mouth guards

A Great Reason to Celebrate: World Sleep Day

March 19th, 2021

World Sleep Day®, which sounds like one of the coolest days ever, is put on yearly to celebrate sleep and inform the public on the importance of sleep, which can often be overlooked. This year it's held today, Friday March 19th, 2021, with this year's slogan being ‘Regular Sleep, Healthy Future.’ ! Organized by the World Sleep Day Committee of the World Sleep Society, this day of awareness brings to light prevention and management of sleep disorders, education about sleep, sleep medications, and driving issues related to sleep.

Why is sleep important?

There are many benefits to getting a regular amount of sleep, and it's an essential part of life. Several research studies have reported that having a regular bedtime and getting the recommended amount of sleep for your age plays an important role in the quality of your life, including its effect on your mood, psychomotor performance, and even your academic performance. That's why a lack of sleep or chronic sleep interruptions can negatively impact your health.

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is one of the more common sleep disorders that you may have heard a lot about, which impacts approximately 25 million Americans, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Common signs of sleep apnea include snoring, insomnia, trouble remembering, trouble breathing, gasping for air during sleep, daytime tiredness, trouble concentrating, dry mouth, headaches shortly after waking up, frequent urination during night time, and sexual dysfunction. Children may also show signs of sleep apnea including worsening of asthma, hyperactivity, bed-wetting, and trouble concentrating in school. Individuals with sleep apnea are plagued with constant breathing interruptions during their sleep cycles due to a lack of oxygen reaching the lungs. According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, approximately 4% of children ages 2-8 years old have sleep apnea. Surprisingly, untreated sleep apnea can even be threatening if not enough oxygen reaches the lungs.

Is there a specific cause of sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea could be caused from many different factors, including weak airway muscles, an enlarged tongue, enlarged neck, obesity, small jaw bone, nasal or sinus issues, and the position of your lower jaw. In addition, males and individuals with a family history of snoring or sleep apnea are at an increased risk of having sleep apnea.

How is sleep apnea treated?
There are different treatment options to alleviate sleep apnea depending on each individual case, including a CPAP machine, orthodontic treatment, orthognathic surgery, behavior modifications, and dental mouth guards for example.

How does my oral health factor into sleep conditions?

Plus, sleep disorders like sleep apnea can also impact your dental health and vice versa. Getting adequate rest helps reduce the risk of having bad breath, oral sores, and worsening of gum disease. Individuals with sleep apnea often have temporomandibular disorders (TMJ), experience teeth grinding or clenching, and also mouth breathing. A research study showed individuals with sleep apnea are 3 times as likely to have a TMJ disorder, which is often characterized by trouble chewing, jaw, head, neck and shoulder pain, clicking sounds of the jaws, and locked jaw where the jaw is unable to open or close temporarily. In addition, mouth breathing can also cause dry mouth which is another factor that contribute to gum disease and dental cavities, and if not resolved can even result in tooth loss.

Wondering how much sleep your body requires? Check out the recommended sleep requirements by age reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The World Sleep Society recommends these 10 tips to help you achieve better sleep leading to a healthier overall life:

If you believe you suffer from a sleep condition, be sure to discuss your symptoms with your primary Doctor and dental professional.

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 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.


Spring into Sports with Facial Protection

April 15th, 2016


To those who have long awaited spring, the days are starting to get brighter, and warmer! With spring comes many joys, including the beginning of the spring sports season. Not to mention, April is National Facial Protection Month, which is sponsored by the Academy for Sports Dentistry, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Dental Association, the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, and the American Association of Orthodontists. Whether you'll be out on the field playing or watching from afar, it's important to spread the word to both children and adults participating in outdoor activities about the necessity of keeping their face, head, and mouths protected. It is important to take the necessary precautions, such as easily putting on mouth guards and helmets, to prevent sports-related injuries and the unwanted trip to the emergency room.

The Academy for Sports Dentistry highlights these five simple safety tips to keep your body healthy and safe:

  1. Mouth Guards are a Must. We're all aware that unfortunately, accidents happen. Mouth guards are can be customized by your dentist to ensure comfort. Mouth guards keep the teeth held together and allow for regular speech and breathing.
  2. Don't Forget about Helmets .  Helmets absorb the energy of an impact and help prevent damage to the head.
  3. Wear Protective Eyewear.  Eyes can easily be damaged during sports activities and it is necessary to protect them with eyewear!
  4. Shield Your Face and Skin.  In sports such as hockey and football, it is important to wear protective facial shields to prevent facial damage.
  5. Promote Mandatory Protective Gear.  Unfortunately, it is only mandatory for athletes who play football, hockey and boxing to wear mouth guards. Promote and spread the word of the importance of wearing mouth guards and sports gear for ALL sports!

A recent study conducted by study by the University of Alabama at Birmingham found that the five most common causes of childhood injuries were basketball, football, bicycling, playgrounds and soccer. Approximately 12 million individuals ranging in ages from 5 and 22 years suffer a sport-related injury each year, which results in 20 million lost days of schooland around $33 billion in medical and dental costs! But, these injuries CAN be prevented by following the necessary steps stated above.

Help your kids get excited about using mouth guards for protection, especially with all of the eye-catching designs that are available.

sport mouth guard stacks









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 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.


Don't Bite into Bruxism

September 17th, 2015



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 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.


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

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