wellesley newspaper

Children Skipping Breakfast Are at a Higher Risk of Cavities

February 3rd, 2014

smiling girl

The late morning rush to school many families experience and/or lack of food due to insufficient funds that often results in children not eating breakfast is detrimental to their oral health. When children, particularly preschoolers, miss out on breakfast their chances of having tooth decay rises, according to a study in a journal issue in Journal of the American Dental Association conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study focused on the association between healthy eating habits, including eating breakfast and having healthy balanced meals, as well as cavities in the primary teeth of more than 4,000 preschoolers among the age of two to five years old.

Researchers who conducted the study determined that children in this age group who skip breakfast are about four times more likely to develop cavities.  Also, children who do not eat the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables per day are three times as likely to get cavities.

Young children will have a reduced risk of getting cavities if healthy eating practices are established. Emphasizing the importance of eating breakfast daily will not only promote oral health, but also reduce tooth decay in children.

It is also important to be careful about the foods you choose to consume for breakfast. There are many beneficial snacks and breakfast foods that can help stimulate a healthy atmosphere in your mouth. Healthy teeth are a result of consuming healthy foods and drinks such as milk, green tea, yogurt, raisins, cheese, and crunchy fruits and vegetables. Also, drinks with calcium not only strengthen bones, but also ensure healthy teeth.

Drs. Ali & Ali and their team at Wellesley Dental Group will be more than happy to answer your questions, thoughts, or concerns about oral health or the significance of a healthy breakfast. Feel free to contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com.

References:

http://www.webmd.com/parenting/news/20040116/eating-breakfast-may-prevent-cavities

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/01/040115080612.htm

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/01/11/food-for-teeth_n_1200301.html

Maternal Smoking Can Cause Cleft-Lip in Babies

January 29th, 2014

pregnant womanIn the United States alone, there is a 1/750 chance that a baby is born with isolated, also called non-syndromic, cleft lip and/or palate. While this condition can be corrected through various surgeries, families of the child with this condition can be inundated both emotionally and economically. Throughout the world, there are about 12 million women each year who smoke through pregnancies. About one in every 600 U.S. babies is born with a cleft lip and/or palate. The American Journal of Human Genetics published results from a study done at the University of Iowa demonstrating that if a pregnant woman smokes 16 cigarettes or more per day, the chances of her GSTT1-lacking fetus developing a cleft increase 20 fold.

Researchers at the University of Iowa have found through an international study that some babies are predisposed to cleft lip and/or palate because of their inability to detoxify and process cigarette smoke. The study showed that the fetuses lacking both copies of a gene used to thwart the smoke and have mothers who smoked during pregnancy had a greater risk of developing cleft lip. These scientists have compiled a last of 16 genes that are directly related in cigarette smoke toxicity and determined whether variations of these genes would influence a baby’s ability to remove the toxins. The researchers found that the GSTT1 gene made a significant contribution to clefting; this gene is responsible for 20 different enzymes in the body, specifically essential for common detoxification processes. The study also found that 60 percent of babies with Asian ancestry and 25 percent of babies of European ancestry do not possess copies of the gene called GSTT1. Without this gene, the baby is unable to eliminate the toxins from the smoke that has been spread across the placenta.

During any stage of life, it is always important to make healthy choices. A poor health decision is not always specific to one location in the body, but can very well affect many different areas of the body. If you have any more questions, 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.

Ref: http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/ADA/2007/article/ADA-03-Mom-Smoking-Cleft-Lip.cvsp

http://www.nih.gov/news/pr/jan2007/nidcr-03.htm

The Dangers of Food Coloring

January 27th, 2014

Soda bubblesNot only do sodas contain excessive amounts of sugar and high levels of acidity, but also carcinogens!

A chemical present in many sodas of golden-brown color may be dangerous to your health. "Caramel coloring" or 4-methylimidazole may cause cancer, says he World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer.

The state of California supports that opinion and limits manufacturers to 29 micrograms of exposure for the average consumer per day. The products that exceed that limit have to have a warning label that reads: "WARNING: This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer."

Unfortunatelly, a lot of companies do not strickly abide by this standard and add the warning, including Pepsi ("Pepsi One") or Goya ("Malta").

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) doesn't set federal limits on 4-Mel in food, which means that in some cases consumers outside California end up drinking a drink with a higher concentration of the chemical. For instance, Pepsi One purchased by the Consumer Reports group in New York contained 4 times as much 4-Mel as the same drink bought in Califonia same month.

Consumers interested in more information on 4-Mel can check out the FDA's FAQ page.

Ref.: http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/23/health/consumer-reports-soda-caramel-coloring/

Img: http://goo.gl/6kMlZK

Chewing May Prevent Memory Loss

January 23rd, 2014

older lady teethAccording to research, chewing stimulates the mind and can lower the stress levels. Just remember to opt for the sugar-free gym!

When new memories are received, they are stored in an area associated with learning, known as the hippocampus. As individuals grow older, it is more likely that some will begin to experiences deterioration of hippocampal cells, leading to a loss of cognitive functions, including memory, problem solving and decision-making. Research shows that there is a connection between lack of teeth and loss of cognitive function, leading to a higher risk of memory loss.

Japanese researchers led by Gifu University School of Medicine’s Dr. Minuro Onozuka have genetically manipulated laboratory mice to age prematurely. When this occurred, mice shows signs of aging, including cataracts, hair loss and failing memory. Scientists then had the molar teeth extracted from the mice to keep them from chewing; these mice were placed in a water maze in order to locate a hidden platform. While young mice were able recall the specified location in a water maze, old mice that had their molars taken out were unable to find the location, and constantly went in the wrong direction. The scientists then examined the hippocampus of the old mice and found that cells within the hippocampus, known as glia, had worsened more than usual.

Dr. Onozuka was able to show that chew seems to stimulate the mind, increasing hippocampal signals during activity. The action of chewing actually sends a signal to the hippocampus, which ends up lessening the stress hormone levels in the blood. When older people chew less, their stress levels tend to rise, which can lead to a decline in short-term memory. While research has found a correlation between teeth and memory, it does not mean that they are linked, having a causal effect. However, scientists recommend that individuals chew often, releasing the build up of stress and optimizing the activity of hippocampal signals.

If you have any more questions, 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.

References:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/670612.stm

Is a Dental Visit Every 6 Months Still the Standard?

January 16th, 2014

Dental Check UpDentists have long been asking patients to come in for a checkup every six months, setting this as the golden standard. However, new studies show that those who have high risk factors of developing periodontal disease may need to schedule preventive visits more often.

The Journal of Dental Research looked at insurance claims data for 5,117 adults mainly located in Michigan, and compared tooth extractions to the patient’s history of one or two dental visits, also with respect to his or her risk of periodontal disease. High-risk patients have a history of smoking and diabetes, or variations in the interleukin-1 gene, which research has shown to be a link to periodontal disease in Caucasians. Subjects that were characterized as low-risk patients did not have any of these risk factors. It was found that there was no significant difference in tooth loss between low-risk patients that either went in for a checkup once or twice a year. However, among the high-risk subjects, 17% of patients who followed the suggested biannual dental visits still had tooth extractions, while 22% of high-risk patients who went in once a year had their tooth extracted.

Doctors now believe that it is important for high-risk patients to make more frequent visits; the published findings suggest that the number of dental visits should be customized, fitting individual’s needs. However, doctors stress that these results do not indicate that patients don’t need to see dentists at all; they just need to be aware of their susceptibility to periodontal disease and go in for checkups accordingly. Low-risk individuals should still come in for checkups regularly to make sure good oral health is maintained. If you have any concerns, Drs. Ali & Ali and their team at Wellesley Dental Group will be very happy to answer your questions. Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com!

References:

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/06/10/rethinking-the-twice-yearly-dentist-visit/?ref=health

http://www.iuasda.org/2013/06/12/new-study-claims-little-evidence-supports-twice-yearly-dental-visits-for-preventive-care/

Cutting Back on Chewing Gum May Mean Less Headaches!

January 9th, 2014

headacheWhether it’s fighting bad breath, quenching a dry mouth, or even just for some good bubble popping, making a grab for a stick of gum has become almost an afterthought.

However, recent research indicates that chewing gum may actually be the culprit behind headaches. Dr. Nathan Watemberg of Tel Aviv University’s research demonstrated that teenagers and even younger children who regularly chew gum ended up with reoccurring headaches. 

When patients are treated for migraines and tension headaches, there is usually additional testing or medication prescribed to determine the cause of pain. Dr. Watemberg stated that out of the 30 patients that decided to stop gum chewing, 26 found a significant improvement and 19 of them had found that their headache had left completely. Dr. Watemberg then took a step further and asked twenty of his patients to go back to gum chewing, and within a couple days, all of them reported that the pain had come back.

Headaches have been known to be a common and reoccurring problem throughout childhood, especially in teenage girls. Past research have shown that these headaches can be set off by a range of stressors, including lack of sleep, tiredness, missed meals, noise, and menstruation, and even video games! But little research has put gum chewing in the spotlight.

Previous studies that have linked gum chewing to headaches offer various explanations; however, Dr. Watemberg believes that the amount of chewing can cause significant stress on the temporomandibular joint, TMJ, which is the area where the jaw meets the skull. Many people tend to continue to chew their gum even after the taste is gone, which then continues to put stress on the TMJ. Dr. Watemberg believes if children and teenagers should consider limiting the amount of gum they chew, they will be drastically less susceptible to the headaches that plague their age group.

Whether you are in your adolescent years are well past your teenage years, it’s still important to consider the stress that is placed daily on the TMJ. When it’s up to the third stick of gum for the day, think of your TMJ and maybe it’ll save you from that reoccurring migraine! If you have any more questions, 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 questionsContact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation. 

 

References:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131219130937.htm
http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/temporomandibular-disorders
http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/12/how-chewing-gum-can-cause-headaches/282569/

Wellesley Townsman 10: Femina and Ejaz Ali

January 6th, 2014

Drs.Ejaz and Femina AliEach year the readers of Wellesley Townsman Newspaper recognize the achievements and, most importantly, community involvement of Wellesley-connected individuals or groups who they believe have had a significant impact on the town or the larger world, especially over the last 12 months.

Their choices, plus staff nominations, become the pool from which the Townsman 10 are chosen. The Townsman 10 are not necessarily well-known; they may be making quiet contributions that we feel deserve the spotlight. They need not be the most popular folks in town — this is not a popularity contest. The one thing they do share is that they are somehow making a difference, whether behind the scenes or center stage.

Wellesley Townsman Newspaper

Why they were nominated: Femina and Ejaz Ali recognize the importance of giving back, and can make going to the dentist a tolerable—if not pleasurable—experience, according to Joanna Bandte. 

I immediately fell in love with their engaging personalities, wonderful staff, and the mission that drives their practice when I saw them turn my children's nervousness about seeing a dentist into excitedness," Bandte said in nominating the pair for the Townsman 10. "They treat everyone who walks through their door like family, and I believe that comes from their connectedness and commitment to the Wellesley community."

"I've watched first hand as Drs. Ali and Ali have extended their generosity and passion for community service to Wellesley and beyond. I am especially appreciative of this, because living in an affluent town like Wellesley, it is hard to find opportunities to teach our children the importance of giving back. I am grateful that I need look no further than Wellesley Dental Group, where they've encouraged my children to drop off their gently used clothes, books, and toys at their office for Cradles to Crayons."

Wellesley Dental Group’s 2013 candy drive netted over 7,000 pounds of leftover Halloween candy that was sent to troops overseas as a sweet way to show their appreciation for the armed forces’ efforts. For the elementary schools that donated the most candy, the Alis awarded a total of $850.

"Wellesley Dental Group, whose philanthropic mission is at the heart of their practice, has set a terrific example for others to follow."

- Published in the Jan. 2 issue of The Wellesley Townsman Newspaper.

Read more: http://www.wickedlocal.com/wellesley/features/x920322020/Townsman-10-Femina-and-Ejaz-Ali#ixzz2pdPY70dr 

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