headache

Do you wake up breathless?

July 13th, 2016

sleep-apnea

Do you often feel sleepy or fatigued throughout the day for no reason? Or snore loudly and wake up short of breath in the middle of the night? Then you may experience sleep apnea, a condition that stops your breathing periodically while you sleep (up to 20-30 times per hour).

When you stop breathing, your brain wakes you up due to the lack of oxygen in order to restart your breathing. Many people don't remember waking up in the middle of the night, so they think they're getting enough sleep but end up feeling drowsy during the day.

Sleep apnea, a serious medical problem, can lead to high blood pressure, which increases the risk for heart failure and stroke. The drowsiness during the day can be dangerous for driving or cause complications with medications or surgery.

Some symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • insomnia (difficulty sleeping)
  • loud snoring
  • waking up breathless
  • snorting or choking sounds
  • headaches when waking up
  • falling asleep unintentionally during the day
  •  extreme drowsiness throughout the day

The three types of sleep apnea are:

  1. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) (due to collapsing of soft tissue in the back of the throat)
  2. Central sleep apnea (CSA) (muscles don't receive proper brain signal)
  3. "Mixed" or "complex" sleep apnea (combination of obstructive and central)

Risk factors include:

  • OSA is more common in males and in older adults (40+)
  • obesity
  • smoking
  • drinking
  • using tranquilizers/sedatives
  • family history
  • heart disorders
  • neuromuscular disorders
  • strokes
  • brain tumors

Treatment options:

  • losing weight
  • stop smoking
  • sleep on side instead of on back
  • oral devices
  • surgery (if severe)

Please contact our office so we can refer you to a sleep apnea specialist if you suspect that someone you know suffers from this medical problem.

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.wellesleydentalgroup.com/sleep-apnea

Sleep Apnea and Permanent Tooth Extraction

April 12th, 2016

sleep

Sleep apnea is common condition that can lead to trouble sleeping and cause tiredness throughout the day even after a full night's rest. Individuals with sleep apnea experience one or more pauses in breathing during their sleep that can last from seconds to minutes. Aside from excessive daytime sleepiness, signs of sleep apnea also include dry mouth, headache, and snoring, just to name a few.

Research has found that sleep apnea may increase the risk of of high blood pressure, heart problems, stroke, obesity, and diabetes, and the chance of getting into a car accident.

So, you may be wondering how this condition plays a role in dentistry. Some studies suggest that getting teeth extracted for braces can increase one's risk for developing sleep apnea.Orthodontic treatment is the perfect solution to correcting crowded teeth, protruding teeth, gapped teeth, and jaw problems. For well over 50 years and still today, dentists have debated the treatment of extracting permanent teeth for orthodontic treatment. Some dentists extract permanent teeth because it's easier to create more space between teeth, while others use alternative methods, such as palate expansion or headgear to correct one's smile.

Some argue that pre-orthodontic tooth extraction makes the jaw narrower and forces the tongue to lay further back into the mouth and restrict the airway. Also, some believe that extractions can lead to changes in one's facial appearance and temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). TMD is a condition that results in oral issues including chewing problems and jaw pain. However, further research is needed because it is unclear whether these notions are actually the case.

Others counter these arguments and claim that the jaw doesn't necessarily become narrowed and can even become widened depending on various factors. In addition, some argue that extractions can be beneficial for individuals with lip strain or thin gums.

Studies observing patients who've had teeth extracted for orthodontic treatment are inclusive in their findings. These studies often only offer a limited assessment of the patient's airway to see what's actually occurring.  Two studies of patients found no change in the pharyngeal airway as well as a third study.  However, three other studies found a reduction in the airway size of some patients. Researchers believe that the difference in findings could be due to racial differences in the response of the airway to movement of the teeth.

Overall, its unclear whether or not extractions lead to sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a complex condition and further research is needed to explain its association with permanent tooth extractions. If you feel that you are excessively sleepy during the day you may want to contact a sleep specialist so that they can conduct a sleep study. If you are in need of any orthodontic treatment or have questions regarding permanent tooth extractions,  Dr. Emad is happy to help. Dr. Emad Abdallah is a faculty member at Tufts Craniofacial Pain Center.

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.

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

References:

http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sleepapnea

http://www.naturalhealingnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/iStock_000002751438Medium.jpg

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24963245

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20677956

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24963245

 

Packed Lunches for Kids Promote Healthy Teeth

August 25th, 2014

lunch boxDon’t let dental related problems be the reason for your child’s absence from school! Eating unhealthy snacks and junk foods can lead to an extra trip to the dentist for cavity treatments. Next week when school is back in session, make sure your kids get healthy snacks for lunch.

School’s can potentially be risky environments for dental health, especially with the availability of vending machines that contain unhealthy snacks and sodas. In order to enhance your child’s health and smile, it is important to consider and implement nutritious foods for lunch. Poor nutrition can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. If you pack their lunches, make sure to include foods that contain nutrients essential to their oral health, such as carbohydrates, protein, calcium, and vitamins A and C.

Packing healthy foods for lunch will foster good nutritional habits within kids. The following tips  for packing healthy lunches can help meet your child’s dental and nutritional needs:

Healthy Fruits and Vegetables:

Who doesn't enjoy finger foods? Cutting slices of cucumber or carrots into bite-size pieces are easy and healthy to snack on. Try avoiding sugary dressings, potatoes, and fries.

Fruits including oranges, pears, and pineapple can be sliced into sections for a sweet and filling snack. Also, the potassium in bananas, and fiber and vitamins in apples are essential for maintaining good oral health. Try avoiding grapes due to their high sugar content.

Protein:

Eating proteins will help keeps muscles healthy and strong. Peanut butter, lean turkey, and nuts all have a good source of protein and are easy to pack for school.

Carbohydrates:

Carbohydrates provide energy for your children to focus and learn throughout the school day. Whole wheat bread, whole grain tortillas, pita bread, or bagels are all tasty carbs that your child can enjoy. Cheese is a good source of calcium and can also protect teeth from decaying. Try adding low-fat string cheese to whole grain crackers.

Drinks:

What your kids drink is equally important as what they eat. Water, especially fluoridated water, helps strengthen tooth enamel and wash down leftover pieces of food. Unsweetened tea also contains fluoride. Milk is a healthy option because it provides vitamin D and calcium. Avoid sports drinks, which contain a large amount of sugar, processed milk, as well as most juices.

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. Kim or Dr.Pradhan. 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:

http://www.therabreath.com/articles/news/oral-care-industry-news/healthiest-packed-lunches-for-kids-32375.asp
http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/ColgateNewandNow/Community/2013/April/article/SW-281474979078603.cvsp
http://www.healthykids.nsw.gov.au/downloads/header/header_Lunchbox_d1ff_header.jpg

More Reasons to Smile While on Vacation

March 27th, 2014

family vacationVacations are a time for relaxing, having fun, and making memories with family and friends.  Whether you are camping in the wilderness or sipping coconut water in the Caribbean, everyone can benefit from good oral health tips on the go.  With summer vacations looming over the horizon, here are some great tips to keep you and your loved ones smiling the entire time!

 1. Plan ahead

If you or your family members haven’t had their bi-yearly dental check ups yet, now may be a good time to do so.  By seeing a dentist before leaving for vacation, you can guarantee that there will be no sudden dental problems that require medical attention while abroad.  For instance, having a cavity spotted and filled early might prevent annoying toothache issues that are difficult to treat away from home.

Furthermore, make sure you have all your medical and dental insurance information handy and kept in a safe place in case of an emergency.

2.  Keep things organized

Keeping all your oral health tools in one place will save time and effort.  Carrying a toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss in your carry-on bag will be helpful during long flights.  Another option would be to purchase smaller versions of your usual arsenal of products.  There are many travel-sized versions of all major toothpaste and mouthwash brands at most convenience stores.  Make sure to brush your teeth after every meal (just like you would at home) even while on a plane!

3.  Cover your toothbrushes

Throwing an uncovered toothbrush into your carry-on bag or placing it on countertops of hotel bathrooms gives unwelcome bacteria the opportunity to invade its bristles.  In order to prevent this, it is important to cover toothbrushes with a clean, plastic cover.  It’s crucial to let all toothbrushes air-dry before placing the cover on it, because covering a moist toothbrush will actually encourage bacteria growth.

4.   Maintain healthy eating habits

Vacation time is certainly a time to indulge.  However, keep some healthy snacks like fruit or veggies in hand for in between meals.  You can satisfy your appetite by chewing on nutritious snacks throughout the day and perhaps turn down a tempting sugary drink later on.

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 781-237-9071or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

Sources:

http://www.drpeterhazim.com/dental-tips-while-on-vacation/
http://lauriesteindds.com/blog/?p=378
http://pediatricdentalworld.com/blog/5-pointers-for-healthy-vacation-smiles/
Image credit: http://cdn.sheknows.com/articles/2010/12/family-vacation.jpg

What Is Oil-pulling?

March 23rd, 2014

olive oilThe latest dentistry-related craze to hit social media has been an article on the miraculous benefits of "oil-pulling" on oral health.  Some articles claim that this new fad can even eliminate acne and eczema, cures hang-overs, aids in sleep problems, and helps alleviate general pain.  Could oil-pulling be a new cure-all health practice or is it just another pseudoscience fad?

Oil-pulling is an ancient folk practice originating from India.  Essentially, this practice entails swishing a tablespoon of any cold pressed, vegetable-based oil like coconut oil around in your mouth for 20 minutes every morning.

If you haven't seen any of these articles yet, here are a few of the dentistry-related claims they make:

  • Removes bacteria and toxins in your mouth and lymph system
  • Re-mineralizes teeth
  • Strengthens gums
  • Whitens teeth naturally
  • Reduces bad breath

Groups of bloggers and scientific researchers have both been questioning the validity of all these claims.  Although there is some scientific literature supporting some of the claimed benefits of oil-pulling, the research does not lend any clear substantial support.  In fact, some report that a placebo effect is actually taking place.

An online community of doctors called Science Based Medicine state that "oil pulling for general health or any other indication is pure pseudoscience."  Other scientists and medical practitioners are choosing to take a more middle-ground stance on this practice.  Dr. Sanda Moldovan, a periodontist, agrees that maintaining proper oral health is essential to be healthy overall and that oil-pulling is just another (and not necessarily crucial) method of maintaining healthy teeth.  Studies have shown that coconut oil does indeed remove harmful bacteria from your mouth.  However, research has also shown that oil-pulling is not much better than regular mouthwash in removing harmful bacteria in your mouth.

The verdict?  It would best be advised that people should remain cautious to believe and try everything they read online through social media.  Although oil-pulling might have some health benefits, it seems that there is not enough scientific support to back up all of its claims.

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 781-237-9071or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com 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.

Sources:

http://www.foodmatters.tv/articles-1/oil-pulling-the-habit-that-can-transform-your-health

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-7857/why-you-should-start-oil-pulling-today.html

http://news.discovery.com/human/psychology/can-oil-pulling-improve-your-health-140311.htm

http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/oil-pulling-your-leg/

http://jezebel.com/the-oil-pulling-health-craze-works-just-not-in-the-w-1538252677

Image credit: http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2011/01/19/olive-oil_sq-e4b656991b973d6de22fb74a05922bb0650e9e5a-s6-c30.jpg

"Does My Breath Smell?"

March 22nd, 2014

Cure Bad BreathHaving bad breath can be a symptom of a host of oral health problems like severe tooth decay, infections in the mouth, and gum disease.  In other cases, bad breath can just be the result of a garlic-heavy lunch.  Regardless, having odor-free breath is essential in our day-to-day social interactions with others.  Have you ever wondered if your breath smelled and had no way to check?  Although many people employ the strategy of breathing into their cupped hands to check, this method is actually ineffective.  Our bodies are all individually acclimated to our own scents, and thus it is difficult to notice any changes in the smell of our breath.

Luckily, there are other ways you can quickly check the smell of your own breath.

  • Cotton test: Take a cotton swab and run it across the top of your tongue near the back and smell it.  If it smells bad or is yellow in color, this suggests elevated sulfide production.
  • Wrist test: Lick your wrist and wait about 10 seconds before smelling it.
  • Dental floss/toothpick test: Smell floss or toothpick after you are done using it and look for any bad odors.
  • Mirror test: If the very back of your tongue is whitish in color, this may suggest foul odor.
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 781-237-9071or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com 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.

Sources:

http://www.therabreath.com/breath-test.html
http://www.breathmd.com/how-to-smell-your-own-breath.php
http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/bad-breath
Image credit: http://www.larsondentistry.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Cure-Bad-Breath.jpg

A Smarter Brushing Experience

March 15th, 2014

electric toothbrush

There is no doubt that smart phones have become a permanent staple in our day to day lives.  From editing pictures to counting calories, it seems like smart phones can do it all!  Now, with the production of Oral B's smart toothbrush, your smart phone can even help you brush your teeth better.

This electronic smart toothbrush (to be released worldwide in June, 2014) is linked via Bluetooth 4.0 to an app that can be downloaded for both Android and iOS devices.  The best features of this toothbrush include a video simulation that shows you exactly where to brush, which areas are neglected, and how hard to brush.  Additionally, it provides tips on how to improve your brushing habits by charting your progress.  Users found that using the electronic smart toothbrush significantly extended brushing times.

We highly recommend using electric toothbrushes if you look more thorough brushing results, they can make a huge difference in your oral hygiene. Some people think that using such a toothbrush, you are done in half the time. This is not really the case.  Due to the smaller brushing surface, you have to make sure you cover all the chewing surfaces.

There is a different technique to using an electric brush. Rather than moving the brush around the mouth in a circular motion, let the brush do the work. Start at one corner of the mouth eg. the cheek surface of the back teeth, and slowly move the brush along the teeth towards the lips. Then make a second pass from the same start point but slightly lower down so that the junction of the gums and teeth is thoroughly cleaned. Repeat this for the inside of the teeth and then each of the other corners of the mouth. Don't forget to brush the chewing surfaces as well.

If you can't wait until June for the pioneering smart toothbrush, check out some of these popular electronic toothbrushes, guaranteed to take your brushing to the next level:

1.  Oral-B Professional Healthy Clean + Floss Action Electric Toothbrush with SmartGuide (Amazon: $110)

This electronic toothbrush is Oral-B's most technologically advanced series.  This toothbrush has a "Deep Clean" mode (as well as 4 other modes like "Whitening" and "Massage") that guarantees the removal of 99.7% of plaque even in the hard-to-reach places of the mouth.  A unique pressure sensor automatically pauses the vibrations of the toothbrush if you are pressing down too firmly on your gums and teeth.

 2.  Philips Sonicare Essence Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush (Amazon: $50)

The Philips Sonicare Essence is a cheaper alternative that provides excellent plaque removal and a 2-minute timer to ensure proper brushing time.  This toothbrush claims to clean 2x more plaque than a manual toothbrush.

 3.  Philips Sonicare DiamondClean (Amazon: $190)

The DiamondClean toothbrush claims to remove 5x more plaque than a manual toothbrush and also significantly whitens teeth within 1 week of use.  A unique feature of this toothbrush is its diamond-shaped brush bristles which enable greater surface area coverage.  The DiamondClean also has five modes including whitening and massage functions.

Electronic toothbrushes aren't necessary to maintain good oral health. Manual toothbrushes are just as effective when used correctly.  However, if you use an electric toothbrush with an average technique and time, it will give far superior oral hygiene benefits compared to a manual toothbrush with an average technique.
It is important to keep in mind that a combination of proper diet,  flossing, and brushing are all necessary components of keeping your smile looking healthy.

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 781-237-9071or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com 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.

Sources:

http://www.inquisitr.com/1159163/new-oral-b-electronic-toothbrush-connects-to-smartphone-app-to-help-clean-your-teeth/
http://time.com/11376/busted-this-toothbrush-tattles-on-you-to-your-dentist/
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/feb/26/oral-b-smart-toothbrush-dentists-spy-on-your-brushing
http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/toothbrushes/buying-guide.htm
http://www.bhbdental.co.nz/FAQs/Gum+Disease/Electric+Toothbrushes.html
Image credit: http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/cm/goodhousekeeping/images/ER/philips-sonicare-diamondclean-electric-toothbrush-lgn.jpg

 

Great Dental Apps for Your Smart Phone

March 12th, 2014

Virtual Dentist shot

There is an app for everything imaginable nowadays.  Teenagers and adults alike are constantly on their phones.  Why not add ways to maintain good oral health while you're routinely scrolling through different apps on your phone anyway?  We've narrowed down some great dental apps for everyone that are guaranteed to keep you smiling. Brush DJ (Price: free) Did you know that you're supposed to brush your teeth for a full 2 minutes?  The Brush DJ app plays music from your smart phone device to ensure that your 2-minute brushing session is an enjoyable one.  In addition to the music player, Brush DJ allows its users to set reminders like brushing twice a day, flossing, when to replace your toothbrush, and when to see a dentist.  Brush DJ has been shown to be a favorite among kids!

iTunes App store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/brush-dj/id475739913?mt=8

Google play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=uk.co.appware.brushdj&hl=en

 

Dental Phobia (Price: $0.99) One of the most effective ways of lowering anxiety related to dental procedures, is to be knowledgable about what exactly is going on.  This app promotes the power of knowledge and provides a wealth of information regarding all dental procedures.  Also, Dental Phobia allows its users to contact qualified dentists with individual questions and concerns.

iTunes App store:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dental-phobia/id447569018?mt=8

 

Teeth Whitener (Price: $0.99) Have you ever wondered what you would look like with brighter, whiter teeth?  This app allows its users to upload pictures of themselves and adjust the coloring of their teeth accordingly.  If you're wary about getting your teeth professionally whitened, this app would be a great way to see what your results may look like before you take the plunge.

iTunes App store: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/teeth-whitener-whiten-brighten/id504156800?mt=8

 

KidsDental (Price: $1.99) KidsDental incorporates superb animation in their learning tools.  This app was designed to teach children about important oral health issues and proper dental care.  It is even customizable by each individual user by allowing its users to input personal dental milestones like "first tooth loss" into an interactive calendar.  KidsDental covers a wide range of dental topics including: cavities, early tooth loss, and broken teeth.

iTunes App store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/kidsdental/id472980862?mt=8  

 

My Little Dentist - Kids Game  (Price: Free) For kids that have an interest in dentistry as a career - this is an interactive game that lets you "treat" patients.  This game utilizes a simple tap and drag interface with kids-friendly content.

Google play store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gss.little.dentist

 

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 781-237-9071or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com 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.

 

Sources: http://www.123dentist.com/top-10-dental-apps-for-smartphones/ http://www.brushdj.com/#nogo

Image credit:  http://ww1.prweb.com/prfiles/2012/11/26/10171598/Virtual%20Dentist%20shot.png
http://a3.mzstatic.com/us/r30/Purple/v4/ff/60/e9/ff60e9ad-aea8-5577-b6ca-c0eb7b58f188/screen480x480.jpeg https://lh4.ggpht.com/Ibx2f10R78_zafl6I5fMjp9F020yoqhvm8nAi7RdEPyaxnfwi7SFUFmy5oHIbv2t6y_i=h310-rw

Make-up Tricks for a Whiter Smile!

March 9th, 2014

lipstickWhiter teeth can instantly brighten up a smile.  However, if you don't have time to get them professionally whitened, there are a few temporary makeup tricks to make them look whiter.  It's important to  keep in mind that no make-up trick will ever replace maintaining a healthy dental care regimen of brushing teeth, flossing, and have regular check-ups.

Applying a matte bronzer the hollows of your cheeks and all over your face gives your skin a sun-kissed glow.  The tanning effect of bronzer makes the whiteness of your teeth stand out.  The main areas you should focus on while applying bronzer are: under your cheekbones, sides of the nose, jawline, and under the chin.

Strategically choosing the right lip color is also very important.  A lip gloss or lipstick with cool undertones of blue or purple also give the illusion of whiter teeth because it counteracts the yellow-ness of teeth.  A berry-tinted lip gloss would be a great choice for this winter!  However, if purple-toned lip colors are out of your comfort zone, a classic red lip will also create an illusion of whiter teeth because it makes a sharp color contrast.  It is important to avoid any orange-based peach or caramel undertones in lip glosses because they enhance any yellow coloring of teeth.

Another useful trick to counterbalance any yellowing is to focus on your eye makeup and really making them pop.  Again, using cooler toned shades like purples and greens are your best bet.

In case you would like to get professional whitening done, we do have several options for you. You could try Sinsational in-office whitening that will brighten up your smile about four shades up in less than 30 minutes. You could also give take-home whitening kit a shot, with great results within two weeks. 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 781-237-9071or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com 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.

Sources:

http://www.cosmopolitan.com/hairstyles-beauty/skin-care-makeup/how-to-whiten-your-teeth#slide-1

http://www.besthealthmag.ca/look-great/makeup/makeup-tricks-to-make-your-teeth-look-whiter

http://blog.birchbox.com/post/24224204212/how-to-contour-your-face-like-a-celebrity

http://au.lifestyle.yahoo.com/womens-health/life-features/beauty/article/-/10641004/make-up-tips-to-make-your-teeth-appear-whiter/

Is Chewing Gum to Blame for Headaches in Kids?

March 9th, 2014

gum chewing headachesGum chewing is a common habit for both adults and adolescents.  Although chewing gum can provide dental benefits like whitening and aid in the prevention of tooth decay, research has shown that chewing gum may not be as beneficial as once thought.  Many would not think to relate gum chewing with prolonged headaches.  However, recent research has begun to elucidate the correlation between the two.

Dr. Nathan Watemberg of Tel Aviv University and Meir Medical Center looked at the relationship between frequent gum chewing and headaches specifically in adolescents.  He focused on a group of patients between the ages of 6 and 19 who both reported chronic migraines or headaches and chewed gum on a daily basis.  Once the group of adolescents quit gum chewing entirely, almost 90% of the group reported decreased frequency and intensity in headaches and more than half of the group reported that their headaches completely disappeared.

There are a few theories that seek to to explain why gum chewing might cause headaches.  For one, the physical act of prolonged chewing causes stress to an area of the head where the jaw is connected to the skull.  Alternatively, some researchers believe that the artificial sweetener used in some types of gum is the culprit.

Regardless of the reason, it seems that forgoing gum chewing may alleviate the debilitating effects of daily headaches in adolescents.

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 781-237-9071or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com 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.

Sources:

http://www.ada.org/5097.aspx?currentTab=2

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131219130937.htm

Image credit: http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/01775/gum_1775702c.jpg

Don’t Let Cavities Keep You from Winning the Gold!

March 4th, 2014

sochi winter olympics In light of the recent Sochi XXII Olympic Winter Games, a report by researchers at the University College London revealed that professional athletes that competed in the 2012 Olympics in London had very poor levels of oral health. Their oral health problems were bad enough that they had a negative effect on sports performance. 

The team of researchers looked at oral health check-up results of over 300 athletes and also interviewed them.  Over half of the athletes, representing sports like track, boxing, and hockey, had tooth decay.  More than 75% had gingivitis and 15% were starting to show signs of periodontitis.  About half of the athletes reported that these oral health problems were bothersome.  Furthermore, around 20% of them reported that poor oral health was negatively impacting their training and athletic performance.   In fact, 9% of the athletes had never even been to a dentist before.

In order to conceptualize these staggering statistics, Professor Needleman of the University College London Eastman Dental Institute speculates that high sugar sports drinks, gels, and snacks with a high carbohydrate content.  Consuming both high sugar and high carbohydrate foods and drinks without frequent brushing contributes to cavity formation and other oral health problems.

Needleman was quoted as saying, “Oral health is important for well-being and successful elite sporting performance.  It is amazing that many professional athletes — people who dedicate a huge amount of time and energy to honing their physical abilities — do not have sufficient support for their oral-health needs, even though this negatively impacts on their training and performance.”

Again, we see that poor oral health can affect all aspects of a person's life even as an Olympic athlete.  Easily treatable ailments like dental cavities should not keep an athlete from performing to his or her best potential.

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. 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.

Sources:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/091/130930093722.htm
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/267026.php
http://www.examiner.com/article/london-olympic-athletes-had-terrible-teeth-lots-of-cavities-gum-disease
http://corporate.comcast.com/images/sochi.jpg

Hi-Chew - Can it Chew Away Our Enamel?

February 26th, 2014

hi-chew candyYou have probably heard of Hi-Chew candy, especially if you are a parent and live in Wellesley or MetroWest area. This caramel candy became a favorite snack for a lot of teenagers, you can find it in any 7-Eleven store. As a parent, that makes me concerned with the impact this fad can have on our kids' health. So I did a little research.

Turns out, Hi-Chew company has been on the market in Japan for more than 80 years, and now is extremely popular in the local Asian markets (China, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand). There are over 100 flavors of Hi-Chew candy created, it clams to be the most delicious chewing gym that/candy that dissolves in your mouth, like Starburst. According to Swellesley Report, the candy, described by some as a tastier and less plasticky version of Starbursts, is chewy — as the name implies — and features a colorful and  flavorful goo in the middle of a firmer white exterior. You didn’t want to hear this, but it has been described as “crack for kids,” according to one woman who passed along this comment from a 7th grader.
The ingredients, however, don't look too good to me:

nutrition hi-chewingredients greenapple hi-chew

 

 

 

 

 

 

A serving of the candy has both 31 grams of sugar and acids (Citric and DL-Malic acids), which is an alarming fact. According to the article in the magazine of Academy of General Dentistry, What many people don’t know is that Citric acid —which is used as flavor enhancer and preservative — can severely damage teeth and cause significant erosion. The amount of sugar the candy contains can be detrimental to the teeth. They become even more vulnerable due to the sticky consistency of the candy - it stays on the surface of the teeth!

Although it's hard to persuade your teens to be careful with the candy that is manufactured to be sweet, juicy and somewhat addicting, you, as a parent, have to make sure they understand that indulging in this fad might cause a few new cavities.

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. 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.

References:

http://theswellesleyreport.com/2014/02/wellesley-hooked-on-hi-chew-candy-from-japan/
http://www.grandavenuedental.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Jan14_DamagingDiets-from-Impact-AGD.pdf
http://www.hi-chew.com/
http://www.asianfoodgrocer.com/blog/morinaga-mango-hi-chew-blog.jpg

Uncovering the Past: Bacteria Withstanding the Test of Time

February 25th, 2014

ANCIENT TEETH Recently, a team of researched have discovered well-preserved oral bacteria on skeletons around 1,000 years old! What secrets do these remains hold?

The scientists found that dental plaque was what kept the bacteria and particles of food on the teeth in tact, which allowed the research team to look further into what oral pathogens were present in the past. They found that even with the drastic changes in diet and hygiene (we hope!), the ancient human cavity is the home to a variety of pathogens and bacteria similar to the ones found today.

What’s even more exciting was that the ancient human oral microbiome found contained the basic line of antibiotic resistance, which is more than eight centuries before the invention of therapeutic antibiotics in the 1940s! The scientists also uncovered dietary DNA from the dental plaque found, which give the researchers a window into the types of vegetables and fruits consumed.

Although these were exciting finds for the research team, the scientists have a long road ahead of them. Gaining a wealth of data is always an exciting event, but it will be a challenge for the researchers to piece together and identify the genetic sequences that came forth from the ancient oral microbiome they discovered.

These findings can truly be a great step forward towards a better understanding of the evolution of the human oral microbiome and the beginnings of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease affects more than 10% of the world population and has been associated with several systemic diseases including pulmonary disease, cardiovascular disease and even type II diabetes. Through analyzing the human oral microbiome, scientists can track the progression of bacteria, paving new ways to prevent periodontal disease and contain bacterial production within the oral cavity.

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. 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.

References:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140223131629.htm
http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/6158/20140224/1000-year-old-dental-plaque-reveals-microbial-pompeii.htm
http://images.natureworldnews.com/data/images/full/4756/fossilised-dental-plaque-calculus-on-the-teeth-of-a-middle-aged-man-from-the-medieval-site-of-dalheim-germany-ca-ad-1100.jpg?w=600

A Cup of Coffee and a Beautiful Smile

February 18th, 2014

women-drinking-coffeeDrinking a hot cup of coffee in the morning is a daily ritual for many.  In fact, many people see caffeine intake as a necessity for proper functioning and alertness at work or at school.  According to the National Coffee Association, a whopping 83% of Americans have reported that they drink coffee.

Although this tasty drink may help us power through a 6 AM commute, it is important to be aware of the negative effects of frequent coffee intake on oral health.  The porous enamel of our teeth quickly absorbs the liquid and it ultimately causes staining.  If untreated, the dark drink can cause permanent yellowing.  Furthermore, coffee is considered an acidic drink.  Thus, it slowly wears down enamel and contributes to tooth decay.

Another negative side of effect of long term coffee drinking is bad breath and dry mouth.  Caffeine slows saliva production in the mouth.  Without saliva, we are unable to effectively wash away and kill bacteria that lead to plaque build-up.  As a result, the growth of bacteria causes a foul smell in the mouth.

However, there is hope for avid coffee drinkers out there.  Here are some tips to combat some of the negative effects of coffee:

  • Rinse with water following every cup of coffee
  • Limit your overall intake of coffee
  • Drink coffee through a straw if possible (like when you’re drinking iced coffee)
  • Do not let coffee sit in your mouth longer than necessary
  • Drink coffee at set times rather than constantly sipping it throughout the day
  • Always brush and floss
  • Adding cream to lighten the color of your coffee will not decrease its staining properties

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. 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: 

http://www.therabreath.com/articles/blog/fresh-breath-happenings/coffee-public-enemy-for-teeth-32866.asp
http://www.mynoblesmile.com/how-does-coffee-affect-my-teeth/
http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/ColgateNewandNow/Personal/2013/February/article/SW-281474979067209.cvsp

Ancient Dental Problems

February 17th, 2014

neanderthal-jaws-(2)Fossil evidence has shown that our Neanderthal ancestors suffered from many of the same dental problems that afflict us today including bad breath (halitosis) and caries.

Skeletal fossil remains dated about 15,000 years old found in a town in Morocco have given us insight into the prehistoric hunter-gatherer diets and their resulting oral health problems.  A study by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that a staggering 51% of the teeth found had cavities and abscesses.  Furthermore, evidence has shown us a glimpse of their distinct diet of acorns, pine nuts, and fermentable fruits.  Just like the formation of any other cavity, researchers predict that bacteria broke down carbohydrate rich foods left on teeth.  Ultimately, these bacteria would release harmful acids that cause enamel degradation characteristic of caries.

Another Neanderthal fossil specimen found in France dated an astounding 175,000 years ago was also found to have severe abscesses that would have prevented her from eating properly.  The significance of this particular finding was that it showed that Neanderthals must have helped one another eat and gain nutrients.  One researcher hypothesizes that a peer must have chewed up food for this specimen and fed her in order for her to survive well into her 40s.

Interestingly, both accounts show that many of the dental problems people face today were also the same problems our ancient ancestors faced.

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

References:

http://racers-republic.com/health/prehistoric-men-had-toothache-and-bad-breath-4495/
http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=98275

Fun Activities for February School Vacation Week

February 16th, 2014

child parent

Check out several entertaining and enlightening activities for you and your family during the Massachusetts school vacation week this SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2014 TO SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2014!

From fun educational events to active games, there are numerous events to enjoy in the Greater Boston area. The following suggestions for fun-filled activities will help keep your kids busy all week long!

 

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Celebrate President’s day at the JFK library and museum. Re-enacted versions of Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant will be speaking about the history behind their lives. There will be arts and crafts making, including origami sailboats. Also, The Harvard “Din and Tonics” will be performing historical Kennedy campaign songs.

$2 off coupon, jfklibrary.org, Feb. 16-23, Columbia Point, 617-514-1600

 

Old Sturbridge Village

Join in the fun at OSV by participating in sleigh rides, sledding, puppet shows, candle-making, presentations from John Quincy Adams, and more!

Regular admissions prices, osv.org, Feb. 15-23, Sturbridge, (800) 733-1830

 

MIT Museum

Celebrate both National Engineers Week and School Vacation Week at MIT, and participate in engaging engineering programs at the museum. Activities incorporate robotics, science, photography, and more!

Workshops $10, mit.edu/museums, Feb. 18-22, Cambridge, 617-253-5927

 

Peabody Essex Museum

Instead of entertaining your kids with television at home during the break, take your kids to the Peabody Essex Museum where there are numerous interactive games, hands-on activities, and performances!

Regular admission prices, www.pem.org, Feb. 18-21, Salem, 978-745-9500

 

Massachusetts College of Art and Design

Students at the College will be participating in open dialogue about art. Also, enjoy exhibits and activities guided by the students!

Free, massart.edu, Feb. 23, Boston, 617-879-7000

 

Frog Pond

Enjoy the outdoors by ice skating at Frog Pond in Boston Common! Reserve a spot to receive free ice skating.

Free, cityofboston.gov, Feb. 21-24, Boston, 617-635-2120

 

Franklin Park Zoo

Celebrate with “Little Joe,” the gorilla, on Presidents’ Day for his 20th birthday on February 18. The first 200 visitors will receive a free slice of cake!

Regular admission price, zoonewengland.org, Feb. 18, Dorchester, 617-541-5466

 

Drs. Ali & Ali and their team at Wellesley Dental Group will be more than happy to answer your questions, thoughts, or concerns. Feel free to contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com.

References:
http://pem.org/learn/families/programs#School%20Vacation%20Week
http://www.massvacation.com/press/press-releases/massachusetts-offers-february-vacation-week-fun-for-the-whole-family/
http://www.bostoncentral.com/events/schoolvacationweek.php
http://www.osv.org/event/february-school-vacation-week
http://web.mit.edu/museum/programs/families.html
http://kids.media.timeout.com/images/resizeBestFit/100548581/660/370/image.jpg

Wellesley Dental Group Earns Esteemed 2013 Angie’s List Super Service Award

February 14th, 2014

angie's list super service award

Wellesley Dental Group has earned the service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award, reflecting an exemplary year of service provided to members of the consumer review service in 2013.

“Wellesley Dental Group is committed to providing state-of-the-art, high quality dental care in a friendly, caring and non-judgmental environment. We do our very best to create a comfortable and relaxing dental experience.” - said Dr. Ejaz Ali, owner of Wellesley Dental Group.

 

“Only about 5 percent of the companies Wellesley Dental Group competes with in Wellesley/Metro-west are able to earn our Super Service Award,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “It’s a mark of consistently great customer service.”

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2013 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade; the company must be in good standing with Angie’s List, have a fully complete profile, pass a background check and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.

Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality. Members can find the 2013 Super Service Award logo next to company names in search results on AngiesList.com.
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Angie's List helps consumers have happy transactions with local service professionals in more than 720 categories of service, ranging from home improvement to healthcare. More than 2 million paid households use Angie's List to gain access to local ratings, exclusive discounts, the Angie’s List Magazine and the Angie's List complaint resolution service.

Review Date: October 01, 2013
Member:
Shama Manji
DULUTH, GA 30096
Categories:
Dentistry - Cosmetic
Dentistry - General
Evaluation Done:
Yes
* More Weight is given to a review when an evaluation has been completed.
Approx. Appointment Date:
September 19, 2013
Use this Provider Again:
Yes
Description of Experience:
Dr. Ali did a great job.  He implanted a tooth for me and fixed a crown.  He did the fillings of my cavities and explain to me how to take care of my implanted teeth in future.
Member Comments:
I was very worried as my half of the procedure was done in Pakistan but he coordinated with my back home dentist, ordered the parts for me and fixed them in a very comfortable way.
Review Date: July 17, 2013
Member:
Faith Casler
NATICK, MA 01760
Category:
Dentistry - General
Evaluation Done:
Yes
* More Weight is given to a review when an evaluation has been completed.
Approx. Appointment Date:
March 10, 2013
Last Modified Date:
July 23, 2013
Use this Provider Again:
Yes
Description of Experience:
Restoration of bridge.
Member Comments:
It was perfect!  Once again I will say that my experience with Wellesley Dental Group was outstanding.  As a client, from the minute you walk in the door to the minute your visit is complete, you are in a different type of practice....the courtesy, the care and most importantly the level of expertise and professionalism is always there..... the team works so well together you can't help but feel you are in the right place!
Overall A
Availability A
Office Environment A
Punctuality A
Staff Friendliness A
Bedside Manner A
Communication A
Effectiveness of Treatment A
Billing and Administration A
Review Date: July 15, 2013
Member:
Nancy Schneider
NEEDHAM, MA 02492
Category:
Dentistry - General
Evaluation Done:
Yes
* More Weight is given to a review when an evaluation has been completed.
Approx. Appointment Date:
May 06, 2013
Use this Provider Again:
Yes
Description of Experience:
I have an ongoing gum issue so I am getting my teeth cleaned every three months.
Member Comments:
They are wonderful and I have been with them for 10 years.
Overall A
Availability A
Office Environment A
Punctuality A
Staff Friendliness A
Bedside Manner A
Communication A
Effectiveness of Treatment A
Billing and Administration A
Review Date: June 11, 2013
Member:
Lois d'Annunzio
Plymouth, MA 02360
Category:
Dentistry - General
Evaluation Done:
Yes
* More Weight is given to a review when an evaluation has been completed.
Approx. Appointment Date:
June 10, 2013
Use this Provider Again:
Yes
Description of Experience:
Replaced all filling in front upper teeth.
Member Comments:
A non event. Pain free!  Enjoyed Pandora piped into office & just relaxed while he did his magic!
Overall A
Availability A
Office Environment A
Punctuality A
Staff Friendliness A
Bedside Manner A
Communication A
Effectiveness of Treatment A
Billing and Administration A
Review Date: June 04, 2013
Member:
Faith Casler
NATICK, MA 01760
Category:
Dentistry - General
Evaluation Done:
Yes
* More Weight is given to a review when an evaluation has been completed.
Approx. Appointment Date:
March 15, 2013
Use this Provider Again:
Yes
Description of Experience:
Routine check-up and cleaning.
Member Comments:
Always professional and very welcoming.  Outstanding work.  I would highly recommend them.  Very patient-oriented.
Overall A
Availability A
Office Environment A
Punctuality A
Staff Friendliness A
Bedside Manner A
Communication A
Effectiveness of Treatment A
Billing and Administration A

 

Decade-old ADA Oral Care Guidelines Overturn

February 13th, 2014

children dentist smile ada guidelinesAs the National Children'd Dental Health month is in full swing, new American Dental Association suggests parents using fluoride toothpaste for children as soon as their teeth come in.

Parents should use a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste to brush baby teeth twice daily as soon as they erupt, instead of waiting until children are older. That advice overturns the A.D.A.’s decades-old recommendation to start using a pea-size amount at 24 months. Once children are 3 to 6 years old, then the amount should be increased to a pea-size dollop, the updated guidelines say.

This change comes after a systematic review of 17 studies published in The Journal of the American Dental Association this month. It proves that fluoride toothpaste is effective in controlling tooth decay and that “the appropriate amount” should be used “by all children regardless of age.”

Dr. Jonathan Shenkin, a spokesman for the A.D.A. and a pediatric dentist in Augusta, Me says that only a tiny amount of toothpaste should be smeared on the brush since some youngsters are likely to ingest some of the fluoride. An early start is crucial, he mentioned, because children with dental decay are at greater risk of developing cavities as adults. “By starting earlier, we can effectively reduce a lifetime of disease for a lot of kids.”

The new A.D.A. guidelines stress that children should spit out toothpaste as soon as they are able, but not being able to spit does not preclude the use of a rice-grain-size bit of fluoride toothpaste. Dr. Shenkin has had some 5-year-old patients “still not using a fluoride toothpaste because parents don’t think they can spit it out yet.” The goal is to have parents monitor the amount of toothpaste and to assist in brushing. Children generally cannot properly brush until they have the dexterity to tie their shoes.

Helping your child develop beautiful pearly whites can take time and effort, but it will definitely be worth it! Oral hygiene doesn't begin when an individual ready to pick up a toothbrush, it starts right away! We have two excellent pediatric dentists, Dr. Kim or Dr.Pradhan, who would be more than happy to help your child. If you have more concerns about caring for baby teeth, 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. 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:
http://www.ada.org/9611.aspx
http://goo.gl/z1A7mU
http://goo.gl/JU1Pao

Valentine's Day Photo Contest - Win a Gift of a Brighter Smile!

February 10th, 2014

Hearts-icon copy

There is somebody in your life who makes you smile — your nephew, grandmother, classmate, best friend, girlfriend/boyfriend, your mailman, the guy who you order lunch from every day... Love is different for everyone!

 

This holiday week we encourage you to submit photos of your loved ones smiling and tell us what makes them happy. Tag us in your post on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, Instagram or Pinterest.
You can also post directly to those pages.
You can also email the photos to smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com (if you don't want to reveal your identity on social media, this is your option! Just give us the heads-up and we will not share your name).* 

Deadline: February 14, 11:59pm

 

You will be entered to win a FREE
Sinsational Whitening Certificate ($199 value)!

 

The winner will be selected in a blind drawing on Monday, February 17th.
 Must be 18 years of age and older to receive whitening treatment.

Love,
Wellesley Dental Group

*The entrees submitted via email may be featured on our social media on Valentine’s Day.

Toothache No More: First Aid and Prevention

February 9th, 2014

man toothacheToothaches occur when the extremely sensitive central portion of the tooth, called the pulp, becomes inflamed. This can happen for a variety of reasons: cavities, a blow to the tooth, or an infection of the gums. Read on for information on how to cure a toothache yourself or determine when it's time to go to the dentist.

[box] If you are hurting:[/box]

  • Take a painkiller. A recommended on the package dose of an over-the-counter painkiller will help to cut minor toothache. Tylenol, acetaminophen or ibuprofen (acetaminophen, if it is for a child age 2 or older) are among a few. Don't place aspirin or another painkiller directly against your gums, as it may burn your gum tissue.
  • Rinse with water. Salt water rinse is also recommended. Some of the bacteria that is causing pain will no longer linger in your mouth. A toothache caused by a blow to the tooth or a mild infection might go away on its own. To help it along, make a rinse with warm water and a spoonful of sea salt. When the salt dissolves, gargle the water in your mouth, making sure it splashes around the affected area. Repeat several times daily until the pain subsides.
  • Gently floss and brush. Removing particles of food stuck in between teeth might help relieve the pain. Make sure the floss goes up to your gums, gently move it back and forth across the tooth. If your ache is caused by gingivitis, brushing is one of the best ways to ease the pain. Brush your teeth for several minutes, concentrating on the painful area. Finish the cleaning by using mouthwash to rinse away dislodged particles.
  • Apply a cold compress. Fill a zip-lock bag with ice, cover it with a thin cloth and apply directly to the tooth or the cheek area. The lower temperature will diminish the pain. Do not apply an ice cube directly to the tooth as it may increase the pain, since the inflamed teeth are usually more sensitive to the temperature changes.
  • Numb the area (!). Get an over-the-counter tooth and gym numbing gel to relieve the throbbing for a few hours. Apply an OTC antiseptic containing benzocaine directly to the irritated tooth and gum. Benzocaine has been linked to a rare but serious, sometimes deadly, condition (methemoglobinemia) that decreases the amount of oxygen that the blood can carry. Don't use benzocaine in children younger than age 2 without supervision from a health care professional, because this age group has been the most affected. Never use more than the recommended dose of benzocaine.  
    • Apply clove oil. This is a home remedy that is said to numb the pain. Rub a few drops on the affected tooth several times daily until the ache goes away. Clove oil can be found at most drug stores.
    • Cotton ball with hard liquor. This time-worn home remedy is a useful trick when the ache is caused by a blow or a mild infection that will go away after a few days. Pour some whisky or vodka on a cotton ball and apply it to the affected tooth.
    • Teabag therapy. Place the tea bag in the microwave with water for 30 seconds. Then squeeze the water in it and bite the tea bag on the sore tooth. The way it is known to reduce swelling and relieve toothache.
    • Eat a lemon. Vitamin C in fruit is able to reduce the pain caused by a toothache.
    • Chew on garlic or shallots. Enzymes content in these two can help kill nasty germs in the mouth. So you will not only address a toothache but also eradicate germs, so double benefit!
    • Avoid sweet, spicy or hard-to-chew foods. Boiled eggs or vegetables are soft in texture and won't worsen your pain.

[box] Do I have to see a doctor?[/box]

If the toothache is caused by a major infection or tooth decay, it won't go away on its own. You should see a doctor or dentist if you experience the following symptoms along with the toothache. Don't worry, dentists these days take pride in making you feel comfortable and at easy while they take care of your dental problems.

  • Getting fever and chills. This could be a sign of a serious infection.
  • Discharge. You don't want to take the risk of the infection getting worse.
  • Pain gets worse and doesn't go away after 1-2 days. This can be cause by a cavity that is getting worse with every meal. In any case, this is a sign that you have to make an appointment with a doctor.
  • Trouble swallowing or breathing. The answer is - you have to get professional dental help.
  • The pain is in the wisdom tooth. Sometimes wisdom teeth grow at an angle that crowds other teeth in the mouth and need to be extracted or otherwise taken care of.

[box] Why is this happening to me?[/box]

There are numerous reasons why you have a toothache or sometimes a headache, associated with it. Most of the time, cracked teeth, cavities, exposed roots and nerves cause these issues. In rare cases, the cause of a toothache could be more serious. Infections in the ears and sinuses and even heart disease can result in infections that make your tooth or mouth hurt. However, the most common cause of toothaches in patients today is a simple dental cavity. Among the other few reasons are: poor dental hygiene, gum sensitivity, incorrect brushing techniques (too aggressive), etc.

[box] I don't want any toothache, thank you very much![/box]

  • Develop/maintain good oral hygiene habits. Gently brush your teeth twice a day, in circular motions, at a 45 degree angle. Cover all the surfaces of your teeth. Change your toothbrush every 6 months, don't use one that has hard bristles. Floss before you brush, rinse with mouthwash for about a minute after you brush. 
  • See a dentist at least once a year. Early detection of problems = less pain. Visit a doctor if you've got a case of:
    • Red, tender or swollen gums
    • Gums that bleed when you brush or floss
    • Gums that begin pulling away from your teeth
    • Loose permanent teeth
    • Changes in the way your top and bottom teeth align with each other
    • Unusual sensitivity to hot and cold
    • Persistent bad breath or an unusual taste in your mouth
  • Enjoy desserts/coffee/tea/wine/soda responsibly and in moderation. After you do consume any of the above-mentioned, have a glass of water.
  • Don't use your teeth as a tool. Crushing ice in your mouth, using teeth as an bottle opener or scissors (ripping tags off and opening sealed bags) can result in a chipped or cracked tooth.
  • Use a straw if you drink soda. Carbonation and the sugar are not friendly towards tooth enamel, protect it by drinking through a straw.
  • Getting a mouth guard if necessary. Grinding your teeth caused by stress or anxiety can be helped by getting an over-the-counter mouth guard or a better fitted one at a dental office. You can as well introduce activities that help you relax and re-purpose the nervous energy to your regimen.

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   References:

http://goo.gl/kp7iwK; http://goo.gl/bPRUkv; http://goo.gl/mxz3CF; http://goo.gl/ARS45; http://goo.gl/LCX0hZ

Children Skipping Breakfast Are at a Higher Risk of Cavities

February 3rd, 2014

smiling girl

The late morning rush to school many families experience and/or lack of food due to insufficient funds that often results in children not eating breakfast is detrimental to their oral health. When children, particularly preschoolers, miss out on breakfast their chances of having tooth decay rises, according to a study in a journal issue in Journal of the American Dental Association conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study focused on the association between healthy eating habits, including eating breakfast and having healthy balanced meals, as well as cavities in the primary teeth of more than 4,000 preschoolers among the age of two to five years old.

Researchers who conducted the study determined that children in this age group who skip breakfast are about four times more likely to develop cavities.  Also, children who do not eat the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables per day are three times as likely to get cavities.

Young children will have a reduced risk of getting cavities if healthy eating practices are established. Emphasizing the importance of eating breakfast daily will not only promote oral health, but also reduce tooth decay in children.

It is also important to be careful about the foods you choose to consume for breakfast. There are many beneficial snacks and breakfast foods that can help stimulate a healthy atmosphere in your mouth. Healthy teeth are a result of consuming healthy foods and drinks such as milk, green tea, yogurt, raisins, cheese, and crunchy fruits and vegetables. Also, drinks with calcium not only strengthen bones, but also ensure healthy teeth.

Drs. Ali & Ali and their team at Wellesley Dental Group will be more than happy to answer your questions, thoughts, or concerns about oral health or the significance of a healthy breakfast. Feel free to contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com.

References:

http://www.webmd.com/parenting/news/20040116/eating-breakfast-may-prevent-cavities

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/01/040115080612.htm

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/01/11/food-for-teeth_n_1200301.html

Maternal Smoking Can Cause Cleft-Lip in Babies

January 29th, 2014

pregnant womanIn the United States alone, there is a 1/750 chance that a baby is born with isolated, also called non-syndromic, cleft lip and/or palate. While this condition can be corrected through various surgeries, families of the child with this condition can be inundated both emotionally and economically. Throughout the world, there are about 12 million women each year who smoke through pregnancies. About one in every 600 U.S. babies is born with a cleft lip and/or palate. The American Journal of Human Genetics published results from a study done at the University of Iowa demonstrating that if a pregnant woman smokes 16 cigarettes or more per day, the chances of her GSTT1-lacking fetus developing a cleft increase 20 fold.

Researchers at the University of Iowa have found through an international study that some babies are predisposed to cleft lip and/or palate because of their inability to detoxify and process cigarette smoke. The study showed that the fetuses lacking both copies of a gene used to thwart the smoke and have mothers who smoked during pregnancy had a greater risk of developing cleft lip. These scientists have compiled a last of 16 genes that are directly related in cigarette smoke toxicity and determined whether variations of these genes would influence a baby’s ability to remove the toxins. The researchers found that the GSTT1 gene made a significant contribution to clefting; this gene is responsible for 20 different enzymes in the body, specifically essential for common detoxification processes. The study also found that 60 percent of babies with Asian ancestry and 25 percent of babies of European ancestry do not possess copies of the gene called GSTT1. Without this gene, the baby is unable to eliminate the toxins from the smoke that has been spread across the placenta.

During any stage of life, it is always important to make healthy choices. A poor health decision is not always specific to one location in the body, but can very well affect many different areas of the body. 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.

Ref: http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/ADA/2007/article/ADA-03-Mom-Smoking-Cleft-Lip.cvsp

http://www.nih.gov/news/pr/jan2007/nidcr-03.htm

The Dangers of Food Coloring

January 27th, 2014

Soda bubblesNot only do sodas contain excessive amounts of sugar and high levels of acidity, but also carcinogens!

A chemical present in many sodas of golden-brown color may be dangerous to your health. "Caramel coloring" or 4-methylimidazole may cause cancer, says he World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer.

The state of California supports that opinion and limits manufacturers to 29 micrograms of exposure for the average consumer per day. The products that exceed that limit have to have a warning label that reads: "WARNING: This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer."

Unfortunatelly, a lot of companies do not strickly abide by this standard and add the warning, including Pepsi ("Pepsi One") or Goya ("Malta").

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) doesn't set federal limits on 4-Mel in food, which means that in some cases consumers outside California end up drinking a drink with a higher concentration of the chemical. For instance, Pepsi One purchased by the Consumer Reports group in New York contained 4 times as much 4-Mel as the same drink bought in Califonia same month.

Consumers interested in more information on 4-Mel can check out the FDA's FAQ page.

Ref.: http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/23/health/consumer-reports-soda-caramel-coloring/

Img: http://goo.gl/6kMlZK

Chewing May Prevent Memory Loss

January 23rd, 2014

older lady teethAccording to research, chewing stimulates the mind and can lower the stress levels. Just remember to opt for the sugar-free gym!

When new memories are received, they are stored in an area associated with learning, known as the hippocampus. As individuals grow older, it is more likely that some will begin to experiences deterioration of hippocampal cells, leading to a loss of cognitive functions, including memory, problem solving and decision-making. Research shows that there is a connection between lack of teeth and loss of cognitive function, leading to a higher risk of memory loss.

Japanese researchers led by Gifu University School of Medicine’s Dr. Minuro Onozuka have genetically manipulated laboratory mice to age prematurely. When this occurred, mice shows signs of aging, including cataracts, hair loss and failing memory. Scientists then had the molar teeth extracted from the mice to keep them from chewing; these mice were placed in a water maze in order to locate a hidden platform. While young mice were able recall the specified location in a water maze, old mice that had their molars taken out were unable to find the location, and constantly went in the wrong direction. The scientists then examined the hippocampus of the old mice and found that cells within the hippocampus, known as glia, had worsened more than usual.

Dr. Onozuka was able to show that chew seems to stimulate the mind, increasing hippocampal signals during activity. The action of chewing actually sends a signal to the hippocampus, which ends up lessening the stress hormone levels in the blood. When older people chew less, their stress levels tend to rise, which can lead to a decline in short-term memory. While research has found a correlation between teeth and memory, it does not mean that they are linked, having a causal effect. However, scientists recommend that individuals chew often, releasing the build up of stress and optimizing the activity of hippocampal signals.

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://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/670612.stm

Is a Dental Visit Every 6 Months Still the Standard?

January 16th, 2014

Dental Check UpDentists have long been asking patients to come in for a checkup every six months, setting this as the golden standard. However, new studies show that those who have high risk factors of developing periodontal disease may need to schedule preventive visits more often.

The Journal of Dental Research looked at insurance claims data for 5,117 adults mainly located in Michigan, and compared tooth extractions to the patient’s history of one or two dental visits, also with respect to his or her risk of periodontal disease. High-risk patients have a history of smoking and diabetes, or variations in the interleukin-1 gene, which research has shown to be a link to periodontal disease in Caucasians. Subjects that were characterized as low-risk patients did not have any of these risk factors. It was found that there was no significant difference in tooth loss between low-risk patients that either went in for a checkup once or twice a year. However, among the high-risk subjects, 17% of patients who followed the suggested biannual dental visits still had tooth extractions, while 22% of high-risk patients who went in once a year had their tooth extracted.

Doctors now believe that it is important for high-risk patients to make more frequent visits; the published findings suggest that the number of dental visits should be customized, fitting individual’s needs. However, doctors stress that these results do not indicate that patients don’t need to see dentists at all; they just need to be aware of their susceptibility to periodontal disease and go in for checkups accordingly. Low-risk individuals should still come in for checkups regularly to make sure good oral health is maintained. 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:

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/06/10/rethinking-the-twice-yearly-dentist-visit/?ref=health

http://www.iuasda.org/2013/06/12/new-study-claims-little-evidence-supports-twice-yearly-dental-visits-for-preventive-care/

Cutting Back on Chewing Gum May Mean Less Headaches!

January 9th, 2014

headacheWhether it’s fighting bad breath, quenching a dry mouth, or even just for some good bubble popping, making a grab for a stick of gum has become almost an afterthought.

However, recent research indicates that chewing gum may actually be the culprit behind headaches. Dr. Nathan Watemberg of Tel Aviv University’s research demonstrated that teenagers and even younger children who regularly chew gum ended up with reoccurring headaches. 

When patients are treated for migraines and tension headaches, there is usually additional testing or medication prescribed to determine the cause of pain. Dr. Watemberg stated that out of the 30 patients that decided to stop gum chewing, 26 found a significant improvement and 19 of them had found that their headache had left completely. Dr. Watemberg then took a step further and asked twenty of his patients to go back to gum chewing, and within a couple days, all of them reported that the pain had come back.

Headaches have been known to be a common and reoccurring problem throughout childhood, especially in teenage girls. Past research have shown that these headaches can be set off by a range of stressors, including lack of sleep, tiredness, missed meals, noise, and menstruation, and even video games! But little research has put gum chewing in the spotlight.

Previous studies that have linked gum chewing to headaches offer various explanations; however, Dr. Watemberg believes that the amount of chewing can cause significant stress on the temporomandibular joint, TMJ, which is the area where the jaw meets the skull. Many people tend to continue to chew their gum even after the taste is gone, which then continues to put stress on the TMJ. Dr. Watemberg believes if children and teenagers should consider limiting the amount of gum they chew, they will be drastically less susceptible to the headaches that plague their age group.

Whether you are in your adolescent years are well past your teenage years, it’s still important to consider the stress that is placed daily on the TMJ. When it’s up to the third stick of gum for the day, think of your TMJ and maybe it’ll save you from that reoccurring migraine! If you have any more questions, feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questionsContact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation. 

 

References:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131219130937.htm
http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/temporomandibular-disorders
http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/12/how-chewing-gum-can-cause-headaches/282569/

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