misaligned teeth

Will Nasal Breathing Help Fight Coronavirus?

July 8th, 2020

As the number of COVID-19 cases across the United States continues to rise, scientists and researchers are continuously trying to find ways to help control and beat the virus. Research is currently being conducted to determine if nasal breathing can help lower the risk of contracting coronavirus. You may be wondering, why would breathing through your nose be beneficial?

Interestingly, breathing through your nose and mouth are two completely different methods of breathing. Nasal breathing is connected to your diaphragm and signals a response from your parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), also known as your rest and digest system. The PNS acts on your heart, lungs, and digestive tract. On the other hand, breathing through your oral cavity signals your sympathetic nervous system (SNS), also known as the fight or flight system. The SNS acts in opposition to the PNS, and instead elevates your pulse and breathing rates, while slowing digestion. Breathing through your nose, rather than your mouth, is the best way to receive the optimal amount of oxygen. Here’s why:

Your nose produces nitric oxide, which helps increase the transport of oxygen throughout your body by allowing your blood vessels to dilate. It also helps relax and open your airways in the lungs, acting as a bronchodilator. Nitric oxide is a huge plus to the immune system too, as it has antifungal, antiviral, antiparasitic, and antibacterial effects. In addition, your nasal turbinates function to warm and humidify air as it moves into the lungs, helping to filter and block harmful particles from entering your body.

According to scientists, humming has been found to increase the production of nitrous oxide in the sinus cavities surrounding the nose. Researchers revealed that the sound waves from humming increase the speed of gas exchange, and can help provide some relief for individuals with a sinus infection (Sinusitis). Foods high in nitrates, including leafy green vegetables, beets, and garlic for example, may also increase the concentration of nitrous oxide in the body and provide the same health benefits. In hopes to find treatment and prevention methods against COVID-19, clinical trials have currently begun to investigate the direct application of nitrous oxide to the respiratory system.

It can be hard to breathe through your nose at times, especially when you have sleep apnea, allergies, or are sick and congested, or even when you have your mask on to help fight coronavirus. Having a stuffy nose is a pain, and we often don’t notice how important the nose is until it isn’t functioning properly.  When your airway is obstructed, your mouth naturally opens to allow air flow to your lungs. However, breathing through your mouth doesn’t offer the same benefits as nasal breathing, and can even lead to health problems. Breathing through your mouth increases dehydration and inflammation in the body. Mouth breathing can cause enlarged tonsils/adenoids, dry mouth, bad breath (halitosis), chronic fatigue, irritability, dry lips, periodontal disease, and throat/ear infections, and other conditions. Many studies have also shown that breathing through the mouth can make individuals with asthma experience worse symptoms.

In children, mouth breathing can lead to several physical and cognitive challenges. Children who aren’t treated for mouth breathing can develop misaligned teeth, gummy smiles, facial deformities including long narrow faces/mouths, sleep disorders, lack of concentration, poor posture, or poor growth.

Talk with your dentist if you notice or believe that you or your child is mouth breathing. Practicing nasal breathing makes perfect! Also, be sure to try to reduce your stress levels, as stress can also lead to abnormal breathing patterns.

Breathing through your nose is important for your health! It can be our first line of defense against airborne particles, and is especially important to make a habit during these unprecedented times. While wearing your mask, initiate slow breaths through your nose to help lower the amount of carbon dioxide inhaled. This will help reduce your risk of experiencing trouble breathing, headaches, and dizziness.

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. 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://decisionsindentistry.com/2020/06/nasal-breathing-help-reduce-risk-covid/?inf_contact_key=7a5419cd2ce100bb3ce3a594e8fa09441b0a3f0fd3ee5d9b43fb34c6613498d7

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https://www.healthline.com/health/mouth-breathing#symptoms

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Snap, Crackle, Pop! How Rheumatoid Arthritis & Gum Disease are Related

June 15th, 2020

Snap, crackle, pop! Creaky joints can be a real pain, but who would have thought that it would have any connection to your mouth? Surprisingly, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and periodontitis have a lot in common, as they both are chronic inflammatory diseases that involve the breakdown of bone and soft tissue.

What is rheumatoid arthritis (RA)? 

RA is both a chronic inflammatory and an autoimmune disease, and is often characterized by pain and stiffness. RA typically affects the joints, but can also affect the body's organs.

Periodontitis...What's that?

On the other hand, periodontitis is an advanced form of gum disease. Without  treatment, periodontitis can lead to loss of tooth-supporting bone, tissue, and even your actual teeth!  Periodontitis can impact anyone at any age, but can be preventable. Unfortunately, 47.2% of adults over the age of 30 have periodontitis in the United States. A major cause of periodontal disease is poor oral hygiene, which leads to bacterial plaque attacking your tooth enamel. Other risk factors of periodontitis include tobacco use, diabetes, certain medications, older age, genetics, poor nutrition and obesity, tooth grinding, and misaligned teeth, just to name a few.

Gum disease can be harder to recognize because of its typical pain-free nature. However, there are some common signs and symptoms of periodontitis to look for:

  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Red, swollen, tender gums
  • Pus between your gums and teeth
  • Persistent bad breath or bad taste
  • Loose permanent teeth/tooth loss
  • Changes in your bite
  • Receding gums
  • Changes in the fit of oral appliances (ex: partial dentures)

Yet, It is still possible to experience no signs or symptoms of gum disease. That's just one of many reasons why visiting your dentist regularly is essential to your oral and overall health, in addition to eating healthy, brushing at least twice a day, flossing daily, and practicing good oral hygiene habits at home. It is important to catch gum disease in the early stages to avoid irreversible damage to your pearly whites. Remember, prevention is key!

How are the two diseases linked?

Recent studies have supported the link between RA and periodontal disease. According to the Arthritis Foundation, researchers found that tooth loss, a common indicator of periodontal disease, may predict rheumatoid arthritis and its severity. Within the study, they found that the more teeth lost due to periodontal disease, the higher the risk of developing RA. Other research has also suggested that the bacteria commonly associated with periodontal disease, Porphyromonas gingivalis (P. gingivalis), may play a role in onsetting RA.

Treating one disease may help improve the other!

Researchers at Case Western University found that individuals with both severe rheumatoid arthritis and gum disease experienced an improvement in their RA symptoms after successfully treating their gum disease.

Individuals with rheumatoid arthritis may face certain challenges in taking care of their oral health. It is important to inform your health care providers, who will help provide recommendations that will work best for you. To make brushing and flossing a little easier,  American Dental Association (ADA) recommendations include:

  • Make your toothbrush unique: To get a better grip of your toothbrush, add a tennis ball or bicycle grip to the handle.

  • Try different types of floss: Try floss holders, floss picks, or threaders.

  • Pump out your toothpaste: Toothpaste in a pump may be more comfortable than squeezing out of the tube.

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.everydayhealth.com/rheumatoid-arthritis/living-with/the-link-between-gum-disease-and-rheumatoid-arthritis/

https://www.hopkinsrheumatology.org/2017/01/gum-disease-linked-to-rheumatoid-arthritis/

https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/g/gum-disease

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Defeat Teeth Grinding Once and For All

May 16th, 2014

Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a detrimental oral habit common in both children and adults, which is often experienced as a result of stress and anxiety. However, in some cases, misaligned teeth or an abnormal bite can cause teeth grinding. Teeth grinding can occur throughout the day, yet individuals often grind their teeth unknowingly during sleep. Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder that can lead to bruxism. Symptoms of teeth grinding include jaw pain, tooth sensitivity, headaches, chipped teeth, earaches, as well as facial pain.

puyallup-dentist1

Habitual teeth grinding damages the surfaces of teeth, deteriorates tooth enamel, and can eventually lead to tooth loss. Teeth grinding can also cause temporomandibular disorders (TMD). If this bad oral health habit is not stopped, implants, root canals, crowns, and even partial dentures may be needed in order to fix the damages.

Yet, there is no need to worry! Teeth grinding is treatable, commonly with the use of custom-fit nightguards. Custom nightguards can help prevent further dental damage by helping stop your jaws from clamping and teeth from clenching. Custom nightguards are created to personally fit your lower and upper teeth, making them flexible and comfortable to wear. Nightguards not only protect your teeth, but also eliminate the chattering sound that can disturb one’s sleep. Nightguards can be purchased over-the-counter at a local pharmacy, however, are more suitable and protective when custom-made by a dentist.

Along with wearing a nightguard, here are a few other tips to help prevent the adverse effects of teeth grinding:

  • Reduce your stress levels. Participate in activities that make you happy. Wheter it is exercising, listening to your favorite music, or reading a book before going to sleep, try to eliminate tensions that arise throughout the day.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Sodas, chocolate, coffee, and other caffeinated foods and beverages are believed to increase the likelihood of teeth grinding. They can also be poor dietary choices for your oral and phsycial health!
  • Relax your jaw muscles. Try keeping your jaw muscles relaxed by gently pressing a warm washcloth against your cheek. Avoid chewing ice, pencils, gum, and other objects that involve strenuous chewing.
  • Become more aware of the habit. Train yourself to avoid teeth grinding by positioning the tip of your tongue between your teeth.

Listen out during the night to make sure that your children are not grinding their teeth during their sleep. If your teeth are misaligned, braces may be a good corrective measure to eliminate the poor habit of teeth grinding. It is important to practice good oral health habits to keep your teeth healthy and your smile 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. 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.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/t/teeth-grinding

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/teeth-grinding-bruxism

http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/ColgateNewandNow/Family/2013/April/article/SW-281474979065193.cvsp

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Happy Holidays from WDG

December 13th, 2012

There's a nip in the air and soon enough, the snow will fall, leaving in its wake a quiet and reflective atmosphere. Most of all, it will be a warm sense of family that will keep the winter from feeling too cold.

We at Wellesley Dental Group have built our team through that sense of family. It was only this weekend that we joined together at the home of Drs. Ali and Ali and shared with each other the joy that comes with the holidays.

We want to extend that joy to you, our patients. Our family. Through your support and trust, together, we have created the community that is Wellesley Dental Group.

We want to wish you all a very happy, warm, and beautiful Holiday Season.

 

From the Caring Team at Wellesley Dental Group,

 

Happy Holidays!

 


Are You Sensitive?

December 11th, 2012

Over 40 million adults in the U.S. have experienced pain from sensitive teeth. So what causes this uncomfortable sensation that’s so widespread?

The underlying cause is that the dentin, which is under your enamel (the hard protective layer covering your teeth) is exposed. The dentin has tiny tubes full of fluid that trigger nerves found in the pulp of the tooth when the dentin is exposed to heat, cold, or acidity. When that trigger happens, you feel pain.

Why does the dentin get exposed in the first place? There numerous reasons, but the most common are:

  • Brushing too hard: you can wear down your enamel by brushing too hard. An easy way to see if you are brushing too hard is to take a look at your brush. If all the bristles are pointing different ways, you need to ease up. Using soft bristles is also a good idea to minimize enamel erosion.
  • Bruxism (grinding your teeth): your teeth flex when you grind your teeth, which increases enamel erosion.
  • Gingivitis (or gum disease): gum sensitivity can lead to increased tooth sensitivity because more underlying dentin root surface is exposed.
  • Tooth decay: especially painful when the pulp is exposed.
  • Certain whitening products: although there are more recent whitening options available, such as our Sinsational Whitening, that cause minimal to no sensitivity.
  • Acidic foods: these foods increase enamel erosion, which exposes more dentin.
  • Plaque build-up: especially when the build-up is near the root surface.
  • Recent dental procedures: however, this sensitivity should only last between four to six weeks.

Now that you understand some reasons why you may be experiencing sensitive teeth, you should visit your dentist. Drs. Ali & Ali will be more than happy to help, so be in touch by calling (781)-237-9071 or email them at smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com.

In the meantime, boost your oral health by reducing enamel erosion and take steps to:

1. Maintain good oral hygiene
2. Use a soft-bristled tooth brush
3. Use a desensitizing toothpaste
4. Be careful not to eat acidic food
5. Use fluoridated dental products
6. Get a mouthguard if you are grinding your teeth

Sensitive teeth is a treatable discomfort and with proper management, you have great chances of feeling better.

At Wellesley Dental Group, we can apply sealants, desensitizing agents, fluoride, as well as other specialized treatments for your discomfort. Come in for a consultation!

Sources:
Crest
Sensodyne
WebMD

The Silent Destroyer

December 3rd, 2012

Gingivitis. If you don’t know the signs, it’s easy to miss until it’s too late. Put simply, Gingivitis is gum inflammation and generally comes before full-blown periodontitis, or gum disease. Not all cases of gingivitis, however, lead to gum disease, so make sure to visit your dentist, to keep your gums healthy!

Usually starting painlessly, Gingivitis has few indicators, some of which may be:

• Gums that bleed during and after tooth brushing or upon flossing
• Red, swollen, or tender gums
• Persistent bad breath or bad taste in the mouth
• Receding gums
• Formation of deep pockets between teeth and gums
• Loose, shifting, or misaligned teeth
• Changes in the way teeth fit together upon biting down, or in the fit of partial dentures.

Even if you don’t have any of these symptoms, you may still have gum disease, so make sure you regularly visit your dentist.

It’s especially good to visit your dentist for a check up if you have been ill or have had hormonal changes. Even changing medication, especially to one that causes dry mouth, can increase your risk of gingivitis.

Bad habits, such as smoking and general bad oral health practices, such as not flossing, also increase your risk. Also, check your family history since gingivitis and periodontitis are more frequent in people whose family has dealt with gum disease. In fact, the American Academy of Periodontology says that up to 30% of Americans may be genetically susceptible to gum disease.

In the meantime, before you meet with your dentist about your gums, here are some things you can do to increase your oral health and decrease your chances of gum disease:

• Stop smoking. Smokers are seven times more likely to get gum disease than nonsmokers, and smoking can lower the chances of success of some treatments.
• Minimize stress. Stress may make it difficult for your body's immune system to fight off infection.

• Eat healthily. Eating foods with antioxidants can help your body get over an infection.
• If you clench or grind your teeth, get fitted for a mouth-guard. Grinding and clenching can put force on supporting teeth, which can increase gum damage.

And don’t forget to brush and floss your teeth! Removing plaque daily is one of the best ways to keep your gums and teeth happy and healthy.

Sources:
American Academy of Periodontology.
American Dental Association.
Web MD

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