tmd

Is the Stress of COVID-19 Getting to you, and your Teeth?

November 22nd, 2020

Have you noticed an increase in your stress levels lately? The COVID-19 pandemic has unexpectedly had an undeniable impact on our lives in many ways. With many lives lost, financial hardships, isolation, and continued uncertainty, health care professionals, especially dentists, are noticing an increase in stress-related health issues.

Many have had to adapt to different work, home, and school environments, become used to digital technology, and add new precautionary practices to daily life routines like wearing a mask and practicing social distancing. The American Psychological Association (APA) warns that over time, the negative mental health effects of the coronavirus pandemic can be serious and long-lasting.

Not much has changed in terms of practicing universal precautions for all patients of dental professionals, as these practices were implemented at the peak of the AIDS crisis in the 1980's. Due to these safe practices and use of personal protective equipment, epidemiologists and the American Dental Association (ADA) have reported that there are no cases of COVID-19 outbreaks associated to any dental offices in the United States!

According to the ADA Health Policy Institute's COVID-19 impact poll to dentists in the United States, dentists are seeing an increase in stress-related oral health conditions in patients since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Approximately 59.4% of the participating dentists reported increases in the prevalence of tooth grinding (bruxism), 53.4% chipped and cracked teeth, and 53.4% temporomandibular disorder symptoms among their patients. Plus, approximately 26.4% documented an increase in tooth decay (caries), and 29.7% reported an increase in periodontal disease. As of the week of Sept. 21, greater than 99% of dental offices in the United States were open according to the American Dental Association (ADA).

The overall health and safety of patients remains our #1 priority. It’s important to acknowledge any stress you may feel, know how to cope with stress, and where to turn for help if needed so that you can continue to care for yourself and remain healthy. Along with practicing social distancing, wearing face masks, and frequent hand-washing, it is equally important to manage stress and anxiety during these challenging times. Prolonged stress and anxiety can play a significant role on the health of your overall body, including increasing heart rate and blood pressure, issues with digestion, teeth grinding, headaches, trouble sleeping, mental health disturbances, and inability to focus, just to name a few issues.

Take a look at some tips to stay mentally and physically healthy during these troubling times:

Stay in the loop with current events:

Stay up to date with research and reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) on COVID-19 statistics and prevention resources. Being in-the-know can help keep you and your loved ones calm and prepared.

Take breaks:

Although it’s important to be aware of what’s going on globally, allow yourself some time to disconnect from too much negative news and social media. It is also necessary to get adequate rest.

Stay physically active:

A great way to reduce stress is to increase your physical activity. While following safety precautions, take walks, jog, bike ride, meditate, or do the activities that normally make you happy! It is also important to eat well and make sure that you are getting proper nutrition and fluids to keep your body and immune system healthy.

Avoid negative habits:

Sometimes stress can lead to negative coping behavioral habits such as use of alcohol and tobacco.  If you or a loved one are struggling with alcoholism, know that this is not a fight that has to be done alone. For help with alcohol addiction, please check out these resources with 24/7 availability. For individuals struggling with tobacco use, the Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program offers information and resources that can help individuals quit. Also, check out a list of resources and other helpful information on our WDG blog here.

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.dentistryiq.com/covid-19/article/14184297/dentist-takes-holistic-approach-with-patients-who-grind-teeth-due-to-covidrelated-stress?utm_source=DEC_DIQ+Morning+Briefing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=CPS201002009&o_eid=3760I9143045C2X&rdx.ident%5Bpull%5D=omeda%7C3760I9143045C2X&oly_enc_id=3760I9143045C2X

https://www.ada.org/en/publications/ada-news/2020-archive/september/hpi-poll-dentists-see-increase-in-patients-stress-related-oral-health-conditions

https://success.ada.org/en/practice-management/dental-practice-success/dps-summer-2020/strategies-for-dealing-with-stress-during-the-pandemic

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.myannapolisdentist.com%2F2020%2F03%2F25%2Fcovid-19-and-maintaining-oral-health%2F&psig=AOvVaw15O7NhSbT2tavg0RhOC8y5&ust=1606148746593000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCMCrosXIlu0CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAQ

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week: #ComeAsYouAre

February 28th, 2020

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week is happening now and people around the world are encouraged to Come as You Are! This year's theme is Come as You Are: Hindsight is 20/20 during February 24th to March 1st, which is the time where individuals are reflecting on their journeys toward accepting themselves and others.

The purpose of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (#NEDAwareness) is to shed light on eating disorders through education and provide resources that could save lives. According to the National Eating Disorder Association, approximately 30 million people in the United States are affected by an eating disorder, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa or binge eating disorder. In addition, about 70 million across the world are impacted by eating disorders. It is important to know that eating disorders can affect anyone, including people of all ages, genders, ethnicities and backgrounds. Overtime, eating disorders can place a tremendous toll on both a person's physical and mental wellbeing.

Individuals who are affected by eating disorders often experience a variety of symptoms, ranging from anxiety, emotional distress, depression, problems with development and growth, and medical problems. However, not all eating disorders are experienced in the same way by individuals.

Many are aware that diet can impact not just your physical health, but also your oral health. Signs of an eating disorder are often seen first within the mouth. Lack of nutrients and harmful habits can permanently damage teeth. Take a look at some of the consequences of eating disorders for your oral cavity:

  • Improper nutrition can impact the amount of protective saliva present within the mouth that may cause dry mouth. Dry mouth significantly increases your risk for developing tooth decay along with it's uncomfortable sensation. In addition, the gums and soft tissue may bleed easier due to lack of essential nutrients.
  • Nutritional deficiencies can increase the risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease, because teeth rely on vitamins and minerals including  calcium, iron and B vitamins. A lack of proper amounts of iron can lead to the development of oral sores. Also, a lack of sufficient amounts of vitamin B3 (niacin) can contribute to bad breath, dry mouth,  and the development of canker sores.
  • Vomit can be extremely damaging to teeth, because the stomach acid causes the tooth enamel, the outermost layer of the tooth, to wear down. This not only changes the shape and size  of teeth, but also changes the color. The layer underneath tooth enamel, dentin, which has a yellow hue can become exposed and increase sensitivity and make your tooth become brittle. Erosive lesions within the mouth may also appear. In more severe cases, the pulp, the innermost layer of the tooth, may become exposed and result in pulp death.
  • Degenerative arthritis within the temporomandibular joint in the jaw has been found to be associated with eating disorders, which can cause severe pain, chronic headaches, and trouble chewing or opening/closing the mouth.
  • Frequent binge-and-purging can cause the salivary glands to become inflamed and enlarged, causing pain within the oral cavity.

Eating disorders if not treated can result in death. Treatment can include a combination of psychotherapy, nutrition education, and medical monitoring, but can vary based on the type of eating disorder.

If you have any questions about eating disorders, talk with your primary care physician or dentist. The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) also has screening tools  available online. Now is the perfect time to help increase awareness and support those impacted by eating disorders.

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.livewellmagazine.org/eating-disorder-awareness-week-feb-24-march-1/

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

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National-Eating-Disorder-Awareness-Week-1.png

https://www.mirror-mirror.org/eating-disorders-statistics.htm

Dentists Recommending Chewing Gum: Too Good to be True?

October 10th, 2018

October is National Dental Hygiene Month, which is the perfect time to spread awareness on good oral hygiene practices, including brushing, flossing, rinsing, and possibly to your surprise, chewing gum! This may sound alarming because gum, like candy, is known to cause tooth decay. However, chewing sugarless gum after eating can be beneficial to your teeth for many reasons. This is particularly the case when chewing sugar-free gum that is sweetened with the ingredient xylitol.

Chewing sugarless gum helps wipe away leftover food particles and stimulates saliva secretion. As a result, the proteins and minerals within saliva help neutralize harmful acids made by the bacteria found within plaque. Some studies have shown that people who chew sugar-free gum for 20 minutes after eating can help prevent cavities and strengthen tooth enamel.

A common ingredient in sugar-free gum is Xylitol (a natural sweetener), which helps blocks the growth of Streptococcus mutans, a common bacteria found in the mouth. This in turn helps prevent tooth decay. Some companies are starting to add casein phosphopeptide-amorphous calcium phosphate (CPP-ACP), also known as Recaldent, to their chewing gum. Recaldent has been found to remineralize and strengthen tooth enamel.

Chewing gum is especially important if you experiences dry mouth due to a lack of saliva production. Dry mouth is associated with several oral health problems, including gum swelling, bad breath, and periodontal disease. However, if you are having any symptoms of jaw pain or temporomandibular disorder symptoms (TMD/TMJ), chewing gum is typically not recommended and be sure to let your dentist know.

Even though there is no substitute for brushing, flossing, or rinsing, chewing sugar-free gum after meals can be a nice addition that will freshen breath and keep your mouth healthy!

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and 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. Van. Dr. 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.

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.

References:

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/basics/nutrition-and-oral-health/gum-that-is-good-for-your-teeth-too-good-to-be-true-0213

https://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/gum-chewing.html

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Can Yoga Improve Your Oral Health?

April 30th, 2015

 

 

Stressed out? Your dentist can usually tell! Stress can have a significant impact on your oral health.  In fact, dentists can detect oral symptoms of stress, including canker sores, teeth grinding (bruxism), gum diseasetemporomandibular disorders (TMD), burning mouth syndrome, and dry mouth, just to name a few. Luckily, many studies have shown that yoga can help people relieve stress, anxiety, and believe it or not, dental troubles!

Many studies have revealed that individuals who are stressed are more likely to neglect their oral care. As mentioned above, the tension in jaw muscles can lead to jaw clenching and teeth grinding. The good news is that along with alleviating stress, yoga improves posture. Poor posture not only affects your body, but also your mouth. It can cause the jaw to shift and affect the alignment of teeth. This can lead to Temporo-Mandibular Joint disorders (TMJ), which can cause pain chewing, nerve inflammation, headaches, and more!

Stress can also lead to dry mouth, which occurs due to low amounts of saliva production. Saliva flow is essential in helping get rid of germs in the mouth. Dry mouth leads to bad breath (halitosis), and can eventually develop into tooth decay and periodontal disease. Further, stress has been shown to increase inflammation in the mouth and  body. Bacteria in your mouth can cause gum inflammation, which plays a huge part in gingivitis and periodontal disease.

Although yoga may not fight cavities, it can improve the condition of your mouth and the health of your body by eliminating tension and stress. Yoga is a popular form of exercise that dates years and years back from India. Yoga incorporates both physical and mental disciplines for the purpose of achieving a peaceful balance between body and mind.  It promotes relaxation and can boost your mood, which can help you live longer and age-well. It also can reduce your blood pressure.

Another great thing about yoga is that it encourages a healthy lifestyle. It typically prompts people to practice better oral hygiene habits, implement healthier diets, and to get rid of poor oral health habits, including smoking.

So why not enjoy the many health benefits of yoga? There are plenty more, including:

  • Improving flexibility
  • Increasing muscle strength 
  • Preventing cartilage and joint breakdown 
  • Boosting immunity
  • Lowering blood sugar
  • Helping you focus
  • Improving your balance
  • Helping you sleep better
  • Increasing your self-esteem 
  • Benefiting your relationships

Yoga may not have been the first thing that you thought of when discussing how to maintain a healthy mouth. However, few methods of stress relief compare to that of yoga! Eliminating stress through practicing yoga may be a great option for preventing pain and oral health problems.

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.

References:

http://lacunaloft.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Kids-Yoga-Portrait.jpg

http://awomanshealth.com/stress-and-oral-health/

http://yoganonymous.com/practice-for-the-teeth-3-ways-yoga-improves-dental-health

http://www.medicinenet.com/temporomandibular_joint_syndrome_tmj/article.htm

http://www.yogajournal.com/article/health/count-yoga-38-ways-yoga-keeps-fit/

Defeat Teeth Grinding Once and For All

May 16th, 2014

Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a detrimental oral habit common in both children and adults, which is often experienced as a result of stress and anxiety. However, in some cases, misaligned teeth or an abnormal bite can cause teeth grinding. Teeth grinding can occur throughout the day, yet individuals often grind their teeth unknowingly during sleep. Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder that can lead to bruxism. Symptoms of teeth grinding include jaw pain, tooth sensitivity, headaches, chipped teeth, earaches, as well as facial pain.

puyallup-dentist1

Habitual teeth grinding damages the surfaces of teeth, deteriorates tooth enamel, and can eventually lead to tooth loss. Teeth grinding can also cause temporomandibular disorders (TMD). If this bad oral health habit is not stopped, implants, root canals, crowns, and even partial dentures may be needed in order to fix the damages.

Yet, there is no need to worry! Teeth grinding is treatable, commonly with the use of custom-fit nightguards. Custom nightguards can help prevent further dental damage by helping stop your jaws from clamping and teeth from clenching. Custom nightguards are created to personally fit your lower and upper teeth, making them flexible and comfortable to wear. Nightguards not only protect your teeth, but also eliminate the chattering sound that can disturb one’s sleep. Nightguards can be purchased over-the-counter at a local pharmacy, however, are more suitable and protective when custom-made by a dentist.

Along with wearing a nightguard, here are a few other tips to help prevent the adverse effects of teeth grinding:

  • Reduce your stress levels. Participate in activities that make you happy. Wheter it is exercising, listening to your favorite music, or reading a book before going to sleep, try to eliminate tensions that arise throughout the day.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Sodas, chocolate, coffee, and other caffeinated foods and beverages are believed to increase the likelihood of teeth grinding. They can also be poor dietary choices for your oral and phsycial health!
  • Relax your jaw muscles. Try keeping your jaw muscles relaxed by gently pressing a warm washcloth against your cheek. Avoid chewing ice, pencils, gum, and other objects that involve strenuous chewing.
  • Become more aware of the habit. Train yourself to avoid teeth grinding by positioning the tip of your tongue between your teeth.

Listen out during the night to make sure that your children are not grinding their teeth during their sleep. If your teeth are misaligned, braces may be a good corrective measure to eliminate the poor habit of teeth grinding. It is important to practice good oral health habits to keep your teeth healthy and your smile healthy!

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. Kim or Dr.PradhanDr. 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.

References:

http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/t/teeth-grinding

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/teeth-grinding-bruxism

http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/ColgateNewandNow/Family/2013/April/article/SW-281474979065193.cvsp

http://www.aprilziegele.com/wp-content/uploads/puyallup-dentist1.jpg

How Nail Biting Affects Your Teeth

April 8th, 2014

4_2What’s so bad about nail biting? Nail biting is damaging to your teeth and oral health! Nail biting is a common habit across all age groups, including primarily children and young adults, and tends to lessen with age. This detrimental habit is often induced by stress and anxiety. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, biting your nails could crack, or wear down your front teeth.

When you or your child are tempted to bite your nails, consider the following:

  • Biting your nails can lead to a greater risk for bruxism. Sharp fingernails can result in sore and torn gum tissue. Unintended teeth grinding or clenching also creates stress in your oral cavity that can cause facial pain, headaches, tooth sensitivity, and recessed gums.
  • Nail biting can contribute to teeth misalignment. If your child has braces, the additional pressure from nail biting could lead to weakening the roots of their teeth, or even tooth loss!
  • Nail biting is also bad for your jaw. It can contribute to Temporomandibular (TM) disorder, resulting in pain and several problems with jaw movement.
  • Nail biting is unsanitary. Fingernails often carry more dirt and germs than your fingers. Germs and bacteria from underneath your nails can cause infection and sickness that transfer from your hands to your mouth. Bitten fingernails can be sharp, and may cut the gums, allowing bacteria to easily enter the bloodstream.

In order to stop biting your nails, become more conscious of the habit. Inform your child of the unfavorable consequences of nail biting. Also, try keeping your nails trimmed and polished to prevent the temptation. Break the bad habit of nail biting so that your dental health won't suffer!

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. Kim or Dr.PradhanDr. 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. References: http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/ADA/2008/article/ADA-06-Nail-Biting-Can-Be-Harmful-To-Teeth.cvsp http://www.imdayak.am/files/pages/4_2.jpg

Intern and Shadow Opportunities at Wellesley Dental Group

August 8th, 2012

Are you interested in dentistry or a dental student? Are you looking to get some real life experience? If so, we would love to have you! We currently have intern and shadow opportunities available at our office. Below is some information about our doctors:

Drs. Ali and Ali are both graduates from the Tufts School of Dental Medicine and are recognized leaders in cosmetic, implant, and restorative dentistry. In order to remain on the leading edge of dental technologies and techniques, their personal commitment includes hundreds of hours each year in advanced dental training.

Drs. Ali and Ali consistently stay up to date on the most current techniques including procedures in restorative, Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD), sedation, implant, and laser dentistry.

Please submit your cover letter and resume to smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

TMD (Temporomandibular Disorders)

June 25th, 2012

Although commonly referred to as TMJ, the actual name is TMD (temporomandibular disorders). This refers to a number of disorders of the jaw. TMJ (temporomandibular joint) is the hinge joint that connects the jaw to the skull. This allows a person to talk, chew, etc.

There is no one thing that causes TMD. However, it is thought to come about from muscle or TMJ problems. Injury can cause it, such as being in a car accident and suffering whiplash. Also, teeth grinding and stress have been linked as culprits.

A variety of symptoms can arise, alerting a person of possible TMD. Locking of the jaw and jaw pain are common problems along with swelling and sensitivity.

At Wellesley Dental Group, Dr. Emad Abdallah specializes in TMD. He has a certificate in orthodontics and Masters of Science in TMD and Orofacial pain from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. Please contact us at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to schedule an appointment today!

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