oral bacteria

Bad Breath: A Possible Early Sign of Diabetes

August 1st, 2020

We Are Happy To Answer Your Bad Breath Questions | Katy, TX

With roughly 1.5 million Americans diagnosed each year, diabetes remains a silent killer, as early symptoms are often easy to miss. Interestingly, your breath could be warning you that something’s going on in your body. One of the many potential causes of bad breath, also known as halitosis, includes diabetes.

So, What is Diabetes?

The latest statistics noted by the American Diabetes Association reveal that approximately 34.2 million (10.5%) Americans had a diagnosis of diabetes in 2018. Plus, a whopping 88 million (34.5%) individuals aged 18 years or older have prediabetes in the U.S.

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which the body has too much blood sugar (glucose) within the bloodstream. Some of the most common types of diabetes that you may have heard of include Type 1 and Type 2. In Type 1 diabetes, the body is blocked from producing insulin, which is normally released by the pancreas to absorb the sugar from the foods you eat for energy. Therefore, treatment involves taking insulin each day to help keep blood sugar levels under control. Type 1 is believed to be caused by an autoimmune response. On the other hand, individuals with Type 2 diabetes suffer from inadequate amounts of insulin release, or their bodies no longer appropriately respond to the action of insulin. Fortunately, Type 2 diabetes can be prevented with healthy lifestyle habits, including exercise, a healthy diet, and practicing good oral hygiene! Diabetes can have a negative, and sometimes life-threatening impact on major organs, including your heart, kidneys, and eyes.


Diabetes and Your Oral Health - McOmie Family Dentistry

Bad breath, a possible early sign of diabetes?

Individuals with diabetes may experience bad breath for several reasons which may be detected early. Early diagnosis and treatment of pre-diabetes and diabetes is important for early management and to lower the risk of detrimental complications to your overall health. Some of the common causes of bad breath in pre-diabetic/diabetic patients can include periodontal disease or ketoacidosis:

Periodontal disease:

  • What some people may not know is that diabetes can impact your oral health, and vice versa! This two-way relationship has been shown in several studies revealing a significant link between uncontrolled diabetes and the more severe form of gum disease, periodontitis, as well as severe gum disease being associated with high blood sugar levels.
  • Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that involves oral bacteria which attack the oral tissues and bone that surround your teeth. Other systemic diseases, like heart disease and strokes, are linked to both diabetes and periodontal disease. Bad breath is a common sign of periodontal disease, and is typically a result of the bacteria within the mouth that produce volatile sulfur compounds. If blood sugar levels are not controlled, periodontal disease can progress and lead to tooth loss.

Ketoacidosis (DKA):

  • One of the complications of diabetes is ketoacidosis. This condition occurs when the body does not have enough insulin, which leads to certain cells not receiving enough energy from the uptake of sugar.
  • This causes your body to break down fat for energy, which consequently makes a high amount of acids in the blood called ketones. A high amount of ketones in your body can lead to bad breath, and you may notice a smell similar to nail polish. Once reaching an unsafe level, diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) occurs, which can present with a sweet and fruity odor on your breath, frequent urination, trouble breathing, confusion, abdominal pain, nausea, and/or vomiting. This condition can be life-threatening, and immediate medical attention is necessary if you experience these symptoms.Common Causes of Bad Breath

Take a look at some of the other associations between diabetes, oral health, and bad breath:

Dry mouth:

  • Diabetics may experience dry mouth, which can also cause bad breath. Your saliva does more than you may think! Without saliva, acid produced by oral bacteria can attack the surfaces of your teeth and lead to tooth decay/cavities. Not to mention, saliva helps wash away leftover food particles that the bacteria feed on. To fight dry mouth, stay hydrated with water. Chewing xylitol sugar free gum can also help stimulate saliva production. Dry mouth may also be a result of certain medications, including those taken for diabetes. Be sure to keep your dentist in the loop regarding all of your current medications.

Greater Risk of Infections:

  • Individuals with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing infections due to a weakened immune system. Plus, uncontrolled diabetics may experience slow wound healing due to poor circulation from high blood sugar levels. It is especially important to stay healthy and keep your immune system strong during these unprecedented times. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), individuals with Type 2 diabetes are considered at a high risk for experiencing illness from COVID-19. Make sure to continue practicing social distancing, proper hand-washing and disinfecting, and wear a face covering to help fight coronavirus.
  • In addition, people with diabetes may be at a higher risk of developing an oral yeast infection, also known as oral thrush. Oral thrush often appears as a white coat on the tongue or inside of the cheeks and can result in uncomfortable mouth sores and ulcers, along with a foul odor and taste. Your dentist will be able to diagnose oral thrush and offer treatment recommendations.

Remember, your oral cavity is a window to the rest of your body so be sure to take care of it! Your body may be showing you small signs that relate to a bigger health issue. Keep up with your regular dental appointments and practice good oral hygiene at home. When tooth brushing, don’t forget to brush your tongue, which is a common ground for odor producing bacteria.

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.













Green Tea and the "Toothbrush Tree" May Fight Dental Plaque

August 10th, 2016

Woman-Drinking-Green-TeaResearchers are continuing to find different foods and drinks that can help promote oral health. Recently, researchers from Iraq who published “Anti-plaque effect of a synergistic combination of green tea and Salvadora persica L. against primary colonizers of dental plaque,” in Archives of Oral Biology have combined both green tea and extracts from Salvadora persica, also known as the toothbrush tree, to help fight oral bacteria and eliminate dental plaque.

Small twigs and roots from S. persica are found across Africa, the Middle East and the Arabian Peninsula, and has been found to act as natural toothbrushes since it contains many active compounds that promote good dental health. The researchers experimented with primary colonizing bacteria that were stuck to saliva-coated glass beads. They found that green tea alone had a better anti-plaque effect than the S. persica extracts. Also, they found that when green tea was combined with  S. persica, dental plaque was significantly reduced along with the ability of the bacteria to adhere to the beads. As a result, more researchers are looking into the beneficial health effects of green tea and S. persica. 

But, if you’re not a tea drinker, try looking out for dental products that contain green tea, including toothpaste and mouthwash.

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.




A Healthy Smile = A Healthy Start to 2016

January 13th, 2016


It's the beginning of 2016 and a great time to make some resolutions for the new year! If staying healthy is one of your resolutions this year, make sure to add "excellent oral health" to the list as well. Dr. Nathan Pfister, a biological dentist in Alabama, claims that dental health and overall health influence each other in many ways.

Dr. Pfister recognizes the fact that dental bacteria and oral inflammation are connected to many medical conditions such as memory disorders, Alzheimer's, heart problems, diabetes, and stroke. Therefore, he connects the diet and oral health habits of his patients by observing plaque samples with a microscope. This way, Dr.Pfister can determine whether dental issues are caused by poor oral hygiene habits, an unbalanced diet, or a medical problem.

There is even further evidence of the strong connection between dentistry and medicine in a study published in the journal of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. According to this study, there is also a link between periodontal or chronic inflammatory gum disease (which can vary based on smoking habits) and an increased risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. Professor Jo L. Freudenheim, PhD, of the University at Buffalo's School of Public Health and Health Professions adds that this common disease is associated with heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and other cancers.

Out of the 73,737 postmenopausal women (none of whom were previously diagnosed with cancer) who participated in the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study led by Professor Freudenheim, 26.1% had periodontal disease. 6.7 years later, the women with this disease had a 14% higher risk of breast cancer.

Possible explanations for the connection between breast cancer and periodontal disease include the effect of inflammation on breast tissues and oral bacteria entering the circulatory system. Professor Freudenheim claims that more studies need to be conducted in other populations in order to determine if there is a causal relationship between oral bacteria and breast cancer.

Feel free to contact Dr. Zarah Ali and Drs. Ali & 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.


https://www.sweet-cures.com/naturalhealth/images/healthy-teeth.jpg (photo credit)



Coconut Oil Can Help Fight Tooth Decay

March 14th, 2014

coconut oil
Did you know that coconut oil acts as a natural antibiotic when digested? Did you also know that it kills the bacteria responsible for tooth decay?
It's true! There's also evidence to suggest that the antibiotic part of the oil can be added to oral hygiene products.

Dr. Damien Brady and his team at the Athlone Institute of Technology in Ireland are responsible for these findings. They set out to see if the natural antibiotic in coconut oil could be used to fight strains of streptococcus bacteria, which is commonly found in the mouth and responsible for tooth decay.

The researchers tested the impact of coconut oil, vegetable oil and olive oil in their natural states and when treated with enzymes, in a process similar to digestion.  The oils were then tested against Streptococcus bacteria which are common inhabitants of the mouth. Only the enzyme-modified coconut oil showed an ability to halted most strains of bacteria from reproducing. It also attacked Streptococcus mutans, an acid-producing bacterium which is a major cause of tooth decay.

Test studies have also found that semi-digested coconut oil kills Candida albicans, a yeast that causes thrush. The scientists think that enzyme-modified coconut oil, meaning in its semi-digested state, could possibly have antimicrobial properties in oral healthcare, specially in hygiene products.

The research gave some insight into the workings of antibacterial activity in the human gut. "Our data suggests that products of human digestion show antimicrobial activity. This could have implications for how bacteria colonise the cells lining the digestive tract and for overall gut health," said Dr Brady.

Dr. Brady said: "Dental caries is a commonly overlooked health problem affecting 60-90% of children and the majority of adults in industrialized countries. Incorporating enzyme-modified coconut oil into dental hygiene products would be an attractive alternative to chemical additives, particularly as it works at relatively low concentrations."

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    Drs. Ali & Ali are happy to answer any questions you may have about this exciting new discovery! Or, if you have a different question or concern, don't hesitate to contact us at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com.

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.

coconut oil uses good


Long-Term Benefits of Cuting Down on Sugar

January 8th, 2014


candy sweetsIt has been a little over 20 years since the World Health Organization (WHO) came out with the statistic that the amount of free sugars taken in by the body should be less than 10% of the total caloric intake, with free sugars defined as sugars that have been added to foods by the one preparing the food or it can be sugars that are naturally present in foods, including in honey, syrups, and fruit juices.

WHO decided to put this statistic to the test and commissioned Newcastle University to do research on whether cutting down on these free sugars to only 10% of total calories can result in lower levels of tooth decay. Newcastle University’s results were published in the Journal of Dental Research, revealing that... when individuals kept their free sugar intake less than 10% of their total caloric intake, there were indeed much fewer instances of tooth decay. What’s more is that the research findings also suggest that when individuals cut down sugar intake to only holding 5% of caloric intake, individuals would reap further benefits, decreasing risk of cavities throughout their life.

Researchers at Newcastle University explain that much of the research done in the past to determine recommended level of free sugars were primarily based on levels related to decayed teeth in 12 year olds. However, it is no secret that tooth decay is a progressive disease, which cannot be accurately determined based solely on the state of teeth during a specific time period of an individual’s life. When patterns of tooth decay in populations over time were analyzed, research shows that children that had less than three cavities at the age of 12 can actually go on to develop high number of cavities as adults.

This increase of tooth decay can be attributed to the increase in the amount of sugar intake in industrialized countries. Sugar in the past may have only been an occasional treat, but now this is simply not the case. Sugary foods and beverages are now considered staples in many people’s diet. Professor Moynihan, the professor of nutrition and oral health at Newcastle University, explain that while fluoride is can act as a protectant against tooth decay, it can not completely eliminate tooth decay. With increased sugar intake, teeth still remain susceptible to cavities even with the help fluoride in water and toothpaste.

Join WHO’s global initiative in cutting down sweets. Limiting sugar intake not only reaps dental benefits but it indubitably is beneficial for overall health. If you have any more questions, feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questionsContact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation. 




Immune Cells: Potential Warriors In the Battle Against Gum Disease

November 22nd, 2013

perio diseasePeriodontal disease is one of the most prevalent oral diseases, affecting 78 million people in the United States. Periodontal disease (also known as gum disease) can range from gum inflammation to serious disease results in severe damage of the soft tissue and bones that support the teeth. While this oral disease remains an issue at large, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh may have found an innovative way to keep this disease at bay. They have discovered that certain immune system cells can be brought right to the inflamed tissues, resulting in effective treatment.


When dentists see that patients have symptoms of periodontal disease, the usual recommendation is proper oral hygiene. Through daily brushing and flossing, one is able to prevent plaque and eventually tartar from forming near the gum line.  These strategies aim to keep the growth of oral bacteria at bay. Dr. Charles Sfeir, the director of the Center Regeneration at the University’s School of Dental Medicine notes that these are ways to keep the bacteria from triggering sever inflammation in the oral cavity; however, there needs to be a method to prevent the underlying problem, which is the overreaction of the immune system that results in an adverse response to oral bacteria.


Within a healthy mouth, there is a response system between the immune system and bacteria that prevents infection without starting up inflammation. However, when there is too much bacteria in the oral cavity (due to lack maintenance of oral health), the immune system is on overdrive, leading to harmful consequences on oral tissues. The scientists have discovered that these disease tissues are low on a group of immune cells called the regulatory T-cells, which is responsible for informing immune cells to stand down, stopping the inflammatory response. These researchers believe that when more of these regulatory T-cells are brought back to the gums, the inflammatory response will be contained. The researchers are on their way in developing new technology that can deliver these immune cells to where they are lacking. With this new system, perhaps inflammation, thus periodontal disease may potentially be kept at bay.  If you have any more questions, feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group ; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com








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