gum inflammation

Turmeric: The Future Mouthwash?

November 19th, 2015

Mouthwash can be a beneficial solution for your oral health problems. However, did you know that turmeric, a yellow spice that is extracted from the root of the Curcuma longa plant that is a key ingredient in curry, also has good effects and can even be safer than the typical chemical mouthwash? Turmeric has been used since ancient times for health benefits and to treat oral diseases, including removing plaque from the mouth and killing oral cancer cells.

Turmeric has around three to four percent curcumin, which is a yellow polyphenol that is a natural alternative for chlorhexidine. Chlorhexidine is a common ingredient in mouthwash that treats gingivitis, or gum inflammation. Some of the typical symptoms of gingivitis include halitosis (bad breath) and bleeding or swollen gums. If not treated properly, gingivitis can develop into an extremely harmful form of periodontal disease. Although chlorhexidine is effective at preventing dental plaque, there have been issues in patient safety. In 2012, the UK's Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) stated that chlrohexidine can provoke anaphylactic reactions, which are severe and life-threatening allergic reactions. Although these reactions are rare, if safer alternatives are more effective, they should be used instead.

A study published in the Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology in 2012 compared the effects of turmeric mouthwash (0.1% curcumin extract mouthwash and 0.01% eugenol) and chlorhexidine (0.2% chlorhexidine gluconate mouthwash) on subjects who had mild to moderate gingivitis. The results proved that the turmeric mouthwash was more effective than the chlorhexidine mouthwash in improving the oral health (in terms of the percentage reduction of the plaque index, gingival index, and bacterial activity) of the subjects. Furthermore, it was more effective at a concentration that was half of that of chlorhexidine. Further research has demonstrated that curcumin is an ideal alternative for chlorhexidine in plaque reduction and reduction in plaque-associated gum inflammation.

In addition, if one were to consume some of the curcumin-based mouthwash by accident, the consequences would not be as adverse as those that would result in swallowing chlorhexidine. Because of all the health benefits of turmeric, it may actually be beneficial. However, if you consider switching to turmeric mouthwash, make sure to consider the quality of the herb. Check whether it was produced organically and preserved in a way that eliminated mycotoxins and other microbial contaminants.

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



Can Yoga Improve Your Oral Health?

April 30th, 2015



Stressed out? Your dentist can usually tell! Stress can have a significant impact on your oral health.  In fact, dentists can detect oral symptoms of stress, including canker sores, teeth grinding (bruxism), gum diseasetemporomandibular disorders (TMD), burning mouth syndrome, and dry mouth, just to name a few. Luckily, many studies have shown that yoga can help people relieve stress, anxiety, and believe it or not, dental troubles!

Many studies have revealed that individuals who are stressed are more likely to neglect their oral care. As mentioned above, the tension in jaw muscles can lead to jaw clenching and teeth grinding. The good news is that along with alleviating stress, yoga improves posture. Poor posture not only affects your body, but also your mouth. It can cause the jaw to shift and affect the alignment of teeth. This can lead to Temporo-Mandibular Joint disorders (TMJ), which can cause pain chewing, nerve inflammation, headaches, and more!

Stress can also lead to dry mouth, which occurs due to low amounts of saliva production. Saliva flow is essential in helping get rid of germs in the mouth. Dry mouth leads to bad breath (halitosis), and can eventually develop into tooth decay and periodontal disease. Further, stress has been shown to increase inflammation in the mouth and  body. Bacteria in your mouth can cause gum inflammation, which plays a huge part in gingivitis and periodontal disease.

Although yoga may not fight cavities, it can improve the condition of your mouth and the health of your body by eliminating tension and stress. Yoga is a popular form of exercise that dates years and years back from India. Yoga incorporates both physical and mental disciplines for the purpose of achieving a peaceful balance between body and mind.  It promotes relaxation and can boost your mood, which can help you live longer and age-well. It also can reduce your blood pressure.

Another great thing about yoga is that it encourages a healthy lifestyle. It typically prompts people to practice better oral hygiene habits, implement healthier diets, and to get rid of poor oral health habits, including smoking.

So why not enjoy the many health benefits of yoga? There are plenty more, including:

  • Improving flexibility
  • Increasing muscle strength 
  • Preventing cartilage and joint breakdown 
  • Boosting immunity
  • Lowering blood sugar
  • Helping you focus
  • Improving your balance
  • Helping you sleep better
  • Increasing your self-esteem 
  • Benefiting your relationships

Yoga may not have been the first thing that you thought of when discussing how to maintain a healthy mouth. However, few methods of stress relief compare to that of yoga! Eliminating stress through practicing yoga may be a great option for preventing pain and oral health problems.

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


Sleeping in Dentures Linked to Pneumonia?

January 16th, 2015

Teeth are extremely important in helping us with day-to-day functions, including eating and speaking. Not to mention, they are important elements of our smiles! If you're missing your natural teeth, whether from tooth decay, periodontal disease, or other oral health problems, complete or partial dentures can be a great option to help improve your smile and health. Recently, poor oral health has been recognized as putting the elderly at a major risk for pneumonia.

Dentures are custom-made to resemble your natural teeth. Listed below are the different types of dentures:

  • Conventional dentures are both full and removable. It is made and usable once the remaining natural teeth are removed and tissues have healed.
  • Immediate dentures are also both full and removable, but can be inserted immediately once the remaining natural teeth are removed.
  • Overdentures are placed over a few remaining natural teeth, which help preserve your jawbone and offer stability for the denture.
  • Partial dentures are often used when a few natural teeth remain in the upper or lower jaw. They also help prevent other teeth from shifting.

In Japan, researchers at Nihon University School of Dentistry conducted a 3-year study examining oral health habits and incidents of pneumonia in 524 randomly selected elders of 85 years of age or older. According to the study, individuals who wore dentures during sleep tended to have poor oral health habits, fewer visits to the dentist, and plaque build-up. It was found that 48 deaths and hospitalization cases of pneumonia were identified. Of the 453 individuals who wore dentures, 40.8% who wore their dentures when sleeping were at higher risk for pneumonia than those who took their dentures before bed. This is approximately a 2.3-fold higher risk of the incidence of pneumonia.

Further, those who slept with their dentures were more likely to have tongue and denture plaque, gum inflammation, positive culture for Candida albicans (a form of yeast), and higher levels of  interleukin-6 (involved in inflammation and infection). It is recommended not to wear dentures during the night to avoid risk of these health problems.

It is important to practice good oral hygiene even if you wear dentures. Dentures should be rinsed and brushed daily just like regular teeth. It is easy for bacteria to collect, causing bad breath and damaging your gums. Brushing your gums, tongue and roof of your mouth before putting in dentures is essential for maintaining a healthy mouth!

When you go to sleep, don't forget to take your dentures out of your mouth and place them aside in a glass of water!

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 to set up an appointment and consultation.

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.


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

January 24th, 2014

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

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

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

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


Cholesterol Medication Can Help Decrease Gum Inflammation

December 12th, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




Link Found Between Poor Oral Health and HPV

September 9th, 2013

There has been a recent studying showing a relationship between poor oral health and the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a sexually transmitted virus that has been shown to cause cancer of the cervix, mouth and throat. Cancer Prevention Research has been the first group to document this link. While this association has been made, it is still too early to say that flossing and brushing on a regular basis can prevent oral HPV infection.


Research done at the University of Texas health Science Center have looked over data on both low-risk and high-risk oral HPV infection and health in 3,439 adults between the ages of 30 and 69. The original study found that males who smoke cigarettes and having multiple oral sex partners have an increased risk of developing oral HPV infection. Researchers then controlled for smoking and the number of oral sex partners and found that self-rated poor oral health was an independent risk for this oral infection. It was shown that those with poor oral health were 56% more likely to contract the oral HPV infection, compared to those with fair oral health. It was also found that gum disease was linked to a 51% higher oral HPV risk and general dental problems were linked with a 28% increased prevalence of this infection. While there still has not been conclusive evidence revealing this, researcher believe that people who lack of good oral health, such as those suffering from ulcers, sores or lesions, and gum inflammation, give way to more openings in the mouth, providing more locations for HPV to enter.


Even though there is not enough evidence to decisively show the link between poor oral health and HPV, it never hurts to maintain good oral health. While more research needs to be done in this topic, there have been many more relationships shown, linking oral health to the body’s overall health. Good oral hygiene should become a lifestyle, a personal habit that individuals should hold up to. 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




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