oral candidiasis

Multiple Sclerosis & Maintaining a Healthy Mouth

March 14th, 2021

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurodegenerative disorder which effects the myelin sheath, altering the communication between the central nervous system (CNS) and the rest of the body. During March, MS Awareness week is held to shed light on the progress and stories of people across the world who manage & bravely fight this disease despite the challenges. MS is a progressive disease and is also considered an autoimmune disease. The exact cause of is currently still unknown. Many factors may play a role in the condition, including genetics, environmental factors, presence of immune system disorders, infection, vitamin deficiencies, smoking, and systemic inflammation. Researchers are also investigating the potential of the gut microbiome and chronic stress in relation to MS. MS can cause CNS changes in motor, sensory and cognitive functions, but the symptoms can vary between each individual.

In addition, World MS Day, created by the  Multiple Sclerosis International Federation (MSIF), will be celebrated on May 30, 2021, which aims to unite people and organizations from across the world to help learn more about the condition and help us all move to elimination of MS. Worldwide more than 2.3 million people live with multiple sclerosis. During this time loads of information and research is highlighted to help everyone understand this complex and unpredictable disease. Explore powerful stories of people with MS.
There are different types of MS, the most common being relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), which 85% of people with MS have. This is characterized by symptom flare-ups, then times of improvement. The flare-ups may last for days to weeks, and then start to resolve overtime. It has been reported that approximately half of the relapses can cause permanent damage to the CNS. Overtime, the disease can progress to secondary progressive MS, which consists of consistent worsening of symptoms.

Another type of MS is called Primary-Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (PPMS), in which individuals (10-15% of people diagnosed with MS) experience progressive worsening symptoms with few or no recovery periods. This type is often more severe and disabling,  and nerve damage is often found more in the spinal cord than in the brain.

Some symptoms of MS can include pain, vision issues, motor impairment and fatigue. MS may also have a negative effect on bladder and bowel problems, sexual dysfunction, trouble focusing and memory problems, and depression. Facial pain including partial facial paralysis or muscle spasms, and trouble speaking and chewing may also occur. 

Individuals with MS may also experience challenges with their oral health. Individuals are at a higher risk of developing dental caries and gum disease, for instance due to physical complications of MS and the lowered immune response. Systemic inflammation has been linked as a potential trigger for MS as well as periodontal disease, a severe form of gum disease. Plus, manual dexterity may be compromised in some individuals, making it hard for them to brush and floss adequately. In these cases, modified toothbrushes and/or electric toothbrushes may be more helpful. In more severe cases, caregivers may need to help provide help with oral care. Patients with MS may also need to be seen by the dentist more frequently for visits and cleanings. Your dentist may even recommend fluoride treatment or prescription fluoride toothpaste as an added protective treatment.

There is currently no cure for MS, but numerous medications and treatment methods have been found to help manage/slow the progression of the disease and relapse occurrences. However, MS medications may also produce negative effects on oral health, including dry mouth (also known as xerostomia), inflamed gingival tissues, altered taste, and fungal infections including oral candidiasis and angular cheilitis, for instance. Immunosuppressants may increase the risk of developing infections and cancers as well. Be sure to inform your health care providers of all of the current medications you are taking.

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. 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.

References:

https://www.nationalmssociety.org/Get-Involved/Raise-Awareness

https://decisionsindentistry.com/article/oral-health-risks-multiple-sclerosis/

https://www.everydayhealth.com/multiple-sclerosis/living-with/how-ms-affect-oral-health/

https://www.nationalmssociety.org/NationalMSSociety/media/MSNationalFiles/Brochures/Brochure-Dental-Health.pdf

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fhealthykcmag.com%2Fmultiple-sclerosis-awareness-month%2F&psig=AOvVaw1pEiJpXj4ePew6y5snrUFR&ust=1615644189477000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCLD5pYz2qu8CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAK

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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