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A Great Reason to Celebrate: World Sleep Day

March 19th, 2021

World Sleep Day®, which sounds like one of the coolest days ever, is put on yearly to celebrate sleep and inform the public on the importance of sleep, which can often be overlooked. This year it's held today, Friday March 19th, 2021, with this year's slogan being ‘Regular Sleep, Healthy Future.’ ! Organized by the World Sleep Day Committee of the World Sleep Society, this day of awareness brings to light prevention and management of sleep disorders, education about sleep, sleep medications, and driving issues related to sleep.

Why is sleep important?

There are many benefits to getting a regular amount of sleep, and it's an essential part of life. Several research studies have reported that having a regular bedtime and getting the recommended amount of sleep for your age plays an important role in the quality of your life, including its effect on your mood, psychomotor performance, and even your academic performance. That's why a lack of sleep or chronic sleep interruptions can negatively impact your health.

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is one of the more common sleep disorders that you may have heard a lot about, which impacts approximately 25 million Americans, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Common signs of sleep apnea include snoring, insomnia, trouble remembering, trouble breathing, gasping for air during sleep, daytime tiredness, trouble concentrating, dry mouth, headaches shortly after waking up, frequent urination during night time, and sexual dysfunction. Children may also show signs of sleep apnea including worsening of asthma, hyperactivity, bed-wetting, and trouble concentrating in school. Individuals with sleep apnea are plagued with constant breathing interruptions during their sleep cycles due to a lack of oxygen reaching the lungs. According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, approximately 4% of children ages 2-8 years old have sleep apnea. Surprisingly, untreated sleep apnea can even be threatening if not enough oxygen reaches the lungs.

Is there a specific cause of sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea could be caused from many different factors, including weak airway muscles, an enlarged tongue, enlarged neck, obesity, small jaw bone, nasal or sinus issues, and the position of your lower jaw. In addition, males and individuals with a family history of snoring or sleep apnea are at an increased risk of having sleep apnea.

How is sleep apnea treated?
There are different treatment options to alleviate sleep apnea depending on each individual case, including a CPAP machine, orthodontic treatment, orthognathic surgery, behavior modifications, and dental mouth guards for example.

How does my oral health factor into sleep conditions?

Plus, sleep disorders like sleep apnea can also impact your dental health and vice versa. Getting adequate rest helps reduce the risk of having bad breath, oral sores, and worsening of gum disease. Individuals with sleep apnea often have temporomandibular disorders (TMJ), experience teeth grinding or clenching, and also mouth breathing. A research study showed individuals with sleep apnea are 3 times as likely to have a TMJ disorder, which is often characterized by trouble chewing, jaw, head, neck and shoulder pain, clicking sounds of the jaws, and locked jaw where the jaw is unable to open or close temporarily. In addition, mouth breathing can also cause dry mouth which is another factor that contribute to gum disease and dental cavities, and if not resolved can even result in tooth loss.

Wondering how much sleep your body requires? Check out the recommended sleep requirements by age reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The World Sleep Society recommends these 10 tips to help you achieve better sleep leading to a healthier overall life:

If you believe you suffer from a sleep condition, be sure to discuss your symptoms with your primary Doctor and dental professional.

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. Bahar Houshman and Dr. Marisa Reason is happy to help with your TMJ and orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs, Dr. Reisman would love to help, and our gum-specialist Dr. Singh can help with your gum-related concerns.

References:

https://worldsleepsociety.org/programs/world-sleep-day/

https://www.verywellhealth.com/sleep-apnea-and-oral-health-4587690

https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_sleep/how_much_sleep.html

https://worldsleepday.org/tips-for-adults

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fholisticdentalcenternj.com%2Fsleep-oral-health%2F&psig=AOvVaw3Km_gH_SEXjLbWXF8PaFiL&ust=1616166659444000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCPiJq52Quu8CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAY

Finding yourself Grinding your Teeth?

March 5th, 2021

Many have noticed they might clench or grind their teeth on occasion, especially when stressed out. As you may know, teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, can cause damage to your teeth and even lead to other oral health issues. For instance, it can cause your teeth to fracture, diminish in size, become loose, or even lead to the loss of teeth. This can result in the need for expensive dental procedures down the line, such as crowns, root canals, bridges, or prostheses to replace missing teeth including implants or partial dentures.

As the COVID-19 pandemic persists, dentists across the nation, and even world, are seeing some of the toll it has taken on individuals, even on their teeth. There has been a significant increase in reported teeth grinding and other oral health issues since the start of the pandemic, as reported by the American Dental Association’s Health Policy Institute. A survey conduced by the American Dental Association (ADA) found that there has been a 59.4% increase in cases of teeth grinding and clenching found in dental offices since the start of the pandemic. In addition, they found that temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), and chipped and cracked teeth has increased over 50%, which may be associated with the increased teeth grinding. Although there is not a direct correlation between the increase in teeth grinding and the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Matt Messina, clinic director of Ohio State Upper Arlington Dentistry, stated, “it does demonstrate the signs of increased stress in the population.”

Teeth grinding can even be experienced in children, too. In fact, approximately 15% to 33% of children grind their teeth. Often, it has been found that children may grind their teeth during the time when their baby teeth begin to come in and also during the transition into their permanent dentition. Luckily, teeth grinding in children is often not permanently damaging and children often outgrow the habit.

Many people commonly grind their teeth when they are sleeping, and is often pointed out by individual's partners or loved ones who hear them doing this habit at night. This phenomenon is particularly present in individuals who have sleep disorders, malocclusion, and/or  crooked teeth. Individuals who grind their teeth may be pained by a dull, constant headache when they wake up, or even a sore jaw. Teeth grinding can result in or worsen Temporomandibular disorders (TMD). 

Some other symptoms of teeth grinding include:

  • Neck pain.
  • Ear pain.
  • Jaw pain, soreness and stiffness.
  • Painful or sensitive teeth.
  • Pain while you chew.
  • Popping, clicking or grinding noises when moving the mouth and jaw.
  • Cracking or chipping of teeth or fillings.
  • Loose teeth or pain on biting.

You may be wondering what to do about teeth grinding. Some tips to help stop teeth grinding include avoiding certain foods and drinks such as alcohol, caffeine, sodas, and chocolate. Plus, it can help to try to help relax your jaw muscles by holding a warm washcloth against your cheek. If you notice that you grind your teeth during the daytime, try to become conscious of what your are doing, and position the tip of your tongue  between your teeth to help train your jaw muscles to relax. Try avoiding chewing gum as it can increase the strain on your jaw muscles. 
If you think teeth grinding may be happening during your sleep, or even find yourself doing it throughout the day, it is important to talk with your dentist. Commonly, dentists will recommend a night guard for individuals suffering from teeth grinding to wear at night to help protect the surfaces throughout sleep. Other treatments that have been found to be beneficial include stress counseling, jaw relaxation training, exercising, and muscle relaxants or anti-inflammatory medications. However, treatments are determined after a comprehensive examination and diagnosis by your dentist.
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://health.usnews.com/health-care/patient-advice/articles/what-to-do-about-teeth-grinding

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dentalcare.com%2Fen-us%2Fpatient-education%2Fpatient-materials%2Fteeth-grinding-bruxism&psig=AOvVaw3cEiLNHlmlO4Bq2J1TDNv0&ust=1614995968340000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCMiJqoOHmO8CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAK

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

Could Oral Bacteria be a Cause of Migraines?

February 26th, 2021

Migraines can be a nuisance! If you've ever suffered a migraine, you know how significant an attack can feel. Could your dentist help relieve your migraines? In some cases, yes! A study published by the American Society for Microbiology suggests that certain oral bacteria known to increase nitric oxide in the bloodstream can cause the blood vessels in the brain to widen, which consequently can trigger the onset of a migraine.

As you may know, there are many factors that could be the cause of your headaches or migraine, and treatment requires a correct diagnosis. Migraines are commonly known to be triggered by foods high in nitrates and nitrites, which are often found in processed meats like hot dogs, ham and bacon, alcohol, and even chocolate.

In addition, migraines may be triggered by other certain factors, including:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Female hormonal changes
  • Bright or flashing lights
  • Loud noises
  • Strong smells
  • Medications
  • Excess or lack of sleep
  • Sudden changes in weather or environment
  • Increased physical activity
  • Tobacco
  • Caffeine or caffeine withdrawal
  • Skipped meals
  • Medication overuse

What exactly does a migraine entail?

A migraine often presents with severe throbbing or pulsating pain that typically occurs on one side of the head. According to MedlinePlus, approximately 12% of Americans experience migraines. Females, individuals with a family history of migraines, and individuals with certain medical conditions including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, sleep disorders, and epilepsy, are at an increased risk of having migraines.

Migraines often involve 4 different stages:

  • Stage 1: Prodrome

This stage is the first stage that occurs before you actually experience the migraine. Early signs may be food cravings, unexplained mood swings, fluid retention, frequent urination, and uncontrollable yawning.

  • Stage 2: Aura

During the aura phase which occurs often right before the start of a migraine, individuals may see bright lights or zig-zag lines. Individuals may also experience muscle weakness.

  • Stage 3: Headache

The severity of migraines often occurs gradually. Some individuals may experience a migraine without a headache, but instead experience sensitivity to light, sound, and smell, nausea and vomiting, and pain when moving.

  • Stage 4: Postdrome

The final stage of a migraine is the postdrome stage, in which individuals often experience fatigue, weakness, and potential confusion lasting sometimes around 1 day after the migraine.

Our body's are full of bacteria that naturally and harmlessly live within us. However, some bacteria can be harmful and lead to cavities, gum disease, and even migraines. This is one of the many reasons why regular dental visits and proper oral care at home is essential. It is important to brush at least twice a day for two minutes each time to help remove dental plaque and prevent it from causing tooth decay. Flossing is also necessary to remove dental plaque that is stuck in hard-to-reach places like in-between teeth, which is where cavities commonly are initiated. Rinsing with an anti-microbial and fluoride containing mouth rinse can also help kill bacteria and strengthen your teeth.

Your dentist can check to see if your headaches or migraines are caused by other oral conditions such as temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) or oral habits such as clenching/bruxism. Toothaches from dental infection by oral bacteria can also cause significant pain in the head and jaw area.

Speak with your doctor and dentist if you feel that you are experiencing chronic migraines.

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.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/migraines-oral-bacteria.html

https://drania.com/why-your-migraines-might-be-caused-by-oral-bacteria/

https://blog.themigrainereliefcenter.com/connection-between-migraines-and-tooth-pain

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.infinitydentalfoxlake.com%2Fdental-concerns%2Ffrequent-headaches%2F&psig=AOvVaw37hxjRFQJvc6UPujGNOF7b&ust=1613951004832000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCIjc9f_S-e4CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAm

https://medlineplus.gov/migraine.html

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fgenesisresearchservices.com%2Fmigraine-symptoms-treatment-clinical-trials%2F&psig=AOvVaw2YMfuEAnZGCULPV5PlPlxP&ust=1613957134912000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCND76oDp-e4CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAJ

Every Body Has a Seat at the Table: Eating Disorder Awareness

February 21st, 2021

Every year, many organizations and individuals across the nation recognize National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (#NEDAwareness), which is the biggest and most recognized eating disorders education effort in the United States. This year, NEDAwareness Week runs from Monday, February 22 - Sunday, February 28. This national event aims is to shed light on eating disorders through educating, spreading hope, and making resources accessible to individuals in need. The theme for 2021 is "Every Body to Has a Seat at the Table."

According to the campaign, approximately 30 million people in the United States will be affected by an eating disorder during their lifetime. Even though this year brings additional challenges as we combat COVID-19, communities across the nation are still coming together to raise awareness through social media events, virtual discussions, and more informative and cool activities.

As reported by the National Eating Disorders Association, eating disorders have been found to be most common in teenagers and young adult women, although they can effect people of any gender or age. Eating disorders can negatively impact a person's physical and mental well-being, and have an effect on personal relationships, confidence, and overall performance at life tasks. In addition, eating disorders can have a significant impact on an individual's oral health. Your teeth, gums, and the surrounding oral tissues depend on healthy nutrients and a healthy diet.

Eating disorders can stem from many physical, mental and social hardships. If you suffer from an eating disorder, it’s important to talk to your health care providers so that proper diagnosis and treatment can begin.

So, what are some of the different types of eating disorders?

  • Anorexia: Individuals with anorexia may experience severe fear of gaining weight and may experience negative thoughts on the way their body appears. Signs may include individuals starving themselves to avoid gaining weight, and excessive exercise.
  • Bulimia: This condition is similar to anorexia in the sense that individuals may also have fears of being overweight. However, individuals may also experience periods of overeating/binge eating followed by self-induced vomiting, purging, misusing laxatives, or fasting throughout the day or several times throughout the week.
  • Binge Eating or Compulsive Overeating: This condition involves individuals who binge eat but do not regularly try to purge the food. Individuals may experience feelings of guilt, making it easier to continue to overeat.

In fact, your dentist may be the first to notice the signs of an eating disorder as changes in the mouth are often the first physical signs that become noticeable. Unfortunately, eating disorders can cause permanent damage to the teeth and oral tissues. Recognizing the signs of an eating disorder early can help lead to a better and easier road to recovery for the body and mouth.

Some of the oral consequences of eating disorders include:

  • Easily bleeding gums
  • Swollen salivary glands which may cause Individuals to experience chronic dry mouth, increasing the risk of developing tooth decay.
  • Lack of nutrients that promote healthy teeth such as calcium, iron and vitamins B and D can also increase the risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease. Lack of iron can lead to the development of oral sores. Similarly, improper amounts of vitamin B3/niacin can lead to bad breath (halitosis) and the development of oral canker sores. Gums may also become puffy and red.
  • Frequent vomiting causes the tooth enamel, or the outer layer of your teeth, to become weak, eroded, soft, and become yellow in color due to the highly acidic environment created from stomach acids. This can create tooth sensitivity when eating hot or cold foods or drinks, and eventually lead to tooth and tissue loss. As enamel wears away, the layer underneath, the dentin, can become exposed and in extreme cases the pulp, which is the next layer of the tooth underneath the dentin, can be exposed and cause infection and pulp death. Tooth decay can even be worsened by extensive tooth brushing following vomiting due to the acidity and weakened state of the mouth.

    Water should be rinsed with following purging to help reduce the high acidic content in the mouth. Vomiting can also induce inflammation, cuts, and soreness of the roof of the mouth/soft palate.

  • Degenerative arthritis of the jaw's temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are also associated with eating disorders. This can lead to jaw pain, chronic headaches, and problems chewing and opening/closing the mouth.

If you suffer from an eating disorder, it is important to contact a health professional. To help reduce associated oral health issues it is also important to maintain oral health care by proper tooth brushing and flossing, and frequent visits to your dentist. Your dentist may provide fluoride rinses or other products to help remineralize tooth enamel.

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.nationaleatingdisorders.org/get-involved/nedawareness

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

https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/e/eating-disorders

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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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.

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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

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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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