healthy diet

Is Your Body Trying to ask for Vitamins and Minerals?

April 8th, 2019

It's been ingrained in us that a healthy and well-balanced diet is necessary for normal daily functioning and growth. However, it may not be that simple to realize when we're deficient in certain vitamins and minerals, even when we're eating healthy! Vitamins and minerals play a major role in carrying out the normal functions of our bodies, including synthesizing  tissues, removing waste products, and being necessary precursors for enzymes. Therefore, deficiencies can result in several health problems, so it is important to know what signs to look for in order to meet the body's needs! For instance, oral signs such as burning tongue and mouth sores, feeling tired after a good night's rest, having a pale appearance, or brittle fingernails can all be signs of particular nutrient deficiencies. In fact, it has been reported that when the proper nutrients are not consumed in adequate amounts, both physical and mental issues such as skin problems, bone abnormalities, and even dementia could be negative consequences.

Take a look at the signs of various vitamin deficiencies and how to make these symptoms improve or be gone altogether:

Severe hair loss

If you notice that you are losing more than the typical 100 strands of hair a day, this could be a sign of a deficiency in the minerals iron and zinc, in addition to the fatty acids linoleum acid and alpha-linolenic acid, and vitamins such as biotin (Vitamin B7) and Niacin (Vitamin B3):

  • Iron is necessary for the production of DNA, which is present in hair follicles.
  • Zinc is needed for the synthesis of proteins necessary for hair growth.
    • A deficiency in both iron and zinc can lead to hair loss or cause the hair to stop growing. A diet rich in meat, fish, eggs, legumes, dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds and whole grains can help manage a deficiency in iron and zinc.
  • Linoleic acid (LA) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) are integral to hair growth.
    • A diet comprising leafy vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and vegetable oils all offer a source of LA. ALA can be found in chia seeds and soy nuts.
  • Niacin (vitamin B3): Niacin is needed for keeping healthy strong hair.
  • Biotin (vitamin B7): Biotin helps form thick hair and stimulates hair growth.
    • Meat, fish, dairy, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds and leafy greens are rich in both niacin and biotin.

You may notice that there are also a lot of supplements advertised for hair loss prevention that include these nutrients. These supplements should be taken at the discretion of your health care provider, as there is limited research on their effects.

Brittle nails

A sign of brittle or splitting nails could be your body telling you that it is in need of iron or biotin.

  • Iron: In addition to brittle nails, a deficiency in iron can include fatigue, pale skin, chest pain, constant sensation of cold, inflamed or sore tongue, and dizziness just to name a few.
    • Iron-rich foods include in meat, poultry, seafood, and spinach.
  • Biotin: biotin deficiencies are rare, but can present as brittle hair or nails, in addition to fatigue, and muscle pain. Risk factors of a biotin deficiency include pregnancy, smoking, alcoholism, Crohn's disease, and individuals on some anti-seizure medications or prolonged antibiotic use. Consumption of raw egg whites can also lead to a deficiency in biotin because  the protein avidin within raw egg whites reduces the absorption of biotin.
    •  Egg yolks, organ meats, fish, meat, dairy, nuts, seeds, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, yeast, whole grains and bananas are good sources of biotin.

Mouth ulcers or cracks in the corners of the mouth

Mouth ulcers, also known as canker sores, and cracking around the corners of the mouth have been linked to deficiencies including iron, B1, B2, B6 and B12.

  • Iron
  • Thiamin (Vitamin B1) plays a role in maintining the nervous system and the release of energy from food.
  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) helps keep the skin, eyes and nervous system healthy, and helps the body release energy from food.
  • Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6) is responsible for the storage of protein and carbohydrates absorbed from food, and the formation of hemoglobin in red blood cells. A deficiency in B6 is typically rare.
    • Thiamin, riboflavin and pyridoxine can all be found in whole grains, poultry, meat, fish, eggs, dairy, organ meats, legumes, green vegetables, starchy vegetables, nuts and seeds.

In addition, cracking at the corners of the mouth could be caused by angular cheilitis (inflammation and an accumulation of microorganisms, particularly Candida albicans, at the corners of the mouth).

Bleeding Gums

Bleeding gums could be a result of several things, including gingivitis due to bacterial plaque, medications, brushing technique, and poor diet or oral hygiene habits. In addition, it could be due to a lack of vitamin C in your diet.

  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C plays a role in healing wounds, your immunity, and also helps prevent cell damage. If the deficiency is severe, the condition known as scurvy could develop. Symptoms of scurvy include tooth loss, weakness, fatigue, and muscle soreness.
    • Citrus fruit, guava, kiwi, broccoli, dark green leafy vegetables (broccoli, spinach, lettuce, kale), berries, tomatoes, cabbage, and brussel sprouts all are sources of Vitamin C.

Burning tongue

The sensation of a burning tongue or feet could be a result of a deficiency in Vitamin B12.

  • Vitamin B12: B12 is known to help produce hemoglobin in red blood cells, and is also needed for the proper function of the digestive system. Vegans are at an increased risk of B12 deficiency because meats and dairy products are common sources of good amounts of B12. Signs of a deficiency in vitamin B12 often include damage to your nervous system, memory changes, and can sometimes mimic anemia.
    • Vitamin B12 an be found in meats, shellfish, poultry, fish, dairy, almond milk, nutritional yeast, and fortified soy and coconut milk.

Muscle cramps

If you notice that you begin having muscle cramps, your body could be craving potassium. A deficiency in potassium is typically caused by loss of fluid (excessive sweat, vomit, diarrhea).

  • Potassium: Potassium is known to help build muscle and protein.
    • A good source of potassium can be found in sweet potatoes, bananas, avocados, and coconut water.

 

So, you may be wondering, "will dietary supplements help get me all of the nutrients I need?" The best way to ensure that you are getting adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals is to make sure your diet includes each major food group, rather than relying only on dietary supplements. Some individuals may be lacking certain vitamins or minerals due to an underlying medical condition. Be sure to have your regular check-ups with your primary care physician so that the proper diagnoses and treatment can be made.

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

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

References:

https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/1101051/vitamin-deficiency-symptoms-B12-D-signs-tiredness-hair-loss-mouth-ulcers

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-deficiency#section1

https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2016/08/22/the-common-signs-of-vitamin-and-mineral-deficiencies_a_21456849/

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September Is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

September 5th, 2018

What is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month?

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

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

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

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

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

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

References:

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

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

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Do you like a lot of sauce on your food? Here's how your teeth are taking it

April 1st, 2018

It’s hard to resist dipping french fries in ketchup, adding a extra dressing on salad, or smothering steak in steak sauce. After all, all we crave is a little added taste for our food. Ketchup is basically crushed tomatoes, right? Actually, one bottle of ketchup contains approximately 33 teaspoons of sugar! 

One of the main reasons why sauce is unhealthy and bad for your teeth is due to the added sugars and acidity of the sauces. The acid weakens your enamel, while the added sugars feed bacteria in your mouth. Both of these elements ultimately result in an increased prevalence of cavities. In addition to the negative effects on your oral health, the added calories in sauce on your food is also not ideal for maintaining a healthy diet.

Sometimes it is hard to interpret how much sugar is in a sauce (or any other food at that) by just reading the grams off of the nutritional label. There are tools you can use on your smartphone or computer that let you see how many tablespoons of sugar are in foods.

TIPS:

-Always use sauce in your foods in moderation.

-Brush your teeth after meals, or at least after you’ve had a heavy meal.

-Read nutritional labels on food packaging and watch out for how many grams of sugar are in it.

 

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

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

 

References:

http://www.sugarstacks.com/sauces.htm

http://www.happilyunprocessed.com/2014/10/09/shocking-sugar-finds/

 

Pumpkin, Spice, and Everything Nice!

October 22nd, 2015

It’s that spooky time of year again! With Halloween around the corner, pumpkins are back in season. Many individuals only think of pumpkins as decorative jack-o’-lanterns and the tasty addition to a thanksgiving dinner. From pumpkin pies to pumpkin spice lattes, the options are endless! However, did you know that these huge orange fruits, as well as the seeds within them contain an abundance of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals? Pumpkins are considered one of nature's top nutritional foods. Pumpkins are a rich source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin B5, essential fatty acids, fiber, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and iron. Not only do these nutrients help protect skin and fight off disease, but they also help prevent cavities and tooth decay!

It is important to remember that a healthy diet is essential in maintaining a healthy mouth and body. Luckily, pumpkin seeds make great nutritional snacks! Pumpkin seeds do not require refrigeration and are easy to pack in your child's lunchbox or throw in a Ziploc bag.

In addition to keeping your teeth strong and healthy, here are few reasons you should indulge in the delicious taste of pumpkin throughout the year:

Pumpkins keep your skin youthful.

Pumpkins are rich in Vitamin A, which helps increase the rate of cell renewal and the production of collagen to keep your skin smooth and soft. In addition, pumpkins are packed with essential fatty acids that help diminish wrinkles. Vitamin E and Beta-carotenes found in pumpkins also helps promotes skin health.

Pumpkins defend against disease.

According to the National Cancer Institute, it is estimated that up to 30 percent of all cancers can be prevented by a healthy diet, including a diet that's rich in carotene. Merely a 1/2 cup serving of pumpkin fulfills the recommended intake of alpha-carotene and beta-carotene!

Pumpkins aid vision and provide UV protection.

Similar to carrots, the beta-carotenes gives pumpkin its' bright orange color, as well as protection against sun damage. Further, according to the National Institutes of Health, a cup of cooked pumpkin has more than 200 percent of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin A, which aids vision.

Pumpkins can help you process information more efficiently. 

Zinc and omega-3 fatty acids found in pumpkins can help promote healthy bone density and even sharpen your brain skills.

Pumpkins aid weight loss.

Pumpkins are rich in fiber and low in calories! Fiber helps aid gastrointestinal health, weight-loss, and balanced cholesterol levels.

Pumpkins may reduce the risk of cancer.

According to the National Cancer Institute, a diet rich in foods containing the antioxidant beta-carotene may play a role in cancer prevention and protect against heart disease.

Pumpkins can help refuel your body after exercise.

Like bananas, a cup of cooked pumpkin contains an ample amount of potassium, which helps restore electrolytes after a hard workout and keeps your muscles operating efficiently.

As you carve your pumpkin, keep the insides and the seeds for a nutritious treat! Eating pumpkin seeds is an easy way to consume many nutrients vital to your overall health. Even though fresh pumpkins are in season in the fall, freezing pumpkin seeds or purchasing canned pumpkin or pumpkin seed oil is a good alternative for enjoying pumpkin throughout the year.

Don't forget, our Annual Candy Drive is shortly after Halloween! Make sure that your school is involved for a chance to win a grand prize of $1000 for your school's PTO. At our office (5 Seaward, Wellesley) we are collecting candy donations and hand-written cards for the troops from Nov. 1-Nov.5th. Please join us Nov. 5th at 10AM at the office for our big kickoff event. We're so excited, as this year's drive is bigger and better!

For more info on the Candy Drive and photos from previous events, like our Facebook page.

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. 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.

References:

http://www.completelyyou.com/feature/food/pumpkin_health_benefits/index.html#.VDwYg144LSP

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/09/30/pumpkin-seed-benefits.aspx

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/04/pumpkin-health-benefits_n_1936919.html

http://urbanext.illinois.edu/pumpkins/nutrition.cfm

http://dianadishes.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/garlic-worcestershire-pumpkin-seeds-1280x857.jpg

 

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

References:

http://lacunaloft.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Kids-Yoga-Portrait.jpg

http://awomanshealth.com/stress-and-oral-health/

http://yoganonymous.com/practice-for-the-teeth-3-ways-yoga-improves-dental-health

http://www.medicinenet.com/temporomandibular_joint_syndrome_tmj/article.htm

http://www.yogajournal.com/article/health/count-yoga-38-ways-yoga-keeps-fit/

The "Tooth" of the Matter: Is It a Big Deal to Have Missing Teeth?

October 11th, 2014

As a child, losing teeth is often a right of passage. However, losing teeth as an adult can be unexpected and devastating.

If teeth are missing, especially towards the back of the mouth where you cannot see, does it really matter? The answer is: Yes, it definitely does! According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, the average individual in America between the ages of 20 and 64 has three or more decayed or missing teeth, and these teeth tend to be the back teeth (the molars). A common misconception is that there is no need to replace missing teeth, particularly if they are not noticeable.

Yet, the reality is that missing teeth can cause many oral health problems down the road. Replacing missing teeth is an investment that will save you from having to have additional dental treatments.

There are often social and emotional costs of missing teeth. For many individuals with missing teeth, gaps in a smile can be uncomfortable and may even lead them to smiling less and refraining from laughing. A smile can improve the quality of one’s life and is therefore important to keep full and healthy!

However, the detrimental effects of tooth loss aren’t just aesthetics; bone loss plays a major role in the health of your mouth. Even if you can't see the empty space where the tooth once was, the bone in your jaw is “aware” of its absence. When a tooth is lost, the area of the jawbone where the tooth is missing no longer receives nutrients or stimulation from the tooth roots, causing the bone to gradually deteriorate with time. Also, remaining teeth may shift and reposition in the mouth, which can negatively impact other teeth and your bite. As teeth drift, they create differences in the height and curves of the gum tissue that expose adjacent teeth to a greater risk of  periodontal disease and tooth decay from the accumulation of food and plaque in these hard-to-reach areas. The repositioning of teeth can even change the contours of the face and lips. Bone loss in the jaw causes the face to shrink, exaggerating the appearance of aging.

Furthermore, teeth are essential for eating and speaking. Missing teeth impairs your ability to enjoy foods important for a healthy diet, including crunchy fruits and vegetables. If missing teeth are not replaced, chewing can become challenging and painful.

No need to worry! Fortunately, dental implants can prevent these issues and keep tooth loss from becoming bone loss.?? Implants help keep bone strong and functional. It involves a titanium metal implant that is placed under the gum line, and a customized crown restoration, which is implanted in a minor surgical procedure. Since implants become bonded to the living bone, you can speak and eat comfortably without worrying about the tooth coming out of place. In addition to looking and feeling like your natural teeth, implants help stimulate your jawbone to help maintain the supporting bone structure that would otherwise start to deteriorate after losing teeth.

If you have lost a tooth, it is crucial to act sooner rather than later. A complete set of teeth, even if they aren’t your original teeth, typically coincides with good health and confidence. It is important to practice good oral health care habits and to visit the dentist for regular cleanings and checkups.

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.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/m/missing-teeth

http://www.osseo.org/NEWtoothReplacement.html

http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/DataStatistics/FindDataByTopic/DentalCaries/DentalCariesAdults20to64.htm

http://dentistinjuarez.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/dental-implants.jpg

 

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