Will Nasal Breathing Help Fight Coronavirus?

July 8th, 2020

As the number of COVID-19 cases across the United States continues to rise, scientists and researchers are continuously trying to find ways to help control and beat the virus. Research is currently being conducted to determine if nasal breathing can help lower the risk of contracting coronavirus. You may be wondering, why would breathing through your nose be beneficial?

Interestingly, breathing through your nose and mouth are two completely different methods of breathing. Nasal breathing is connected to your diaphragm and signals a response from your parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), also known as your rest and digest system. The PNS acts on your heart, lungs, and digestive tract. On the other hand, breathing through your oral cavity signals your sympathetic nervous system (SNS), also known as the fight or flight system. The SNS acts in opposition to the PNS, and instead elevates your pulse and breathing rates, while slowing digestion. Breathing through your nose, rather than your mouth, is the best way to receive the optimal amount of oxygen. Here’s why:

Your nose produces nitric oxide, which helps increase the transport of oxygen throughout your body by allowing your blood vessels to dilate. It also helps relax and open your airways in the lungs, acting as a bronchodilator. Nitric oxide is a huge plus to the immune system too, as it has antifungal, antiviral, antiparasitic, and antibacterial effects. In addition, your nasal turbinates function to warm and humidify air as it moves into the lungs, helping to filter and block harmful particles from entering your body.

According to scientists, humming has been found to increase the production of nitrous oxide in the sinus cavities surrounding the nose. Researchers revealed that the sound waves from humming increase the speed of gas exchange, and can help provide some relief for individuals with a sinus infection (Sinusitis). Foods high in nitrates, including leafy green vegetables, beets, and garlic for example, may also increase the concentration of nitrous oxide in the body and provide the same health benefits. In hopes to find treatment and prevention methods against COVID-19, clinical trials have currently begun to investigate the direct application of nitrous oxide to the respiratory system.

It can be hard to breathe through your nose at times, especially when you have sleep apnea, allergies, or are sick and congested, or even when you have your mask on to help fight coronavirus. Having a stuffy nose is a pain, and we often don’t notice how important the nose is until it isn’t functioning properly.  When your airway is obstructed, your mouth naturally opens to allow air flow to your lungs. However, breathing through your mouth doesn’t offer the same benefits as nasal breathing, and can even lead to health problems. Breathing through your mouth increases dehydration and inflammation in the body. Mouth breathing can cause enlarged tonsils/adenoids, dry mouth, bad breath (halitosis), chronic fatigue, irritability, dry lips, periodontal disease, and throat/ear infections, and other conditions. Many studies have also shown that breathing through the mouth can make individuals with asthma experience worse symptoms.

In children, mouth breathing can lead to several physical and cognitive challenges. Children who aren’t treated for mouth breathing can develop misaligned teeth, gummy smiles, facial deformities including long narrow faces/mouths, sleep disorders, lack of concentration, poor posture, or poor growth.

Talk with your dentist if you notice or believe that you or your child is mouth breathing. Practicing nasal breathing makes perfect! Also, be sure to try to reduce your stress levels, as stress can also lead to abnormal breathing patterns.

Breathing through your nose is important for your health! It can be our first line of defense against airborne particles, and is especially important to make a habit during these unprecedented times. While wearing your mask, initiate slow breaths through your nose to help lower the amount of carbon dioxide inhaled. This will help reduce your risk of experiencing trouble breathing, headaches, and dizziness.

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 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.




My Tooth Hurts, Now What Do I Do? 

April 7th, 2020

We all know the uncomfortable feeling of a toothache. Yet, it turns out that there could be several possible culprits behind the pain.

If you are experiencing sharp pain after the consumption of hot or cold beverages, you may have sensitive teeth. Tooth sensitivity can be a result of worn tooth enamel, a fractured tooth, deteriorated fillings, tooth decay, or receding gums. You should see your dentist to confirm a diagnosis and discuss possible treatment options, but until then try using a tooth sensitivity toothpaste with a soft bristle brush to help with the pain. Excessive teeth whitening and acidic foods should also be avoided. If instead you are experiencing a more constant throbbing pain, you may have an infected or abscessed tooth.

If the pain feels like it's radiating from the jaw, it could be a result of an impacted tooth, a temporomandibular disorder, arthritis, excessive teeth grinding or clenching. Sinusitis could be the underlying cause of the pain if you are experiencing discomfort on both sides of your face or in your upper teeth.

Regardless of the current level of pain you are experiencing, you should always make an appointment with your dentist so an exact diagnosis can be determined and to prevent the pain from developing further. What feels like a slight discomfort now, can quickly develop into acute pain down the line.

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.



How Does Your Cold/Flu Affect Your Mouth?

January 6th, 2019

Catching a cold or the flu can be one of the worst things that come with the cold weather during winter. The (CDC) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that adults typically get a cold 2-3 times a year! A lot of challenges come with being sick, including trouble sleeping, eating, and just going about your normal daily activities. With a sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, and a box of tissues by your side, you may be looking to cough medicine and nasal decongestants to hide the symptoms. But, did you ever wonder how your cold or the medicines to treat them impact your teeth and mouth?  Here's some things to keep in mind in order to keep your body and mouth healthy while combatting a cold:

Stuffy Nose & Dry Mouth

It's a real struggle when you cannot breathe through your nose, especially when you're trying to get a good night's rest. As a result, you have to breathe through your mouth, which can cause you to experience dry mouth. Dry mouth occurs when there is less saliva flow, which can also occur from taking nasal decongestants like sudafed to remedy your stuffy nose. Unfortunately, dry mouth not only makes it hard to swallow, it can also impact your mouth by promoting bacterial growth. So, when taking nasal decongestants to help your cold, stay hydrated with water and chewing xylitol-containing gum can help stimulate saliva flow. You can also try using a humidifier in the room you sleep in.

Sinus & Tooth Pain 

Another obstacle that you may face as a result of being sick is tenderness and pain around your sinuses as a result of sinusitis. This can cause you to feel like you have a toothache in your upper jaw since they are near your sinuses. Some signs of sinusitis include a yellow colored mucous drainage, and pressure near your mid-face. Fortunately, this experience should improve once your cold clears up.

Cough Drops/Syrup & Throat Lozenges

Here's the scoop on cough syrup, cough drops and sore throat lozenges:  most of the time these products contain sugar for flavor and can be damaging to your teeth as they are held in your mouth for long periods of time. Not to mention, cough syrups are sticky and can remain on teeth and cause harm to your enamel. Try to look for pills, sugar-free cough drops, and sore throat lozenges as these are best for your oral health! Be sure to also keep your regular oral care routine brushing, flossing, and rinsing.

Orange Juice

Orange juice is loaded with vitamin C to help your immune system fight your cold. Due to the acidity which can weaken your tooth enamel, try drinking orange juice in one sitting during a meal, and drink water afterwards to help protect your tooth from the acid.

As you fight a cold/flu keep your dental health in mind and replace your toothbrush once you feel better so you can start fresh!

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.







Springtime Allergies Can Cause Dental Problems

May 5th, 2014

6e6fad0297cbe4e5_177817502_copy.xxxlarge_2xNow that the month of May is here, we can start enjoying warmer weather and more time in the sun.  However, the spring time can be a headache for many as allergy season is also starting up.  Some common symptoms of seasonal allergies include itchy and watery eyes, runny nose, and sneezing.  There are also a few lesser known symptoms of seasonal allergies pertaining to your teeth and mouth.

Tooth pain can be a result of allergies.  Elevated levels of pollen in the air result in sinus problems.  Some common symptoms of sinus problems include swollen/infected sinus cavities, congestion, sneezing, drainage, headache, and bad breath.  Additionally, because the maxillary sinus cavity rests above the top molars, its inflammation increases discomfort on facial nerves and tooth roots.  Typically, the pain caused by the sinuses will be especially noticed on the upper teeth.

Another consequence of springtime allergies is the buildup of excess mucus.  The body produces more mucus as a way to rid the body of allergens.  However, this mucus production can cause postnasal drip as the congestion begins to travel down the back of your throat.  Postnasal drip causes feelings of wanting to clear your throat and coughing that worsens during the nighttime.  Sometimes, the excess mucus can cause throat pain and general throat irritation.

Lastly, allergies can lead to dry mouth.  Proper saliva production is necessary to protect the insides of our mouths from cavity-causing bacteria and bad breath.  Furthermore, many common allergy medicines can cause side effects of dry mouth as well.  Therefor, It is crucial to stay hydrated by drinking water frequently.

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 781-237-9071or to set up an appointment and consultation.


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Quick Tips from the Tooth Fairy

August 28th, 2013

As a parent with a busy schedule, it can get tough monitoring and helping with the care of a child’s oral health. However, a child’s maintenance of good oral hygiene is extremely important, not just for their oral health but also for their overall health. On top of this week’s grocery list and the errands that need to be completed, we’ll throw in just a few more reminders and tips on the care of a child’s teeth.


  • Although work schedules can get overwhelming, a great and healthy way to spend time with the kids is to join them while they brush and floss. Children learn by example, and a great way for them to pick up good oral hygiene is if their parents show them great brushing and flossing techniques.


  • Keep track of times when your child demonstrates good oral hygiene. A fun way to get children to stick to good oral care is to create a calendar that can track their oral health. Hang the calendar in the bathroom and post a gold star or a fun sticker on days when they did a great job brushing and flossing their teeth. This is can get children excited about maintain good oral health and is a wonderful way to let their dentist know how they are doing!


  • There have been recent studies showing that bacteria responsible for tooth decay can be transferred when parents clean their child’s pacifier or bottle nipple. It’s best to clean these items in warm, soapy water and to avoid sharing food and drinks and children.


  • It is no secret that children love to get their hands on sweets. However, sugar-heavy foods can end up creating an environment that is optimal for the growth of tooth decay-causing bacteria. Try to opt for products containing xylitol, which is a tooth-friendly, nonfermentable sugar alcohol that does not get converted in the mouth to acids like regular sugars. It can reduce the levels of bacteria in saliva and can also act against some of the bacteria responsible for ear infections!

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



Chronic Rhinosinusitis Linked to Secondhand Smoking

August 23rd, 2013

Patients often come in during a dentist appointment mentioning sinus pain coupled with congestion and toothache. This pain can either be quite severe or even chronic, and can be hassle to deal with. Patients experiencing these symptoms have been found to be suffering from rhinosinusitis, which can arise due to allergies or infection. However, the Archives of Otolaryngology-Head & Surgery published a study that showed a link between secondhand smoke and chronic rhinosinusitis.

In their study, interviewers from the Henry Ford Health System were trained to hold telephone interviewed with 306 patients who have been suffering from rhinosinusitis between January 2000 and May 2004, along with 306 matched control patients. The researchers were able to collect data on age, ethnicity, sex, diet, and contact with possible air pollutants and chemicals. The main data that was examined were the secondhand smoke exposure that the patients were exposed to; the exposure could have been from home, work, public places, and private function, including parties and weddings.

This study revealed that there is a dose-response relationship found between chronic rhinosinusitis and the number of environments that individuals were susceptible to secondhand smoke. Amanda Holm, a study coauthor and project manager at the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention explained that their findings “reaffirm the health hazards of secondhand smoke.” She notes that the irritants found in secondhand smoke are harmful to the sinus and nasal passages and are the main cause to the progression of rhinosinusitis.

Secondhand smoke has also been shown to increase risk of respiratory ailments, lung cancer, and heart disease in nonsmokers. Although there have been antismoking laws established in the United States, 60% of nonsmokers continue to be exposed the toxic chemicals found in cigarette smoke. While many tend to shrug this issue off and may label this as unimportant, researchers urge individuals to be wary of secondhand smoke, highlighting that consequences are real and truly harmful. 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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