heart problems

Benefits of Living Near Trees

April 28th, 2016

It's spring, which means it's a great time to spend some time relaxing in the sun and admiring the beauty of nature.

Did you know that living near trees is proven to benefit our overall health? According to a recent study published in the journal Scientific Reports and conducted by University of Chicago psychologist Omid Kardan and his research team, nature can improve both cognitive and psychological aspects of our health.

This team of researchers examined the connection between the health records of more than 30,000 Toronto residents and Toronto's dataset of around 530,000 public, urban trees with the addition of private greenspace measured by satellites. The public tree data was grouped in terms of location, species, and diameter. The health records included self-reports and cases of cancer, diabetes, mental health problems, and heart problems. Although self-perceptions can be subjective, Marc Berman, co-author of the study and psychologist at the University of Chicago, says that they are mostly similar to objective measures of health.

Berman also noted that the public trees had the strongest impact on health. After comparing the effect that trees have on health to other factors such as wealth and age, the researchers discovered that adding 10 trees in an urban block can improve one's perception of health in similar ways to increasing one's income by $10,000, living in a neighborhood that has a median income higher by $10,000, or being younger by seven years! The study also concluded that trees not only improve self-perceptions, but also cardio-metabolic conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and obesity.

Although these findings are powerful, they are "correlational," and therefore do not directly prove that trees cause better overall health. However, that doesn't mean that there aren't possible explanations. For instance, another study has shown that urban trees can remove ozone and pollution from the air and therefore improve the quality of air and protect people from these dangerous substances. Furthermore, Berman believes greenery is associated with a reduction of stress and increased motivation to exercise. Stress can lead to problems such as bruxism (grinding teeth and jaw clenching), gum disease, and canker sores, so trees can improve oral health as well!

Therefore, if you plan on moving to a new neighborhood, make sure to add "lots of trees" to your checklist!

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:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/07/09/scientists-have-discovered-that-living-near-trees-is-good-for-your-health/

http://www.nature.com/articles/srep11610

http://www.fs.fed.us/ne/newtown_square/publications/other_publishers/OCR/ne_2006_nowak001.pdf

https://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/stressed_out.html

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

 

A Healthy Smile = A Healthy Start to 2016

January 13th, 2016

 

It's the beginning of 2016 and a great time to make some resolutions for the new year! If staying healthy is one of your resolutions this year, make sure to add "excellent oral health" to the list as well. Dr. Nathan Pfister, a biological dentist in Alabama, claims that dental health and overall health influence each other in many ways.

Dr. Pfister recognizes the fact that dental bacteria and oral inflammation are connected to many medical conditions such as memory disorders, Alzheimer's, heart problems, diabetes, and stroke. Therefore, he connects the diet and oral health habits of his patients by observing plaque samples with a microscope. This way, Dr.Pfister can determine whether dental issues are caused by poor oral hygiene habits, an unbalanced diet, or a medical problem.

There is even further evidence of the strong connection between dentistry and medicine in a study published in the journal of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. According to this study, there is also a link between periodontal or chronic inflammatory gum disease (which can vary based on smoking habits) and an increased risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. Professor Jo L. Freudenheim, PhD, of the University at Buffalo's School of Public Health and Health Professions adds that this common disease is associated with heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and other cancers.

Out of the 73,737 postmenopausal women (none of whom were previously diagnosed with cancer) who participated in the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study led by Professor Freudenheim, 26.1% had periodontal disease. 6.7 years later, the women with this disease had a 14% higher risk of breast cancer.

Possible explanations for the connection between breast cancer and periodontal disease include the effect of inflammation on breast tissues and oral bacteria entering the circulatory system. Professor Freudenheim claims that more studies need to be conducted in other populations in order to determine if there is a causal relationship between oral bacteria and breast cancer.

Feel free to contact Dr. Zarah Ali and Drs. Ali & 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:

https://www.sweet-cures.com/naturalhealth/images/healthy-teeth.jpg (photo credit)

http://www.aacr.org/Newsroom/Pages/News-Release-Detail.aspx?ItemID=823#.VosbDPkrLIV

http://www.dothaneagle.com/news/local/biological-dentist-takes-unconventional-approach-to-oral-health/article_d7c75fcc-a8e0-11e5-808c-3feb679bfe4c.html

Diabetes and Oral Health

June 29th, 2012

Although good oral health is important for all people, diabetics need to be extra vigilant when it comes to monitoring their mouths. Having a thorough understanding of oral care and things to look for will help ensure a healthy smile.

Gum disease is a common thing to happen to diabetics. This is when dental plaque has been sitting too long on teeth without being properly removed. Over time, gums can become inflamed and gingivitis could result. Symptons of this include red, swollen gums and bleeding when brushing.

Diabetics are also more likely to spread infections throughout their body due to the elevated blood sugar levels.  An easy way to help prevent this is keeping your glucose levels under control. However, the body's natural defense mechanism in the presence of an infection is to raise blood sugar.

Visiting the dentist on a regular basis is an easy way to help maintain your oral health. This keeps your dentist on top of any problems that may be developing. Another major thing to be aware of is heart problems. Cholesterol build up in the bloodstream can happen as well.

You can read more about diabetes and oral health care here. Also, Drs. Ali and Ali would be more than happy to answer any questions and concerns you may have regarding diabetes care. Contact us at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com!

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