high blood pressure

Robbed of a Good Night's Rest?

August 10th, 2019

Sleep is an important part of each day, so much so that the effects of a restless night can change the entire productivity of our next day! Unfortunately, many people suffer from sleeping disorders. In fact, nearly 70 million adults in the United States have a sleeping disorder, the most common of which is sleep apnea. According to the National Sleep Foundation, a whopping 18 million adults in America have sleep apnea. So, what exactly is sleep apnea? There are two main types to know about:

  • The most common form, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), is a condition involving involuntary temporary interruptions in breaths for at least ten seconds at a time due to upper airway blockage. This causes a disrupted sleeping pattern and low blood oxygen levels, which can contribute to several health issues.
  • Central sleep apnea is much less common and is characterized by failure of the brain to signal the necessary muscles involved in breathing.

As a result of the interrupted breathing pattern, individuals with sleep apnea often produce snoring and choking sounds throughout the night. You may be wondering, what’s the big deal about having sleep apnea? Sleep apnea does not only just interrupt your night’s rest, it can also put you at a higher risk of developing many conditions, including high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, depression, and worsening of ADHD.

Who does sleep apnea affect?

Obstructive sleep apnea can impact people of all ages and any gender, however, there are some factors that can place some people at higher risk. This includes people 40 years of age and older, smokers, heavy alcohol users, males, African Americans, those who have a family history of sleep apnea, and individuals suffering from obesity, sinus problems, or allergies. Your anatomy also plays a role in your risk of developing sleep apnea. People with nasal septum deviations, a thicker neck, narrow throat, large tongue, small jaw, or enlarged tonsils are at higher risk of sleep apnea.

If you think you have sleep apnea or have been told that you may have sleep apnea by your doctor, don’t worry! Sleep apnea can be treated, and Wellesley Dental Group’s very own Dr. Emad Abdallah can help you conquer sleep-disordered breathing!  Dr. Emad Abdallah received his doctorate, certificate in orthodontics, and Master of Science in temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ) and orofacial pain from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. Don't be robbed of a good night's sleep, contact us today!

Stay tuned to our social media accounts including FacebookLinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter for more sleep-related posts!

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

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist, Dr. Derek, and Dr. Emad is happy to help with your TMJ and orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs, Dr. Stephens would love to help, and our gum-specialist Dr. Singh can help with your gum-related concerns.

References:

https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-apnea

https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/s/sleep-apnea-and-snoring

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/respiratory-conditions/is-sleep-apnea-or-snoring-robbing-you-from-your-sleep-0713

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Protect your Heart by Keeping your Natural Teeth

September 17th, 2018

Who would have guessed that taking care of your teeth could mean simultaneously taking care of your heart? Probably not many people. However, according to research presented at the American Heart Association's Epidemiology and Prevention/Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health Scientific Sessions, there has been a link found between cardiovascular disease and losing two or more teeth during middle age.

More researchers are finding significant evidence that your oral health is associated with the overall health of your body. For instance, oral health problems including gum disease involve the body's inflammatory response, which is often associated with other chronic inflammatory diseases such as diabetes. More recently, studies have found that dental health problems are connected with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

A study conducted by Tulane University School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine, and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health looked at tooth loss in a large group of adults aged 45 to 69 years without cardiovascular disease. Participants were asked to document the number of natural teeth they had and to report any recent tooth loss. The participants were tracked over a 8 year period for the occurrence of tooth loss, and over 12-18 years for the incidence of cardiovascular disease among people without tooth loss, with one tooth lost, and with two or more teeth lost. The results revealed that participants with 25-32 natural teeth at the beginning of the study who lost two or more teeth had a 23% increased risk of having cardiovascular disease when compared to those who did not lose any teeth. Participants who had less than 17 teeth at the beginning of the study had a slightly higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease (25%). Not to mention, all participants who lost two or more teeth throughout the study, regardless of number of teeth at the start of the study, had a 16% increased risk of cardiovascular disease. The increased risk percentages were found despite other cardiovascular risks including diet, physical activity, weight, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

It is important to take care of your oral health by brushing and flossing regularly, as well as scheduling regular dental check-ups. This particularly rings true as we continue to age. Saving your teeth can help save your heart in the long run! So, be sure not to forget the popular saying, "You don't have to brush all of your teeth, only the ones you want to keep!"

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.

Also, be sure to mark your calendars for our Community Blood Donation drive with the American Red Cross and the Wellesley Community Center on Wednesday September 26th, 2018 from 1:00 pm-6:00 pm. The blood drive will be located at the Wellesley Community Center (219 Washington Street, Wellesley, MA 02482). For more info, please click here.

References:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180321162302.htm

https://www.heart.org

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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 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

 

March 6-13: National Sleep Awareness Week

March 8th, 2016

Have you been getting 7-9 hours of sleep every night? If not, make sure to add "better sleep" to your goals this month, because March 6-13 is the National Sleep Foundation's National Sleep Awareness Week! Check out this list of tips and the 2016 SAW Infographic.

In order to get a good night's sleep, here are some recommendations from the National Sleep Foundation:

  • Turn off electronics such as mobile devices and laptops (which give off blue light that can prevent you from falling asleep) before going to sleep.
  • Schedule enough hours of sleep. Plan ahead and stick with the same schedule.
  • Even a little exercise can mean better sleep.
  • Create a sleep-friendly environment (a comfortable bed, closed curtains, no loud noises, etc.).
  • Have a bedtime routine (relaxing exercises, deep breathing, light reading, calming music, etc.).

You may think that missing a few hours of sleep is no big deal, but the quality and quantity of sleep you get can have a huge impact (both short-term and long-term) your overall health. Still not convinced? Here are some reasons why sleep is important from the NIH's National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute:

Mental Health

A lack of sleep can lead to depression, suicide, risky behavior, and other emotional problems. It changes the brain's activity, which can cause children and adolescents in particular to lose focus, feel unmotivated, or have mood swings.

Brain Health

Adequate sleep is crucial for proper brain function, because it allows your brain to solidify what you've learned and get ready to learn more the next day. Don't think that pulling an all-nighter will help you score better on your exam: sleeping well improves learning and helps you solve problems more efficiently.

Physical Health

Sleep is connected to the healing of heart and blood vessels, maintenance of hormone levels, growth, and the immune system. If you don't get enough sleep, you could have a higher risk of heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, or stroke.

Safety

Your safety could be at risk when you don't get enough sleep. Sleep deficiency means a slower reaction time, more opportunities for mistakes, and decreased productivity. You definitely don't want to be driving when you feel sleepy!

Take this Sleep IQ Quiz to find out how much of an expert you are on sleep now!

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://sleepfoundation.org/SAW

https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-tools-tips/healthy-sleep-tips

http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sdd/why

Save Your Heart: American Heart Month

February 5th, 2016

American-Heart-Month

All throughout February we're celebrating American Heart Month! This national awareness month provides WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease, and the American Heart Association the opportunity to make others across the world aware about cardiovascular disease. These organizations help organize, educate, and fund medical research on cardiovascular disease and its prevention.

Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure, is the NUMBER ONE killer of both women and men in the United States. So much so that it's responsible for one out of every three deaths each year. Over 6 million American women are impacted by heart disease, while another 37 million women are at risk of developing heart disease.

This annual campaign was initiated in 1964 by the American Heart Association and has continued to heighten awareness across the nation. However, the number of individuals impacted by cardiovascular disease is predicted to grow more than 23.6 million by the year 2030. Unfortunately, nearly half of all Americans have at least one major risk factor, but are unaware of it. It's important to also know the warning signs, including chest discomfort, shortness of breath, or sudden lack of responsiveness. To spot a stroke, think F.A.S.T: Face drooping, arm weakness, speech difficulty, time to call the police.

Becoming aware of the risk factors of cardiovascular disease, for instance obesity and diabetes, is key to understanding what needs to be done to lower your risk. Eating a healthy diet, not smoking, exercising, and picking up other positive health habits will help keep your heart pumping!

President Obama wrote, “We have lost devoted mothers and fathers, loved siblings, and cherished friends to this devastating epidemic. During American Heart Month, as we honor their memories, let us recommit to improving our heart health and continuing the fight against this deadly disease, for ourselves and our families.”

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.

References:

http://newsroom.heart.org/events/happy-heart-month-2830575

http://www.cchdmt.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/American-Heart-Month.jpg

http://www.womenheart.org/?programs_heartmo2016

Many Middle Aged Americans Have Two Or More Chronic Illnesses

August 8th, 2012

The U.S. National Center for Health Statistics released some eye opening news recently. Over the past ten years, the number of middle aged people (45+) with two or more chronic health issues has increased. Seniors are most prone to developing diabetes and and high blood pressure.

From a survey taken in 1999-2000 and again 2009-2010, the number grew from 16% to 21%. These numbers increased in the elderly population.

The survery looked at a few common diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension. Many people postponed treatment due to inability to pay or simply didn't receive care. The percentage of people doing this was up 17% since the previous decade. Also, people who didn't get the necessary medical attention rose.

This elevation in sick people "presents a complex challenge to the U.S. health care system, both in terms of quality of life and expenditures for an aging population," says the report.

One way to help ward off some of these illnesses is being physically active and eating right. Obesity is a huge factor in developing health problems. Staying fit in middle age helps ensure a healthier life later on!

 

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