oral sores

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 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://worldsleepsociety.org/programs/world-sleep-day/

https://www.verywellhealth.com/sleep-apnea-and-oral-health-4587690

https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_sleep/how_much_sleep.html

https://worldsleepday.org/tips-for-adults

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fholisticdentalcenternj.com%2Fsleep-oral-health%2F&psig=AOvVaw3Km_gH_SEXjLbWXF8PaFiL&ust=1616166659444000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCPiJq52Quu8CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAY

Every Body Has a Seat at the Table: Eating Disorder Awareness

February 21st, 2021

Every year, many organizations and individuals across the nation recognize National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (#NEDAwareness), which is the biggest and most recognized eating disorders education effort in the United States. This year, NEDAwareness Week runs from Monday, February 22 - Sunday, February 28. This national event aims is to shed light on eating disorders through educating, spreading hope, and making resources accessible to individuals in need. The theme for 2021 is "Every Body to Has a Seat at the Table."

According to the campaign, approximately 30 million people in the United States will be affected by an eating disorder during their lifetime. Even though this year brings additional challenges as we combat COVID-19, communities across the nation are still coming together to raise awareness through social media events, virtual discussions, and more informative and cool activities.

As reported by the National Eating Disorders Association, eating disorders have been found to be most common in teenagers and young adult women, although they can effect people of any gender or age. Eating disorders can negatively impact a person's physical and mental well-being, and have an effect on personal relationships, confidence, and overall performance at life tasks. In addition, eating disorders can have a significant impact on an individual's oral health. Your teeth, gums, and the surrounding oral tissues depend on healthy nutrients and a healthy diet.

Eating disorders can stem from many physical, mental and social hardships. If you suffer from an eating disorder, it’s important to talk to your health care providers so that proper diagnosis and treatment can begin.

So, what are some of the different types of eating disorders?

  • Anorexia: Individuals with anorexia may experience severe fear of gaining weight and may experience negative thoughts on the way their body appears. Signs may include individuals starving themselves to avoid gaining weight, and excessive exercise.
  • Bulimia: This condition is similar to anorexia in the sense that individuals may also have fears of being overweight. However, individuals may also experience periods of overeating/binge eating followed by self-induced vomiting, purging, misusing laxatives, or fasting throughout the day or several times throughout the week.
  • Binge Eating or Compulsive Overeating: This condition involves individuals who binge eat but do not regularly try to purge the food. Individuals may experience feelings of guilt, making it easier to continue to overeat.

In fact, your dentist may be the first to notice the signs of an eating disorder as changes in the mouth are often the first physical signs that become noticeable. Unfortunately, eating disorders can cause permanent damage to the teeth and oral tissues. Recognizing the signs of an eating disorder early can help lead to a better and easier road to recovery for the body and mouth.

Some of the oral consequences of eating disorders include:

  • Easily bleeding gums
  • Swollen salivary glands which may cause Individuals to experience chronic dry mouth, increasing the risk of developing tooth decay.
  • Lack of nutrients that promote healthy teeth such as calcium, iron and vitamins B and D can also increase the risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease. Lack of iron can lead to the development of oral sores. Similarly, improper amounts of vitamin B3/niacin can lead to bad breath (halitosis) and the development of oral canker sores. Gums may also become puffy and red.
  • Frequent vomiting causes the tooth enamel, or the outer layer of your teeth, to become weak, eroded, soft, and become yellow in color due to the highly acidic environment created from stomach acids. This can create tooth sensitivity when eating hot or cold foods or drinks, and eventually lead to tooth and tissue loss. As enamel wears away, the layer underneath, the dentin, can become exposed and in extreme cases the pulp, which is the next layer of the tooth underneath the dentin, can be exposed and cause infection and pulp death. Tooth decay can even be worsened by extensive tooth brushing following vomiting due to the acidity and weakened state of the mouth.

    Water should be rinsed with following purging to help reduce the high acidic content in the mouth. Vomiting can also induce inflammation, cuts, and soreness of the roof of the mouth/soft palate.

  • Degenerative arthritis of the jaw's temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are also associated with eating disorders. This can lead to jaw pain, chronic headaches, and problems chewing and opening/closing the mouth.

If you suffer from an eating disorder, it is important to contact a health professional. To help reduce associated oral health issues it is also important to maintain oral health care by proper tooth brushing and flossing, and frequent visits to your dentist. Your dentist may provide fluoride rinses or other products to help remineralize tooth enamel.

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://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/get-involved/nedawareness

https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/dental-complications-eating-disorders

https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/e/eating-disorders

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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