mouth sores

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week: #ComeAsYouAre

February 28th, 2020

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week is happening now and people around the world are encouraged to Come as You Are! This year's theme is Come as You Are: Hindsight is 20/20 during February 24th to March 1st, which is the time where individuals are reflecting on their journeys toward accepting themselves and others.

The purpose of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (#NEDAwareness) is to shed light on eating disorders through education and provide resources that could save lives. According to the National Eating Disorder Association, approximately 30 million people in the United States are affected by an eating disorder, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa or binge eating disorder. In addition, about 70 million across the world are impacted by eating disorders. It is important to know that eating disorders can affect anyone, including people of all ages, genders, ethnicities and backgrounds. Overtime, eating disorders can place a tremendous toll on both a person's physical and mental wellbeing.

Individuals who are affected by eating disorders often experience a variety of symptoms, ranging from anxiety, emotional distress, depression, problems with development and growth, and medical problems. However, not all eating disorders are experienced in the same way by individuals.

Many are aware that diet can impact not just your physical health, but also your oral health. Signs of an eating disorder are often seen first within the mouth. Lack of nutrients and harmful habits can permanently damage teeth. Take a look at some of the consequences of eating disorders for your oral cavity:

  • Improper nutrition can impact the amount of protective saliva present within the mouth that may cause dry mouth. Dry mouth significantly increases your risk for developing tooth decay along with it's uncomfortable sensation. In addition, the gums and soft tissue may bleed easier due to lack of essential nutrients.
  • Nutritional deficiencies can increase the risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease, because teeth rely on vitamins and minerals including  calcium, iron and B vitamins. A lack of proper amounts of iron can lead to the development of oral sores. Also, a lack of sufficient amounts of vitamin B3 (niacin) can contribute to bad breath, dry mouth,  and the development of canker sores.
  • Vomit can be extremely damaging to teeth, because the stomach acid causes the tooth enamel, the outermost layer of the tooth, to wear down. This not only changes the shape and size  of teeth, but also changes the color. The layer underneath tooth enamel, dentin, which has a yellow hue can become exposed and increase sensitivity and make your tooth become brittle. Erosive lesions within the mouth may also appear. In more severe cases, the pulp, the innermost layer of the tooth, may become exposed and result in pulp death.
  • Degenerative arthritis within the temporomandibular joint in the jaw has been found to be associated with eating disorders, which can cause severe pain, chronic headaches, and trouble chewing or opening/closing the mouth.
  • Frequent binge-and-purging can cause the salivary glands to become inflamed and enlarged, causing pain within the oral cavity.

Eating disorders if not treated can result in death. Treatment can include a combination of psychotherapy, nutrition education, and medical monitoring, but can vary based on the type of eating disorder.

If you have any questions about eating disorders, talk with your primary care physician or dentist. The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) also has screening tools  available online. Now is the perfect time to help increase awareness and support those impacted by eating disorders.

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. 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.




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 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.


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Your Pet's Smile Matters, Too!

March 5th, 2019

Pets, otherwise known as the cute protectors and furry additions to the family, face some of the same dental problems that we do as humans. In fact, oral disease is the most common major health problem of cats and dogs. According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, more than 70% of cats and 80% of dogs exhibit signs of oral disease by the age of 3. Although tooth decay remains the top oral problem that humans experience, pets primarily develop periodontal disease and fractures of teeth.

The same rules of dental disease that apply to us also apply to our furry companions. It may be easy to forget that your pet's teeth are also a part of their overall health and well-being. Dogs and cats in particular often experience a buildup of tartar, a form of hardened dental plaque caused by bacteria, when their teeth are not cleaned overtime. This buildup of tartar eventually leads to gum irritation and bone loss that exposes the roots of their teeth. The harmful bacteria can then enter the bloodstream and affect systemic organs, including the heart, kidneys, and liver.

Your pet may be dealing with pain that you may not have noticed before. Some of the signs of dental disease that your pet may experience can include:

    • Lethargy or inactivity
    • Excessive salivation
    • Decreased or loss of appetite
    • Weight loss
    • Problems eating
    • Mouth sores
    • Facial swelling
    • Discharge from the nose or eyes
    • Pawing at the face
    • Teeth becoming loose or falling out

On the bright side, gum disease and oral health problems can be prevented in pets! According to the American Veterinary Dental College, here is what you may see in each stage of progressive periodontal disease in your furry loved one and steps you can take to prevent and manage dental disease:

1.Stage 0 and Stage 1 Periodontal Disease:

The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) recommends regular oral exams with X-rays and dental cleanings at least once a year beginning at the age of 1 for cats and small-breed dogs, and at 2 years old for larger-breed dogs. In addition, daily tooth brushing with a regular soft-bristled human tooth brush is recommended or a minimum of 3-4 times per week. It may take some patience because it can take your pet some time for them to get accustomed to the practice too!

2. Stage 2 Periodontal Disease:

It is important to take your pet to get their teeth professionally cleaned as soon as possible in order to prevent further bone loss and to reduce the gum swelling and infection.

3. Stage 3 Periodontal Disease:

There is now moderate bone loss and gum inflammation. The treatment options at this stage may include tooth extraction or advanced procedures done by the veterinary dentist, along with regular dental home care.

4. Stage 4 Periodontal Disease:

Advanced bone loss greater than 50% and tartar buildup which will require tooth extractions.

Other tips include selecting quality food (look for a Veterinary Oral Health Council  (VOHC)-approved stamp on the bag). Also try to avoid hard toys or treats to help prevent tooth fractures.


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. 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.



Festive Stress Taking a Toll on Your Mouth?

December 15th, 2018

As we approach the holidays, it can be an exciting, yet stressful time as we prepare to decorate, shop, and entertain for our loved ones. Even traveling, finances, or just having a large to-do list can add stress to your body and oral health. Sometimes you may not notice the negative impact that stress is causing to your teeth. Take a look at these common stressors and how they could be harmful to your smile:


Snoring does not only cause loud noises at night time-It could also be causing issues with your oral health! Snoring occurs when there is not enough air moving through the throat and nose while sleeping. Snoring could be a result of many conditions, and some risk factors include being male, 40 years of age or older, family history of snoring, and pregnancy. A main complication of snoring is dry mouth. Dry mouth occurs when there is a lack of saliva, which is necessary for neutralizing acids made by bacteria within the mouth, and for moistening your gums and teeth. When there is a lack of saliva you may develop oral problems such as bad breath (halitosis), burning mouth syndrome, cavities, gingivitis, or mouth sores. Depending on the cause, interventions can include an oral appliance, weight loss, or a reduction in alcohol or smoking.

Tooth Grinding

A commonly known issue impacting your teeth is called bruxism, also known as tooth grinding. This often occurs during your sleep which can make it hard for you not to notice. In addition, jaw clenching can also cause similar effects including wearing your enamel down, gum recession, and weakening the supporting structures in your mouth that keep your teeth in place. Not to mention, it can also break or chip existing fillings in your mouth. Grinding and clenching are often due to anxiety or stress, but can also be caused by an abnormal bite. Some of the signs that can clue you in that you may be clenching or grinding include a sore jaw when you wake up in the morning, or your partner may notice clicking sounds during your sleep. Not to worry though, there are treatment options that can fix this. A night guard may be suggested, or relaxation methods including exercise or other stress management interventions may be advised by your dentist to prevent damaging your pearly whites.


Depression is a common condition for many individuals, and it can come and go in spurts during a person's life. It is important to talk with a Doctor or someone who can help if it begins to interfere with daily life including with the care of your oral and overall health.

Holiday stressors are real! Stay stress-free this holiday and be sure to keep up on health. Brushing, flossing, and making sure your scheduling your regular dental check-ups is particularly important during the holidays when lots of sweets are involved!

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Aliand 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. VanDr. Emadis happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other periodontal or oral surgery needs, Dr. Ghaziwould be more than willing to help.

The caring team at Wellesley Dental Groupwill be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.comto set up an appointment and consultation.



Reap the Potential Benefits of Coconut Oil

February 11th, 2016

cYou may have heard about oil pulling in the news, on blogs, or from friends. This latest trend is actually an old Indian oral therapy dating back 3,000 years! It's an inexpensive practice that involves the gentle swishing of approximately 1 tablespoon of oil through the teeth for about 10 minutes daily before rinsing out. However, it should be well noted that this procedure should never replace brushing, flossing, and other daily dental habits.

Research has found that coconut oil may be effective in keeping our mouths healthy. It was tested against strains of Streptococcus bacteria, which are often found in the oral cavity and aid in producing acids that cause tooth decay. The study reported that the oil was able to fight off cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth. A beneficial ingredient of coconut oil is lauric acid, which is well-known for its anti-microbial agents that help defeat gingivitis, plaque, and microbes that cause bad breath.

Not to mention, recently, there has been news of individuals using coconut oil as toothpaste (for both humans and pets!). The suggested reasons behind this trend are that coconut oil does not contain harmful antibacterial chemicals, for example triclosan, which are sometimes found in traditional toothpastes. These harmful chemicals have raised concerns about antibiotic resistance and endocrine disruption. In addition, coconut oil is believed to help maintain a healthier balance of lipids on your tongue in comparison to some toothpastes. Toothpastes often contain chemicals that create the foam-like texture of the toothpaste, including sodium laureth sulfate (SLS), or sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES). These chemicals interfere with phospholipids found on the tongue, which as a result can create a bitter taste in your mouth. Research has found that SLS may even negatively impact the health of individuals with recurring canker sores. However, further research is needed to prove the effectiveness of using coconut oil as toothpaste.

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 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.


Is Mouthwash Necessary?

June 18th, 2015

As your walking down the isles in a drug store, it's easy to find a row full of mouthwashes.  From cosmetic to therapeutic mouthwashes, there are several types that can cater to your oral health needs. But, are they really necessary?

Although mouthwash should not be used as a substitute for brushing and flossing, it can be a positive habit to help improve oral health.

 Mouthwashes can be useful for both adults and children when used after brushing and flossing. They can provide many advantages, including:

  • Preventing Cavities

Mouthwashes containing fluoride can help reduce your risk of developing cavities. After swishing for approximately one minute, a small amount of fluoride sticks to teeth and is then quickly washed away by saliva.

  • Freshening Breath

There are many mouthwashes available that can help mask bad breath. These mouthwashes typically contain natural and artificial flavors that help give your mouth a fresh aroma. Rinsing can also help get rid of food particles left on teeth that have their own smelly scents. However, it is important to note that masking bad breath doesn't fix the underlying cause. Bad breath, or halitosis, may be a result of an infection, tooth decay, or other health issues.

  • Whitening Teeth

Some cosmetic mouthwashes contain a low concentration of the active ingredient, hydrogen peroxide, which is believed to help whiten teeth.

  • Preventing Dry mouth, Periodontal Disease, and Sensitivity

Mouth rinses can act as a therapeutic and help sooth canker sores. Many therapeutic mouthwashes contain xylitol, which may help prevent tooth decay. Some rinses help kill germs that can lead to gingivitis and periodontal disease. In addition, some can even help individuals with dry mouth produce more saliva.


A common myth about mouthwash is that the flavor or color offers additional benefits to oral health, however, it is mainly for atheistic purposes to attract consumers to buy the product. Once you've found the right mouthwash that addresses your needs, make sure to rinse according to the directions. For example, it is best to gargle and rinse twice a day with mouthwashes aimed to remove debris from teeth.

Incorporating mouthwash into your daily routine can help remove dental plaque, prevent tartar buildup, and left behind food particles from 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.


Don't Take your Stress Out on Teeth!

December 19th, 2014

Are you wrecking your teeth without even knowing it? Many individuals have a tendency to chew on a pencil or other objects when faced with a lot of work. It can also be tempting to use your teeth to rip open a package, open a plastic bag of food, or turn a stiff soda cap. It may seem like a harmless habit, however, using your teeth for anything other than chewing food can lead to chips, cracks, or even tooth loss.

Stress is a natural experience, but too much stress can have a negative impact on your mouth, teeth, and gums. Oral symptoms of stress typically include orofacial pain, poor eating habits, bruxism, temporomandibular disorders (TMD), mouth sores, and periodontal disease. To prevent stress from affecting your oral health, it is important to practice good oral health habits.

It is also important to remember that teeth are not tools! Although stress-relieving and often addicting, using your teeth as tools is damaging to your enamel. Teeth are necessary for speech, grinding food, and maintaining a healthy smile. Yet, with their many functions, teeth should never be used for ripping open or biting down on materials.

Here are some common negative dental health habits to avoid so that your smile can remain healthy:

Placing Your Pencil Between Your Teeth

Have a stack of work to complete? Need to concentrate? Some individuals tend to store objects, including  pens, pencils, or erasers between their teeth when trying to complete a challenging task. Biting on a non-food object can cause teeth to shift or crack due to the high amount of pressure placed on teeth. It can even damage existing dental work done in the mouth. Biting down on these objects can create grooves in the teeth and lead to other oral problems down the road!

Using Teeth as Scissors

Sometimes it can be time-consuming to look for a pair of scissors. However, is it worth compromising your dental health? Ripping off paper sales tags, tape, or plastic is a bad idea! Using your teeth to open materials can damage the teeth and throw your jaw joint out of place, leading to a TMD/TMJ disorder. Also, the sharp edges of many materials can cut into your gums, which can increase your risk of developing infections and other problems with your gums.

Using Teeth as an Extra Hand

Even simple tasks such as kitting and sewing can be harmful if you involve your teeth in the process.  Holding pins or tearing thread with your teeth can create grooves or holes in teeth.

Using Teeth to Crack Nuts or Seafood  

Cracking open seafood served in a shell or nuts will easily damage your teeth. Teeth were not designed for this function and thus cannot handle the applied pressure. Failing to use a nutcracker or other appliance can lead to a cracked tooth, which may require a root canal procedure and crown.

Using Teeth as Bottle Openers

Don't abuse your teeth! In addition to cracking your teeth, using them as a bottle opener can lead to serious damage and additional dental procedures.

Don’t let these bad oral habits become second nature! Whether it’s chewing on a bottle, ice, or a pencil,  resist the urge to damage your teeth with these objects. Using your teeth as instruments can wear down your teeth unevenly!

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. 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.


Stress Undermines a Healthy Smile

April 25th, 2014

frustrated-child (1)Stress not only affects your body, but also your mouth, teeth, and gums! Stress is easy to come by, and can often be overwhelming. Stress weakens the immune system, which negatively impacts your body’s capability to fight against the bacteria that causes many oral health problems, including periodontal disease. Stressing out can result in mouth sores, teeth grinding, nail biting, poor health care habits, and developing a bad diet.

Stress can affect anyone, even your child. Common worries ,including separation anxiety, academic pressure, world events, natural disasters, family worries, and social pressures can prompt stress in children. These troubles can provoke a physical response in children that can negatively impact their oral health. Stress is often revealed in a child by a change in behavior.

Recognizing the signs of stress can help improve your child’s oral health and well-being:

Mouth Sores

Stress, along with fatigue, can increase the chance of having canker sores. Canker sores are small ulcers that emerge inside the mouth. Emotional distress can trigger cold sores and last for up to 10 days!

Teeth Grinding

Stress may initiate bruxism. Bruxism can lead to problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Night guards are commonly recommended to minimize teeth grinding.

Change in Diet

Unhealthy eating habits, including snacking, and a desire for sugary foods or drinks is often induced by stress. This can lead to tooth decay and tooth loss. Remember that nutrition is also related to your oral health!

Developing Poor Dental Habits

Stress may affect moods and lead to skipping essential dental habits, including brushing, flossing, and rinsing.

Gum Disease

Even a brief period of stress can result in the risk of gingivitis and an accumulation of dental plaque.

Stress can be controlled with practical strategies to overcome the challenges that arise from daily life. Your child’s overall health depends on their oral health! Encourage a balance in your child’s schedule and reiterate the importance of sleep and a healthy diet.


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.


Snoring is a Culprit to Oral Health Issues

April 23rd, 2014

Stop-SnoringAre you often told that you snore in your sleep? If so, you are not alone! Snoring is a common problem that can be caused by many factors. According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, approximately 30 to 50 percent of individuals within the United States snore during their lifetime. Snoring not only affects your physical health, but also your oral health!

Snoring happens when air struggles to move freely through the nose and mouth during sleep. Snoring is often a result of abnormalities of the soft tissues in the mouth. Narrowing of the airway during sleep could cause tissues at the top of the airway to hit each other, resulting in a vibration and a loud noise. This noise can range from a soft wheezing to loud whistling sounds and can suggest breathing problems that interrupt sleep.

Dry mouth is a direct result of snoring. Snoring causes a lack of salivary flow, which is essential for coating the oral tissues. According to the American Dental Association, A lack of saliva due to snoring can lead to several other oral health problems, including bad breath, burning mouth syndrome, infections, mouth sores, tooth decay, and periodontal disease. Saliva acts as a buffer by neutralizing the acids produced by plaque. Saliva helps wash away food particles, cleanse the oral cavity of dead cells that create odors, and eliminate bacteria within the mouth. Snoring can also be a symptom of sleep apnea, which has damaging effects on the body. Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder that involves short breaks of breathing during sleep.

Some common symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Gasping for air that causes a break in sleep
  • Fatigue
  • Morning headaches
  • Irritability
  • Mood changes
  • Sore throat
  • Dry mouth
  • Attention problems

To avoid such problems, dentists can be a good source of help! Snoring and sleep apnea can be treated by using dental devices. The mandibular advancement device, also referred to as oral appliance therapy, is widely used to treat sleep apnea and snoring. Resembling a sports mouth guard, it helps keep the lower jaw down, which helps to keep the breathing airway open. Dentists can perform a polysomnogram, also known as a sleep study, which analyzes your sleeping patterns throughout the night. Also, a tongue-retraining device helps to treat sleep apnea by positioning the tongue in order to keep the breathing airway open. Orthodontic treatments, including rapid maxillary expansion, can provide additional help, especially for those with a narrow upper jaw. This nonsurgical treatment will reduce nasal pressure by tightening the upper teeth with the application of a screw device on the upper jaw. These oral devices can be useful in reducing the frequency of snoring, thereby improving your sleep patterns and oral health.

It is important to practice good oral hygiene in order to reduce your risk of developing these oral health problems. With the support of a dental professional,  the issue of snoring issue and sleep problems can be resolved!

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.


How Exactly Does Smoking Affect Oral Health?

January 28th, 2014

While smoking has been found to lead to various unhealthy consequences, it also has been linked with resulting in poor oral health.

Smoking and tobacco-based products have been shown to result in gum disease. It damages bone and soft tissue of teeth and interferes with the functioning of gum tissue cells. This leaves smokers more susceptible to infections, including periodontal disease, and also tends to lessen blood flow to the gums, which would hinder wound healing.

The Journal of the American Dental Association published results showing that cigar smokers have experienced tooth loss and alveolar bone loss, which is the bone within the jawbone responsible for anchoring teeth. The rate at which bone and tooth are loss for cigar smokers are very similar to cigarette smokers. Pipe smokers also are in danger of tooth loss; moreover, they are also at risk for oral and pharyngeal (throat) cancer, even if the smoke is not inhaled. Other oral health consequences included halitosis, stained teeth, and gum disease.

While some smokers believe that using smokeless tobacco products tend to be safer, that is not the case. Similar to cigars and cigarettes, smokeless tobacco products, including chewing tobacco, contain at least 28 chemicals that have shown to increase the risk of oral cancer, along with cancer of the throat and esophagus. Smokeless tobacco can also irritate gum tissue, leading to the receding and pulling away of teeth. When gum tissue recedes, teeth roots are left more exposed, which increases the chance for tooth decay to occur. The Journal of the American Dental Association also showed that chewing tobacco users were four times more likely than nonusers to have tooth decay. Smokeless tobacco also contains sand and grit, which can easily wear down teeth.

Even though you may be a tobacco product user, it is never too late to quit. Studies have shown that 11 years after quitting, former smokers were found to have risks of developing gum disease that were not too different from those who had never smoked. Cutting out tobacco products can truly lead to healthier oral health. 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.


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