Depression Is a Threat to Oral Health

May 23rd, 2016

Did you know that depression, a common serious mental health and mood disorder, is linked to poor oral health care? If you suffer from depression, you may have a lack of motivation to take care of yourself and experience decreased salivation, which can directly impact oral health. Risk factors for depression include: personal or family history, major stress, and certain illnesses or side effects of medications.

Some signs and symptoms of depression are:

  • lasting feelings of sadness, anxiousness, emptiness, hopelessness, or pessimism
  • irritability
  • lack of energy/motivation
  • no interest in activities
  • guilt, worthlessness, etc.
  • difficulty concentrating or sleeping

There are many different types of depression, including:

  • persistent depression disorder (dysthymia): depressive symptoms for at least two years
  • perinatal depression: major depression during or after pregnancy (postpartum)
  • psychotic depression: severe depression and psychosis (delusions, hallucinations, etc.)
  • seasonal affective disorder: depression during the winter months

Depression is directly linked to oral health, because its consequences include xerostomia (dry mouth), a cariogenic diet (diet composed of sweets), and a poor immune system that can lead to oral infections. Risk for cardiovascular diseases also increases with depression.

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.





Sweet (But-Teeth Friendly) Desserts

June 18th, 2013

It’s summer time! The school year is finally winding down, and we are excited to make are way down to the beach and enjoy some time out in the sun. Summer also brings ice cream, popsicles, cotton candy, and a whole bunch of food that may be delicious, but are also definitely not doing your teeth a favor.

Every grocery store is bound to have a section of an aisle dedicated to frozen desserts, which can range from strawberry ice cream to jolly rancher-flavored popsicles. Your taste buds may think it’s an excellent idea to grab a few on the go, but your teeth will beg to differ. Popsicles tend to have high sugar content, which will leave teeth susceptible to cavities and tooth decay. These frozen sweets also contain artificial coloring dye, which has been shown to contain carcinogens and maybe contribute Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Instead of getting a pack of popsicles from the grocery store, here are some healthy and enjoyable alternatives.

Smoothies: Milk shakes tend to be a summer favorite after a long soccer practice. While they do contain dairy, which is wonderful for teeth, they also contain lots of sugar, which is wonderful for bacteria in the mouth, not so much for teeth. Bacteria love feeding on sugary residue left in the mouth, and definitely won’t hold back when they are offered a ton from milk shakes. Instead of making a trip to the local diner, start the blender and add in some low-fat milk, yogurt, bananas, strawberries, and blueberries. A yummy smoothie will result, chock full of calcium, antioxidants, and vitamins. Homemade smoothies will allow you to control the amount of sugar that goes into the drink, and sweet and healthy fruit will do just the trick! Here’s a quick and easy recipe (link: http://bit.ly/16upE68) that will satisfy sweet-tooths but will keep teeth happy.

Yogurt Pops: Yogurt, cheese, milk and other dairy products are great saliva generators, protecting teeth from tooth decay. Calcium and phosphates found in milk and other dairy products can put minerals back in teeth, making them healthy and stronger. Here’s ( http://bit.ly/112tASF ) a great recipe for these delicious pops that will make the kids wanting more!

Remember: Desserts can be delicious and healthy at the same time; there’s always great foods out there that are also a treat for teeth as well. Here’s to a summer of healthy choices and yummy eats! If you have any concerns, Drs. Ali & Ali and their team at Wellesley Dental Group will be very happy to answer your questions. Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com!




Sugar Alcohols

July 19th, 2012

The next time you pop a stick of sugar-free gum into your mouth, take a look at the package. There is probably one or more ingredients listed that end in -ol. One of the most popular ones is xylitol.

These ingredients are sugar alcohols and there's some things you should know about them.

- They contain two calories per gram versus sugar's four calories per gram.

- They are a type of carbohydrate. The structure of sugar alcohols looks like a hybrid between a sugar and alcohol molecule.

A good thing about the sugar alcohol, xylitol, is that it benefits your teeth! It protects a sugar attack from your food on your teeth after you eat. Chewing a stick of sugar-free gum with xylitol will do thr trick! You can learn more about sugar alcohols from the Joslin Diabetes Center or by contacting us at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com.

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