Halloween Candy | Palm Harbor Dentist

Halloween will soon be over, but the Halloween candy may live on for a few days or weeks. While dentists typically agree that sugar increases tooth decay, many also appreciate that Halloween candy is typically OK for kids, as long as it’s eaten in moderation and parents follow some basic guidelines.

First, sugar does contribute to decay by providing food for bacteria that damages teeth. Most Halloween candy is high in sugar, but simply eating candy isn’t necessarily going to cause decay. Rather, the sugar remaining on the teeth long term contributes to decay. Therefore, eating sugary candy isn’t necessarily damaging, as long as the time spent eating candy is limited, and immediately followed by rinsing the teeth with water, and brushing as soon as possible.

ThinkstockPhotos-178564205Not all Halloween candy is created equally, either. Sour candies tend to have far more acid than sweeter candies. The acid is more damaging to tooth enamel than plain sugar, and should be avoided if possible. Candies that are sticky – such as caramels, gummies, and popcorn balls – are more likely to stick to teeth, and therefore more likely to resist brushing. Because they may get stuck on teeth, they are more likely to cause tooth decay.

If possible, try to moderate candy consumption by limiting hungry and cravings with other healthier food sources – rather than allowing candy binges, allow minimal candy intake immediately following another meal, so that the child is less likely to be hungry, and normal post-meal brushing is imminent.

While Halloween can be fun, and candy is typically OK, be sure to ensure that candy is enjoyed in moderation, and try to avoid the overly acidic/sour and sticky/gummy candies.

To find out more about the effects of sour candy contact Dr. Larry Lieberman and make an appointment 727-785-8017 or visit our website at www.dentist-lieberman.com.

Accepting patients from Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs and all surrounding areas.

Wisdom Teeth | Palm Harbor Dentist

177406608Wisdom teeth – the third and final set of molars in the rear of your mouth – are one of the least predictable teeth. Unlike other teeth, it’s not uncommon for wisdom teeth to be absent. Even more unusual, while some people have all four wisdom teeth, other people have only one, two, or three – and there seems to be no reliable predictor to determine how many wisdom teeth any given patient has prior to being X-rayed by a dentist.

For many people, the presence or absence of wisdom teeth is irrelevant – you can certainly live a full life with or without wisdom teeth – unless they’re present and problematic.

In many cases, wisdom teeth crowd other molars, grown in misaligned, or only partially erupt from the gum. Crowding can cause pain, tenderness, and further alignment issues with other teeth. In extreme cases, the wisdom teeth can grow in horizontally. In other cases, they can remain impacted – partially erupted through the gum, leaving the gum tissue broken. This condition allows bacteria to enter the gum tissue, surrounding the tooth where it can not be brushed or flossed, and can lead to significant decay of the tooth itself, as well as periodontal disease as the infection spreads to the surrounding gum tissue.

For these reasons, it’s common for many patients to first learn about their wisdom teeth when their dentist recommends they be removed. While not all wisdom teeth need to be removed, their potential for problems makes them likely candidates for extraction in many patients. The difficulty of extraction depends on many factors, such as number of wisdom teeth, their general alignment, and whether or not they’re compacting other teeth. If the wisdom teeth are fully erupted and visible, extraction may be simple; if the wisdom teeth are underneath the gums, the dentist or oral surgeon will need to cut into the gum to get to the teeth, which tends to be more invasive. In many cases, dentists will recommend removal of multiple wisdom teeth in one procedure, allowing for a single sedation and a single recovery period, so the patient does not need to repeat the healing process multiple times.

If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort near the back of your mouth, or if you’ve been told you have wisdom teeth that may be problematic, speak to your dentist about the various options available to you. Extraction may not be necessary, but it’s also possible that extraction could be a simple way to relieve pain and pressure caused by wisdom teeth.

To find out more about your wisdom teeth contact Dr. Larry Lieberman and make an appointment 727-785-8017 or visit our website at www.dentist-lieberman.com.

Accepting patients from Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs and all surrounding areas.

What to Expect with Teeth Whitening | Palm Harbor Dentist

close up smile red lipstickEvery day you see commercials for teeth whitening products, toothpastes, kits, whitening rinses. So have you finally decided to have your teeth whitened? The first step is to be sure that your expectations are realistic. We all want those bright white teeth we see on celebrities but it’s important not to expect a celebrity-bright smile, as everyone’s teeth react differently to treatment.

You may expect quicker whitening results if you opt for an in-office whitening procedure. These procedures are considered safe, though you can expect some sensitivity in your teeth and gums, which usually resolves after the whitening procedure is complete.  It is not uncommon for the tooth color to dull a bit a week or two following this type of treatment, so using an at-home product  may help maintain the results following the treatment.

Your dentist, however, can typically offer two different whitening options. The first is take-home tray based, using chemicals stronger than over-the-counter trays, but working on the same basic principle. Often times dentist provided trays are custom-molded to the patients teeth, providing a smooth, comfortable fit suitable for wearing for multiple hours each day – often even overnight.  Beyond the trays, dentists can often perform whitening in the office, using light and heat activated bleaching chemicals, providing a significant whitening in as little as 60 minutes. Because the procedure is supervised by a dentist, much stronger chemicals can be used, and much more dramatic results can be seen almost immediately.

You can expect to see some results after one treatment, but you may choose to have more than one treatment to get the effect that you want. An in-office bleaching treatment usually takes 30 to 60 minutes.

How long can you expect the benefits to last? That depends in part on your habits. If you smoke, or if you drink large amounts of coffee or tea, you may need another procedure after a few years.

To find out more about whitening contact Dr. Larry Lieberman and make an appointment 727-785-8017 or visit our website at www.dentist-lieberman.com.

Accepting patients from Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs and all surrounding areas.

Are You Suffering from TMJ? | Palm Harbor Dentist

200324634-001TMJ, or Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome, is one of the most misdiagnosed syndromes in the world. Oftentimes, TMJ is overlooked, as jaw related issues can be linked to a multitude of different health issues. TMJ symbolizes the first three anatomic areas of the head. The Temporomandibular Joint is important in which it is the joint that connects your jawbone to your skull. As it is two joints acting to support as one, when they break down, it can cause a series of pains to occur.

Signs and symptoms of TMJ:

  • Pain in the Jaw, especially around the joint
  • Popping or clicking of the jaw
  • Ear pain
  • Ringing or popping sounds in the ears
  • Headaches
  • Blurred Vision
  • Tight or sore jaw or neck muscles
  • Shoulder pain
  • Locking or dislocation of the jaw.

The exact cause of a person’s TMJ disorder is often difficult to determine. Your pain may be due to a combination of problems, such as arthritis or jaw injury. Some people who have jaw pain also tend to clench or grind their teeth, but many people habitually clench their teeth and never develop TMJ disorders. TMJ may cause anywhere from mild to severe pain and discomfort I people and can last for a short time or for many years. If you experience anything from chronic headaches, neck aches, dizziness, ear aches, hearing problems, pain or tenderness in the face, limited ability to open the mouth wide, or clicking, popping, or grating sound, contact Dr. Lieberman.

To find out more about TMJ contact Dr. Larry Lieberman and make an appointment 727-785-8017 or visit our website at www.dentist-lieberman.com.

Accepting patients from Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs and all surrounding areas.

Laser Dentistry | Palm Harbor Dentist

ThinkstockPhotos-464323669Dr. Lieberman believes visiting the dentist does not have to be a painful and uncomfortable experience. Millions of Americans have what can be considered a dental-phobia. But with new technology dental fears are being eased.

Many people associate a trip to the dentist with the sound of the high-speed dental drill, but Dr. Lieberman has another tool at his disposal: a dental laser. While not commonly associated with dental treatment, lasers have been used in dentistry since 1990 for a variety of uses. During traditional dental drilling the cause of pain is related to heat, vibration and pressure. Lasers do not produce heat, vibration or pressure, making it nearly pain free.

Dr. Lieberman uses a tool known as a Periolase – a laser specially designed for dental use – to focus energy into a small point. This burst of energy can be accurately aimed, and when it makes contact with the mouth, it can assist the dentist in a variety of ways. Fans of lasers and science fiction probably imagine lasers are great for cutting through tissue, and that remains true in dental lasers; the Periolase can be used to remove diseased or infected tissue around teeth quickly and safely. Similar to removing tissue, in some cases the laser can be used to reshape gum and bone tissue, and the heat from lasers are occasionally used to seal tissue to help promote healing.

While cutting with a laser seems like a typical use, one of the most common uses of dental lasers is as a tool to kill bacteria – the laser is powerful enough to kill bacteria beneath the surface without removing the tissue, giving Dr. Lieberman a way to treat infected or diseased tissue that would otherwise be difficult to reach with normal tools.

The dental laser has a number of advantages for both patient and dentist – the laser is quieter than the drill, allowing the patient to enjoy a more relaxed experience. The bacteria-killing nature of the laser and its more precise use can lead to better results and shorter healing times. When used by a trained dentist, such as Dr. Lieberman, the dental laser is a fantastic technical advancement that both patients and dentist can appreciate.

Do not put off dental treatment and check-up due to fear. Your dentist is here to make it as easy as possible for you.

To find out more about laser dentistry contact Dr. Larry Lieberman and make an appointment 727-785-8017 or visit our website at www.dentist-lieberman.com.

Accepting patients from Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs and all surrounding areas.

Guiding You to a Brighter Smile | Palm Harbor Dentist

close up smile red lipstickEveryone has heard of teeth whitening and it seems like everyone is doing it. It is a current, and long running dental trend as well as a frequently asked for cosmetic treatment. We all desire that dazzling bright white smile but many aren’t sure which route to take to obtain it. There are a few different methods to whiter teeth from toothpaste to professional services.

There are many brands of toothpaste that claim to whiten teeth, and stores sell all varieties of tooth whitening products – trays, gels, strips, and rinses – over the counter. The most basic form of teeth whitening is available as toothpaste – toothpaste, whether it’s labeled as whitening or not – typically contains small abrasive components that gently polish the surface of your teeth, removing discoloration caused by surface staining.

The over the counter whitening systems typically contain a bleaching agent – such as hydrogen peroxide – to lighten the color of your teeth by chemically bleaching them.  By applying the bleaching chemical to strips or trays, the peroxide can stay in contact with your teeth for 30 minutes at a time, often twice a day, often achieve quite a bit of whitening.

Dentists, however, can typically offer two different whitening options. The first is take-home tray based, using chemicals stronger than over-the-counter trays, but working on the same basic principle. Often times dentist provided trays are custom-molded to the patients teeth, providing a smooth, comfortable fit suitable for wearing for multiple hours each day – often even overnight.  Beyond the trays, dentists can often perform whitening in the office, using light and heat activated bleaching chemicals, providing a significant whitening in as little as 60 minutes. Because the procedure is supervised by a dentist, much stronger chemicals can be used, and much more dramatic results can be seen almost immediately.

No matter which method of teeth whitening you choose, the results will likely not be permanent. Your teeth are exposed to foods and drinks that will stain them over time, but your dentist can advise you on the proper procedure for repeating the whitening process at regular intervals.

If you’re unclear of which whitening method to choose Dr. Lieberman can guide you on the right treatment for your bright smile goals.

To find out more about teeth whitening contact Dr. Larry Lieberman and make an appointment 727-785-8017 or visit our website at www.dentist-lieberman.com.

Accepting patients from Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs and all surrounding areas.

Are Amalgam Fillings Safe? | Palm Harbor Dentist

155472626Dental amalgam is a common material used to fill cavities. Fillings made with amalgam also are known as silver fillings. Over the years, concerns have been raised about the use of amalgam because it contains mercury.

There has been a longstanding discussion in the dental world over the effects of amalgam fillings. Silver fillings have been used for years to replace holes made by cavities or other tooth related injuries. The controversy surrounding amalgam fillings have to do with the mercury laced filling that they are actually composed of.

In a survey taken by dental professionals, a whopping 72% of individuals had no idea that silver filling contain mercury. Of that percentage of individuals, 92% of them would have felt safer about them if they had known.

Mercury is a neurotoxin that, at high levels, may cause neurological issues, autoimmune disease, chronic illnesses, and mental disorders.  Amalgams are 50% mercury laced with a combination of silver, tin, and copper. At a high level of exposure, OSHA is claiming that they are unhealthy.  With a number of concerning factors, amalgam fillings have made a huge impact on the dental world. As of recently, the US National Health and Nutrition Examination surveyed 31,000 adults and found that the number of dental fillings correlated to the incidence of cancer, mental conditions, thyroid conditions, neurological issues, and diseases of the eye.

While statistics show for themselves, research still must be done in the search for a sure reason to take amalgams off of the market. As we have been using them for years, they are also responsible for saving millions of teeth around the world.

To find out more contact Dr. Larry Lieberman and make an appointment 727-785-8017 or visit our website at www.dentist-lieberman.com.

Accepting patients from Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs and all surrounding areas.

 

What Bad Breath Could Mean | Palm Harbor Dentist

close up smile red lipstickDo you suspect you have bad breath? If so, it might be an indication of other problems and not just a lack of proper oral hygiene. With perpetual bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth may be a warning sign of gum (periodontal) disease. Gum disease is caused by the buildup of plaque on teeth. Bacteria cause the formation of toxins to form, which irritate the gums. If gum disease continues untreated, it can damage the gums and jawbone.

The medical condition dry mouth also can cause bad breath. Saliva is necessary to moisten the mouth, neutralize acids produced by plaque, and wash away dead cells that accumulate on the tongue, gums, and cheeks. If not removed, these cells decompose and can cause bad breath. Dry mouth may be a side effect of various medications, salivary gland problems, or continuous breathing through the mouth.

Many other diseases and illnesses may cause bad breath. Here are some to be aware of: respiratory tract infections such as pneumonia or bronchitis, chronic sinus infections, postnasal drip, diabetes, chronic acid reflux, and liver or kidney problems.

Bad breath can be reduced or prevented if you:

  • Practice good oral hygiene. Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to remove food debris and plaque. Brush teeth after you eat (keep a toothbrush at work or school to brush after lunch). Don’t forget to brush the tongue, too. Replace your toothbrush every 2 to 3 months or after an illness. Use floss or an interdental cleaner to remove food particles and plaque between teeth once a day. Dentures should be removed at night and cleaned thoroughly before being placed in your mouth the next morning.
  • See your dentist regularly — at least twice a year. He or she will conduct an oral exam and professional teeth cleaning and will be able to detect and treat periodontal disease, dry mouth, or other problems that may be the cause of bad mouth odor.
  • Stop smoking and chewing tobacco-based products. Ask your dentist for tips on kicking the habit.
  • Drink lots of water. This will keep your mouth moist. Chewing gum (preferably sugarless) or sucking on candy (preferably sugarless) also stimulates the production of saliva, which helps wash away food particles and bacteria. Gums and mints containing xylitol are best.
  • Keep a log of the foods you eat. If you think they may be causing bad breath, bring the log to your dentist to review. Similarly, make a list of the medications you take. Some drugs may play a role in creating mouth odors(Source: WebMD).

In most cases, your dentist can treat the cause of bad breath. If your dentist determines that your mouth is healthy and the odor is not of oral origin, you may be referred to your family doctor or to a specialist to determine the odor source and treatment plan. If the odor is due to gum disease, for example, your dentist can either treat the disease or refer you to a periodontist, a dentist who specializes in treating gum conditions.

To find out more about bad breath contact Dr. Larry Lieberman and make an appointment 727-785-8017 or visit our website at www.dentist-lieberman.com.

Accepting patients from Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs and all surrounding areas.

The Benefits of Dental Bonding | Palm Harbor Dentist

porcelain-veneers-palm-harbor-flAmong the easiest and least expensive cosmetic dental procedures, bonding is a fast, easy way to correct a number of minor dental aesthetic issues. In dental bonding procedures, a tooth-colored synthetic resin is bonded to the tooth, allowing the dentist to adjust the shape, spacing, and color of teeth. In some cases, dentists may use bonding to correct chips or cracks. In others, bonding can be used to correct smile issues. In some cases, bonding can even be used as an alternative to traditional fillings, or to protect a tooth’s root in cases where a gum recession has exposed portions of the tooth that would normally be protected.

Bonding is generally considered to be fast and painless – a typical procedure requires less than an hour per tooth, and often does not require anesthesia. The dentist will begin by matching the color of the resin to the shade of the tooth, then lightly etch the surface to help the resin adhere to the tooth, before applying the clay or putty like resin and molding it to match the surface of the tooth. In some procedures, the resin will be molded to fill cracks or chips where the original tooth is no longer available, but it can also be used to cosmetically extend teeth to correct gaps between teeth, or make teeth appear longer for a more aesthetically pleasing smile. Once the dentist has shaped the resin, it is hardened in place with a special light, leaving it permanently bonded to the tooth.

Because bonding is relatively inexpensive, fast, and low risk, it’s a common choice among dentists and patients. In some cases, multiple teeth can be bonded in a single visit, though multiple visits may also be required depending on the number and placement of teeth that need bonding. Unlike some other dental procedures like bridges, bonded teeth do not require much in the way of special care. While the bonding resin is not as strong as a natural tooth, it should be brushed and flossed like normal teeth, and often lasts for many years.

To find more contact Dr. Larry Lieberman and make an appointment 727-785-8017 or visit our website at www.dentist-lieberman.com.

Accepting patients from Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs and all surrounding areas.

Proper Oral Hygiene | Palm Harbor Dentist

girl with hair pulled back up closeWe all know proper oral hygiene is important not only for your smile, but for your overall health as well. Regular dental visits are essential for the maintenance of healthy teeth and gums. And in between those examinations, it’s important that you work to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy.  Regular dental exams and professional cleanings can prevent these and many other health problems.

Some of the most important reasons to have your teeth professionally cleaned on a regular basis are:

1. To prevent gum disease

Gum disease is infection of tissues surrounding your teeth, and one of the major causes of bone loss if left untreated. Regular dental cleanings and good home care are main factors in preventing gum disease.

2. To maintain good oral health

Regular dental visits will help your dentist and hygienist to follow your oral health and compare them with the previous results, and should you fall off track, your hygienist will put you back on the right track. On these visits, your dentist and hygienist will look closely for any signs of problems with your teeth and gums, and it is well known that all problems when detected early are a lot easier and less expensive to treat and have a better prognosis.

3. To help detect oral cancer

Early diagnosis of oral cancer is very important in improving of the prognosis of cancer. When you have dental cleanings, you are also screened for oral cancer.

4. To have a healthy smile

When you have a beautiful smile, you feel more confident and satisfied with your being. When you feel confident, your social life improves, and it opens up the door for many possibilities in your career as well. Regular dental cleanings and hygienist’s individualization of your needs, will help you to get and keep a healthy smile.

5. Brighten your smile

Drinking coffee, tea and wine or using tobacco can stain your teeth. A dental cleaning can remove built-up stains and leave you with freshly polished teeth. The result? A whiter, brighter smile.

6. Freshen your breath

Good oral hygiene is the best way to prevent persistent bad breath. Even if you brush and floss regularly, getting a cleaning is a great way to keep your mouth healthy and odor-free.

7. To help maintain good overall health

Experts know that there is a correlation between poor oral health and chronic inflammatory diseases such as: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other problems such as: stroke, premature and low birth weight. Regular dental cleanings will help to keep you teeth and gums healthy, which will also help with management of these other problems.

After your cleaning we can better assess and  tell you about the health of your teeth and gums make any additional recommendations. It’s important that you see your dentist every six months and that they give you routine examination and cleaning. Remember, by seeing your dentist on a regular basis and following daily good oral hygiene practices at home, you are more likely to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

To find more contact Dr. Larry Lieberman and make an appointment 727-785-8017 or visit our website at www.dentist-lieberman.com.

Accepting patients from Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs and all surrounding areas.