by: Andrea Geoffrey-White, RDH

http://www.cdha-rdh.com/home/historyofdentalhygiene.html

Five Green Foods That Can Bring About Good Oral Health

June 4th, 2013

Have you been looking to get healthier and searching for how to change up your current diet? Here are a couple green healthy foods that can get you started on spicing up what you eat and also can be beneficial for your oral health!

Green tea: get ready to cut out sugary and carbonated beverages and look into a lighter and calming alternative. While green tea has been proven to reduce the risk of both stroke and oral cancer, it contains catechins, which are a type of antioxidants that also prevents cavities and gingivitis. Green tea also prevents halitosis by hindering bacterial growth. Make sure to read our blog to find out more about green tea health benefits!

Celery: these crunchy greens can help produce saliva, freshening up the mouth while neutralizing bacteria that results in cavities. Celery is also known to stimulate and massage gums during chewing and also cleanses areas between teeth.

Wasabi: the spicy Japanese horseradish not only adds flavor to sushi and sashimi, but can also be front line defense for teeth. What makes wasabi taste hot is a substance known as isothiocyanates, which also prevents the growth of bacteria in the mouth. Eating green paste can keep cavities away!

Parsley: these leaves can add flavor to a variety of dishes but can also help freshen up the mouth after a meal. These greens contain monoterpenes, which are substances that travel through the lungs and bloodstream; their odor ends up being released through one’s breath.

Kiwi: most fruits contain an assortment of vitamins, but kiwis are known to be jam-packed with Vitamin C, which allow maintains the collagen in gums, preventing tenderness and vulnerability to bacteria. Snacking on these sweet green fruits is another way to prevent cavities.

If you have any more questions, thoughts, or concerns 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 to set up an appointment and consultation.

References:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091105084848.htm

http://www.nytimes.com/2000/12/26/health/it-works-on-sushi-it-could-help-teeth-too.html

http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/getting-your-vitamin-c-from-kiwi-fruit.html#b

Green Tea May Prevent the Onset of Oral Cancer

June 3rd, 2013

Green tea has been shown to a soothing drink that has the ability maintain healthy teeth and gums. Research also reveals that green tea extract can be used as a chemopreventative agent to fight oral cancer. The Daily Meal also reports that "Green tea has also been proven helpful to people who suffer from diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol and blood pressure, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, as well as even skincare and tooth decay."

Cancer Prevention Research published online that out of the oral leukoplakia patients who took the green tea extra, more than half of them experienced a clinical response. Their preclinical models indicated that green tea is filled with polyphenols, which can prevent the progression of cancer. Researchers have noted that while these clinical trials may not show definitive proof that green tea can be used to prevent cancer, these results can lead to more studies focusing on patients who are at risk for oral cancer. Green tea has shown to be promising because of its nontoxic nature, which is essential to prevent further harm in individuals battling cancer.

In phase 2 of their study, oral leukoplakia patients were given either the green tea extract or a placebo at one of three dosage amounts. Participants ingested the tea or the extract for three times a day for three months. After these three months, the patients underwent oral tissue biopsies. These biopsies were able to reveal that green tea extract were beneficial to the patients but also lead the researchers to believe that antiangiogenetic effects (growth and development of tissue) were the mechanism of action.

Out of the patients that took the two highest doses ended up, 58.8% of the patients had a clinical response, compared to the 36.4% of patients that took the lowest dose of green tea extract. Although these results were not statistically significant, researchers noted that the extract was well received by the patients and only a few of the patients that took the highest extra dosage showed signs of insomnia and nervousness.

The researchers note that there were only a few patients that participated in their clinical trials and that more research needs to be done to see if green tea can conclusive prevent oral or other types of cancer. Green tea needs to be looked at to determine whether it can provide long-term prevention for patients. However, this research proves to be a promising stepping-stone for further studies.

Green tea is stimulatory in nature as it contains some caffeine, which will naturally boost your metabolism. Green tea is also an antioxidant that, like wine, cranberries, and dark chocolate, will target and scavenge for toxins that could lead to cancer, blood clots, and even atherosclerosis.

We recommend an oral cancer screening annually and this can be done at your next preventative visit. 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 to set up an appointment and consultation.

References:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12004708
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091105084848.htm
Photo Credit to http://www.thedailymeal.com/health-benefits-green-tea-could-save-your-life

Myth Proven: Thumb Sucking Can Lead to Buck Teeth

May 30th, 2013

It is a precious sight for parents when they see their newborn baby playfully giggling and sucking their thumb. Some often worry about bacteria and germs that that babies may be placing in their mouth but others also hold the belief that thumb sucking can lead to buck teeth. David Horwitz, a pediatrician at the New York University School of Medicine, was able to show that this is in fact not a myth.

It has been shown that about 80% of infants and children tend to suck on their thumbs, which is a behavior that has been considered rather normal during the first few years after birth. However, thumb sucking can start causing problems down the line. The American Dental Association predicts that by age 6, a child’s permanent teeth start to come in and it is very likely that misalignment of teeth, also know as malocclusion, can occur. If a child continues to suck his or her thumb, the thumb slowly pushes the top teeth out, changing the relationship between a child’s upper and lower jaw. This movement may go unnoticed to parents, but can be identified by the orthodontist.

Dr. Horwitz explains that this thumb sucking habit can be noticed early on in child development. Ultrasounds of mothers often show babies that seem to be sucking their thumbs even in the womb. Dr. Horwitz believes that some babies may be thumb suckers since the time there are born. It has been recommended that parents can put socks or gloves on babies’ hands before they sleep at night. There are also dental devices that can be placed on the roofs of babies’ mouths to make thumb sucking more difficult.

We have a great pediatric dentist that would be happy to evaluate your child. 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.nytimes.com/2005/09/27/health/27real.html?_r=0

http://www.uamshealth.com/?id=5256&sid=1

Detecting Breast Cancer Through Saliva Analysis

May 29th, 2013

In 2006, the America Cancer Society predicts that there would be 212,920 new cases of invasive breast cancer, and in that year, 40,970 women would die from it. While breast cancer is the second leading cause of death for women in the United States, many lives can also be saved if a diagnosis was given earlier. Studies recently show that salivary tests can now be used to make early diagnoses for breast cancer.

In General Dentistry, researchers explain that there are proteins levels in saliva that can play a role in forming a diagnosis, treatment plan, and potential follow-up care for a patient with breast cancer. That would put general dentists in a position to assist with diagnosis samples. Because patients tend to make more frequent dental visits than physician visits, it would make sense for dentists to easily take saliva samples from patients’ mouths during checkups.

Salivary tests have also shown to have advantages over blood testing. Researchers have compared saliva and blood samples and explained that while saliva is clear and colorless, blood can change in color, which may affect test results. Saliva collection is also safe and non-invasive, and can be taken without causing the patient any pain.

This method of diagnosis is still pending and under the consideration of the Food and Drug Administration. If salivary testing does get approved, dentists and physicians can work together to help catch the onset of breast cancer early on. However, this does not mean that women should not go in for mammogram screenings or blood analysis; they are still considered the first line of defense. Even if breast cancer was detected via a salivary sample, a mammogram or imaging test is still needed to find the location of the cancer.

The possibility of detecting breast cancer early on through something as non-invasive as salivary analysis is truly promising. 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.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080110123921.htm

Wellesley Parade and Picnic

May 23rd, 2013

[gallery]
Wellesley’s Wonderful Weekend was once again truly wonderful—what an amazing experience to celebrate another year of this great community tradition!

Thank you to the Wellesley Celebrations Committee for organizing such wonderful events for the community and the volunteers who support it. We also want to thank the Wellesley Police Department for not only keeping everyone safe this weekend but for also representing our town in the OneFund by selling BostonStrong t-shirts and donating proceeds to those who were affected by the recent Boston Marathon tragedy.

Our tractor float caught a lot of attention this year! It was all thanks to the little smile ambassadors we had on board helping our team promote healthy, happy smiles. The fun continued later at the picnic, where the Wellesley Dental Group tent was a real party! We had face painting and feather extensions, guest appearances from the Tooth Fairy and Chuckles the Dinosaur, and lots of treats for all our young smile ambassadors! Even a little rain didn't dampen the community spirit, and the night came to a perfect end with some truly spectacular fireworks. We can’t wait to sponsor them again next year!

Spring sniffles can lead to poor oral health

May 17th, 2013

After a long winter, spring can literally be a breath of fresh air. However, for some, spring may mean going through countless tissue boxes. Seasonal allergies can mean lots of sneezing, and a lot of congestion, which is usually coupled with “mouth breathing.” While this may seem harmless, a clinical study published in General Dentistry pointed out that there can also be oral health repercussions to mouth breathing.

 

Mouth breathing, also known as upper airway obstruction, has been shown to cause abnormal facial and dental development, including long, narrow faces and mouths, and gummy smiles. Mouth breathing can lead to lack of saliva in the mouth. Saliva is essential for the reduction of acid and bacteria in the mouth, which causes individuals who lack saliva to end up with gingivitis. Crooked teeth can also be caused by an upper airway obstruction due to poor position of the tongue. Mouth breathers tend to rest their tongue on the roof of their mouths, causing cheek, muscles to relax and rest on the upper teeth. This causes the upper jaw to become more narrow leading to crooked teeth down the line. This condition can lead to poor sleeping habits, and can lead to poor oxygen concentration in the blood stream, resulting in possible high blood pressure-related conditions. Children who suffer from mouth breathing usually do not get enough rest, leading to tiredness throughout the day and lack of concentration on academics.

 

But no fear! There are possible treatments for mouth breathing, and it is very beneficial to discover this condition early on.  A dentist is able to look for mouth breathing symptoms, including dry, cracked lips, dry mouth, bad breath, snoring and daytime fatigue. Swollen tonsils are also known to be a prominent symptom of this disease. If there is the presence of inflamed tonsils, they can be surgically removed by an ear-nose-throat (ENT) specialist. If one has narrow face and mouth, dentists are able to use expansion appliances to aid in the widening of sinuses and the opening of nasal airway passages. After surgery and orthodontic treatment, patients have been shown to improve in behavior, energy level, academic performance, and peer acceptance.

 

If you believe that you are a mouth breather, be sure 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 to set up an appointment and consultation.

References:

 

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100406125714.htm

 

http://www.webmd.com/allergies/video/josephson-mouth-breathing

 

 

We couldn't have done it without you!

May 10th, 2013

Drs. Ali & Ali of Wellesley Dental Group want to thank the community for the wonderful turnout as they conclude their two-week long fundraiser for the One Fund Boston. The fundraiser was held from April 29th through May 10th. Inspired by the phrase, Boston Strong, they wanted to give the community a way to show strength through smiling. As "Smile Ambassadors" their mission was quite clear: give supporters a beautiful smile when they do good for the community. They donated 100% of all proceeds from teeth whitening treatments.
Drs. Ali & Ali are incredibly thankful to their community for supporting this remarkable cause, helping the victims of April 15th's Marathon Monday bombings. Smiling together, we are all Boston Strong.

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

Make your grin pearly white for a good cause!

May 7th, 2013

Wellesley Dental Group’s teeth whitening fundraiser is still running at full speed. We’d like to dedicate this post to all those who have already donated to our One Fund fundraiser!  In solidarity with those affected by last month’s Boston Marathon bombings, Drs. Ali & Ali thank you from the bottom of their hearts for the steady influx of donations pouring in from all corners of the community. With your help, we’ve been making a huge impact on the physical and mental well-being of our community. It’s so inspiring to see how quickly our neighborhood has risen to the challenge, and to know that we are taking care of our own. Thank you for setting such an incredible example for the rest of us; together we are Boston Strong!

As you may have heard, Drs. Ali & Ali are taking great strides to rally our community together and help our neighbors in need. Until May 10th, Wellesley Dental Group will be donating 100% of the proceeds from all whitening treatments to Boston’s One Fund.  If you haven’t heard about this great cause, it’s time to get involved!

The Wellesley Dental Group is offering two whitening options: the Sinsational treatment, in which your smile is brightened by a few shades, and the Custom Home Whitening treatment, in which Dr. Ali creates custom whitening trays tailored specifically to your needs. The suggested minimum donations are $199 and $550, respectively, and will be donated directly to help the marathon victims and their loved ones. We invite you to come in for a free consultation to explore the different options and decide which works best for you. Please call us at (781) 237-9071 or email smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to schedule an appointment today! For more information about this event, click here.  Our office is open this week Monday-Friday from 8 am to 5 pm, at 5 Seward Road in Wellesley.

Remember, this is the final week of the fundraiser, so if you've been thinking that your smile could use a makeover, now is the time to act! A new smile, a new YOU, and a re-newed Boston is exactly what our city needs to regain its footing. Now that spring is upon us, what better way to rejuvenate your oral health, all the while rebuilding the health and unity of our community. And again, to those who have already made a difference, thank you SO much for your continued support!

Ouch, I Just Chipped My Tooth!

May 2nd, 2013

You finally get some time to yourself and decide to have a quick snack. You make a grab for your favorite mixed nut bar and take a big bite. All of a sudden, something doesn't feel right in your mouth. You realize those almonds that you just munched left you with a chipped tooth.

Even though the enamel that covers teeth is considered the hardest, most mineralized tissue in the body, it may not be able to hold up against a blow to the face or even a hard bite, which can easily cause a broken or chipped tooth. If you find yourself in this situation, don’t panic! There are many ways your dentist can help out!

  • Once a broken or chipped tooth is broken, be sure to make an appointment with your dentist before the tooth is damaged further or becomes infected. Before the appointment, here are some tips to ease the pain:
  • If the tooth is painful, take acetaminophen, such as Tylenol, or other over-the-counter pain relievers. Rinsing with salt water can keep you less susceptible to infection.
  • If the chipped area is sharp or jagged, stick a piece of wax or sugarless gum to keep from cutting the tongue or other areas inside the mouth.
  • Be sure to eat soft foods and avoid using the chipped or broken tooth.

Once it comes time to treating the tooth, it will depend on the severity of the damage. If only a small piece of enamel is broken off, the dentist may be able to fix it within one visit. The tooth may only need a filling or bonding, which is a procedure in which the dentist will shape a tooth-colored resin to look like a natural tooth.

If it is badly broken, the tooth can be covered with a crown, which is a tooth shaped cap made to protect the tooth and improve its appearance. Permanent crowns can either be made from metal, porcelain fused to metal, all resin, or all ceramic, each with their own pluses. Metal crowns are known to be the strongest, however, porcelain and resin crowns are more aesthetically pleasing and can be made to look more like the original tooth.

When a front tooth is broken, dentists can insert a dental veneer, which is a thin shell of tooth-colored porcelain or resin composite material. The veneer will make teeth look brand new, whole and healthy again. However, if a tooth chip is large enough to expose the center of the tooth, also know as the pulp, bacteria can easily infect this area. Root Canal therapy may be necessary, which involves taking out the dead pulp, cleaning the root canal, and then finally sealing it.

If you find you have a cracked tooth, it would be a good idea to chat with your dentist about Cracked Tooth Syndrome, which is when one has cracks either under the gum, or cracks too small to see on x-rays. Generally, symptoms are heat/cold sensitivity, pain that comes and goes (unlike a cavity), and occasionally, pus under the gum.

If you believe that you have chipped or broken your tooth, Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group will be happy to answer your questions about ways to go about fixing the tooth. Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

 

Source:

Colgate

 

 

Thank you - Smile Ambassadors at Sprague School

May 1st, 2013

 

On May 1st, Dr. Femina Ali visited Sprague School in Wellesley for their 5th Grade Career Day. Going not only as a dentist but a Smile Ambassador, she was so thrilled to share her passions and listen to the 5th graders' questions. The Career Day is a wonderful yearly event where kids can learn more about what they want to be when they grow up, whether their favorite hobbies can become their careers, even learn about what sort of inspiration can guide them towards their dream job.  Dr. Femina Ali commemorated this special occasion by handing out certificates to the kids, making them Smile Ambassadors for their communities, families, and beyond. Whatever career path these children will take down the road, they will always be Smile Ambassadors.

Also joining Dr. Ali were Christopher Price, sports columnist at the Boston Globe, Lisa Sewall, chef and restaurant owner of Lineage, Dr. Antonietta Orlandi, Wellesley-Natick Animal Hospital veterinarian, Katie Swenson, architect for Enterprise Community Partners, Prepresentative Alice Peisch of the 14th Norfolk District, and Dr. David Lussier, superintendent of schools in Wellesley.

Starting is easy, all it takes is a smile!

Dr. Femina Ali had the privilege of talking with the students about how she started on her journey to be a Smile Ambassador. "In my office, I'm a dentist. Outside, I am a Smile Ambassador... It all started with my family." Sharing smiles at home, making those you love happy is the first step. Dr. Femina Ali has always loved making people smile. She "fixes" smiles as a dentist and "spreads" them through her community volunteering.

She also had a few key take-home message she hopes her young "Smile Ambassadors" will hold close to heart:

  • The smiles you share with others will shine back on you.
  • Take care of your smile by brushing and flossing every day!
  • Being a Smile Ambassador can be hard, however, it's usually the most challenging things that are the most rewarding.
  • A Smile Ambassador spreads smiles not only at home, but in the classroom, community, and everywhere he or she goes.

Dr. Femina Ali cannot wait to visit Sprague School again and hopes that her new Smile Ambassadors will join her in the future to spread smiles in and around their beautiful town of Wellesley. After this amazing day, she realizes that, "I learned something, too, today, while I was eating with the students. Posted in the cafeteria was this quote by James Barrie, "Always try to be a little kinder than necessary," and it really struck me. I can see this quote reflected in everything that Sprague School does and in the student, who I know, irrespective of what they choose to do, will be successful Smile Ambassadors."

She sends a big Thank You to Sprague for this incredible honor of helping to shape the lives of these brilliant students. She would also like to thank Dr. Goodwin, Kathryn Ashraf, and Laura Brown-MacKinnon as well as all other committee members and parents without whom this wouldn't have been possible.

 

 

Smiling because we’re Boston strong - raising money for One Fund

April 25th, 2013

Get your pearly whites even whiter for a great cause! Wellesley Dental Group is teaming up with the community to fund-raise for The One Fund, Boston to help those affected by the Marathon Monday tragedy on April 15th. Drs. Ali & Ali will be donating 100% of all proceeds gathered from whitening treatments to the Fund. They are inviting Wellesley and its surrounding communities to stop by, boost smiles, and donate to this important cause.

From April 29th to May 10th, Wellesley Dental Group will be fundraising for The One Fund. Make an appointment by calling (781) 237-9071 or emailing smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com. The office is located at 5 Seaward Road in Wellesley.

The whitening treatments offered vary from Sinsational whitening, which boosts the smile by a few shades to custom home whitening, in which Dr. Ali creates whitening trays. The suggested minimum donation for the Sinsational whitening is $199 and is $550 for the custom home whitening. Feel free to make an appointment for a free consultation prior to deciding on which whitening option is best for you.

Join Wellesley Dental Group and smile in the face of what descended upon the community. Show how strong Boston truly is by sharing a newly radiant smile that gives hope to those in need. In the words of Mayor Menino, “We are one Boston. We are one community. As always, we will come together to help those most in need. And in the end, we will all be better for it.”

 

 

Proud Sponsors of...

April 25th, 2013

This year, the Wellesley Celebration's Committee is putting on the largest annual town gathering: Wellesley's Wonderful Weekend. On May 18th-19th, thousands of Wellesley residents and friends will attend the celebratory events, parade and fireworks. Wellesley Dental Group, true to their mission of being Smile Ambassadors, will once again be putting a smile on the whole town. This year, Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team of WDG are co-sponsors of the most amazing fireworks spectacle of the year!

Be sure to like the Wellesley Celebrations Committee on Facebook to stay up to date with the parade, weekend festivals, open house events, and more.

Wellesley Dental Group is inviting the community to join them in the parade and picnic. The parade will take place from 1 pm to 3 pm on May 19th and the picnic will follow at 5. The firework show we've all been waiting for will commence at dusk.

This year, Wellesley Dental Group will be in the parade on a huge tractor! Young children and the young at heart are invited to sign up to ride in the parade float. To sign up, please call at (781) 237-9071, email at smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com, or stop by their office at 5 Seaward Rd. They will be  passing out toothbrushes as they walking through the parade, spreading a message of oral health awareness.

At the picnic in the park, starting at 5 pm, stop by the Wellesley Dental Group tent to get one-on-one brushing lessons for young ones and participate in more fun activities for all ages. Balloons will be handed out as well as some special prizes.

This has become one of WDG's favorite annual town events as it speaks to their deep commitment to the community. For last year's parade video, click here!

The 2013 Schedule is as follows:

Saturday - May 4th

11:00a.m. - 3:00p.m. Wellesley Kitchen Tour 2013* — Wellesley Hills Junior Woman's Club
Tickets sold @ Wellesley Roche Bros or online at www.whjwc.org

Friday - May 17th

3:00p.m. - 6:00p.m. Annual Hunnewell Fun Fair* — Hunnewell School PTO
Hunnewell Elementary School, 28 Cameron Street, Rides, games, crafts

Saturday - May 18th

7:00a.m.—2:30p.m. Pancake Festival* at the Wellesley Middle School — Rotary Club of Wellesley
7:00a.m.—2:30p.m. Free Eye Exams at the Needham Lions Club Eye Mobile at the Wellesley Middle School — Needham Lions Club
Saturday—Sunday
(decamp after parade)
18th Century Military Encampment at Town Hall Grounds
The Royal Irish Artillery, Tours all day, Cannon Firing on the half hour on Saturday
All Weekend Display of Korean War Materials at the Wellesley Free Library
530 Washington Street
9:00a.m.—10:00a.m. Town Forest Walk — Wellesley Trails Committee
Longfellow Pond parking lot (left side of Oakland Street 0.9 miles south of Rt. 9)
9:00a.m.—10:30a.m. Guided Walk “How Transportation Shaped Wellesley” Wellesley Historical Society
Dadmun/McNamara House, 229 Washington Street (East corner of Route 9)
9:00a.m.—3:00p.m. Wellesley Community Center Wheels of Wellesley
219 Washington Street 

Exotic and Antique Cars, Motorcycles, and Bicycles

9:00a.m.—3:00p.m. Art in the Park — Wellesley Community Art Project & Wellesley Women Artisans
Simon’s  Park (Corner of Washington & Brook Street, left of the Library)
10:00a.m.—11:30a.m. Dog Contest*
Wellesley Board of Health, & Wellesley Animal Control
Warren School Field, 90 Washington Street (Route 16)   

Prizes awarded in various categories including "shaggiest", "best grooomed", "best tricks", "wiggliest", and many more!

11:00a.m.— 3:00p.m. Open House at Wellesley Police Station 485 Washington Street
11:00a.m.— 3:00p.m. Open House at Wellesley Main Fire Station #2 457 Worcester Street (Route 9)
11:00a.m.— 3:00p.m. Open House at Wellesley Municipal Light Plant — 2 Municipal Way (455 Worcester Street, Route 9)
11:00a.m.— 3:00p.m. Open House at Wellesley Department of Public Works — 20 Municipal Way (455 Worcester Street, Route 9)
1:00p.m. — 3:00p.m. Build Your Own Woodland Troll & Fairy House Wellesley Conservation Council
Cochituate Aqueduct, Russell Road / Kendall Road (for elementary school kids)
4:00p.m. Veterans’ Ecumenical Memorial Mass at Saint Paul Church
Wellesley Veterans’ Council
502 Washington Street

Sunday - May 19th

9:00a.m.—3:30p.m. Gardeners' Fair at Elm Bank Mass Horticultural Society
Elm Bank Horticulture Center, 900 Washington Street
1:00p.m.—3:00p.m. 45th Annual Wellesley Veterans’ Parade
2013 Theme: 60th Anniversary of the end of the Korean War
Wellesley Celebrations’ Committee 

Bring a food item to the parade for the Wellesley Food Pantry - Look for the World of Wellesley (WOW) Float

The parade starts at the intersection of Route 16 (Washington Street) and Route 9 and continues westbound along Route 16 to Wellesley Square. The reviewing stand is in Wellesley Square.

4:00p.m.—5:30p.m. Grace Knight Babson Fund for Religious Education — 54rd Annual Program
Knight Auditorium, Babson College Campus, Wellesley Avenue
5:00p.m. — DUSK Picnic in the Park at Hunnewell Field
Food*, drinks*,kid’s rides*, crafts, games & other fun
Food by Charles River Rotary and others
6:30p.m. Main Attraction Concert for Wellesley at Hunnewell Field
Featuring the Reminisants
DUSK Fireworks —the Biggest Ever! at Hunnewell Field
Sponsors: Roche Brothers/Sudbury Farms and Wellesley Dental Group, Drs Ali and Ali
*Please note, asterisk indicates a small fee may be charged. 

Good Oral Health Leads to a Healthier You!

April 24th, 2013

While keeping up with brushing and flossing may seem to be a trivial habit that only impacts the oral cavity, it is important to note that good dental hygiene not only affects the conditions inside the mouth, but also plays a major role in determining the health of various aspects of the body. Here some examples of how lack of proper dental care can lead to detrimental effects in the body.

Diabetes

As inflammation starts up in the mouth, studies have shown that this weakens the body’s ability to control blood sugar. Due to the lack of insulin, which is the hormone that converts sugar into energy, people who struggle with diabetes have trouble processing sugar. Diabetics who have periodontal disease are further impaired because inflammation hinders the body ability to use insulin. Research has also demonstrated that high blood sugar enables infections to worsen. However, because of this gum disease-diabetes relationship, keeping up with good oral hygiene can keep diabetes under control.

Heart Disease

Research has shown that up to 91% of patients with heart disease have gum disease, while 66% of people without heart disease have gum disease. Both heart disease and periodontitis share various risk factors, including smoking, unhealthy diet, and excess weight. Some researchers also suggest that periodontitis may play a direct role in raising the risk for heart disease. It is thought that inflammation in the mouth also leads to inflammation in the blood vessels, which can heighten the risk of heart attack. Inflamed blood vessels restrict blood travel between the heart and the rest of the body, which ultimately raises blood pressure.

Atherosclerosis

Studies also delved into how periodontitis affects arterial walls. Atherosclerosis is a condition where fatty material collects within arteries, causing these vessels to become narrower. The build up of fatty material leads to many cardiovascular problems, including heart attacks, angina (chest pains), and even stroke. It has been found that the bacteria that enters and grows in the mouth were the same bacteria found in the atherosclerotic plaques that were clogging patients’ arteries.

Pregnancy

The American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology published a study that found a relationship between the use of non-alcohol antimicrobial mouth rinse in pregnant women and the decreased rate of premature deliveries. Researchers have found that inflammation caused by gum disease has the potential of resulting in premature birth. Early deliveries can result in babies having low birth weight or even various health problems, including heart conditions and learning disorders. But good news: the study showed that pregnant women who rinse twice with mouthwash on a daily basis are 25% less likely to deliver early.

Respiratory Disease

There is strong evidence indicating that poor oral hygiene is a contributing factor to chronic lower respiratory diseases. Research suggests that bacteria developed from gum disease can travel through airways into the lungs, which may potentially lead to respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia. Poor dental health may worsen one’s conditions if one is a smoker, cancer patient, or is aging.  To protect the respiratory system, it is important to reduce the growth of bacteria and the development of plaque in one’s mouth to prevent inflammation in the airways and the worsening of other breathing problems.

Erectile Dysfunction

A Turkish study revealed evidence that lack of oral hygiene can have consequences on your sex life. It was found that men in their 30s who were suffering from severe periodontal disease were 3 times more likely to suffer from erection problems than were those who did not have gum disease. Erectile dysfunction and chronic periodontitis in humans also have similar risk factors, including age, smoking, diabetes and coronary artery disease.

Poor dental care has shown to result in negative impact on one’s overall health, but no fear! Continued efforts to maintain a healthy smile has been shown to improve one’s health in different parts of the body.

If you have any concerns, Drs. Ali & Ali and their team at Wellesley Dental Group will be very happy to answer your questions. Contact us today at 781-237-9071 orsmile@wellesleydentalgroup.com!

 

References:

WebMD

Huffington Post

USNews

American Heart Association Journals

United Concordia

 

Swishing with the best of them

April 19th, 2013

The American Dental Association (ADA) has deemed mouth rinses as a solution to halitosis and a good preventive measure against tooth decay, plaque, and ultimately gingivitis. Mouthwashes contain various ingredients, including water, alcohol, cleansing agents, flavoring compounds and color agents. The active ingredients that are responsible are tackling issues like bad breath and tooth vary depending on the type of mouth rinse, which can been categorized in four main groups.

  • Antimicrobial agents attack oral bacteria, bringing down the prevalence of plaque, controlling the progression of gingivitis, and keeping bad breath at bay.
  • Fluoride help reduce the tooth decay found on tooth enamel and strengths teeth, keeping them less susceptible to decay.
  • Astringent salts are temporary odor-reducing agents that cover up bad breath.
  • Odor neutralizers respond by chemically inactivating odor-causing compounds.

Researchers have found that antibacterial mouth rinses can make a difference in masking or eliminating bad breath.  It was shown that halitosis is caused by the foods that have been trapped in the crevices of the mouth. These remaining foods break down into sulfur compounds, which are accountable for the smell. In the studies conducted, mouthwashes containing ingredients such as chlorhexidine and cetylpyridinium were successful in getting rid of bad breath, while chlorine dioxide and zinc help take away bad smells through neutralization. Mouth rinses also have detoxing effects in the mouth, which can alleviate canker sores by controlling the amount of bacteria in the irritated site.

While mouth rinses have been shown to be beneficial in a whole host of ways, they do not go without some cons. While mouth rinses can soothe canker sores, high alcohol content in the mouthwash used can actually end up irritating canker sores. While mouthwashes are great for eliminating odors and preventing tooth decay, they are by no means a substitute for brushing and flossing. Individuals with poor oral hygiene cannot use mouth wash to mask poor health. There also has been much debate over whether alcohol-containing mouth rinses are connected with oral cancer. However, the American Dental Association has been extensively reviewing the effectiveness and safety of mouthwashes containing alcohol and has placed their seal of approval on some of these mouthwashes.

The take home message is that mouth rinses should always be used in conjunction with good hygiene, and it is always best to ask your dentists which mouthwash is more suitable and effective for you. If you have more concerns about this issue, Drs. Ali & Ali and their caring team at Wellesley Dental Group will be very happy to answer your questions. Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com!

 

References:

WebMD

Everyday Health.com

American Dental Association

 

Can I Stop Wearing Retainers Already?

April 18th, 2013

After a couple of year of having braces, getting them off is quite the relief. There are no more brackets to get tons of food stuck in; flossing becomes such a charm! Then why is there still a need to wear retainers? It’s already a hassle taking them off every meal, is it really necessary to wear it all the time?

A retainer is responsible for keeping teeth set in their new positions after wearing braces. While that seems rather intuitive, what many people forget is that the body continues to grow and change. This also includes the mouth, which can lead to teeth shifting. Although it may not seem like much; retainers ensure that the shifts that occur are controlled. The pressure from the lips and tongue can slightly cause your teeth to shift out of alignment. Even though your teeth may still look in perfect position after a couple days going without a retainer, it doesn’t mean they haven’t moved. If you continue to go without a retainer, your teeth will continue to move out of alignment, and a repeat of orthodontic treatment may be needed down the line.

After getting braces, your orthodontist will tell you how long and when to wear it. Keep in mind that this is specific to you! For example, someone else may have to wear them all day for three months, but you may only have to wear them only at night. Although it may easily slip your mind in the beginning of your regimen, it will soon become a habit. Your specific timetable will allow your teeth to further adjust to their position and maintain that beautiful smile you worked on for months, maybe even years!

Although they can be an annoyance, retainers are made to maintain the work braces have done for you. Continue to strive to make it a habit to wear retainers; you will definitely thank yourself years down the line!

At Wellesley Dental Group, we have Dr. Emad, who specializes in Orthodontics and Dr. Ali is a preferred provider of Invisalign. If you want to know more about how Invisalign can change your smile, go no further than our blog!

If you have any questions regarding retainers or would like to learn more about Invisalign and Orthodontics, Drs. Ali & Ali and their team at Wellesley Dental Group will be very happy to answer your questions. Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com!

 

References:

KidsHealth.org

WebMD

 

CEREC: restoration in one visit!

April 16th, 2013

[caption id="attachment_4539" align="alignright" width="270" caption="Image from CEREConline.com"][/caption]

With CEREC treatment, patients only need to make one trip to the dentist with a procedure that can be carried out within the hour. There is no need for impressions, cementations, and even time spent waiting for the crown to come back from the lab. Because a short period of time is needed, patients only need to go through one round of Novocain. CEREC also takes faster photographic images of the tooth needing the procedure, this greatly reduces the patient’s time exposed to harmful x-rays.

While it has been the standard to implement porcelain fused to metal crowns for posterior restoration that requires full-coverage, these crowns require an extensive loss of tooth structure, is proven to be an allergen for some, and also lacks in aesthetics. CEREC provides patients with beautiful porcelain moldings that bear an identical shade to that of the patient’s tooth enamel. Once these crowns are in the mouth, they are barely distinguishable from the rest of the teeth, giving a picture perfect smile. On top of that, porcelain has been shown to be completely safe and healthy in patients, and is also known to be more durable and comfortable.

If you believe a CEREC crown procedure is right for you, Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group will be happy to answer your questions about tooth restorations. Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

 

Sources:

CEREC Online

Feeling the burn

April 12th, 2013

The burning mouth syndrome (BMS) has been noted as a chronic and painful condition known by burning sensations in the tongue, lips, roof of the mouth, gums, insides of the cheeks, and also the back of the mouth or throat. While dentists are still puzzled by this condition, the burning mouth syndrome has shown to be seven times more frequent in women than in men. Studies have shown that, in general, those who have dealt with this syndrome are middle aged.

Symptoms that have been documented to be prominent for BMS includes a pain or burning sensation that starts out in the mornings, but progressively worsens throughout the day, eventually reaching its worst during the evenings. Some have reported to feel pain that continues to persist throughout the day and some even say that the pain comes in here and there.

Although the cause of BMS has not been fully uncovered, dentists have their hunches of what factors may be related to this burning sensation; here are just a few:

Nutritional deficiencies: individuals who lack proper amounts of iron, folate and vitamin B complex have be linked with the burning sensation in the mouth; to counter this effect, some dentists believe that supplementing with B vitamin’s and minerals such as zinc and iron my relieve some of the pain.

Dry mouth: those who experience dry mouth have also reported a burning sensation as well; to reduce dry mouth, it is recommended to continue to stay hydrated throughout the day to lessen the symptoms that comes with this condition.

Diabetes: diabetics are known to be more vulnerable when it comes to oral infections, which is a possible culprit to burning mouth sensations; diabetics should continue to be mindful of blood sugar levels as to prevent the start up of burning mouth and may potentially lessen the symptoms that are related to this condition.

Menopause: as stated earlier, dentists believe that women are more likely to suffer from BMS, and it’s been thought that menopause attributes to this reason. Hormonal changes are shown to trigger the burning sensation in middle-aged women; hormone replacement therapy has been shown to be effective in treating the burning sensation in certain patients.

While dentists continue to find appropriate methods to find a way to counter BMS, there are several tips that may relieve the burning sensation you may be experiencing:

  • Don’t use mouthwash that contains alcohol
  • Don’t use toothpaste that contains sodium lauryl sulfate
  • Keep away from alcoholic beverages
  • Keep away from beverages with high acidity (sodas, juices)
  • Continue to stay hydrated

If you believe that you are experiencing burning sensations in your mouth, it is important to visit your dentist to discuss the symptoms and possible reasons for why this condition started occurring. If you have more concerns about this issue, Drs. Ali & Ali and their team at Wellesley Dental Group will be very happy to answer your questions. Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com!

 

References:

Your Dentistry Guide

National Institute of Health

 

Supporting the Global Medical Brigades

April 10th, 2013

Wellesley College Student, Farah Mahmud, recently reached out to Drs. Ali & Ali, asking Wellesley Dental Group to show its support for the Global Medical Brigades, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. The Brigades is the world’s largest student-led international relief organization. Students from Wellesley College are gathering essential medical equipment, supplies, and drugs for an upcoming trip to Honduras in the summer. We are so proud to support them in this endeavor and want to raise awareness.

Join us in giving back to this great cause! Call or email us for more information on the supplies they need at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com!

Feeling the need to give back and volunteer? The group is also looking for medical professionals to volunteer.

There is no time better than the present to take part!

 

Dr. Femina Ali: Mom, dentist and volunteer extraordinaire

April 8th, 2013

Editor's note: Below is an except from Cassidy Swanson's article Dr. Femina Ali: Mom, dentist and volunteer extraordinaire featured on the Swellesley Report and JSONS.org. Cassidy Swanson is currently a journalism graduate student at Emerson College in Boston.

WELLESLEY – For the first thing on a Thursday morning, Wellesley Dental Group is an unusually cheery place. The staff is warm and friendly, and the patients seem happy to be there – not typical for a dentist’s office. At the center of it all is Dr. Femina Ali, with her bright smile and positive outlook.

“[My staff] are my daytime family, I tell them that,’” she said.

Femina is more than a friendly boss and dentist. As a Pakistani immigrant, she is part of the changing face of the town of Wellesley, an affluent and overwhelmingly white community for many years. That’s starting to change. Between 2000 and 2010, census data shows that people of Asian ancestry, particularly from eastern Asia and the Indian subcontinent, shot up from 6 percent to 10 percent of the total population – a significant change in a town of 28,000.

But Femina, who has lived in Wellesley for 16 years, is much more than a representative of demographic change in the community.  She is an agent of commitment and change as well. After starting as a volunteer at her children’s elementary school, today she is an active volunteer in many aspects of community life from A to Z, serving on 20 committees and fundraising events each year.

“[Femina] doesn't seem to be complete unless she is heavily engrossed in other town-wide projects,” said Mary Bowers, of the Council on Aging, where Femina donates dental service to elderly in need. “She never ceases to amaze me with her energy and resolve to make this place a better place while she is on this good earth.”

Femina grew up in Karachi, Pakistan, and attended dental school at De’Montmorency College of Dentistry in Lahore. There she met her husband, Dr. Ejaz Ali. The Alis graduated in 1982 and moved to the United States in 1987 with the goal of opening their own dentistry practice. They had a daughter, Zarah, in 1988, and a son, Zann, in 1990.

“We came here in pursuit of higher education, in pursuit of the American dream,” she said. “But now, this is home to me.”

The Alis lived their first few years in the United States in Indiana and Florida, supporting their family by working odd jobs. Though both Drs. Ali had completed dental school in Pakistan, they could not practice in the United States without completing another dental program here.

When Ejaz was accepted into Tufts Dental School, the family moved to Malden. He graduated in 1994, and Feminastarted at Tufts shortly after in 1995.

Being at Tufts brought the Alis to the state they grew to know and love.

“Massachusetts grew on us,” she said. “We cannot leave Massachusetts now, we are so spoiled [here]. This is the best place to live, I think, in the United States.”

When Femina graduated in 1997, the opportunity to start their own practice became available. The Alis moved to Wellesley, where they opened Wellesley Dental Group, and they haven’t looked back since.

With her husband’s support and a successful practice, by the time Zann and Zarah were in school, Femina felt she could give back to the Wellesley community. That’s when she was bitten by the volunteering bug.

Today, Femina is involved with more than 20 different organizations, annual events and fundraisers in the town of Wellesley. She serves as the president of the Women’s Business Network, a board member of the Wellesley Chamber of Commerce, a mentor for the Wellesley College Pre-Dental Society, a board member of the Wellesley Hills Junior Women’s Club, a founding member of the Fund for Wellesley, and many other positions. She also started a highly successful annual candy drive after Halloween, in which all the candy is sent in care packages to soldiers serving overseas.

“You just feel like you get a lot back by giving back,” she said. “Since I am part of all different organizations in town, I enjoy that relationship part, that I can cultivate a relationship with different organizations.”

Femina and Ejaz are also involved with the Wellesley Newcomers Club, an outreach organization for new residents.

Femina said she has seen many other immigrants from Asian countries getting involved in the community, and doesn't believe that any sort of cultural barrier or apathy keeps foreigners from fully integrating; it just takes a little time for some.

“Sometimes it is because you are new to town – you could be Asian-American, or just American,” she said. “You have to get through survival mode first, getting the kids settled in school, and then once you’re settled in, you [say], ‘What can I do to give back to the community?’”

Through her volunteer work, Femina has earned the respect and friendship of many. The Rev. Dr. Bonnie Jelinek, pastor at the Wellesley Hills Congregational Church, served with Femina on the Wellesley High School PTSO, and says Femina is “a woman of incredible integrity.”

“She comes up with ideas that are phenomenal,” Jelinek said. “She was just very, very good about having excellent communication between the parents and the school. She loves her community so much, and she’ll do anything she can to help it and advance it.”

Gail Van Kleeck, one of Femina’s colleagues in the Women’s Business Network, said Femina has been a great leader for the organization.

“I think she’s really good team player,” Van Kleeck said. “She does not seek the limelight; she encourages people. She is always there to affirm people. [That is] especially rare in a powerful woman. She is gracious and she is engaging and she is appreciative.”

Zarah is currently studying dentistry at Tufts, and the Alis hope to pass the practice onto their daughter when they retire. Ejaz said they would like to travel to developing countries and donate dental services to people in need.

“This way, we can travel, we can have fun, and we can take dentistry from the United States and spread it around the world,” he said.

But until then, Femina said, she still has a lot to do in Wellesley.

“This town has given me so much,” she said. “This town has give me a place to live, a place to work, a very friendly community…This town has given good education to my kids…So whatever I do for my town, it’s not enough. I wish I had more time.”

To read the full article, Dr. Femina Ali: Mom, dentist and volunteer extraordinaire, please visit JSONS.org.

 

Preventing Teeth Staining

April 4th, 2013

After appointments for tooth whitening and countless nights of whitening strips, you may still find yourself struggling with teeth staining. But what exactly causes the staining? Dentists explain that are certain foods and drinks that are prone to staining teeth.

To start off, foods and drinks with intense color tend to be big culprits of staining. The higher the pigmentation in color, the more likely it will cause a deeper stain. The color that is inherent in these foods comes from chromogens, which are highly colored molecules that have a strong affinity to dental enamel. This means that these molecules are more likely to stick and stay on your teeth. Acidic foods and drinks, even ones that may not be considered intensely colored, also lead to staining due to the erosion of dental enamel. These types of food tend to soften teeth, which makes it easier for chromogens to stick on. Another promoter of teeth includes tannins, which are food compounds that enhance chromogens’ ability to attach enamel.

Here are various foods and drinks that may leave you susceptible to teeth-staining:

Wine: red wine is considered an acidic beverage that holds both chromogens and tannins. Also, don’t be fooled! White wine, although almost colorless, also promotes staining. The New York University School of Dentistry presented studies that demonstrated that teeth exposed to tea were more likely to be more severely stained if they were previously exposed to white wine.

Tea: black tea is very saturated with stain-promoting tannins Dentists state that tea may leave teeth even more severely stained than coffee, which is chromogen-rich, but low in tannins. However, if you are a tea-lover and need your daily fix, some less teeth-staining alternatives include herbal, green and white teas.

Cola: it is obvious that this deep brown beverage (which is highly acidic and chromogen-rich) causes major teeth stain, but what you may not know is that the acidity of light-colored soft drinks also leads to a sufficient amount of teeth staining. Try your best to cut down on these carbonated drinks and reach for less acidic alternative.

Sports drinks: we know of the harmful effects of sports drinks on teeth enamel, and sure enough, the weakening of teeth enamel leads to more susceptibility to staining. Read more about these effects in our post Hold the Gatorade!

[caption id="attachment_4490" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Photo by epSos.de"][/caption]

Berries: although strawberries and blueberries are high in anti-oxidants and are known to be healthy food choices, they are highly pigmented in color and are very likely to stain teeth.

Sweets: after working through a lollipop, you may sometimes find yourself with a different colored tongue; this is a good indicator that hard candies, chewing gum, and popsicles can also lead to stains as well

Although there are many foods and beverages that can cause teeth staining, that doesn’t mean that cannot be eaten; just be sure to brush well! Dentists also suggest using straws to sip on beverages that are acidic and highly pigmented in nature. Swallowing stain-causing foods quickly also helps to protect your teeth. Swishing and rinsing after consuming and drinking can also lessen the acidity and remove the substances that cause teeth staining.

If you have any concerns, Drs. Ali & Ali and their team at Wellesley Dental Group will be very happy to answer your questions. Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com!

 

References:

Webmd

The Huffington Post

 

Hold the Gatorade!

April 4th, 2013

The harmful effects of energy and sports drinks


[caption id="attachment_4473" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Image by Joel Klal"][/caption]

Many people give the excuse that they’d rather drink energy drinks and sports drinks because they believe that they are healthier than soda when it comes to oral health. However, this is quite far from the truth, explains researcher Poonam Jian, an associate professor and director of community dentistry at the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine. Jian’s study, which was published in General Dentistry, looked at 13 different sport drinks and nine energy drinks for acidity. 6 drinks were tested and their effects on tooth enamel were determined. Jain and his team had acquired enamel samples, which were immersed in the different drinks for 15 minutes, stimulating an individual drinking the energy or sports drink in real life. It was found that both sports drinks and energy drinks resulted in tooth damage, where there was significant enamel loss. The average enamel lost with sports drinks was about 1.5% and the average loss for energy drink was more than 3%.

Researchers have listed Gatorade Blue as the sports drinks with the highest acidity, next to Hydr8. Other energy drinks containing high acidity content include:

  • Red Bull Sugarfree
  • Monster Assault
  • 5-hour Energy
  • Von Dutch
  • Rockstar

Because of their sugary content, both teens and young adults alike tend to consider these drinks as their favorite go-to beverages. Up to half of U.S. teens and young adults indulge in energy drinks, and studies have shown that more than half have at least one sports drink a day. To counter this, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin and Senator Richard Blumenthal have been trying to bring about change by urging top energy drink makers to stop marketing to children. Durbin and Blumenthal sent letters to the CEOs of Monster, Red Bull and Rockstar that highlighted examples of ways these companies have been reaching out to children, including sponsoring high school sporting events and Little League games. This is a great start in weaning teens and young adults off of these drinks, and perhaps a good step forward in bringing about awareness of the drinks’ harmful effects.

Although it will be a difficult task to convince these major energy and sports drinks companies to limit their advertisements, it is important to be aware these drinks’ consequences on oral health. Jian suggests although it is best to cut these drinks out completely, but he understands that it is difficult to give them up completely. He provides some tips to minimize the intake of these drinks. Jian explains that diluting the drinks and not brushing immediately after drinking them would help lower the amount of acid intake and prevent the spreading of acid in the mouth.

As you make another trip to the market to purchase more beverages, be mindful of the content of these drinks and think of the consequences they may have on your oral health! If you have any concerns, Drs. Ali & Ali and their team at Wellesley Dental Group will be very happy to answer your questions. Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com!

 

References:

WebMD

Sun Times

Safety and Infection Control at the Dentist

April 3rd, 2013

[caption id="attachment_4454" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Image from IntelligentDental.com"][/caption]

Recent news reports have come out regarding dental practice safety and infection control, notably, involving a Tulsa, Oklahoma practice. We want to take a moment and share what we do to ensure the safety of our patients. We take universal precautions in sterilization practices that are applied to everyone who comes through the doors of Wellesley Dental Group. Our top concern is in abiding by strict infection control guidelines for the health of our patients, team, and Drs.; “Do No Harm” is our mantra.

Every day, every hour, and every minute we adhere to a very strict regimen to disinfect and sterilize everything that comes into contact with our patients. We want to let you in on the behind-the-scenes processes that are as much a part of our routine as the teeth cleaning, crowns, and x-rays we do every day.

  • Hand washing
    • We wash our hands consistently, especially before and after interacting with any patients.
    • We follow the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Bloodborne Pathogens Standards.
  • Plastic barriers are placed on all surfaces that are potentially touched to prevent any cross contamination:
    • Before any patient enters, the operatory is cleaned with a medical grade disinfectant and all plastic barriers are changed. Disinfected surfaces include equipment and surfaces, such as x-ray units and countertops.
    • Masks and safety glasses are worn.
    • Gloves are worn at all times and are changed between every patient.
    • Sometimes numerous gloves are thrown out during particularly long procedures for a given patient. We go through boxes upon boxes of gloves every day.
    • All pillows, light handles, etc, are draped with protective covers.
  • All disposable instruments (needles, suction tips, etc) are disposed after one use. These instruments are disposed in puncture resistant biohazard containers.
  • Non-disposable instruments are sterilized in small, individual packages in our autoclave. The autoclaving process destroys all forms of microbial life.
    • Instruments (drills, filling and cleaning instruments, etc) are brought to the sterilization room
    • The instruments are scrubbed by hand and washed.
    • Steeped in a solution for 20 minutes as they undergo an ultrasonic bath
    • Dried and placed into special, small, individually wrapped packages
    • These packages are then autoclaved.
    • After the autoclaving, there is a color indicator on the package that changes, confirming that process was done correctly.

When it comes to knowing whether the autoclave works correctly every time, we don’t solely rely on the color indicator on the packages. Our autoclave is a brand-name, state of the art machine that blasts instruments with extreme heat and high, steam pressure in an airtight enclosure. Every week, to ensure it is working according to the manufacturer’s standards, we do a spore test.

  • We put a closed packet of spores into the autoclave
  • The packet undergoes the autoclaving process
  • The autoclaved packet is then sent to an independent lab for analysis.
  • To pass the test, all spores must be inactivated.

[caption id="attachment_4457" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Image from Med101Dental.com"][/caption]

We take the safety of our patients very seriously and will continue to follow the highest standards laid forth by the CDC, AGD, and OSHA. As members of the AGD (Academy of General Dentistry), we strive to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to protecting our patients from the transmission of diseases. We think that AGD President Jeffrey M. Cole, DDS, MBA, FAGD sums up our beliefs very concisely:

“Because many dental procedures involve direct contact with blood and saliva, safety protocols are put in place to help stop the spread of disease. Heat sterilization of dental instruments helps prevent the spread of diseases like hepatitis and HIV. By following stringent best practices, AGD dentists maintain a commitment to patient health and safety. If your dentist is an AGD member, you can be confident that he or she strives to provide the best quality care to their patients by utilizing the most current safety protocols.”

Our patients can always expect the highest standards of quality and care. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to be in touch with us. Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group are infection control advocates; we will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com!

 

Sources:

AGD:

OSHA

CDC

 

Tufts Alumni Admissions Program: TAAP

March 28th, 2013

 

Our wonderful Dr. Femina Ali recently reached the end of her commitment as Tufts Alumni Admissions Program's committee chair for the Metro-West area. Both and and Dr. Ali graduated from Tufts Dental School, one of the finest Dental Schools in the nation. Tufts is also the Alma Mater of Drs. Ali’s daughter, Zarah, who will soon become the next Dr. Ali. Zarah is currently enrolled in Tufts Dental School and recently had the honor of receiving her White Coat by her loving parents.

Dr. Femina Ali’s love of Tufts is palpable and she reluctantly decided to resign as Chair. Her numerous community commitments in and around the MetreoWest area as well as commitments to her family keep her incredibly busy. She is looking forward to her new adventures within her volunteer communities and is proud to be a part of the Wellesley Hills Junior Women’s Club, serves as President of the Women’s Business Network, serves on the board of the Wellesley Chamber of Commerce, supports the Wellesley Newcomers Club,  serves as a board member of the Wellesley Teen Center, and more. Drs. Ali & Ali also were among the founding members of the Fund for Wellesley and are members of the Wellesley Club.

[caption id="attachment_4425" align="aligncenter" width="594" caption="Drs. Ali & Ali presenting their daughter with her white coat at the 2013 Tufts ceremony."]Drs. Ali & Ali presenting their daughter with her white coat at the 2013 Tufts ceremony.[/caption]

As hard as it is to step down from her position at Tufts, she knows that she will be back alongside her fellow Jumbos. Here is her letter of resignation to her Tufts Admissions Committee:

"I want to thank you so much for making my time as your TAAP Chair so enriching and fulfilling. You have been an amazing group. Together, we helped grow our Tufts family and changed the lives of our new Jumbos. What we do at TAAP is such an incredible testament to how special Tufts is. The care and time we take to get to know every applicant, hear their stories, and help them embark on one of the most exciting times of their lives; it's not something we take lightly. I have been so proud that we have upheld this tradition with integrity and tenacity.

"It is on this note that I want to announce my resignation from TAAP and resignation as the Committee Chair. It has been a time I will never forget and sadly, personal and other volunteer obligations will prevent me from participating next year. I wish you all the best and look forward to when I can serve alongside you once again for the greater good and for the Tufts we all love."

Her announcement has garnered a outpouring of love and support from the Tufts community:

"We have been lucky to have you as the chair of Norfolk North committee for as long as we did.  You have been a very thorough and conscientious chairperson who has demonstrated a strong commitment to the success of TAAP.  We thank you for the energy and heart you have brought to your TAAP volunteerism.  I have truly enjoyed working with you."

“I want to thank you so much for doing such amazing work as our TAAP committee chair! You will be incredibly difficult to replace, and you’ve done so much to  help many Tufts students find their way here. I appreciate your help! We’ll miss you, come back any time!"

"You did such a good job as chair of this committee.  It was fun and easy to work with you.  Good luck with all your new adventures.  I am sure we will cross paths again soon."

“Thanks for your hard work in the committee and best of luck in your future endeavors.”

"Thank you so much for your commitment to Tufts, especially in a challenging application year with high volume - after taking a hiatus from interviewing for several years, it was great to be back meeting with applicants, and I appreciate your help in making this return transition such an enjoyable one."

"You will absolutely be missed!  You have done an amazing job as the Committee Chair – thank you so much for all of your hard work!  I was so glad to finally meet you in the fall – and also sorry that I will not be working with you going forward.  I wish you lots of luck in all of your endeavors in the future"

 

 

A Possible Natural Remedy for Sensitive Teeth

March 26th, 2013

[caption id="attachment_4377" align="alignright" width="199" caption="Image by vivekrajkanhangad"][/caption]

The scientists explained that about 3 out of every 4 people have teeth that are sensitive to hot, cold, sweet or sour foods and drinks. This sensitivity results when teeth enamel and the underlying dentin begin to wear down, stimulating the nerves within the teeth. This results in the painful sensation that many feel when eating certain foods. While sugar-free gums and toothpastes, such as Sensodyne, have been used to reduce tooth sensitivity, the scientists highlighted the need for simultaneous rebuilding of both the enamel and dentin to ensure less sensitivity. They began to look into dopamine, the sticky material that mussels use to adhere to surfaces. The scientists believed that this type of material would allow minerals necessary for renewal to adhere long enough to the dentin to improve the rebuilding process.

They attempted to demonstrate the possibility of using this material through multiple laboratory tests where they bathed human teeth with worn down enamel and dentin in a solution that contained the dopamine and essential minerals. Results showed that teeth that were placed in dopamine and mineral solution reformed dentin and enamel; however, the teeth kept in the solution containing only minerals resulted in the rebuilding of only the enamel. This shows the power of the dopamine and its adhesive effect of binding minerals for more effective rebuilding both enamel and dentin. Yun-Zhi Zhou believes that this sticky material found in mussels may be a promising means for preventing teeth sensitivity and may prove to be a universal technique that can be applied to millions worldwide.

As for some current, tried and true options, numerous toothpastes are available. Please talk with your dentist about which may be best for you. Desensitizing toothpaste works by blocking "transmission of sensation from the tooth surface to the nerve" They generally require consistent use for sensitivity to diminish. Some options Drs. Ali & Ali recommend are:

-ClinPro (available in-office)

-Prevident (prescription)

-Sensodyne (over the counter)

For more information about tooth sensitivity, visit another post of our blog: Are You Sensitive? Also, if you have any more questions about sensitivity, please 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 to set up an appointment and consultation.

References:

ACS.org

Science Daily.com

ADA Mouth Healthy

 

Picking Up a Healthy Habit: Flossing!

March 25th, 2013

A survey done in 2008 showed that 10% of Americans never floss and less than half the population flosses. Many seem to discount the importance of flossing, but it has been found to be even more essential than tooth brushing when it comes to the prevention periodontal disease and tooth loss.

People generally consider flossing as a means to remove food stuck in between teeth. However, flossing takes a further step and actually removes dental plaque, which is the known to be the main culprit of tooth decay, gingivitis, and gum disease. If plaque is not properly removed, it can harden into tartar, which can only be removed by a dental professional. When this occurs, brushing and cleaning between teeth can become more difficult, leading to swollen or even bleeding gum tissue. Another reason for a lack of flossing is how troublesome it can be.  Dentists do admit that it is not easy! But with more practice, you can get the hang of it.

The American Dental Association provides a couple steps to get you on board with flossing:

  • Use about 18 in. of floss wound around one of your middle fingers, with the rest wound around the opposite middle finger.
  • Hold the floss tightly between the thumbs and forefingers and gently insert it between the teeth.
  • Curve the floss into a “C” shape against the side of the tooth.
  • Rub the floss gently up and down, keeping it pressed against the tooth. Don’t jerk or snap the floss.
  • Floss all your teeth and don’t forget to floss behind your back teeth!

Remember, the last step is just as important! Although it may seem unlikely for anything to get stuck in that area, most gum disease and tooth decay is found in the back of your mouth. Be mindful of your back teeth as you floss. The American Dental Association also recommends flossing once a day. Many people find flossing in the evening before bed a good time to do so, allowing them to go to sleep with clean teeth.

If flossing proves to be very difficult for you or if poses as a problem due to previous dental work, do not fret! Alternatives to flossing include toothpick-like dental stimulators, such as Stim-U-Dents and Soft-Picks, allows you to go in spaces between your teeth as well. If you find it hard to maneuver floss between teeth, switching to waxed floss will make flossing smoother and easier to get between the crevices.

If you have any more questions about flossing, 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 to set up an appointment and consultation.

References:

ADA Public Resources

ADA Floss Article

WebMD

 

100 Women We Admire Most

March 21st, 2013

A couple weeks ago, nominations were flowing in during the Women's Leadership Forum's 100 Women We Admire Most. Our own Dr. Femina Ali was nominated and we were all so touched by the wonderful things everyone had to say.

Today, the Women's Leadership Forum released an ebook of the final list of the 100 Women We Admire Most and, wonderfully, Dr. Femina Ali of Wellesley Dental Group, Drs. Ali & Ali is included! To get a copy of the ebook, please visit their website here. We want to thank you all for your support in making this happen, we couldn't have done it without the help of our WDG family!

Here are some wonderful things the community shared about Dr. Femina Ali during her nomination:

  • "Femina is bright, motivates others, a good delegator but not shy from rolling up her sleeves to do the work herself. She is very community oriented, spirited, a great leader, and an excellent listener. Her assessments are accurate and she's involved in many volunteer opportunities. Femina is always giving back."
  • "She's the bestest"
  • "She takes the responsibility for leadership and wraps it in kindness, wisdom and compassion."
  • "She is an amazing role model in the community and runs the type of family-owned business that you want to give your business to."
  • "Friendly, caring and has good leadership skills."
  • "She is well spoken, active in her community and has a sense of caring and kindness for her patients and people in general that is not often seen in the business community."
  • "She has dedicated her time and talent to making many opportunities for professional women to learn from and support each other."

 

Your Perfect Smile with Invisalign

March 20th, 2013

Have you ever looked in the mirror and thought to yourself hey, it would be nice to get my teeth straightened? However, afterwards you start to think of all those long months with braces and the hassles that come with them. It doesn’t have to be this way! Invisalign provides an alternative to braces and offers an innovative way to straighten teeth.

What's great about Invisalign is that the aligners are made from smooth and comfortable plastic that is worn over the teeth. These aligners will gradually straighten your teeth, without the hassle of getting wires tightened on a regular basis. Invisalign is also clear so that most people around you won't even know that you are straightening your teeth. You put on new aligners every two weeks until you have completed the treatment plan created by your dentist.

When you compare Invisalign and braces, there is also a big difference in terms of comfort and appearance. Invisalign allows you to straighten your teeth without having to worry about wires that can poke and irritate your mouth. The aligners are easy to take out and clean. Braces tend to capture food particles and flossing is an incredible hassle. What's also wonderful about Invisalign is that you can eat absolutely anything you want! You don't have to worry about getting gum stuck between wires and hard foods making your brackets come undone. You simply take off your aligners and dig in to your food.

If you are interested in Invisalign, Dr. Ejaz Ali is an Invisalign Preferred Provider. Please set up an appointment for a consultation. Do some research and get to know your wants and needs, Invisalign's website provides a list of questions based on your age that you can ask your doctor. Soon, you will have your dream smile!

References:

http://www.invisalign.com/Pages/default.aspx

 

Are you prepared for an emergency?

March 18th, 2013

Emergency preparedness is something that we all value. It’s a safeguard against the unthinkable. Emergency responders, especially, bear much responsibility for keeping the community safe and lending support during times of need.

Recently, dental responder legislation is awaiting presidential signature and enactment since its being approved by the House of Representatives, gained consent from the Senate, and approval by Congress. This means, dentists, dental schools, and dental facilities may be included in state public emergency plans!

In Wellesley, the Health Department has always valued dentists and their medical training. They have included dentists in their preparedness events, including the outbreaks of the norovirus and flu. The Wellesley Health Department also includes dentists in their Volunteer Reserve Corps, advanced CPR training and other wonderful events that benefit the community in such tangible and essential ways.

Drs. Ali & Ali are actively involved with the Wellesley Health Department and enjoy being the Smile Ambassadors for oral health. Urging dentists to play a more prominent role in public health and safety is a very positive change, and at Wellesley Dental Group, we will continue to serve our community gladly.

As it happens, Dr. Femina Ali attended an Emergency Preparedness event at the Wellesley Health Department in March, which discusses the importance of beginning safety measures at home. Some of the discussions that resonated with her were that emergency preparedness lies within the small measures one takes on a regular basis. Some tips she wants to share is that:

  • Stock emergency supplies, which can include 3 days worth of food and water in airtight containers, medicines and medical records for both you and your pets, and a photo of you and your pet together in case you are separated. Visit the American Red Cross for more ideas.
  • Conduct a home hazard hunt, which involves taking a closer look at ordinary items in your home that can cause injury. Anything that can move, fall, break, or cause a fire is a potential hazard.
  • Determine 2 escape routes out of every room and be sure you install smoke detectors on every floor, especially near bedrooms. Check batteries every 6 months.
  • Learn CPR.
  • ICE your cell phone so emergency responders know whom to contact.
  • Know your emergency phone numbers and keep them by the phone. Know the Mass 211 phone number, which is an information hotline for times of emergency. Visit their website for more information.

If you would like to learn more about the Wellesley Health Department and emergency preparedness, please visit their website here, or call them at: (781) 235-0135. Their office can be found at the Annie F. Warren Building on the Second Floor on 90 Washington Street, in Wellesley, MA. Check them out for more events so you, too, can be prepared!

Their next event is a workshop on Perimenopause and Menopause with women's health expert Dr. Ronee Skornik from Women’s Health Associates in Wellesley. The event will be held at the Wellesley Free Library from 6:30-8:39 pm on Thursday, March 21.

Resources:

ADA

Wellesley Health Department

American Red Cross

Mass 211

Wellesley Free Library

MA Health and Human Services

Is Tongue Brushing Necessary?

March 12th, 2013

 

Most people know that brushing and flossing teeth is necessary to maintain healthy teeth, preventing cavities and tooth decay. Often times tongue brushing is discounted. However, tongue brushing is just as important for your overall dental hygiene.

Taking a step into history, many eastern cultures have paid close attention to tongue hygiene. In Chinese medicine, tongue inspection was thought to be a critical aspect of making medical diagnoses and determining prognosis. It has also been recorded that Native Americans took part in a daily ritual that not only involved teeth brushing, but also tongue scraping, followed by a mouth rinse of concoctions of various herbs. Rudimentary tortoise shell and bone inscriptions have been able to reveal thoughts on tongue hygiene that even date back to the 16th century BC!

There must be a reason why tongue hygiene has been integral in terms of determining health in various cultures. Studies have shown that keeping your tongue clean and healthy is, indeed, essential. Many microorganisms have been found to reside on the dorsum of the tongue. Scientists have found that tongue brushing can lead to the decrease in bacterial counts on the tongue. Bacteria have been found to colonize the tongue and periodontal packets, which influence the generation of sulfur compounds in periodontal health and disease. These are the very compounds that cause patients to have halitosis, or simply known as bad breath.

It is very easy to forget about brushing your tongue, but it gets easier when practiced on a daily basis. People also tend to shy away from tongue brushing because their gag reflex starts right up. Doctors recommend that the best time for tongue cleaning is in the morning on an empty stomach, to reduce the possibility of vomiting and gagging. It has also been suggested that gag reflex becomes more controlled with the continual cleaning of the tongue.

Here are a couple steps to get you on your way to tongue bushing!

1. Place the tongue as far out of the mouth as possible

2. Look for the locations where there is debris accumulation; unfortunately, this is usual towards the back of your tongue.

3. Place the tongue cleaner as far as possible and make contact with the flattened tongue.

4. Pull the tongue cleaner forward slowly to the front of the mouth, making sure to cover as much surface area as possible.

5. Rinse the tongue cleaner and repeat!

Tongue brushing can be a hassle in the beginning, but once it becomes routine, the difference in your oral health will be so noticeable. Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group will be happy to answer your questions about oral health and tongue brushing. Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

 

References:

Christensen G. Why clean your tongue? J Am Dent Assoc 1998; 129: 1605–07.

Danser M. M., Gomez S. M., Van der Wejden, G. A. (2003). Tongue coating and tongue brushing: a literature review. 3:151-8.

 

A relaxing trip to the dentist

March 6th, 2013

Imagine not being afraid to go to the dentist. Imagine being able to accomplish all your dental care in as little as one appointment. This is what Sedation Dentistry can do for you. Oral Sedation Dentistry protocols have been used safely for over 30 years with millions of dental procedures. Years of neglect can be reversed in a few hours. You will be able to smile with confidence and chew your food without pain. If you've been putting off years of dental work, Sedation Dentistry can change your life.

After a consultation to discuss the level of sedation that is needed as well as an in-depth review of the patient's medical history, your dentist will recommend the right level of sedation.   Every patient is different and requires different levels of sedation.

Another form of calming treatment that dentists use is called relaxation dentistry. This process uses nitrous oxide (also known as laughing gas) to numb the nerves. Nitrous oxide is administered by placing a tube onto the patient's nose and having them inhale for a few minutes prior to the dentist starting. The patient has the option to keep the nitrous oxide mask on through the entire procedure, or having it removed once numbed enough. Most patients request to keep their masks on, as nitrous oxide can wear off.

Dentists treat millions of patients with sedatives and relaxation dentistry every year. Those who fear going to the dentist are able to rest at ease knowing that every visit will be painless and soothing. Another great thing about these forms of dentistry is that they're safe and effective for people in all age groups.

When thinking about whether sedation or relaxation dentistry is right for you, please chat with us to see whether it’s a good fit and what you need to do to prepare. Drs. Ali & Ali specialize in these forms of density and would love to make your next visit one that leaves you calm and relieved. Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

Sources: MouthHealthy.org

Thinking about your wisdom teeth...

March 4th, 2013

Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that usually come in around the ages of 17 and 25. Getting new molars can be exciting. Who doesn’t want an extra set of teeth to gnaw on delicious food? New molars may at first seem like wonderful assets, however, sometimes they can lead to complications that can cause problems down the road.

There are instances when new teeth cannot fully come out all the way, resulting in what is known as impacted teeth. Since they are located towards the back of the mouth, these third molars may be tricky to clean, which can lead a buildup of food particles and bacteria. Once there is an accumulation of bacteria, the gum surrounding the tooth can become infected and swollen, which is the dental disorder known as pericoronitis. However, pericoronitis can be kept under control with antibiotics and warm salt-water rinses.

Partially erupted wisdom teeth can also lead to periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. In periodontitis, inflammation around the teeth causes the gums to pull away from the teeth. This can lead to the formation of “pockets,” which can become easily infected. Research has shown that once gum disease has been established in the wisdom teeth area, problems will be persistent and progressive. Dentists do suggest that a solution to this problem is to have your pesky molars extracted.

You may look at your teeth right now and say to yourself, hey, my wisdom teeth don’t look bad at all. They may seem to have come in normally and don’t really give you any problems. However, even if you are pain free, that doesn’t mean you should be worry free. The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons have shown that wisdom teeth that have come out fully can still be susceptible to disease and infections. Here at Wellesley Dental Group, we have Dr. Ghazi, our periodontist, who specializes in wisdom teeth extractions. Be sure to make make an appointment with us for a consultation.  Regular check-ups cleaning are essential to keep your teeth happy and healthy.

Drs. Ali & Ali and their team at Wellesley Dental Group will be very happy to answer your questions about oral health. Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com!

References:

Ash M. Costich ER, Hayward JR: A study of periodontal hazards of third molars. Journal of Periodontology 1962;33:209

Elter JR, Coumo CJ, Offenbacher S, et.al. Third molars associated with periodontal

pathology in NHANES III. Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, 2004; 62:440

Periocoronitis article from Colgate

 

 

 

 

Quick tips to healthier teeth

February 28th, 2013

Amid your busy schedules and rush to and from work, it’s easy to grab a snack that may not be the best thing for your teeth. Here are a few quick tips on how to keep your pearly whites in good shape.  Hold the sugar. Some of our favorite snacks unfortunately end up hurting our teeth. Foods high in sugar content, including cookies and carbonated drinks, end up increasing the amount of energy that acid-producing bacteria in your mouth consume.  Instead of making a grab for hard candies and cake, pick up some fresh fruit, such as apples or pears, which have high water content; these healthy alternatives will offset your sugar intake and keep you hydrated.
But what about potato chips and pasta? Although they aren't sweet, these foods can easily get stuck between the teeth and small crevices. Bacteria and also the pre-digestive process can easily convert starches to sugar in no time.
Watch what you’re chewing Sometimes you can be sitting in class or in your cubicle, gnawing away at your pencil without realizing it. Or maybe you can’t seem to find a pair of scissors and decide to use your teeth to remove clothing tags. Kick that habit! It has been shown that chewing on ice, popcorn kernels, pens, and even bobby pins can wear down your tooth and enamel surfaces. Hard foods including some nuts and fruits should be cut into smaller pieces before eating. Chewing on hard substances can lead to cracks in your tooth. Try to choose softer foods that don’t make you use excessive force.
Even though we want to keep our teeth healthy at all times, there are those instances when we want to treat ourselves to a delicious slice of pie or dig into a plate of French fries. Make sure to brush! Brushing is recommended after every meal; however if you don’t have time, rinse with plain water to clear your mouth.  Good dental hygiene makes for a healthier smile and a healthier you.

Drs. Ali & Ali and their team at Wellesley Dental Group will be very happy to answer your questions about oral health. Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com!

From our guest blogger, Jacquelyn Chou from Wellesley College.

 

My Sinsational experience

February 26th, 2013

For the last few years I’ve wanted to brighten my smile. As a tea lover, whitening toothpaste never worked well enough and I shudder to think what my teeth would look like without any assistance. Since I have fairly sensitive teeth, I’ve shied away from truly considering whitening because I’m not willing to buy into the thought that beauty means pain. How could I get the radiant teeth I’ve always wanted but not feel as though my teeth would disown me?

Once I started with Wellesley Dental Group, I kept hearing about Sinsational Whitening that not only is great for sensitive teeth, but also takes less than half an hour. I’d seen patients walking out of the office with pretty orange organza bags with a sleek whitening pen and feel jealous. I’d feel even more jealous when I’d see their gorgeous grin. I decided to take the leap.

Despite what everyone told me, I couldn’t fully believe that I wouldn’t experience any discomfort. My palms were damp from my nerves as Tanya polished my teeth, making sure the gel would be able to percolate through every part of my teeth. She smiled reassuringly once she was done; admiring her work before deftly glossing my lips with Vitamin E oil so the whitening gel wouldn’t sting. I was brimming with excitement and trepidation simultaneously.

I felt as though I were given the royal treatment, relaxing comfortably with the gel and interesting mouthpiece in place (it’s fashioned after a scuba mouthpiece!). True, not talking for twenty-some-odd minutes was a bit tough, and my jaw got a bit tired from clamping down, however, this was pretty great. What’s more, I was in no pain whatsoever. Shocking!

Once I was done, and time really did fly, I couldn’t wait to see my teeth sparkle. They did and I had boosted my color a few shades. I was given one of those whitening pens so I could continue to whiten my teeth over the next week: every night for half an hour before I’d go to sleep.

For something as convenient as Sinsational, I’ll definitely do it again once my tea drinking catches up with me!

Do you have any whitening stories? Has any whitening treatment dazzled you? Share in the comments below.

Drs. Ali & Ali and their team at Wellesley Dental Group will be very happy to answer your questions about whitening. Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com!

Post by Julia Di Cicco for Wellesley Dental Group

Stomach flu (gastroenteritis)? The new norovirus is here...

January 25th, 2013

 

[caption id="attachment_4103" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Image from psu.edu"][/caption]

With the flu season just off its peak, there's a new bug to worry about. The norovirus. A new strain that first showed up in Australia, it will likely affect millions Americans this year. According a the CDC epidemiologist,  "people haven't been exposed to it before, so they're more susceptible" - so make sure to wash your hands frequently with soap and water, as it is the best defense against this bug. Also, the CDC recommends that you disinfect surfaces with a diluted bleach solution, which is made of 5-25 tablespoons of household bleach with one gallon of water. This diluted bleach solution and hand washing  help control this highly contagious bug.

 

 

[caption id="attachment_4104" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="An electron micrograph of the norovirus virus from USA Today."][/caption]

 

How can you differentiate between the flu and the "stomach flu" (or gastroenteritis)? When you are infected by the norovirus, you will experience nausea, severe vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Good news is, most people recover after 1-3 days without any treatment. However, if you feel dehydrated and cannot keep anything down, please consult your physician as you may need some re-hydration with liquids or IV fluids. As with the flu epidemic, the elderly and children under 6 years of age experience the most severe symptoms.

 

For more information, please visit:

CDC

USA Today

Reader's Choice Awards 2013! Who is your favorite?

January 23rd, 2013

 

It's that time of the year again! Our patients make WDG such a special place - a true family. Let your voices be heard by voting for your favorite places in Wellesley and beyond!
We hope your favorite dental practice is  Wellesley Dental Group/Drs. Ali & Ali!
Please vote and encourage your friends and family to vote and support local businesses.  Here is the link to the ballot for your convenience. You can also vote through ballot forms in your local newspaper.
With your help, we can do it. Let 2013 be our 6th year in a row!

 


Metamorphosis

January 16th, 2013

As you may have noticed, Wellesley Dental Group is undergoing renovations. We are incredibly excited to see the final product and we thank all of our patients, our friends at Haynes Management, Fraser Medical Building, Phillip’s Park Apartments, and all our neighbors for their patience through the noise and constantly changing façade. We love watching our WDG home morph into what we’ve always wanted it to look like. We want to share some photos of our progress with you.

Our new entry. While we will probably change the color of our door, we can’t be happier with our copper roofing as well as the more open feel. Soon, windows will be put in and we will be one step closer to our final vision. At the moment, we're choosing which outdoor lights we like best and are looking at some lovely railing.

Our siding is almost done! What's next is more stone-work by our new, big windows. The reception area is so much more open and airy, we love the change.  We find that the added sunlight lends itself well to our team and patients having brighter smiles.  What do you think of the color?

Thank you so much to our patients for sharing your thoughts about which colors, siding, and stone work to use. Without your help, it wouldn't be the same!

 

 

Pre-term birth linked to gum disease

January 14th, 2013

[caption id="attachment_4003" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Prevent premature birth by taking care of your gums."][/caption]

During pregnancy, between 50-70% of women will develop gingivitis. Gingivitis, while normally a serious condition, poses even more risks for mothers-to-be. In numerous studies (like this), low birth weight and pre-term birth are associated with gum disease, both of which are very serious and put the baby at risk for conditions such as respiratory disorders, blindness, and learning disabilities.

Why are pregnant women more at risk? Changes in the hormone, progesterone, occur during pregnancy. This change allows gingivitis-causing bacteria to grow more easily and gum tissue will also be more sensitive to plaque. Sometimes pregnancy tumors (non-cancerous growths) will form on inflamed gum tissue. If a woman has gingivitis before becoming pregnant, her gingivitis has a high likelihood of becoming more serious.

What can you do to minimize risk? Periodontal treatment can be done during pregnancy.By the time symptoms of gum disease are noticed, the infection is established and bacteria is already circulating through the woman’s body. If you are planning to become pregnant, or are already pregnant, meet with your dentist to create a plan to maintain good oral health. Good gum health practices are important to keep before and during pregnancy as preventative measures.

For more information about gingivitis and ways to maintain healthy gums, visit this article on our blog: Gingivitis, The Silent Destroyer. Also, these three articles are must-reads for expecting moms: Periodontal Disease and Pregnancy, Pregnancy GingivitisPremature Births Remain a Medical Mystery

Book your preventative check-up and assess your risks with our own Drs. Ali.  If additional help is needed, we always have our periodontist, Dr. Ghazi, who will help resolve any gum issues.

We highly recommend becoming familiar with both your dental benefits and needs.  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 minimize your chance of gum problems. Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com!

Sources:

ADA- Know Your Teeth

WebMD

LiveScience

New England flu outbreak, at peak

January 9th, 2013

 

[caption id="attachment_3986" align="aligncenter" width="320" caption="Image from ABC News"][/caption]

Boston has declared a public health emergency.

The 2013 flu season is the earliest flu season of the last ten years.  Confirmed cases are ten times higher compared to last season. It's not too late to get up to date on some important facts and protect yourself and others from this serious virus. College students should get vaccinated before commencing the spring semester.

Already, there have been 18 statewide deaths in MA.

If you haven't gotten vaccinated, visit your local Health Department. The Wellesley Health Department can be reached at: 781-235-0135, Mon-Fri: 9 am - 4:30 pm.

Together, we can minimize the impact of the flu if we take precautions. Protect yourself and your family by getting vaccinated.

Who is at risk?

We are all at risk; however, some people are more likely to have serious complications. Adults over 65, children under 5, and people with asthma, diabetes, and chronic heart disease are most at risk for serious complications.  People who work in the health industry, those who are in close contact with children, and students who live in a dorm setting are more likely to catch the flu.

What about the vaccine?

Vaccination is the first line of defense when it comes to flu prevention. While a flu vaccine does not fully guarantee that the person will be immune to the flu, it is the most effective option out there. It’s not too late to get vaccinated as long as you currently do not have a fever. The CDC recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months get vaccinated this season.

The 2012-2013 flu vaccine contains the following three viruses:

A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus;

A/Victoria/361/2011 (H3N2)-like virus;

B/Wisconsin/1/2010-like virus (form the B/Yamagata lineage of viruses)

Symptoms?

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Body aches
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Fatigue

If you get sick?

  • Cover your cough, sneezes, and don’t leave used tissues lying around.
  • Stay hydrated. If you prefer tea over water, decaffeinated teas are more hydrating.
  • Keep your hands clean, especially after coughing or sneezing. Frequently wash your hands with warm water and soap or use hand sanitizer.
  • If you get a fever, stay at home at least 24 hours after your fever goes away so that you don’t pass the flu onto someone else.
  • If you are at high risk and have a medical condition, contact your doctor during the early stages of illness, this increases your chances of getting effective treatment. Antivirals are commonly prescribed to people who have a high-risk health condition.

Sources: CDC, Flu.gov, ABC News, WCVB News

Flu Shots For Kids 6 Months And Up

September 27th, 2012

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is stressing that parents bring their children aged 6 months and up to receive a flu shot. Small children are especially susceptible to influenza.

Recent studies have shown that these young children are even more prone to catching the flu than the elderly, a fact commonly thought to be reversed. Parents and day care workers are also advised at getting the vaccine as well. This will help protect kids and is called "cocooning."

The AAP states:

"The concept of cocooning is particularly important to help protect infants less than 6 months of age because they are too young to be immunized with influenza vaccine."

This practice doesn't just help protect infants and young children from the flu - it helps prevent it from spreading into large groups of people as well.

Children was asthma, diabetes, weak immune systems or neurological problems are all at high risk as well as women who are pregnant, just delivered, or breastfeeding.

Yearly immunization is stronly recommended because the flu virus mutates with each passing year. Immunizing yourself and children as soon as possible is advised.

There are several flu clinics coming up in Wellesley:

- Walk-In Clinic - Saturday, October 20, 2012 - 9 am to 3 pm - seniors 65+ - Wellesley Hills Congregational Church (pregnant women/those with compromised immune systems also welcome)

 

- Walk-In Clinic Wednesday, October 24, 2012 (volunteers can do both shifts)

Shift #1  1:15 pm to 4:30 pm

Shift #2  4:00 pm to 7:15 pm

Dinner-snack will be served

 

-Walk-In Clinic - Thursday, October 25, 2012 - 8:15 am - 1:15 pm

Breakfast will be served

 

Also, optimal oral health is key to warding off sickness, especially in flu season. Contact Drs. Ali & Ali at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com for more information!

 

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