jaw

Looking for a Smile Makeover? Orthodontics can Help

May 4th, 2021

Are you looking to improve your smile, or notice you may not be as confident smiling? Orthodontics can help you reinvent your smile by correcting misaligned teeth, crooked or rotated teeth, protruding teeth, spaces, and much more! Your dentist may also refer you to an orthodontist to help improve your bite so that you can chew, speak, and function better.

Orthodontics is a specialty of dentistry that focuses on the art and science of dental and facial irregularities. Orthodontists diagnose, prevent, and treat these irregularities and help promote healthy function of the teeth and jaws. The American Academy of Orthodontics (AAO) is recognized as the world's oldest and largest dental specialty organization. Following a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) or DMD (Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry or Doctor of Dental Medicine) degree, orthodontists train an additional 2-4 years in the speciality of orthodontics.

Wellesley Dental Group's very own Dr. Marisa Reason is passionate about providing excellent orthodontic treatment, and is a wonderful leader in the field. Dr. Reason is a member of the American Association of Orthodontists, Massachusetts Dental Association (MDS), and American Association of Public Health Dentistry. She completed her CAGS/MSD in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics in the Advanced Orthodontic Training Program at the Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine. In addition, she is recognized as a Diamond Top 1%  Invisalign provider and was voted a 2020 Top Dentist by Boston Magazine for Orthodontics. Learn more about Dr. Marisa Reason on our website, here.

Other bite issues that can be corrected with orthodontics include jaw growth problems, congenitally missing teeth, extra teeth, and bringing a tooth into your mouth that is stuck under the gums. In some cases when children lose their baby teeth before the natural time, for instance due to tooth decay, the orthodontist may suggest using a space maintainer to hold the space for the permanent tooth to come in. In addition, poor habits such as thumb-sucking, tongue-thrusting, or nail biting can also create a need for orthodontics as para-functional habits can cause tooth misalignment.

Having your teeth in the correct orientation and having a healthy jaw relationship is important not only for cosmetic reasons, but also for proper function. Misaligned teeth can also be very tricky to clean and can result in a greater risk for tooth decay and gum disease.

Braces can be a good treatment option for anyone of any age! Based on each person's individual case, the orthodontist may offer or recommend traditional metal braces, orthopedic appliances that guide facial and jaw development in growing children, palatal expanders to widen the upper jaw, removable retainers,  headgear, or more inconspicuous options such as ceramic braces, lingual braces (placed on the back side of teeth), or clear removable aligners, just to name a few orthodontic and orthopedic appliances! The orthodontist will develop a treatment plan custom to your specific needs based on diagnostic tools including clinical exams, models of your teeth, and X-rays.

As always, keeping up with your oral hygiene is extremely important, especially with orthodontic appliances. It can be really easy for food and bacterial plaque to stick to the irregular surfaces of the braces, making brushing and flossing more challenging and require more time. Lack of proper oral hygiene can lead to white spot lesions, which are areas of demineralization on the surface of the outer layer of your tooth, the tooth enamel. When the braces are removed, white spot lesions are often spotted in a white square surrounding where the bracket was placed. Unfortunately, removal of white spot lesions can require removing tooth structure and additional dental procedures.

Not only are these white areas unaesthetic, they also can eventually develop into dental cavities. The good news is, white spot lesions can be prevented with good oral hygiene practices. Electric toothbrushes and water-flossers can be a great addition in particular for individuals with braces to help remove food particles. Regular dental cleanings and visits to your dentist are important to ensure that your teeth remain nice and healthy.

This pandemic has impacted us all, but our community is indeed all stronger together. Our team at WDG always has your safety and health as our top priority, and we have implemented additional safety measures and equipment to help prevent the transmission of all infections, including COVID-19. Wellesley Dental Group has completely reopened since June 8th, 2020 for all dental procedures and cleanings! Thank you for entrusting your health and dental care to us at Wellesley Dental Group.

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. Bahar Houshman and Dr. Marisa Reason is happy to help with your TMJ and orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs, Dr. Reisman would love to help, and our gum-specialist Dr. Singh can help with your gum-related concerns.

References:

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/teen-oral-care/what-is-orthodontics

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/early-orthodontics/what-is-orthodontics

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.news-medical.net%2Fnews%2F20201224%2FResearchers-find-correlation-between-consistent-mask-wearing-and-improved-well-being.aspx&psig=AOvVaw07YUFXSNRt33WnbTdZah-4&ust=1620071583245000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCOi60Y7jq_ACFQAAAAAdAAAAABAp

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.idahoortho.com%2Fcauses-white-marks-form-around-braces-patients%2F&psig=AOvVaw30mb4u4QWDFxcNwli60mv5&ust=1620270265189000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCIChgZ_HsfACFQAAAAAdAAAAABAD

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fdiersorthodontics.com%2Fp%2Forthodontist-West-Chester-Orthodontic-FAQ-p22747.asp&psig=AOvVaw1627n-my8huwnQqinVRwne&ust=1620271299105000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCKDT3Y7LsfACFQAAAAAdAAAAABAT

Do you have a TMJ disorder?

June 9th, 2016

Is it painful or difficult for you to open and close your mouth? If the answer is yes, you might have a TMJ (temporomandibular joints) disorder.

The temporomandibular joints include the joints, muscles, ligaments, bones that are responsible for not only the opening and closing of your mouth, but also chewing, speaking, and swallowing. They also control the movement of the mandible (the lower jaw).

Between the ball and socket is a disc for each joint. This disc allows the jaw to open wide, rotate, or glide by acting as a cushion. If the TMJ system fails to work properly, it may lead to a disorder that can cause pain or discomfort.

Some causes of TMJ disorder are:

  1. arthritis
  2. dislocation
  3. injury
  4. tooth/jaw alignment
  5. stress
  6. teeth grinding

Ways to alleviate the pain and treat the disorder include:

  1. avoid hard foods and stick to softer foods
  2. don't chew gum
  3. don't bite your nails
  4. relieve pain through heat packs
  5. relaxation techniques for jaw tension (biofeedback, meditation, etc.)
  6. jaw muscle strengthening exercises
  7. medications (muscle relaxants, analgesics, anti-anxiety/anti-inflammatory drugs)
  8. night guard/bite plate to help stop clenching or teeth grinding

If you would like to run a diagnosis or are interested in treatment for orofacial pain, we would happy to assist you here at Wellesley Dental Group. Our specialist, Dr. Emad Abdallah, received a Master of Science in TMJ and orofacial pain from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston.

Resources:

http://img.webmd.com/dtmcms/live/webmd/consumer_assets/site_images/article_thumbnails/video/the_basics_tmj_causes_treatments_video/375x321_the_basics_tmj_causes_treatments_video.jpg

http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/t/tmj

http://www.wellesleydentalgroup.com/meet-dr-abdallah

https://www.tuftsmedicalcenter.org/patient-care-services/Conditions-We-Treat/T/Temporomandibular-Joint-Dysfunction.aspx

 

Do You Have a Gap Between Your Teeth?

May 26th, 2016

Taylor Swift might like the gap between your teeth, but your orthodontist might think differently. A gap between teeth, most commonly between the two upper front teeth, is called a diastema. Extra spaces between teeth or crowding of teeth can be caused by one of these problems:

  • a difference in jaw bone size or teeth size
  • teeth that are too big or small for the jaw
  • some teeth are missing or undersized (especially with the upper lateral incisors)
  • habits such as thumb sucking, incorrect swallowing reflexes, tongue thrusting
  • periodontal disease

A diastema doesn't seem like the worst, but spaces can become larger if tongue habits are not corrected or if periodontal disease is not treated. Pain might occur during eating, and teeth could become even more loose. The gaps can last a lifetime. To decrease your chances of getting a diastema, make sure to brush and floss regularly and correct your tongue habits.

There are many options for treating a diastema. You can choose to:

  • get orthodontic treatment (braces) to close the gap
  • use thin pieces of porcelain (porcelain veneers) that are bounded to the outside of the teeth
  • dental implants or dentures
  • crown and bridge work

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.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/cosmetic-dentistry/early-orthodontics/article/diastema-gap-between-teeth

http://www.colgateprofessional.com/patient-education/articles/diastemas-and-treatment-options

http://t2.uccdn.com/en/images/0/3/5/img_how_to_fix_diastema_or_gaps_in_teeth_5530_orig.jpg

Appreciate the Relatively Unpainful Methods of Modern-Day Dentistry!

October 2nd, 2015

teethhGoing to the dentist’s may not be your favorite activity, but you might appreciate it a little more after reading Danny Gallagher’s article about how painless modern-day dentistry is compared to dental processes from around 14,000 years ago!

You’d think that there wouldn’t be time for practicing dental repair during the Paleolithic era. However, a recent study from University of Bologna in Italy  published by the journal “Scientific Reportsshows that people started to treat cavities a long time ago. Researchers disvovered dental evidence from an ancient molar found at a dig site in northern Italy in 1988.Tests dated the tooth to the Late Upper Paleolithic era, which was approximately 13,820 to 14,160 years ago. Although the tooth was found in 1988, it was not until 25 years later that researchers noticed the oldest piece of evidence throughout dentistry history, says paleoanthropologist Stefano Benazzi, co-author of this study from the University of Bologna.

There was considerable enamel chipping made in the tooth’s cavity before the specimen died at around 25 years. Researchers carried out an experiment which involved scratching at the enamel of the molar with tools made out of different materials (wood, bone, stone, etc.). They tested these different implements in order to attempt to recreate this 14,000 year old dental procedure. The results of this experiment demonstrated that the person who operated on the tooth probably used tools created from sharpened flint. Ouch! Think about how painful that would be!

The University of Bologna’s study is not the only proof that humans from ancient eras have tried to repair teeth with extremely painful methods. For instance, an article on LiveScience stated that there was evidence of the use of beeswax for filling a cracked, canine tooth from a human jaw that was discovered in a Slovenian cave more than a hundred years ago. Another New York Times article claims that human molars from 4,000-7,000 BC that were drilled with stone tools were found in western Pakistan.

Don’t you just want to hug the inventor of anesthetics?

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.cnet.com/news/14000-year-old-tooth-shows-oldest-and-probably-most-painful-form-of-dentistry/?ftag=YHRbd38a98

http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/03376/teeth_3376286b.jpg

Don't Bite into Bruxism

September 17th, 2015

bruxism

 

At some point in time, you've probably experienced grinding or clenching your teeth. This condition is known as bruxism. Most of the time, individuals don't even know when they're doing it! When teeth grinding becomes a habit, it can result in severe dental damage, discomfort, and even an interrupted sleep pattern.

Teeth grinding can happen during the day, but in many cases it happens during sleep. Do you often get up in the morning with a headache, sore mouth or jaw? Have you ever been told by a loved one that you're grinding your teeth at night? If so, it's important to visit your dentist before more dental problems arise, including abnormal bite or crooked teeth.

Clenching or grinding teeth during sleep is medically termed sleep bruxism. According to a study, 8% of adults grind their teeth during the night and more than 1/3rd of parents indicate to the dentist that their children are experiencing symptoms of bruxism. Children who still have all their baby teeth or are starting to grow in their permanent teeth can even experience bruxism. Many people typically learn that they grind their teeth by a loved one who can hear the grinding at night.

The causes of bruxism are still not clear, although many studies commonly associate it with stress, anxiety, alcohol consumption, certain medications, cigarette smoking, sleep problems, and snoring. It's possible that treating sleep apnea can help alleviate sleep bruxism.

Teeth grinding may not seem like a big deal, however, it can lead to fracturing, misalignment, or tooth loss. It can also affect the dental appliances within your mouth, such as crowns, root canals, bridges, implants, and dentures. Bruxism also affect your jaws, which can result in TMD/TMJ issues, hearing loss, and a change in the appearance of your face. Your dentist may suggest wearing mouth guards to avoid the damage caused by tooth grinding. If severe, your dentist may even recommend braces or oral surgery.

Remember, Don't use your teeth as tools. For example, chewing on pencils, ice, and other hard objects can cause serious wear on your teeth. Try to manage your stress and train yourself not to grind your teeth by relaxing your jaw muscles.

Keep a stiff upper lip and make sure that you are practicing the necessary oral habits in order to prevent the wear and tear to your 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.

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.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bruxism/basics/treatment/con-20029395

http://beautifulsmilesrgv.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/bruxism.png

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

https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-disorders-problems/bruxism-and-sleep

The Success of Dental Implants in Women with Osteoporosis

August 13th, 2015

Aging can be a beautiful process. Yet, with age, we can expect for gradual changes within the body to occur. For instance, post-menopausal women with osteoporosis often have a greater risk of losing their teeth. New research has found that dental implants can help improve the lives of women suffering from osteoporosis.Both osteoporosis and dental implants are more connected than you may think. Osteoporosis is a condition involving one's bones, where the bones become thinner and brittle due to a loss of calcium. As a result, the  bones become more prone to fractures. It is important to note that this condition does not only affect the spine and bones within the core of the body. It can also have an impact on bones within the jaw, and thus contribute to tooth loss. Bone loss in the jaw can lead to a change in the shape of a person's face and loss of function in keeping teeth secure.

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine studied over 200 women with osteoporosis. In addition, all of the women had at least two adjacent teeth missing. Some women had dental implants, fixed partial dentures, or removable dentures, while others had no restoration work done. The study titled, "Dental Implant Supported Restorations Improve the Quality of Life in Osteoporotic Women," was published in the Journal of International DentistryEach participant was given a survey which questioned their satisfaction with replacement teeth and how it impacted their lives socially and emotionally. Participants who had dental implants reported the highest overall satisfaction with the quality of their lives, followed by individuals with fixed dentures, false teeth, and no dental restoration work, respectively. This study may indicate that dental implants provide individuals with the highest satisfaction after losing teeth.

Along the same lines, a different study observed over 600 dental implants in approximately 200 patients over the age of 50. The study found that dental implants had a 94% success rate. The success rate was also high for individuals taking osteoporosis medications. If you have osteoporosis, it's important to let your dentist know what medications you are taking and how long that you've been taking them to ensure the success of dental implants.

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.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150611131517.htm

http://downtowndentalsc.com/the-connection-between-dental-implants-and-osteoporosis-a-quick-look/

http://womensbrainhealth.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/o-OLDER-WOMAN-facebook.jpg

Healing in the Form of Bone Growth

May 28th, 2014

140318093220-largeOral cancer has been seen to take a cruel toll on many individuals. It has silenced the voice of a famous film critic and even brought an NBA coach to tears.

Surgery has been a means to treat cancer that has spread to the salivary gland; however, complications have lead to significant loss of bone, and even in some patient, the entire lower jaw. While oral cancer is truly an ordeal to go through, the aftermath, beyond the treatment, can be just as devastating. Disfigurement is something that patients often have to face; it’s certainly not something that people easily can swallow.

However scientists have been looking into more ways to fight back and keep disfigurement from being what is inevitable for patients. Dentists have discovered a new method allowing for bone to repair. Bone repair isn’t an impossible task, but there are certain criteria that need to be fulfilled After a fracture, the fragments of bone are only able to come together and fuse of they are in close proximity to each other. The growth of bone involves connective tissue that later calcifies, which provides the platform that allows for the formation of functional bone.

When there is too big a gap between two bone fragments or when bones have been too damaged, the body has a harder time repairing. Researchers have found created synthetic bone material that has been successful at stimulating material in the bone. This artificial scaffolding is found to be as strong as real bone but is porous enough to allow bone tissue and blood vessels to grow. For the process to move along faster, the scientists incorporated stem cells that have received directions in creating bone.

Research has shown that this new method has been successful on various animals, and during this year, the researcher hope to take this to clinical studies on patients with serious gum disease or mandibular bone damage. This field of research fosters hope and provides patients with the opportunity to push back and move past cancer.

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.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/02/19/george.karl.throat.cancer/
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140318093220.htm
http://www.esquire.com/features/roger-ebert-0310

How Nail Biting Affects Your Teeth

April 8th, 2014

4_2What’s so bad about nail biting? Nail biting is damaging to your teeth and oral health! Nail biting is a common habit across all age groups, including primarily children and young adults, and tends to lessen with age. This detrimental habit is often induced by stress and anxiety. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, biting your nails could crack, or wear down your front teeth.

When you or your child are tempted to bite your nails, consider the following:

  • Biting your nails can lead to a greater risk for bruxism. Sharp fingernails can result in sore and torn gum tissue. Unintended teeth grinding or clenching also creates stress in your oral cavity that can cause facial pain, headaches, tooth sensitivity, and recessed gums.
  • Nail biting can contribute to teeth misalignment. If your child has braces, the additional pressure from nail biting could lead to weakening the roots of their teeth, or even tooth loss!
  • Nail biting is also bad for your jaw. It can contribute to Temporomandibular (TM) disorder, resulting in pain and several problems with jaw movement.
  • Nail biting is unsanitary. Fingernails often carry more dirt and germs than your fingers. Germs and bacteria from underneath your nails can cause infection and sickness that transfer from your hands to your mouth. Bitten fingernails can be sharp, and may cut the gums, allowing bacteria to easily enter the bloodstream.

In order to stop biting your nails, become more conscious of the habit. Inform your child of the unfavorable consequences of nail biting. Also, try keeping your nails trimmed and polished to prevent the temptation. Break the bad habit of nail biting so that your dental health won't suffer!

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.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/ADA/2008/article/ADA-06-Nail-Biting-Can-Be-Harmful-To-Teeth.cvsp http://www.imdayak.am/files/pages/4_2.jpg

Mouth guards in sports protect more than teeth

March 21st, 2011

With sports-related concussions on the rise, especially in children and adolescents, a parent’s natural first instinct is to seek out the most technologically advanced head gear. And though newer helmets available with cutting edge foam inserts and titanium face cages can go a long way toward preventing mouth and tooth injuries, an important piece of equipment is often used improperly, or left out completely – the trusty mouth guard.

How They Work

Obviously high-impact sports like hockey and football carry the highest concussion risk to players, but in truth all athletes in any contact sport should wear a mouth guard. Granted, solid proof of the benefits of mouth guard use in sports is lacking, but it is believed that at a moment of impact, a player clenches their  jaw muscles around the mouth guard which in turn stabilizes the skull and neck. Also, a properly fitted mouth guard creates a cushioning pocket of air between the jaw bone and the point at which the jaw connects to the skull, lessening the severity of injury from an upper-cut-like impact to the jaw.

Make it Count

For the most protection, all teeth must be entirely covered including the back molars. Many children complain of a gag reflex which leads parents to trim the posterior of the guard. This is not recommended by dentists and may actually cause a higher risk of a concussive injury. Instead, buy a “boil and bite” mouth guard and have a dentist adjust the bite and posterior thickness as it molds. Or better yet, have a dentist make a custom mouth guard. Both options keep the guard molded tightly to the back teeth and prevents excess material from protruding into the throat. Also have a dentist balance “boil and bite” or off-the-shelf products to the wearer’s bite before first wear. This will ensure all force of impact is distributed evenly across the entire jaw.

We Can Help

The team at Wellesley Dental Group provides off-the-shelf mouthguard balancing services along with custom options for sports enthusiasts of all ages. For more information or to make an appointment, contact us at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydental.com.

See the full article at SportsDentistry.com for more information.

Request an
Appointment

patient
forms

read
our blog

Top