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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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Donating Blood Benefits You, Too!

March 21st, 2019

A whopping 5 million Americans are in need of a blood transfusion every year - that's a lot of blood! It's common to hear about the positive impact donated blood has on the lives of those in need , but what about the benefits for the individuals donating the blood? In addition to helping save lives across the world, there are health benefits both psychologically and physically for donors, too! According to the Mental Health Foundation, donating blood can help improve your emotional state by reducing stress, and eliminating negative feelings. Not to mention, giving blood has been found to improve cardiovascular health, and lower the risk of cancer, obesity, and hemochromatosis. It also helps in lowering the risk of damage to the liver and pancreas. Here's how:

Lower Risk of Heart Disease

Donating blood at least once a year has been found to lower the risk of heart problems such as a heart attack because it helps lower the blood's viscosity so that there is more room for blood flow. Research also shows that it lowers the average total cholesterol, iron stores, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (also known as the "bad" cholesterol), which all protect against cardiovascular disease.

Lower Risk of Cancer

Research reports that the risk of cancer was lowered blood donors with medical conditions including hemochromatosis and peripheral arterial disease (PAD). They found the risk to be lowered particularly to cancers linked to high iron levels, including liver, colon, lung, esophageal, and stomach cancer. Increased iron levels in the body can lead to iron storage in organs such as the heart, liver and pancreas. As a result, the risk of cirrhosis, liver failure, damage to the pancreas, and heart problems increase. By donating blood, this helps maintain iron levels and reduce the risks of damage to vital organs. Plus, donating bleed has also been found to lower inflammatory markers according to a 2016 study.

Free health Screening

Before donating blood you'll receive a free health screening, which although doesn't equate to your regular primary care visit, it can still help you keep an eye on your blood pressure, body temperature, pulse, and hemoglobin levels. This way you can detect any discrepancies that may need attention to ensure a healthy body. Your blood will also be tested for several diseases including hepatitis B and C, HIV, West Nile Virus and more.

Red Blood Cell Stimulation

Once you've donated blood the body begins to produce new blood cells to compensate for the blood loss, which helps maintain good health.

 

With all of these benefits in mind, we hope that you will join us at our upcoming community blood donation drive with the American Red Cross and the Wellesley Community Center.  Sign up online by going to www.RedCrossBlood.org and enter: WellesleyDental or you can call the office and we will be happy to help your register! The American Red Cross notes that even 1 donation can save up to 3 lives. At our upcoming blood drive we are aiming to help thousands of people in need, and you can benefit too!

 

Date: Wednesday April 3rd, 2019
Time: 12:30 pm-5:30 pm.
Location:

Wellesley Community Center
219 Washington Street
Wellesley, MA 02482.

 

For more information and to register for the blood drive, you can call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or register online using this link: https://www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/drive-results?order=DATE&range=10&zipSponsor=WellesleyDental

Please bring picture identification, and remember to eat a healthy meal and drink plenty of fluids before donating.

We invite you to attend and are looking forward to seeing you there! The caring team at Wellesley Dental Group will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com. Be sure to also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

References:

https://www.healthline.com/health/benefits-of-donating-blood#1https://www.brmsonline.com/blog/wellness/healthcare/2018/benefits-of-blood-donation

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Dental Breakthrough From Beavers

July 5th, 2015

Beavers are typically known for their extensive construction of dams on rivers and streams. Using their strong teeth, they're able build their homes and live from day to day. The amazing strength of their teeth have led researches to ask, what makes them so tough?

According to researchers at Northwestern University, Beavers' enamel is tougher and more protective against acid than regular enamel, and even enamel treated with fluoride. A study of beavers' tooth enamel may give insights on oral health for humans.Researchers from Washington University in St. Louis examined the composition and structure of beavers' enamel. Published in the journal Nature, they reported that the structure of beavers' tooth enamel is full of iron. The presence of iron in their tooth enamel not only helps provide great protection, but also helps fight tooth decay. This understanding  could help us learn more about tooth decay in humans, which is currently the number one chronic childhood disease in the United States. It could even lead to earlier detection of tooth decay and improve dental treatment methods.

The study found that beavers' enamel contains "layers of well-ordered, carbonated hydroxylapatite 'nanowires'" and is surrounded by a material rich in iron and magnesium.

Derk Joester, lead researcher and associate professor in Northwestern University's McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, explained, "The unstructured material, which makes up only a small fraction of enamel, likely plays a role in tooth decay. In regular enamel, it's magnesium, and in the pigmented enamel of beaver and other rodents, it's iron."

Joester argues, "A beaver's teeth are chemically different from our teeth, not structurally different." He believes that fluoride treatment can be improved by using an engineering strategy.

Who would've thought that beavers may lead us to new discoveries in oral health? Their unbelievably strong teeth may be a significant model for a better understanding of our own teeth and how to keep them 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 781-237-9071 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://consumer.healthday.com/kids-health-information-23/cavities-and-dental-news-118/beavers-offer-tips-on-cavity-prevention-696494.html

http://www.hngn.com/articles/69631/20150215/beavers-decay-resistant-enamel-could-teach-dentists-a-thing-or-two.htm

http://cdn.zmescience.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/beaver.jpg

What Vitamins Your Teeth Need

May 15th, 2014

The foods we eat can have a huge impact on oral health.  As most people know, foods high in sugar can cause cavities and drinks like black coffee can stain teeth.  Other than sugar content or staining capabilities , different kinds of vitamins can also have a huge impact on oral health.  Taking vitamin supplements can prevent tooth decay and promote healthy gums.  The following vitamins can be incorporated into a balanced diet and oral health regimen.

vitamins-minerals

Vitamin C
Vitamin C prevents gum inflammation and helps to heal soft, bleeding gums.  Citrus fruits like oranges and lemons are known to be high in this essential vitamin.  Some lesser known foods that are high in Vitamin C include bell peppers and broccoli.

Vitamin A
Vitamin A prevents dry mouth, aids in the healing inflamed gums, and helps to maintain the mucous membranes of the gums.  Vitamin A can be found in beef, spinach, kale, cheese, and eggs.

Vitamin D
Vitamin D is necessary for optimal absorption of calcium.  Calcium helps with the development of healthy, strong teeth and can be found in milk and fatty fish like salmon.

Vitamins B12 and B2
A deficiency in these essential vitamins can lead to painful mouth sores.  Vitamin B12 can be found in red meat, chicken, liver, and dairy products.  Vitamin B2 can be found in almonds, bagels, and spinach.

Iron
An iron deficiency can also lead to mouth sores and an inflamed tongue.  Iron is available in capsule form and can be found in many common foods like bran cereals and nuts.

Potassium
Potassium is necessary for proper nerve function and muscle development.  Legumes, bananas, and whole grains are great sources for this.

Vitamin B3 (niacin)
A niacin deficiency can be a cause of bad breath and canker sores.  Adding more chicken or fish into your diet can alleviate these symptoms.

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:

Image credit: http://girlgonehealthy.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/vitamins-minerals.jpg

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