GERD

Acid Reflux: A Dental Threat

January 17th, 2020

An upset stomach can ruin your whole day! Individuals who experience acid reflux, a chronic digestive disease in which stomach acid travels into the esophagus, often experience a range of uncomfortable symptoms. Some symptoms of acid reflux include heartburn, chest pain, and regurgitation, leaving a sour or bitter taste in the mouth. Acid reflux is commonly referred to as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and this disease particularly impacts your oral health. This is because during those uncomfortable times of stomach acid entering your oral cavity, your tooth enamel is being surrounded by acid, which in turn can cause enamel erosion. Underneath the tooth enamel, the outer layer of the tooth, is dentin, which can then become exposed once the enamel is worn down. In addition, the lining of your esophagus can also become damaged as a result of acid reflux.

Not to mention, what you eat plays a huge role in this condition as well! Acid reflux can be exacerbated by certain foods, including tomatoes, citrus fruits, mint, chocolate, coffee, tea, sodas, spicy foods, garlic, onions, or fatty foods.

Your dentist may notice signs of acid reflux during your oral exam. This condition can affect all ages, even children! A study done at the University of California at San Francisco reported that children with acid reflux are six times more likely to experience damage to their tooth enamel than children without this condition. Your child may not recognize that they have acid reflux, but once diagnosed the proper steps can be taken to help protect their teeth.

Remember, prevention is key, so it is important to see your dentist regularly to ensure the proper diagnoses and treatment. Fluoride can add an extra layer of protection to teeth exposed to acid by helping to add important minerals to the tooth enamel. It is important to consume fluoridated water and use toothpaste containing fluoride. Your Doctor may prescribe medication to help with acid reflux depending on the severity. In addition, avoiding foods that typically trigger acid reflux is necessary to help keep acid reflux under control.

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.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/gastrointestinal-disorders/acid-reflux-a-dental-disaster-in-the-making-1013

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Each Bite Counts: National Nutrition Month

March 10th, 2019

The popular saying, "You are what you eat," reminds us that a healthy diet is important in order to keep our bodies healthy, vibrant, and energized. National Nutrition Month is a yearly initiative each March created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to educate individuals on healthy food choices. What we eat on a daily basis not only effects our general health, but also the health of our teeth and gums. In fact, the initial signs of poor nutrition can often first be seen in the mouth.

Healthy teeth aren't just a result of daily toothbrushing and flossing...nutrition plays a major role, too! It is important to include a variety of nutrient-rich foods from all the food groups.

Here are some tips to help you make informed choices on foods and beverages that are tooth-friendly and heart-healthy:

  • Be sure to educate your children about the benefits of eating smart and keeping hydrated with milk and water over sugary sodas and sports drinks. If consuming acidic foods or beverages, it is best to drink water immediately, but wait 30 minutes before brushing your teeth to avoid damaging your enamel since it is at a weakened state during this period. If you have an infant, only send them to sleep with water, as milk or juice can lead to baby bottle tooth decay.
  • Find out your nutritional and calorie needs, based on your age, gender, amount of physical activity, and other health factors. A balanced diet should include:
    • Fruits and Vegetables
      • Fruits and vegetables contain a high water and fiber content, which is beneficial for your teeth and body.
    • Whole Grains
      • Whole wheat bread
      • Brown rice
      • Oatmeal
    • Dairy (low-fat or fat-free)
      • Cheese, milk, and plain yogurt help keep your pearly whites strong!
    • Protein
      • Lean beef
      • Skinless poultry and fish
      • Eggs
      • Beans
      • Peas
      • Legumes

  • Avoid foods that harm your dental health, including empty calorie foods like candy, sweet desserts and non-nutritional snacks. Foods and drinks high in sugar, starch, and carbohydrates, stick to tooth enamel and the bacteria within your mouth consume the sugar. In return the bacteria then release harmful acid that breaks down tooth enamel. It is best to limit your consumption of soda, juice, and sweetened coffee or tea, as these choices promote tooth decay. Not to mention, coffee, tea, and wine are big culprits of causing tooth staining.
  • Nutrients including phosphorus, calcium, Vitamin D, and probiotics, help strengthen enamel and fight against tooth decay. Also, Vitamin C , found in citrus fruits, tomatoes, peppers, spinach, broccoli, and potatoes to name a few, helps promote gum health.
  • Snacking between meals can expose your teeth to more sugar and acids, so it is best to limit snacking. If you do snack, make a conscious nutritious choice, such as cheese, yogurt, fruits, vegetables, or nuts.
  • In addition to eating healthy, make sure you are staying physically active for at least 1 hour a day.
  • If you have medical conditions including gastrointestinal reflux or an eating disorder, your risk of cavities and enamel erosion may be higher.

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

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

References:

https://www.eatright.org/food/resources/national-nutrition-month/national-nutrition-month

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/basics/nutrition-and-oral-health/ada-march-is-national-nutrition-month

https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/nutrition/food-tips?utm_source=mouthhealthyorg&utm_medium=mhrotator&utm_content=nutrition-month

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Is Your Mouth Feeling Sizzling Hot?

October 20th, 2018

Being in pain is one of the worst feelings, especially when you don't know the cause. Thanks to new research, knowledge is increasing about chronic oral pain, also called Burning Mouth Syndrome. This condition commonly impacts middle-aged women and can be very debilitating for most people. In past years this condition has been quite ambiguous, but new discoveries are currently being made.

People experiencing Burning Mouth Syndrome often report a sensation of stinging on their tongue, palate, lips and/or gums. This condition can also cause dry mouth, and bitter or metallic taste sensation in the oral cavity. These symptoms can occur gradually overtime or appear suddenly. For many people, it can lead to difficulty eating, sleeping, and cause anxiety or depression.

A dissertation at Sahlgrenska Academy reported that when 56 women with Burning Mouth Syndrome were asked to rate the condition from 0 (not difficult at all) to 100 (unbearable), the average response was 66. It was also found that 45% of the patients experienced altered taste, and 73% had a burning, stinging, numbness, or combination of the three sensations. Burning Mouth Syndrome was strongly correlated with self reports of teeth grinding, multiple medication use, allergies, and skin diseases. Not to mention, mucin proteins detected in the patients were altered and contained less carbohydrate structures that normally impact the immune system. These patients were found to have higher inflammatory levels than the control group of individuals without Burning Mouth Syndrome. With this information, researchers are looking for methods to help with diagnosis and treatment options.

If you're experiencing some of the symptoms mentioned, this can be evaluated during your dental visit. Burning Mouth Syndrome can be secondary to dry mouth from several factors including multiple medications, fungal infections such as oral thrush, nutritional deficiencies (B1, B2, B6, B9, B12, Iron, Zinc), ill-fitting dentures, stomach acid reflux (GERD), diabetes, or consumption acidic beverages.

In the meantime, to help ease the pain, avoid irritants such as tobacco smoking, hot spicy foods, alcoholic beverages or mouth rinses with alcohol, and acidic foods and beverages.

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/2018/09/180921151427.htm

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/burning-mouth-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20350911

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