How Does My Mouth Change as I Age?

May 13th, 2020

With age comes many changes, and that includes changes within our health. The month of May is celebrated nationally as Older Americans Month, and we have some tips on how to keep your teeth healthy throughout each decade!

Because we only get one set of permanent teeth for our entire life, it's important that we do our best to keep them healthy. Many older adults suffer from gum disease, and often show signs of swollen and red gums that likely may bleed. In fact, the Washington Dental Service Foundation (WDSF) reported that severe gum disease impacts about 23% of individuals aged between 65 to 74, which can significantly impact the survival of natural teeth. Not to mention, the development of many systemic diseases have been linked with older age, in addition to poor oral health. So, its extremely necessary to continue to schedule your regular dental visits and practice good oral hygiene habits at home, especially to prevent tooth loss later on in life.

There are many factors impacting oral health that can be at play as we age. For instance, dry mouth is a common culprit of tooth decay, which often increases with medication use. Dry mouth has been noted to be a common side effect in over 500 medications, such as antidepressants, anxiolytics, antihypertensives, and antipsychotics just to name a few. It is important to inform your dentist about any medications that you are taking. To help alleviate dry mouth and lower your risk of developing cavities, your dentist may recommend avoiding certain acidic foods and beverages that can irritate dry mouths, in addition to over the counter mouth rinses, or saliva stimulants such as sugar-free gum or lozenges. Depending on the severity, your dentist may consult with your physician. Also remember, it is important to stay hydrated too!

Sometimes it can be harder to brush and floss as individuals age due to certain impairments. Individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or osteoporosis, for instance, often may need extra assistance taking care of their teeth and making regular dental visits. If your loved on has trouble brushing or flossing, speak with your dentist who can add helpful recommendations.

In addition, if recession has occurred overtime, it is important for older adults to properly clean exposed root surfaces of dental plaque and leftover food particles to help prevent decay on the root surfaces.

Most of us have experienced tooth sensitivity at some point in their lives, and age can be one of the many factors that can increase your risk of tooth sensitivity. Your dentist may recommend using a desensitizing toothpaste, or review toothbrushing techniques.

The rate of oral cancer also has been noted to increase with age. According to the American Cancer Society, the average age of most people diagnosed with oral cancer is 62. Often, your dentist is the first to detect oral cancer, which is another reason why keeping up with regular dental visits is important.

Here a few important tips to keep your pearly whites strong and help them last a lifetime:

  • Keep up with regular dental visits, even if you wear dentures, having your gums and surrounding oral tissues checked is necessary for your overall health.
  • Be sure to clean dentures or retainer daily to remove bacteria, using only cleaners made specifically for your oral appliance to avoid damaging. Make sure you remove your denture at night time to keep your oral tissues healthy.
  • Remember to brush at least twice each day for approximately two minutes, and use toothpaste containing fluoride.
  • It is important to floss once daily to remove leftover food debris and plaque in the areas in-between your teeth that the toothbrush cannot reach.
  • Try your best to avoid high intakes of sugar from items such as candy and soda to help lower your risk of tooth decay and improve your overall health.
  • Avoid using tobacco, which has been linked to oral cancer, gum disease, heart disease, and many other health problems. Talk to your dentist or physician for resources and help with quitting, it's never too late!
  • Add an antibacterial mouthwash to your oral hygiene routine to help reduce plaque buildup.





How Can Vitamin K2 Help My Health?

December 11th, 2019

As we approach the holidays, our hearts and tummies begin to prepare for the tasty meals enjoyed with loved ones. There are a lot of vitamins and minerals that exist in the foods we eat that are beneficial, and sometimes even essential for our body to function properly. Many of us have been told that milk builds strong bones due to calcium and vitamin D, which work together to help maintain your teeth and bones. But what about the less popular vitamins, such as vitamin K2? Check out how vitamin K2 may provide benefits for your general and dental health:

First, what exactly is Vitamin K? Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that is considered an essential nutrient necessary for blood clotting, calcium metabolism, bone health, and cardiovascular health. If your body is lacking vitamin K, your body's normal healing process may be impaired and you may be more likely to bleed.

Vitamin K has two main forms, K1 and K2. Vitamin K1 can be found in plant foods such as leafy greens and is made from the compound phylloquinone. On the other hand, vitamin K2 is found in animal and fermented foods, and from the normal bacteria within our human digestive system. Vitamin K2 is made from menaquinones. Not as popular in the Western diet, vitamin K2 can be found in Natto, a fermented soybean paste that is common in Japan, and in some cheeses. However, there is no recommendation for supplementation or daily intake of vitamin K2. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) describes vitamin K1 as the preferred form of the vitamin since it is less toxic, works faster, is stronger. However, vitamin K2 is also beneficial for our health for the reasons stated below.

Research suggests that vitamin K2 may protect your bones from osteoporosis and lower your risk of bone fractures. In addition, a research study published in Integrative Medicine: A Clinician's Journal found that vitamin K2 may contribute to keeping your blood vessel walls clear of calcium accumulation. Calcium deposits within blood vessels can lead to an increased risk of heart disease. Although more research needs to be conducted regarding vitamin K2 and its role in the oral cavity, some animal studies have suggested that it may play a role in lowering your risk of developing tooth decay. Vitamin K2 has been found to activate the protein osteocalcin, which is necessary for bone metabolism and the growth of new dentin within your teeth. it works together with vitamin D3 to carry calcium to your teeth and bones for normal absorption. It is also believed that vitamin K2 slows down the rate of tooth loss with age. Some studies have also suggested that vitamin K3 can help lower risk of developing diabetes, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, kidney disease, and lower oxidative stress in the brain related to Alzheimer's disease.

Ultimately, it is important to have a balanced diet, and keep up with a regular oral care routine, by brushing with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day for two minutes each time, flossing, and keeping regular dental appointments.

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.







The Effect of Birth Control on Oral Health

January 26th, 2016


Birth control pills have many benefits and are a popular contraceptive method which increases estrogen/progesterone levels. However, they can also negatively affect your oral health.

According to The American Academy of Periodontology, many factors such as smoking, poor nutritiongenetics, and medications (including oral contraceptives, antidepressants, and heart medications) can impact gum health. These factors may increase risk for gum disease, which 75 percent of Americans, and especially periodontal disease, an advanced type of gum disease linked to osteoporosis, stroke, diabetes, heart disease, and low-birth-weight babies that 50% of Americans have.

Many studies have demonstrated the clear connection between dental health and sex hormones. The risk for periodontitis is especially high during puberty and pregnancy due to increased estrogen levels, which promote the flow of blood in the mouth and forces gums become red, swollen, and more susceptible to bacteria. Furthermore, women have a greater chance of having dental problems because of their hormones.

There is also evidence that those who use oral contraceptives had more bleeding sites, tooth attachment loss, gum gaps, inflammation, and gum destruction. If you are our patient, please let us know your history and habits so we can effectively treat and prevent gum disease. Certain medications can impact the effectiveness of antibiotics. To prevent and resolve gum disease, make sure to use an antimicrobial mouthwash, floss, and avoid smoking, stress, and sugar.

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.





Latte, Espresso, Cappuccino? Think Twice Before You Indulge

November 12th, 2015


Coffee is America’s favorite beverage, especially for early risers. Not to mention, coffee lovers have many options to choose from. From sweetened flavors like mocha, caramel swirl, and French vanilla, to the less sweet flavors of cinnamon, coconut, hazelnut, raspberry, and toasted almond.

It’s estimated that 68 percent of the American population indulge in a cup of coffee every morning to help them wake up and to keep them going throughout the day. The real question is, "Is coffee good or bad for you?"

Coffees is known to increase mental alertness, boost our concentration, and prevent the development of certain cancers and other diseases.  In addition, according to recent studies, black coffee may help fight bacteria if consumed without artificial sweeteners.

Along with some good effects, there are also many adverse effects on the body. Coffee is often associated with high blood pressure, heart disease, osteoporosis. In addition, coffee can have a negative impact on your dental health. Some studies suggest that coffee wears down tooth enamel. Weakened enamel can make teeth more vulnerable to diseases and permanent damage. Enamel is porous calcified substance made up of matrix of crystal like rods, which keeps our teeth strong. The bad part is that once your enamel is gone, you can't get it back!

Not to mention, moderate to high consumption of coffee can cause tooth discoloration, leaving your teeth stained yellow.

Many of us know that it can be hard to give up the daily dose of coffee each morning. But, there are a few preventive measures that you can take to reduce the amount of coffee you intake. This includes rinsing your mouth after drinking coffee, using proper brushing and flossing habits, and using a straw to prevent coffee from touching the surfaces of your teeth.  Also, Zoom! Whitening is a great way to keep your teeth pearly white.

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. 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.




The Success of Dental Implants in Women with Osteoporosis

August 13th, 2015

Aging can be a beautiful process. Yet, with age, we can expect for gradual changes within the body to occur. For instance, post-menopausal women with osteoporosis often have a greater risk of losing their teeth. New research has found that dental implants can help improve the lives of women suffering from osteoporosis.Both osteoporosis and dental implants are more connected than you may think. Osteoporosis is a condition involving one's bones, where the bones become thinner and brittle due to a loss of calcium. As a result, the  bones become more prone to fractures. It is important to note that this condition does not only affect the spine and bones within the core of the body. It can also have an impact on bones within the jaw, and thus contribute to tooth loss. Bone loss in the jaw can lead to a change in the shape of a person's face and loss of function in keeping teeth secure.

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine studied over 200 women with osteoporosis. In addition, all of the women had at least two adjacent teeth missing. Some women had dental implants, fixed partial dentures, or removable dentures, while others had no restoration work done. The study titled, "Dental Implant Supported Restorations Improve the Quality of Life in Osteoporotic Women," was published in the Journal of International DentistryEach participant was given a survey which questioned their satisfaction with replacement teeth and how it impacted their lives socially and emotionally. Participants who had dental implants reported the highest overall satisfaction with the quality of their lives, followed by individuals with fixed dentures, false teeth, and no dental restoration work, respectively. This study may indicate that dental implants provide individuals with the highest satisfaction after losing teeth.

Along the same lines, a different study observed over 600 dental implants in approximately 200 patients over the age of 50. The study found that dental implants had a 94% success rate. The success rate was also high for individuals taking osteoporosis medications. If you have osteoporosis, it's important to let your dentist know what medications you are taking and how long that you've been taking them to ensure the success of dental implants.

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. 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.





Balancing the Body, Mind, and Spirit

May 5th, 2010


A Lecture and Group Experience to Improve the Quality of Your Life

Topics Included:

Osteoporosis, Acid-base balance, Immune deficiency diseases

Presented by:

Loretta S. Pharo, R.N.

Certified Yoga Teacher (39 years) and Holistic Health Therapist

FRIDAY, June 4, 2010 - 7:30 to 9 pm

St. Mary's School Auditorium, 158 Washington St., Winchester, MA

Registration at the door: $20/person (cash)

  • Bring paper and pen to take notes
  • Be prepared to take off shoes and socks for yoga seated in a chair
  • Wear very little jewelry
  • Have little food in your stomach

Request an


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