genetics

Tooth Decay -Genetic or Environmental?

September 4th, 2019

It’s easy to blame somethings on our parents, but recent research shows that you shouldn’t blame tooth decay on genetics. In the past it has been thought that our risk of developing cavities is similar to our family members. However, more research is showing that tooth decay boils down mainly to environmental factors rather than genetics. Although we can’t just easily point to our parents when we develop a cavity, this can be a good thing because tooth decay is largely preventable! Take a look at what influences your risk of tooth decay and how you can prevent it:

Interestingly enough, we are made up of good bacteria that help us survive. However, some of the bacteria found within the mouth can feed on sugars within the foods we eat and lead to tooth decay. These bacteria produce acids that wear down our tooth enamel and create what we all dread and know to be cavities. These bacteria often come after birth, and with more research specific bacteria are being found to play a role in creating cavities. While some bacteria we do inherit from our parents, others that have been linked to causing dental cavities are not found to be associated with genetics, including Streptococcus mutants, and Porphyromonas gingivalis. The study conducted by the J. Craig Venter Institute in Maryland evaluated 485 pairs of identical and fraternal twins within the age range of 5 to 11 years old. When analyzing the study participants’ dental plaque and bacteria present within the mouth, they found that environmental factors played a significant role in the type of bacteria present that were associated with causing tooth decay. The bacteria responsible for causing tooth decay were mainly due to factors including diet and home care dental habits such as brushing and flossing. However, family history is important when looking at risks of tooth decay, for instance similar food diets shared between family members could increase or lower the risk of tooth decay.

What you may be able to blame genes for is the development of teeth. Such as the relationship between your teeth when biting together, the timing in which your teeth first appear, or even the size of teeth (macrodontia or microdontia).

So, while somethings you may get away with being able to blame your parents for, tooth decay is largely in part influenced by environmental factors. This is why it’s extremely important to get regular dental check-ups, and practice good oral hygiene care to ensure that your teeth are healthy and lasting lifetime!

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

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

References:

https://www.ameritasinsight.com/wellness/dental/mouth-bacteria-bad-teeth

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How to Protect "Buck Teeth"

August 28th, 2019

We all try to play it safe and keep our teeth protected and healthy, but sometimes traumatic dental injuries can be inevitable, particularly for children. From sports activities to just having some good-ole fun playing outside, accidents can happen and hurt your little one’s teeth. Sadly, not only can it be traumatic for your little one, but it can also be costly. The risk of dental trauma is specifically increased for children with teeth that protrude outwards. This is often known as, “buck teeth.” Due to the positioning of the teeth, the teeth often extend beyond the protective lip, which can make their teeth more susceptible to injuries. Take a look at the latest research on protruding teeth and what you can do to help prevent damaging them:

According to a recent study performed at the University of Adelaide in Australia, a connection was found between the degree of protrusion of children’s teeth and risk of damaging teeth. The study analyzed 50,000 children under the age of 19 years old. The study concluded that kids up to the age of six years old with teeth protruding over 3 mm are three times as likely to suffer with dental trauma than kids without protruding teeth. In addition, they found that kids over the age of six with teeth protruding greater than 5 mm are twice as likely to experience dental trauma.

Great news is that this risk can be reduced! Regular dental check-ups are extrememly important for your child to help lower the chance of developing long-term dental issues. Protruding teeth can be caused by numerous things. This includes negative oral habits such as thumb-sucking, longterm pacifier use, and tongue-thrusting. Genetics may also play a role in the alignment of teeth. Your dentist can analyze the relationship of your teeth and come up with the right treatment options to help prevent their harm. Orthodontic treatment may be necessary to help correct protruding teeth. Also, be sure that your child always wears a properly fitting mouth guard when playing sports to help prevent dental trauma.

Remember, prevention is key! If teeth are knocked out or injured at an early stage, this can cause extra dental procedures including root canals or even extractions.

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

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

References:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/05/190514090100.htm

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/cosmetic-dentistry/adult-orthodontics/buck-teeth-causes-0516-

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September Is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

September 5th, 2018

What is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month?

Did you know that over 23 million children are obese or overweight in the United States? National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month is a yearly campaign with the goal of letting individuals know the health hazards of obesity, particularly for children. Approximately one third of children in the U.S. are at risk of type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease. But, with the knowledge and proper resources, we can make these statistics and the health of our children better. Several organizations and professionals will be joining together especially this month to raise money, conduct research, and provide treatment to help battle childhood obesity.

Childhood obesity is a serious public health problem that can have a lifelong impact on the overall health. Chronic conditions such as asthma, joint issues, Type 2 diabetes, and sleep apnea may develop at higher rates due to childhood obesity. Also, it has been found that children with obesity often are more likely to experience depression and lower self-esteem. Surprisingly, obesity is also linked with an increased risk of developing periodontal disease due to the body's inflammatory response.

Several factors play a role in childhood obesity, such as genetics, metabolism, your child's home and community environment, as well as eating behavior and level of physical activity. It is important to encourage your child to stay active, get regular sleep, and to have a tooth-friendly healthy diet. When your child's energy is balanced it allows for healthier growth.

Some ways to help prevent obesity include measuring your child's Body Mass Index (BMI). This can be done using the CDC’s Child and Teen BMI Calculator to help identify your child's risk for obesity. Most importantly, make sure your child is provided with nutritious meals that include fruits and vegetables. Now that school is starting up, make sure to pack healthy lunches, which will not only keep your teeth healthy, but also your body! Have your child avoid sugary foods and beverages. Allow a certain amount of time for your child to be involved in physical activity each day. Not to mention, be a role model by following the same guidelines!

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and their newest addition to the team, Dr. Zarah Ali, if you have any thoughts or concerns. Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Van. Dr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other periodontal or oral surgery needs, Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

The caring team at Wellesley Dental Group will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

References:

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/basics/threats-to-dental-health/ada-09-september-is-national-childhood-obesity-awareness-month

https://www.cdc.gov/features/childhoodobesity/index.html

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Your House and Your Saliva: How on Earth Could they be Related?

August 12th, 2018

Normally, we may not be thinking about what saliva is doing for us in our mouths. But, saliva has an important role in helping us breakdown food and protect our teeth due to the proteins and minerals found within it. Turns out, according to new research, the combination of microorganisms in your saliva are mainly determined by your home environment rather than genetics. These organisms within saliva are found to have a great influence on our oral and overall health.

More research is showing that our microbiomes are related to our health. These microbes are perfectly normal to our bodies and help outside pathogens from establishing oral disease. Researchers at  UCL Genetics Institute looked at DNA and saliva extracted from an Ashkenazi Jewish family that lived in several different households across the world so that they could determine how the saliva microbiome varied in terms of environment versus genetics. In each of the DNA and saliva samples, they found that the majority of the salivary microbiome was composed of bacteria from the Streptococcus, Rothia, Neisseria, and Prevotella genera.

When analyzing the results, they also found that between factors including shared household, city, age, and genetics, the factor that determined who shared the most similar saliva microbes was household environment. Therefore, people in the same house share the most similar organisms within their saliva.

So, looks like genetics isn't the biggest factor in determining the makeup of our saliva as once thought according to recent research. This study concluded that a child's home environment plays a significant role in the community of bacteria found within their saliva. Since microbes can be transferred from one person to another, for instance via kissing or sharing utensils, it is important to maintain good oral hygiene, keep regular dental visits, and avoid being in close contact with others when having an active infection.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and their newest addition to the team, Dr. Zarah Ali, if you have any thoughts or concerns. Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Van. Dr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other periodontal or oral surgery needs, Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

The caring team at Wellesley Dental Group will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

References:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/09/170912102810.htm

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Sharks and Human Tooth Regeneration

May 4th, 2016

Sharks can seem scary, but did you know they can help us learn more about tooth regeneration? In December 2015, we blogged about Lake Malawi cichlids and their process of regenerating teeth. Turns out we can also discover properties of tooth regeneration from other animals underwater!

Tooth Loss (Edentulism)

Before finding ways to regenerate teeth, we need to learn more about the problem of human tooth loss. Take a look at these facts from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention:

  • The average number of teeth that adults aged 20-64 have: 24.92 (as opposed to a full 32)
  • 3.75% of adults between 20 and 64 have no remaining teeth
  • Older, less-educated Black or Hispanic adults who smoke and have lower incomes are more likely to have fewer teeth
  • 27% of adults aged 20-64 had untreated tooth decay
  • 52% of adults between 20 and 64 had lost at least one tooth from dental disease
  • Cavities and untreated tooth decay are the main causes of tooth loss in adults

Fun Facts about Sharks

Now that we've studied human teeth loss, let's take some time to learn about teeth in sharks:

  • The number of teeth that sharks can have up to: 3,000!
  • Human teeth are set in the jaw, but shark teeth are fixed in the gums
  • Sharks can constantly regrow their teeth - they lose over 30,000 in a lifetime!
  • Genes in sharks are linked to the development and regeneration of teeth
  • Humans have these same genes - Dr. Gareth Fraser from the University of Sheffield and his team claim that this conclusion can lead to the development of more treatments for human tooth loss!

What's the Connection Between Sharks and Humans?

By studying gene expression in the teeth development of catshark embryos, Dr. Fraser's team discovered that certain genes contributed to creation of a set of epithelial cells called dental lamina. These cells were responsible for the regeneration of teeth in sharks. What's interesting is that humans have the same genes that help form dental lamina, which lead to the formation of the growth of both baby and adult teeth! However, the dental lamina disappears after all adult teeth have grown in.

The team also observed that these genes have been around for 450 million years in sharks and could be the force behind tooth development of all vertebrates. Sharks have held these genes due to the fact that maintaining their teeth are crucial for hunting, but the ability for humans to regenerate teeth has evolved to disappear.

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

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. VanDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other periodontal or oral surgery needs, Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

References:

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/306583.php

http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/DataStatistics/FindDataByTopic/ToothLoss/ToothLossAdults20to64.htm

http://www.cdc.gov/

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The Effect of Birth Control on Oral Health

January 26th, 2016

blog

Birth control pills have many benefits and are a popular contraceptive method which increases estrogen/progesterone levels. However, they can also negatively affect your oral health.

According to The American Academy of Periodontology, many factors such as smoking, poor nutritiongenetics, and medications (including oral contraceptives, antidepressants, and heart medications) can impact gum health. These factors may increase risk for gum disease, which 75 percent of Americans, and especially periodontal disease, an advanced type of gum disease linked to osteoporosis, stroke, diabetes, heart disease, and low-birth-weight babies that 50% of Americans have.

Many studies have demonstrated the clear connection between dental health and sex hormones. The risk for periodontitis is especially high during puberty and pregnancy due to increased estrogen levels, which promote the flow of blood in the mouth and forces gums become red, swollen, and more susceptible to bacteria. Furthermore, women have a greater chance of having dental problems because of their hormones.

There is also evidence that those who use oral contraceptives had more bleeding sites, tooth attachment loss, gum gaps, inflammation, and gum destruction. If you are our patient, please let us know your history and habits so we can effectively treat and prevent gum disease. Certain medications can impact the effectiveness of antibiotics. To prevent and resolve gum disease, make sure to use an antimicrobial mouthwash, floss, and avoid smoking, stress, and sugar.

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

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. VanDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other periodontal or oral surgery needs, Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

Resources:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/caroline-beaton/birth-control-pills-may-cause-bad-breath----and-worse_b_8513492.html

https://www.perio.org/consumer/types-gum-disease.html

http://myfancytips.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/All-About-The-Serious-Side-Effects-Of-The-Birth-Control-Pill-3.jpg

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