World Health Organization

World No Tobacco Day!

May 31st, 2021

Today, May 31st marks World No Tobacco Day, which is an annual celebration that aims to educate the world about the harmful consequences of using tobacco. The World Health Organization (WHO) created this observance dating back to 1987 in hopes to fight the tobacco epidemic to help protect individuals and future generations against preventable death and diseases caused by tobacco. This year the theme is ‘Quit tobacco to be a winner.'  Lots of social media campaigns and programs across the world are happening now to help promote quitting smoking.

Quitting smoking can be very hard and you are not alone, but the benefits of doing so are extremely powerful. Now in particular with the presence of COVID-19 and its link to respiratory diseases, it's a perfect time to quit smoking. The WHO reported, "When the news came out that smokers were more likely to develop severe disease with COVID-19 compared to non-smokers, it triggered millions of smokers to want to quit tobacco.”

Take a look at the health benefits of quitting from the WHO:

Tobacco use also plays a significant negative role on ones oral health. Tobacco use can increase the risk of developing oral cancer compared to non-smokers, and can lead to bad breath and stain teeth. Tobacco use is also associated with an increased risk of gum disease. In addition, the FDA reports that smoking can make your body heal slower following procedures such as dental surgery, as it causes carbon monoxide to enter your blood and depletes your body of the oxygen it needs. This can lead to greater risk of having post-operative complications. The damaging effects of using tobacco can be both permanent and life-threatening.

After time away from smoking, study's report that your brain will begin to get used to not smoking, and it will become easier to break the cycle of addiction. Here's some tips to help you quit as soon as possible:

  1. Schedule check-up appointments with your health professionals. See your primary physician and dental professional to help you start fresh and make goals toward quitting. They can provide resources and guide you through your process of quitting. There are also helplines available, such as 1-800-QUIT-NOW.
  2. Start eliminating things tied to your smoking life. Trash your cigarettes, ashtrays, and lighters to help make it easier to not indulge. Also, try to eliminate any triggers that can create cravings.
  3. Switch smoking with healthier oral habits. Chewing sugar-free gum or having nutritious snack items around can help keep you distracted from smoking and be good for your teeth. When you have the desire to smoke, head to brush your teeth instead, which will freshen your breath and help remove smoking stains.
  4. Keep the air fresh. Try to eliminate the aroma of cigarettes to rid the reminder of smoking.

Whether you smoke tobacco or e-cigarettes or chew tobacco, your oral health and overall health are harmed. Plan to quit smoking today! Your dental professional can help you take the necessary steps to get your started on your journey to quitting smoking.

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://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/tobacco-health-benefits-of-smoking-cessation

https://www.who.int/campaigns/world-no-tobacco-day

https://www.firstpost.com/india/world-no-tobacco-day-2021-theme-this-year-is-quit-tobacco-to-be-a-winner-9664371.html

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/threats-to-dental-health/how-to-quit-smoking-and-protect-your-oral-health

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cadca.org%2Fblog%2Fmay-31st-marks-annual-world-no-tobacco-day&psig=AOvVaw1nzL9Ehq7Cp0QCqfgg7kUa&ust=1622296530918000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCNig3NXD7PACFQAAAAAdAAAAABAI

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.who.int%2Fmediacentre%2Fevents%2F2018%2Fworld-no-tobacco-day%2Fen%2F&psig=AOvVaw1nzL9Ehq7Cp0QCqfgg7kUa&ust=1622296530918000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCNig3NXD7PACFQAAAAAdAAAAABAD

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

Breastfeeding and Dental Health: Does it Cause Dental Problems?

September 19th, 2020

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that infants be breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months of their life in order to promote healthy growth and development. As defined, exclusive breastfeeding is no other food, drink or water except breastmilk. From a dental standpoint, breastfeeding reduces the chances of baby bottle tooth decay. Studies have also shown that exclusive breastfeeding reduced the likelihood of teeth alignment issues such as open bite, crossbite, and overbite.

An open bite is where the teeth do not align properly when the jaws are closed. Causes of open bite include thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, and skeletal problems.

Open Bite:

A crossbite has two classifications: Posterior and anterior crossbite. A posterior crossbite involves the lower back teeth fitting over the teeth in the upper jaw.

Posterior Crossbite:

An anterior crossbite involves the bottom front teeth fitting over the teeth in the upper jaw.

Anterior Crossbite:

An overbite involves the teeth in the upper jaw overlapping the teeth of the lower jaw. This is commonly known as “buck teeth”.

Overbite:

What  does research say happens if you breastfeed past 6 months?

A study by Pediatrics showed that prolonged breastfeeding increased the risk of cavities (tooth decay) in children. The research showed that children who were breastfed 24 months or longer were 2.4 more times likely to have severe cavities. Now does this mean that you should stop breastfeeding after 6 months? No! The study did not take into account the oral health habits of the children, frequency of breastfeeding, and the additional foods added to the baby’s diet once exclusive breastfeeding is no longer done. More recently, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition determined that there was no association between breastfeeding beyond the age of one and cavities. The factors that did lead to increased risk of cavities involved high sugar intake and socioeconomic status.

What are some causes of tooth decay?

  • Frequency of sugar

limiting the consumption of foods and drinks that have a high contact of sugar is important to reducing the risk of cavities.

  • Bacteria in the mouth

Streptococcus mutans bacteria, is the main source of cavities. This agent can be passed from caretakers to children through sharing of utensils and kissing.

  • Poor oral hygiene

Ways to protect from decay

  • Your child’s first dental visit should be around their first birthday
  • Teeth or gums should be cleaned twice a day. This can be done by wiping them with a wet washcloth
  • Once other foods have been introduced into the diet, offer water as this will wash away lingering sugar
  • Make sure that your child goes to sleep with a clean mouth- this means no juice or sugar filled foods before bedtime
  • Avoid putting your child’s toys, cups, utensils in your mouth to reduce the spread of bacteria from your mouth to theirs

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.speareducation.com/spear-review/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/frank1_22.png

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/26/Crossbite.jpg

https://www.ozident.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/screenshot-2014-03-05-19-19-32.png

https://www.ozident.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/screenshot-2014-03-05-19-19-32.png

https://thenewageparents.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/buck-teeth-in-children-what-to-do.jpg

https://www.healthline.com/health/open-bite

https://www.healthline.com/health/crossbite#definition

https://www.healthline.com/health/buck-teeth

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn%3AANd9GcT6NpB7mBH33ta2U478E4PmwEnqp_mMlxzYKg&usqp=CAU

https://thoroughdentsmiles.com/2020/03/25/breastfeeding-and-dental-health/

Long-Term Benefits of Cuting Down on Sugar

January 8th, 2014

 

candy sweetsIt has been a little over 20 years since the World Health Organization (WHO) came out with the statistic that the amount of free sugars taken in by the body should be less than 10% of the total caloric intake, with free sugars defined as sugars that have been added to foods by the one preparing the food or it can be sugars that are naturally present in foods, including in honey, syrups, and fruit juices.

WHO decided to put this statistic to the test and commissioned Newcastle University to do research on whether cutting down on these free sugars to only 10% of total calories can result in lower levels of tooth decay. Newcastle University’s results were published in the Journal of Dental Research, revealing that... when individuals kept their free sugar intake less than 10% of their total caloric intake, there were indeed much fewer instances of tooth decay. What’s more is that the research findings also suggest that when individuals cut down sugar intake to only holding 5% of caloric intake, individuals would reap further benefits, decreasing risk of cavities throughout their life.

Researchers at Newcastle University explain that much of the research done in the past to determine recommended level of free sugars were primarily based on levels related to decayed teeth in 12 year olds. However, it is no secret that tooth decay is a progressive disease, which cannot be accurately determined based solely on the state of teeth during a specific time period of an individual’s life. When patterns of tooth decay in populations over time were analyzed, research shows that children that had less than three cavities at the age of 12 can actually go on to develop high number of cavities as adults.

This increase of tooth decay can be attributed to the increase in the amount of sugar intake in industrialized countries. Sugar in the past may have only been an occasional treat, but now this is simply not the case. Sugary foods and beverages are now considered staples in many people’s diet. Professor Moynihan, the professor of nutrition and oral health at Newcastle University, explain that while fluoride is can act as a protectant against tooth decay, it can not completely eliminate tooth decay. With increased sugar intake, teeth still remain susceptible to cavities even with the help fluoride in water and toothpaste.

Join WHO’s global initiative in cutting down sweets. Limiting sugar intake not only reaps dental benefits but it indubitably is beneficial for overall health. 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.ncl.ac.uk/dental/research/publication/195320
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131209204040.htm
http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/sep/07/sugar-diet-who-uk-experts
http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/tc/tooth-decay-topic-overview

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