medications

Why is my Tongue White?

August 6th, 2019

 

The human body is amazing in so many ways. Our bodies often try to tell us things about our health through triggering certain signs and signals. The oral cavity can be an easy spot to indicate signs of specific health conditions developing. For instance, the color and texture of your tongue could be a clue that something is going on within your body.

The normal anatomy of the tongue is comprised of tiny nodules known as papilla. The color is typically a shade of pink, although food debris may temporarily stain the tongue. An indicator of poor oral health or possibly an underlying health condition is the presence of a white tongue that remains for a prolonged period of time. A white tongue has been associated with mouth breathing, smoking, oral thrush (fungal candidiasis infection), infections, excessive alcohol use, medication side effects, and congenital heart disease.

Most frequently it is linked with dry mouth and dehydration, which increases the risk of developing tooth decay and infections. Saliva is crucial for helping us breakdown food and protecting our teeth due to the proteins and minerals found within it. Without it, the dry environment promotes bacteria and fungi growth and typically produces an odor.

Other conditions that have been known to cause white tongue include oral lichen planus, geographic tongue, oral cancer, and HIV/AIDs.

Although white tongue is typically harmless, if you notice any pain or persistence of white tongue for a prolonged time that does not respond to oral care, be sure to contact your dentist.

It is important to remember to brush your tongue with either a toothbrush or tongue scraper each day to remove all of the plaque and leftover food particles that become trapped between the papilla on the surface of the tongue. Also, staying hydrated is important, especially during these hot summer days!

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.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319814.php

https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/white-tongue/basics/causes/sym-20050676

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My Lungs, Mouth, and Inhaler: What to Know

April 17th, 2019

It's that time of the year where blooming flowers and warm breezes take over and are welcomed by many. However, for some, this time of the year triggers asthma and allergies! Unfortunately, individuals with asthma may not share the same joy in this seasonal change. Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that is characterized by airway obstruction, coughing, and wheezing caused by constriction of the lung bronchi. But, that's not all! Since the body is all interconnected, this respiratory condition also has been found to increase your risk of developing gum disease (gingivitis and periodontal disease), tooth decay, malocclusion (overbite, overate, posterior crossbite), oral candidiasis, dry mouth, and oral sores. In particular, these conditions are often more prominent and aggressive in children. A contributing factor is that children's teeth have thinner enamel than adults, and consequently are more susceptible to harm and breakdown caused by bacteria that cause cavities. Here's how you can lower these risks and keep your mouth healthy so that it can last you a lifetime:

A recent study analyzing 40 children with asthma looked at the prevalence of dental cavities, gingival bleeding, the pH of saliva, composition of bacteria within the mouth, in addition to assessing their oral hygiene habits. It was found that the children with asthma experienced dry mouth, had at least 5-8 cavities, and a rapid formation of plaque. The children also had an increased acidity of pH within the mouth, which puts them at a higher risk of cavities and the fungal infection, candidiasis. Another study reported that individuals with asthma had approximately a 19% increased risk of suffering from periodontitis.

Fortunately, avoiding gum disease can be achieved by practicing proper oral hygiene techniques, including using a fluoride toothpaste, mouth rinse, brushing and flossing regularly, and making regular visits to the dentist. If you notice red puffy gums, bleeding with brushing or flossing, or persistent bad breath, these can be early signs of gum disease.  It is also important to always bring your inhaler to dental and medical appointments to ensure your safety in the case of an acute asthma attack.

The Effect of Asthma Medications

The medications taken to combat asthma also play a role in negatively impacting the oral cavity. This is because the protective mucous membrane within the mouth is less effective/reduced in individuals with asthma, lowering the body's immune system. Dry mouth is a major consequence of many medications, which allows for plaque build-up and bacteria accumulation that contribute to dental cavities, bad breath, and gum disease.

Inhaled corticosteroids, including Advair and Azmacort, may cause oral thrush, dental cavities, oral ulcers, and hoarseness. In addition, Albuterol, a medication used to treat bronchospasm, can have side effects including oral thrush, dry mouth, increased heart rate, high blood pressure, throat irritation, and nausea.

Tips for Managing Oral Health with Asthma

  • Rinsing with water after you using your inhaler can help avoid developing an oral fungal infection.
  • Stay hydrated in order to help combat dry mouth.
  • Keep your dentist informed about your medications and medical conditions. Make sure your dentist knows if you have asthma and what medications you are taking so that your health can be managed properly.
  • Manage allergies. Both asthma and allergies typically flare-up together. Managing both properly can help prevent mouth-breathing and dry mouth.
  • Practice good dental hygiene.

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.dentalhealth.org/news/asthma-found-to-increase-the-likelihood-of-gum-disease-by-a-fifth

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

http://www.thetotaldentistry.com/2018-07-dental-caries-in-asthmatic-children/

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Is Your Mouth Feeling Sizzling Hot?

October 20th, 2018

Being in pain is one of the worst feelings, especially when you don't know the cause. Thanks to new research, knowledge is increasing about chronic oral pain, also called Burning Mouth Syndrome. This condition commonly impacts middle-aged women and can be very debilitating for most people. In past years this condition has been quite ambiguous, but new discoveries are currently being made.

People experiencing Burning Mouth Syndrome often report a sensation of stinging on their tongue, palate, lips and/or gums. This condition can also cause dry mouth, and bitter or metallic taste sensation in the oral cavity. These symptoms can occur gradually overtime or appear suddenly. For many people, it can lead to difficulty eating, sleeping, and cause anxiety or depression.

A dissertation at Sahlgrenska Academy reported that when 56 women with Burning Mouth Syndrome were asked to rate the condition from 0 (not difficult at all) to 100 (unbearable), the average response was 66. It was also found that 45% of the patients experienced altered taste, and 73% had a burning, stinging, numbness, or combination of the three sensations. Burning Mouth Syndrome was strongly correlated with self reports of teeth grinding, multiple medication use, allergies, and skin diseases. Not to mention, mucin proteins detected in the patients were altered and contained less carbohydrate structures that normally impact the immune system. These patients were found to have higher inflammatory levels than the control group of individuals without Burning Mouth Syndrome. With this information, researchers are looking for methods to help with diagnosis and treatment options.

If you're experiencing some of the symptoms mentioned, this can be evaluated during your dental visit. Burning Mouth Syndrome can be secondary to dry mouth from several factors including multiple medications, fungal infections such as oral thrush, nutritional deficiencies (B1, B2, B6, B9, B12, Iron, Zinc), ill-fitting dentures, stomach acid reflux (GERD), diabetes, or consumption acidic beverages.

In the meantime, to help ease the pain, avoid irritants such as tobacco smoking, hot spicy foods, alcoholic beverages or mouth rinses with alcohol, and acidic foods and beverages.

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.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/09/180921151427.htm

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/burning-mouth-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20350911

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Get Whiter Teeth For Summer!

July 5th, 2016

smiling

A dazzling bright smile is all the catch nowadays. Especially now that it's summer and there are many graduations, weddings, and fun events planned, why not show off a healthy white smile! Of course regular dental habits like brushing and flossing are ways to keep a brighter smile. However, if you feel like your smile doesn't sparkle as much as you'd like, there are many products and whitening treatments available to achieve your smile goals.

Tooth whitening is a simple process and a great option for individuals who have stained or discolored teeth. Teeth can become stained for many reasons, including tobacco use, certain medications, foods with dark dyes, and such as red wine, coffee, tea, and soda.  Even the natural aging process can cause tooth discoloration.

Since so many whitening options are available, it can sometimes be challenging to decide which one you would like to use. Come schedule an appointment and talk to the Smile Ambassadors at Wellesley Dental Group about the differences between in-office professional whitening and at-home whitening. Check out the in-office professional whitening we offer:

Zoom! Whitening

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Philips Zoom is a safe, easy, quick, and pain-free way to whitening teeth and perfect your smile. This procedure can help make your teeth up to eight shades brighter in a short amount of time! Zoom includes a Chairside Light-Activated Gel and LED light to help accelerate and enhance the whitening process. Just three 15-minute applications of the gel and light occur in one hour, leaving you with a dazzling whiter smile.

Your dentist can help you determine if Zoom whitening is the best whitening option for your individual smile. Contact us today for more information or to schedule an appointment for Philips Zoom whitening.

Sinsational Smile Whitening

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Sinsational Smile® is a great way to whiten teeth because it uses fast and safe technology allowing for a comfortable whitening experience. This procedure lasts approximately 20 minutes and involves pre-filled trays and a LED light which helps quickly activate the gel's whitening ingredients. Sinsational Smile® contains 35% of the active ingredient, Carbamide Peroxide, along with carbomer, menthol, glycerin, and mint flavor in the gel. The whitening experience is painless and the outcome is rewarding! Check out some of the testimonials here.

Home Whitening

Beautiful young woman teeth.

There are many products sold for tooth whitening that can be done at home, but it is important to consult with a dental professional before use.

Tray whitening:

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Tray whitening involves using custom-made trays and whitening gel only available through your dentist. At-home professional tray whitening typically lasts from ten to 14 days.

Paint-on teeth whiteners:

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Paint-on whiteners are sold at convenient stores and are relatively inexpensive. This method consists of a gel that is applied to the tooth using a small brush. The gel hardens and eventually dissolves in the mouth.

Whitening strips:

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Teeth-whitening strip kits are a common home whitening procedure which includes thin, flexible plastic (polyethylene) strips that contain hydrogen peroxide on one side. The strips are typically worn for 30 minutes a day, twice a day but vary in duration depending on the brand.

Whitening mouthwash and toothpaste:

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Several brands of whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes can be found at many drug stores and convenient stores and are typically the least expensive option. These toothpastes and mouthwashes help remove surface stains by using mild abrasives. However, these products only mildly lighten your teeth and are not as reliable as in-office whitening treatments.

 

 

 

If you would like to learn more about teeth whitening, please contact our practice to schedule an appointment.

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://www.sinsationalsmile.com/

http://www.sinsationalsmile.com/downloads/Sinsational_graphics/Sinsation%20logo_hi.jpg

http://www.usa.philips.com/c-m-pe/teeth-whitening

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http://cachevalleydentist.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Fotolia_12743697_XL.jpg

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http://cdn.thedentalcheck.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Teeth-Whitener-Paint.jpg

http://cdn.buynowsignal.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/1-whitening-strips-buying-guide-300x300.jpg

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Depression Is a Threat to Oral Health

May 23rd, 2016

Did you know that depression, a common serious mental health and mood disorder, is linked to poor oral health care? If you suffer from depression, you may have a lack of motivation to take care of yourself and experience decreased salivation, which can directly impact oral health. Risk factors for depression include: personal or family history, major stress, and certain illnesses or side effects of medications.

Some signs and symptoms of depression are:

  • lasting feelings of sadness, anxiousness, emptiness, hopelessness, or pessimism
  • irritability
  • lack of energy/motivation
  • no interest in activities
  • guilt, worthlessness, etc.
  • difficulty concentrating or sleeping

There are many different types of depression, including:

  • persistent depression disorder (dysthymia): depressive symptoms for at least two years
  • perinatal depression: major depression during or after pregnancy (postpartum)
  • psychotic depression: severe depression and psychosis (delusions, hallucinations, etc.)
  • seasonal affective disorder: depression during the winter months

Depression is directly linked to oral health, because its consequences include xerostomia (dry mouth), a cariogenic diet (diet composed of sweets), and a poor immune system that can lead to oral infections. Risk for cardiovascular diseases also increases with depression.

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://dualdiagnosis.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/bigstock-Girl-Sits-In-A-Depression-On-T-52227706-300x207.jpg

http://www.dentistryiq.com/articles/2016/03/how-depression-threatens-oral-health-and-other-oral-systemic-links.html

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml

The Effect of Birth Control on Oral Health

January 26th, 2016

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Birth control pills have many benefits and are a popular contraceptive method which increases estrogen/progesterone levels. However, they can also negatively affect your oral health.

According to The American Academy of Periodontology, many factors such as smoking, poor nutritiongenetics, and medications (including oral contraceptives, antidepressants, and heart medications) can impact gum health. These factors may increase risk for gum disease, which 75 percent of Americans, and especially periodontal disease, an advanced type of gum disease linked to osteoporosis, stroke, diabetes, heart disease, and low-birth-weight babies that 50% of Americans have.

Many studies have demonstrated the clear connection between dental health and sex hormones. The risk for periodontitis is especially high during puberty and pregnancy due to increased estrogen levels, which promote the flow of blood in the mouth and forces gums become red, swollen, and more susceptible to bacteria. Furthermore, women have a greater chance of having dental problems because of their hormones.

There is also evidence that those who use oral contraceptives had more bleeding sites, tooth attachment loss, gum gaps, inflammation, and gum destruction. If you are our patient, please let us know your history and habits so we can effectively treat and prevent gum disease. Certain medications can impact the effectiveness of antibiotics. To prevent and resolve gum disease, make sure to use an antimicrobial mouthwash, floss, and avoid smoking, stress, and sugar.

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.huffingtonpost.com/caroline-beaton/birth-control-pills-may-cause-bad-breath----and-worse_b_8513492.html

https://www.perio.org/consumer/types-gum-disease.html

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Shy Away from Morning Breath!

May 26th, 2014

bluenessDo you wake up in the morning with an unpleasant taste in your mouth? You may be experiencing a case of bad breath, also known as halitosis. Bad breath can not only harm relationships, but more importantly your oral health! Morning breath is typically a result of plaque buildup in the mouth that causes inflammation and a release of bad odors. However, common medical problems including diabetes, bronchitis, liver disease, acid reflux, and respiratory tract infections can also cause bad breath.

Saliva plays a key role in preventing bad breath by killing bacteria in the mouth and washing away food particles. As you are asleep, the production of saliva steadily decreases. Thus, the cleansing process of food particles and bacteria is limited during sleep. Going to sleep without implementing good oral health habits, such as brushing and flossing, can not only lead to bad breath, but also tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease.

In order to help increase saliva production and ultimately prevent morning breath, here are a few things to remember:

  • Some medications can result in a dry mouth overnight, worsening morning breath.

  • Smoking is not only bad for your lungs, but it can also lead to a dry mouth and morning breath.

  • Mucus from allergies or sickness can cause halitosis. The odor-causing bacteria thrive on mucus and can multiply within the mouth.

  • Use a non-alcoholic mouthwash before going to sleep in order to prevent a dry mouth.

  • Clear your nasal passages before going to bed to avoid breathing through your mouth.

Sometimes it can be hard to tell whether or not your breath smells. Looking at your dental floss after flossing to see if the floss smells or if your gums are bleeding can be a good indication of the presence of odors within your mouth. Don’t forget to brush your tongue, which holds odor-causing bacteria!

There is no need to be worried or embarrassed! Halitosis is treatable and easy to eliminate. It is important to have a healthy diet and to drink water. Make sure to carefully rinse, floss, and brush after your morning breakfast. Avoid diets and foods that lack nutrition and have strong odors. When food particles and plaque are not quickly removed from your teeth, bacteria multiply and create unpleasant odors. Stay away from acidic foods, as they provide a favorable environment for bacteria to thrive.

You can lower the amount of bacteria in your mouth by practicing proper oral health care on a daily basis!

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.everydayhealth.com/dental-health/why-do-we-have-morning-breath.aspx

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/change-your-breath-from-bad-to-good

http://www.breathmd.com/bad-morning-breath.php

http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/Oral-and-Dental-Health-Basics/Common-Concerns/Bad-Breath/article/What-Causes-My-Bad-Breath.cvsp

http://madisonweeklynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/blueness.jpg

 

Medications and dry mouth

March 24th, 2010

Mouth and GumXerostomia, also known as "Dry Mouth" affects up to 30% of people over age 65. 

If you have dry mouth, it may be caused by many common medications. There are hundreds of which dry mouth is a side effect.

 

Some of the medications (including over the counter) include:

  • Painkillers
  • Blood pressure medications
  • Parkinson's Disease drugs
  • Antihistamines
  • Antihypertensives
  • Diuretics
  • Antidepressants

When people have dry mouth, they produce less saliva.  Saliva is a great natural defense against dental decay, so increasing saliva flow is important at this point.  Chewing sugarfree gum and drinking more water are popular options, in addition to suggestions by your physician and dentist. If you have dry mouth, please discuss this with your oral health provider.

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