systemic diseases

Could Poor Oral Health be Related to Metabolic Syndrome? 

January 11th, 2021

Having swollen or bleeding gums? No one likes that. Gum disease can involve pesky symptoms such as swollen inflamed gums, gums that bleed easily, bad breath, and painful chewing, for instance. A main cause of gum disease is dental plaque, which with good oral health practices can be managed and prevented! When dental plaque adheres to the surfaces of your teeth and is not removed, this can lead to gum inflammation. Gingivitis can progress into periodontal disease, in which irreversible bone loss and tissue damage begins to occur. Unfortunately, gum disease can lead to permanent tooth loss. But, that's not all! Periodontal disease has also been found in many research studies to be linked with several other systemic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, and now also metabolic syndrome, according to a new study.

Researchers at Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) found that a common bacteria known to cause periodontal disease, Porphyromonas gingivalis (P. gingivalis), also has the capability to cause skeletal muscle metabolic dysfunction through changing an individual's gut microbiome.The purpose of their study, according to the study's author Kazuki Watanabe, was to determine how infection with periodontal bacteria may lead to metabolic changes in skeletal muscle and ultimately lead to metabolic syndrome. However, the study reports that a direct link between the periodontal bacteria and the metabolic function of skeletal muscle has not been proven yet.

The oral cavitiy is a true window into the rest of the body. Oral inflammation caused by periodontal bacteria can influence inflammation within other parts of the body, and the study reports that it can lead to increases in body weight and increased insulin resistance. The body's resistance to insulin is a huge part of type 2 diabetes, in addition to the development of metabolic syndrome.

What's Metabolic syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome consists of multiple conditions in association with each other, including high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels, obesity, abnormal fat metabolism, and systemic inflammation.

The researchers studied individuals with metabolic syndrome and discovered that these individuals had high antibody titers against P. gingivalis, meaning they had likely been infected with the bacteria. In addition, they found a positive correlation between the antibody titers and increased insulin resistance. The researchers then observed mice given both a high fat diet, a common risk factor for developing metabolic syndrome, and P. gingivalis injected orally. As a result, they discovered that the mice developed an increased insulin resistance, fat infiltration, and lower uptake of sugar into the skeletal muscle creating metabolic dysfunction when compared to mice not infected with the bacteria. The researchers noted a significant difference in the gut microorganisms in the mice infected with P. gingivalis versus the mice that were not infected.

So, one important thing that the researchers noted in their study is how periodontal disease can impact other parts of the body, and not just the mouth. More research is needed to investigate the link between periodontal disease and metabolic syndrome.

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.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/12/201208111428.htm

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/metabolic-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20351916

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fflairzhealth.com%2Fwhat-is-the-metabolic-syndrome%2F&psig=AOvVaw2Cz9QHTUqmTqo55YxjB1dP&ust=1610405890584000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCMiIksu7ku4CFQAAAAAdAAAAABA3

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dockeodental.com%2Fgum-disease%2F&psig=AOvVaw1fQ3ks6wQZmJ_Jv-DJufGS&ust=1610406249444000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCLi0-vm8ku4CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAp

Smart High-Tech Toothbrushes, What's Best For you?

August 24th, 2020

From an early age, we all hear how important it is to take care of our teeth to keep us healthy. Even so, as time progresses we are learning more about how the condition of our mouth relates to our overall health and other systemic diseases. When it comes to keeping our pearly whites shining and our gums healthy, we all have an important decision to make when it comes choosing the right toothbrush. There’s a plethora toothbrush types, ranging from different shapes, sizes, colors, and technology.

No matter whether you go with a manual or an electric toothbrush, there are certain characteristics that the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends be incorporated:

  • Make sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush: If you check the store isles, you may notice that toothbrushes come in soft, medium, or hard nylon bristles. It is recommended to use a soft-bristled toothbrush, as medium-hard bristles can harm your tooth enamel, gums, and root surfaces due to abrasive forces. You will want to confirm that the toothbrush you choose has the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Approval to ensure that the toothbrush has been researched and tested to be safe and effective in removing bacterial dental plaque and food particles.
  • The ADA also recommends that manual toothbrushes/electric toothbrush heads should be changed approximately every three to four months, or sooner if the bristles become frayed.
  • A comfortable toothbrush is necessary: Be sure to pick a toothbrush that is the right size and shape to best fit your mouth so that you can easily access all of your teeth when brushing.
  • Electric versus manual toothbrush, which is better? The ADA notes that both electric and manual toothbrushes can both be effective at removing dental bacterial plaque with proper toothbrushing techniques. Some studies have revealed that electric toothbrushes may remove more plaque than manual brushes, and can be especially effective for individuals with hand dexterity problems or people with oral appliances such as braces. In addition, many of the electric toothbrushes now have smart Bluetooth technology and built-in timers and app suggestions to make sure your brushing experience is excellent!
  • Take a look at the ADA's method on proper brushing technique:

 

Here are some of the cool top rated electric toothbrushes out that are ADA-approved:

Oral-B, which is the first electric toothbrush brand to be accepted by the ADA, is well known for its effective and cost-friendly electric toothbrushes. On Amazon, this brush has over 10,549 5-star reviews! This brush comes with a pressure sensor that will tell you if you’re brushing too hard, in addition to a minute timer, and tooth brushing heads such as the CrossAction, FlossAction, and 3D White to choose from.

Phillips Sonicare is another dentist and ADA recommended brand for electric toothbrushes with a lot to offer! This brush can sync to your smart phone along with the Sonicare app to guide you with your brushing techniques. Plus it has different tooth brushing modes and bristle heads to fit your needs.

This Oral-B smart toothbrush has standard features such as pressure sensor, a timer, and brushing modes, but also connects to your smart phone using the Oral-B app.  The app will give you feedback on your brushing methods and help give you tips to keep your gums and teeth healthy. 

Waterpik offers a built-in water flosser to their electric toothbrush with different modes to choose from: brush, water floss, or brush + water floss. This toothbrush is great for individuals who may forget to floss. It can also be used with mouthwash through the toothbrush.

This toothbrush is another Sonicare product that connects with the Sonicare app for personalized brushing feedback, pressure sensor, and even comes with a UV brush head sanitizer that can help kill bacteria and viruses.

Quip offers a cute, affordable, and easy to use electric toothbrush. It is battery operated, waterproof, and contains a compact travel tube. It operates via silent sonic vibrations and also has a built-in two minute timer.

Sonicare offers a toothbrush geared to get children excited about brushing their teeth. This brush includes bluetooth and app connection capability, fun stickers, and multiple brushing modes. The interactive app also has fun oral health games and is perfect for children around the age of 7 years or older.

Recently, Candibell Inc. launched a fundraiser campaign on Indiegogo for its Truthbrush that is the first to allow parents to monitor their family’s toothbrushing habits. This way families can keep each other on track with developing great oral hygiene practices. We will be on the lookout for more awesome and effective toothbrushing technology!

Also, remember, when picking a toothbrush for your child make sure to show them all of the awesome colors and designs available to peak their interest! Plus Colgate and some other brands offer interactive talking electric toothbrushes with timers to help children brush for two minutes. Check to make sure that it is the appropriate size for your child, and that it is soft-bristled with the ADA Seal of Approval.

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.goodhousekeeping.com/health-products/g28818208/best-electric-toothbrush/

https://www.ada.org/en/science-research/ada-seal-of-acceptance/ada-seal-products/product-category?category=Toothbrush+-+Powered

https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/toothbrushes

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/basics/selecting-dental-products/choosing-the-right-toothbrush

https://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Science%20and%20Research/Files/watch_materials_brush.pdf?la=en

https://oralb.com/en-us/oral-b-pro-1000-rechargeable-electric-toothbrush/

https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/choosing-a-toothbrush-the-pros-and-cons-of-electric-and-disposable#1

https://www.waterpik.com/oral-health/products/flossing-toothbrush/SF-02CD010-1/

https://www.getquip.com/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=%5BBrand%5D+-+Quip+General+Terms&utm_content=Quip+Toothbrush+-+Exact&utm_term=quip+toothbrush&gclid=CjwKCAjwsan5BRAOEiwALzomXyd9xZGZ3QMn02PK4dpY0n5uxUzt438RCCtWUmPEVYizIDfI1G8QgRoCVtIQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

https://www.usa.philips.com/c-p/HX9192_02/sonicare-flexcare-platinum-connected-sonic-electric-toothbrush-with-app

https://images.philips.com/is/image/PhilipsConsumer/HX9194_53-IMS-en_US?$jpglarge$&wid=1250

https://www.usa.philips.com/c-m-pe/electric-toothbrushes?origin=7_700000001603708_71700000062950648_58700005638898501_43700051420604490&gclid=CjwKCAjwmrn5BRB2EiwAZgL9osgqbdal6nmcrf-yIM0_80LZew0MA7YneAeLZH98Qh-6E1TjqAsjWxoCgcEQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds#triggername=color_white

https://oralb.com/en-us/products/electric-toothbrushes/genius-9600-rechargeable-electric-toothbrush/

https://www.wfmz.com/news/pr_newswire/pr_newswire_technology/candibell-launches-first-ever-device-that-monitors-family-toothbrushing-habits/article_9a50c7e5-08fa-5720-8a41-3f04e70d952c.html

https://www.usa.philips.com/c-p/HX6321_02/sonicare-for-kids-sonic-electric-toothbrush

https://www.nbcnews.com/shopping/wellness/best-electric-toothbrushes-n1193846

Proper Oral Hygiene Can Boost Your Immune System

June 22nd, 2020

Being sick...none of us have time for that. Luckily, our body's immune system is our defense mechanism against harmful bacteria, germs, allergens, and foreign particles that enter our body. That’s why keeping a strong and healthy immune system is key to fighting infectious diseases like COVID-19. Your immune system is a complex system made up of many cells, organs, and tissues that span throughout your entire body, including your oral cavity. In fact, your mouth is generally the first entry point to the rest of your body. Therefore, it’s important to maintain good oral health to help keep your immune system and overall health strong, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

When your immune system is functioning properly, normal oral bacteria and your natural microbiome aren’t typically a dangerous threat. However, when your oral health is not being maintained, bacteria can breakdown your pearly whites and lead to gum disease and inflammation, which can ultimately weaken your immune system. The early stages of gum disease is also known as gingivitis, which can be reversed with proper oral hygiene habits such as brushing twice a day, flossing daily, healthy diet and stress maintenance, and regular dental visits for comprehensive care. Some signs of gingivitis include inflamed gums, presenting with swelling, redness, and possible bleeding. A more severe form of gum disease is known as periodontitis, and the damage is typically irreversible. In periodontal disease, the inflammatory response triggered by bacteria not only impacts your teeth and gums, but also attacks your surrounding oral tissues and bone that hold your teeth in place. If untreated, periodontal disease can lead to both bone and tooth loss. Consequently, your immune system begins to work extra hard to help fight gum disease, and may promote inflammation within other parts of your body. Sadly, an unhealthy mouth has been linked to many systemic health conditions and inflammatory diseases, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, preterm birth, and more! The case for having good oral hygiene undeniably keeps getting stronger. It’s important to keep your mouth healthy to help allow your immune system to be strong for taking care of the rest of your body!

During a pandemic, it’s important to do everything you can to strengthen your immune system. Here are some ways you can help your body stay healthy during these unprecedented times:

  • Minimize stress: Some research suggests that stress can exacerbate inflammatory disease such as gum disease. Try to stay active and keep a healthy diet to help relieve stress.
  • Exercise regularly and stay hydrated
  • Get adequate sleep: It is recommended that most adults need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night to function at their best. Children and teens might need more sleep for their growing bodies.
  • Brush your teeth daily
  • Floss daily to remove bacteria between your teeth
  • Wash hands regularly
  • Disinfect high-touch surfaces including bathroom surfaces, toilets, faucets, sinks, tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones and keyboards
  • Wear a mask and practice social distancing
  • Eat a healthy diet heavy with fruits, vegetables, lean meats and healthy fat
  • Visit your dentist regularly for check-ups/professional cleanings/outstanding treatments

It's also important to avoid practices that are harmful to your teeth and body:

  • Avoid smoking
  • Avoid high sugar diets
  • Avoid acidic drinks like soda and energy drinks
  • Drink alcohol in moderation
  • Avoid nail biting, chewing on ice, and using your teeth to open bottles or objects

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.  Our office follows the recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

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. We look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors, and friends.

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.guardiandirect.com/resources/articles/how-good-oral-health-may-help-you-keep-your-immune-system-strong

https://www.colgateprofessional.com/education/patient-education/topics/systemic/why-a-healthy-mouth-is-good-for-your-body

living-with-an-immunocompromised-system-and-covid-19-722x406.jpg

WMJ_picture_file_for_Dental_Health_blog_post_6.5.png

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.

References:

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/life-stages/oral-care-age-55-up

https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/adults-over-60?utm_source=mouthhealthyorg&utm_medium=mhtopstories&utm_content=older-americans-month

older-american-month.jpg

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