Tag Archives: Oral Health

Amalgam Fillings: Are They Worth It? | Palm Harbor Dentist

When we develop a cavity, it is important to get it treated before it gets worse. So, we make a trip to see the dentist, and they make us good as new with a filling. But have you ever thought about what makes up those fillings? Let’s take a closer look…

For a more traditional look, dental amalgam is a common material used to fill cavities. They are the kinds of fillings known as silver fillings. Silver fillings have been used for years to replace holes made by cavities or other tooth related injuries. Unfortunately, over the years, concerns have been raised about the use of amalgam because it contains mercury.

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.  Because of these concerning factors, amalgam fillings have made a huge impact on the dental world. As of recently, the U.S. 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. At the same time, they are also responsible for saving millions of teeth around the world.

If you’re interested in learning more about amalgam fillings, contact Dr. Larry Lieberman, DDS at 727-785-8017 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.dentist-lieberman.com for additional information.

Dr. Larry Lieberman proudly accepts patients from Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs and surrounding areas.

Your Bad Habits May Be Ruining Your Teeth | Palm Harbor Dentist

Do have a bad dental habit? Believe it or not, most individuals have acquired bad dental habits over the years. What’s worse is that if this habit affects our teeth, it can lead to many issues down the road. The problem is, most of the time we are unaware we even have a habit, much less know we’re doing damage to our teeth. Here is a list of some bad habits that does a lot of damage to your teeth:

Chewing ice. After you’ve finished a drink, you might have the habit of chewing the ice that is leftover. Little did you know, the cold and hardness of the cubes can actually do damage to your teeth by chipping or cracking them.

Using your teeth as a tool. Using your teeth to crack open nuts, or tear through plastic can be incredibly detrimental. Just like chewing ice, using your teeth as a tool may cause damage to your teeth.

Drinking soda. While this isn’t a surprise, we’re adding the usage of sugar free sodas as well. Sodas are acidic and incredibly harmful to teeth.

Nail biting. Perhaps one of the most common bad habits, biting your nails itself is not only damaging to your nail beds, but also to your teeth.

Grinding your teeth. The official term for this habit is bruxism and is a common occurrence at night. But grinding your teeth wears them down. While this is difficult to control, a dentist could suggest using a nightguard to help you get it under control.

If you’re interested in learning more about bad dental habits, contact Dr. Larry Lieberman, DDS at 727-785-8017 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.dentist-lieberman.com for additional information.

Dr. Larry Lieberman proudly accepts patients from Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs and surrounding areas.

Could Gum Disease Be Linked to Alzheimer’s? | Palm Harbor Dentist

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 64 percent of senior Americans (65+ years) have moderate or severe gum disease. Alzheimer’s disease also serves as the prelude or leading cause of dementia, and affects more than 5 million Americans. Why the stats? There may be a link between the two.

In 2013, Health Day News published an article pertaining research results that found a linkage between Gum Disease and Alzheimer’s. During this study, researchers analyzed brain samples of 10 individuals with Alzheimer’s and 10 individuals without a brain disease; the results were startling. Those with Alzheimer’s showed gum disease-related bacteria in the brain, while no bacteria was found in the brain samples from individuals without Alzheimer’s.

More recently, a 2016 study by University of Southampton and King’s College London set out to determine whether or not periodontitis or gum disease was linked to the severity of dementia. The subsequent cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s patients and seem to back up the original theories. Researchers concluded that because bacteria can enter the bloodstream from the mouth, the bacteria can travel its way through the blood and to the brain, causing potential hazards in the neurological region.

Growing evidence from a number of studies links the body’s inflammatory response to increased rates of cognitive decline, suggesting that it would be worth exploring whether the treatment of gum disease might also benefit the treatment of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Just one more reminder that it is important to keep up with our daily dental routines.

If you’re interested in learning more about periodontitis, contact Dr. Larry Lieberman, DDS at 727-785-8017 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.dentist-lieberman.com for additional information.

Dr. Larry Lieberman proudly accepts patients from Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs and surrounding areas.

Cavity Prevention Is in Your Hands | Palm Harbor Dentist

A cavity occurs when plaque produces enough acid to eat through tooth enamel. The effects are usually reversible through extensive dental treatments, but there’s an easier way to deal with cavities – prevention. Just follow these three simple tips:

Watch your diet. People who love sugary treats are more likely to suffer from cavities, as well as other dental problems, compared to those who don’t. Frequently snacking on sweets leaves sugar and starch on your teeth, causing plaque and eventually resulting in cavities. To minimize the risk, cut back on your sugar intake, if not avoid it all. By making the decision to eliminate sugar from your diet, you’ll not only improve your oral health, but your health overall.

Visit your dentist. Plenty of people suffer from cavities because they rarely pay a visit to their dentist. If it’s been a while since your last appointment, consider scheduling a visit ASAP. Your dentist will examine your entire mouth and give you a proper assessment of how good (or bad) your oral health is.

Take care of your teeth. Make it a habit to brush your teeth every day and floss regularly. People tend to forget to floss, but it gets in spots a toothbrush can’t. If you don’t know if you’re brushing or flossing your teeth properly, make it a point to ask your dentist. Gargling mouthwash will also go a long way in eliminating plaque buildup, so don’t forget to ask your dentist for any brands they recommend.

If you’re interested in learning more about cavity prevention, contact Dr. Larry Lieberman, DDS at 727-785-8017 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.dentist-lieberman.com for additional information.

Dr. Larry Lieberman proudly accepts patients from Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs and surrounding areas.

Do I Have TMJ Disorder? | Palm Harbor Dentist

Individuals suffering from Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, or TMJ, experience many symptoms such as discomfort and pain in areas surrounding the face or jaw. But what is TMJ? TMJ is the joint where your lower jaw is attached to your skull, so you have TMJs on both sides of your face. Problems related to said joints are classified as TMJ disorders. Common examples of TMJ disorders are frequent migraines, having trouble sleeping and difficulty in closing, as well as opening the mouth. TMJ may also result in a number of other problems, including:

  • Pain in your facial area.
  • Pain in your ears, ringing, as well as congestion.
  • Popping and sometimes pain in the jaw when opening and closing the mouth.
  • Pain and stiffness in the shoulder, back and neck.
  • Numbness in your arms, more specifically your hands and fingers.
  • Problems with posture.

There are a series of remedies recommended in order to alleviate tension found in those areas. Some of these include:

  • Facial exercises such as stretching, relaxing, or massaging the muscles found around the jaw
  • Evading actions such as yawning, singing, or excessive chewing.
  • Learning new stress relieving techniques including but not limited to: meditation, breathing exercises, or personal stress relievers.
  • Formulating an exercise plan in order to increase our pain tolerance.

Patients suffering from TMJ should follow these few techniques in order to alleviate TMJ pain and symptoms. If symptoms worsen, you are encouraged to schedule an appointment immediately with our friendly staff. There are various treatments a sleep specialist can offer.

If you’re interested in learning more about TMJ disorder, contact Dr. Larry Lieberman, DDSat 727-785-8017 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.dentist-lieberman.com for additional information.

Dr. Larry Lieberman proudly accepts patients from Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs and surrounding areas.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep – It’s Important | Palm Harbor Dentist

ThinkstockPhotos-475251719Good quality sleep is vital to everyday health. Poor sleep can cause loss of concentration, headaches and low energy. There are times it is possible to even lead to increased rates of infection, cardiovascular problems, and hypertension. One reason you may be experiencing poor quality sleep is a condition known as sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where sleep is interrupted by irregular breathing while in your various sleep stages. It can take the form of breathing pause (apnea) or very shallow breathing (hypopnea). Both can last from several seconds to minutes, and can occur as much as 30 times per hour. When breathing is paused, carbon dioxide builds up in the blood stream, and the brain signals the body to wake up and breath, causing the interruption in sleep.

The most common form of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea (OPA), which is caused by a physical obstruction of the airway while sleeping. When you snore, obstructive sleep apnea causes the muscles around the airway to relax and narrow, causing the air moving through the airway to make noise. Snoring is not a guaranteed sign of sleep apnea, a sleep test may be in order.

A way to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea is an overnight sleep study, where doctors will record your airflow, heart rate, oxygen and brain activity to determine whether breathing is impacting your sleep. If a sleeping issue is diagnosed, treatment options are available. Various techniques can help with airflow, like lifestyle changes, medical devices, or surgery.

If you’re interested in learning more about sleep apnea, contact Dr. Larry Lieberman, DDS at 727-785-8017 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.dentist-lieberman.com for additional information.

Dr. Larry Lieberman proudly accepts patients from Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs and surrounding areas.

What Energy Drinks Do To Your Teeth

selfieIt’s been a busy few days and all the work’s starting to take its toll on you. You find yourself tired and sleepy, worse still is that you still have a day or so worth of work ahead of you. So, you go down the hall, find the vending machine, look for an energy drink of your flavor of choice, toss in a few bucks and voila, you’ve just found a way to get yourself out of that mid-shift funk.

All is well and good, right? Well, not exactly.

Fact is, even if most people know that drinking energy drinks regularly is bad for the body, it seems that the energy boost isn’t all that worth it, especially since it comes at the expense of your beautiful smile.

How Energy Drinks Are Eating Away At Your Teeth

The main root of the problem is a mix of extremely high sugar content and a citric acid pH that’s usually as low as 2.9 all in one drink.

Now, sugar, as we all know, is bad for the teeth. It’s basically the main cause of cavities and a whole bunch of other dental problems. But, even the extremely high sugar content alone isn’t enough to fully describe just how bad energy drinks are for one’s teeth.

It’s the combination of the sugar content and pH levels that makes energy drinks such a danger to the teeth.

Given that the lower the pH level, the more acidic it is and that an increase in numerical value means the acidity intensifies tenfold, most energy drinks are.

The pH level is what really makes the problem more worrisome, as experts consider anything that has a pH in between 3.0 and 4.0 detrimental to one’s dental health, especially with regular exposure.

With a citric acid pH that’s around 2.9, energy drinks shouldn’t, in any way, be found close to your teeth.

What Does This All Mean?

Anything acidic, when consumed regularly and in high amounts, can cause damage to tooth enamel, which in time can lead to a myriad of dental problems, including tooth sensitivity, tooth discoloration and pain or discomfort in the teeth.

While it is true that a lot of what we consume everyday are somewhat acidic in nature. Like for example, fruits such as oranges and apples has a pH ranging in between 2.8 to 4.0, the teeth are not exposed to as much of it, even if you eat it frequently, as when consuming energy drinks.

With energy drinks, the teeth are exposed to a huge amount of these acidic substances, which leads to it having a similar detrimental effect on teeth as that of carbonated drinks and juices.

Given the negative light carbonated drinks and juices have been put on recently in regards to dental, as well as overall health, it would be wise to limit one’s consumption of energy, as well as sports drinks. And experts actually agree to this.

In addition to minimizing the consumption of sports and energy drinks, plenty of dental professionals recommend chewing sugar-free gum or rinsing their mouth with water after consuming such drinks to promote salivary flow and help the acidity levels of the mouth return to normal.

Brushing one’s teeth immediately after consuming such beverages is not recommended as well. Instead, dentists recommend waiting for an hour to avoid spreading the acid onto the tooth surfaces.

While totally avoiding energy drinks is near-impossible, considering the busy world we live in and how we need the occasional energy boost, it’s important to remember that the dangers of drinking such beverages and what to do after consuming.

For more information regarding your oral health, contact Dr. Larry Lieberman, DDS at 727-785-8017 or visit www.dentist-lieberman.com.

Dr. Larry Lieberman, DDS accepts patients from Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs and surrounding areas.

The Benefits in 3D ConeBeam Imaging in Dentistry | Palm Harbor Dentist

186932212Modern dentistry is slowly seeing an influx of the application of new techniques, procedures and technology, with the use of 3D digital imaging being just one of the many.

The use of 3D digital imaging marks an important achievement, as the technology offers dentists a wide variety of perspectives of the face, neck and teeth of their patients, making a more complete treatment plan.

3D ConeBeam Imaging, in particular, is considered as such a technology that can help dentists do a lot more than ever before. The technology is fast, simple and completely non-invasive. All the patient has to do is sit in the chair for a scan and that’s it. The dentist has a computer-generated view of the patient’s face, teeth and other important details from various perspectives.

For dental practitioners, access to accurate and complete information is important in planning treatment. The use of 3D ConeBeam Imaging helps in providing that information, making it beneficial for both dental practitioners and patients alike.

How Does 3D ConeBeam Imaging Work?

To put simply, the imaging system is basically an X-ray scanner, only it’s mounted on a rotating arm. The name “ConeBeam” stems from the system’s use of the scanner to project x-rays in a cone-shaped beam.

Patients simply have to sit in the chair will the scanner moves around their head to gather all the data necessary. There’s no preparation of any kind involved.

After the imaging system goes through the patient’s head, the dentist can then call up any necessary view on a computer monitor.

The imaging system allows dentists to view images of their patient’s entire mouth from just about any angle imaginable, with different magnifications. This accessibility makes it easier to see bones, teeth, airways, nerves, as well as tissues and see the relationship between them in order to create a more effective treatment plan.

3D ConeBeam Imaging produces high-quality images similar to that of a CT (CAT) scan, but only with much less radiation, making it a much safer approach.

What Makes It Different?

Traditionally, dentists relied on x-rays focused on their patient’s teeth to create treatment plans. While effective, the process is not exactly foolproof and there have been many cases of unintentional lapses because of the limited information given out by x-rays.

With the 3D ConeBeam Imaging system, dentists have a more complete visual guide to study their patient’s case from just about any angle they can think of. Even better is that the scan data is easy to duplicate for storage purposes and to make it easier to send out to different specialists later on.

The 3D ConeBeam Imaging System can benefit just about any patient, from those who’re just beginning treatment to those with recurring problems or those who are having their results evaluated.

Thanks to the more accurate, high-quality, detailed visual information produced by the imaging system, dentists have all the information they could possibly need to diagnose and plan out the proper course of action.

As the patient, you should be happy that your dentist has access to such technology, as the improved information allows you to be more confident and more satisfied with the treatment you’re receiving.

To find out more about the 3D ConeBeam Imaging system, 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 Link Between Soda & Tooth Decay | Palm Harbor Dentist

girl with hair pulled back up closeIt’s no secret there exists a strong link between soda consumption and tooth decay. Americans love soda. They’re fizzy, refreshing, bubbly, they’re delicious…they’re ruining your teeth! Drinking soda is one of the main decayer of teeth in your diet. Of course, in moderation it poses very little threat, but a steady consumption of soft drinks is one of the leading causes of tooth decay. Heavy soda consumption has also been linked to other health complications including diabetes, obesity and osteoporosis.

Sugar in soda combines with bacteria in your mouth to form acid, which attacks the teeth. Diet or “sugar-free” soda contains its own acid, which also can damage teeth. When sipping on soda all day the sugar and the acidity is sitting on your teeth, eating away at your enamel, staining your teeth, and setting off bacteria bombs.

Sugar in soda combines with bacteria in your mouth to form acid, which attacks the teeth. Diet or “sugar-free” soda contains its own acid, which also can damage teeth. Each attack lasts about 20 minutes and starts over with every sip of soda you take. These ongoing acid attacks weaken tooth enamel. Kids and teens are most susceptible to tooth decay because their tooth enamel is not fully developed(Source: WDA.org).

Some guidelines to avoiding tooth decay:

  • Consuming two or more servings of dairy foods
  • Drink water – Water is beneficial in more ways than one in this instance
  • Restricting other sugared beverages to occasional use

Watch this entertaining and informative video on soda being a detriment to your oral health: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-nPxBF24wM

We’ve all probably heard the term, ‘Sip All Day, Get Decay!’ It’s so true! You can avoid tooth decay and other health problems that arise from drinking too many soft drinks, other carbonated beverages, sports drinks, iced and sweet teas and other sweetened liquids (like fruit juices).

Brushing, rinsing and flossing twice daily and visiting your dentist regularly will reduce your risk of tooth decay improve and/or maintain your oral health.

To find out more about healthy foods & tooth decay 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.

Avoiding Gingivitis | Palm Harbor Dentist

girl with hair pulled back up closeGingivitis is one of those ailments one dreads hearing they have. Though it usually develops when oral care falls by the wayside and of course can easily be be prevented. Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums, usually caused by a bacterial infection. If left untreated, it can become a more serious infection known as periodontitis and can cause tooth loss.

Your gums actually attach to the teeth at a lower point than the gum edges. Food can get trapped in this space and cause a gum infection or gingivitis. Plaque is a thin film of bacteria. It constantly forms on the surface of your teeth. As plaque advances, it hardens and becomes tartar. You can develop an infection when plaque extends below the gum line. Left unchecked, gingivitis can cause the gums to separate from the teeth. This can cause injury to the soft tissue and bone supporting the teeth. The tooth may become loose and unstable. If infection progresses, you may ultimately lose your tooth or need a dentist to remove it.

Many people aren’t aware that they have gingivitis. It’s possible to have gum disease without any symptoms.

However, the following can be symptoms of gingivitis:

  • gums that are red, tender, or swollen
  • gums that bleed when you brush or floss your teeth
  • gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • loose teeth
  • a change in how your teeth fit together when you bite (malocclusion)
  • pus between teeth and gums
  • pain when chewing
  • sensitive teeth
  • partial dentures that no longer fit
  • foul-smelling breath that does not go away after you brush your teeth(Source: healthline.com) 

If the patient is diagnosed early on, and treatment is prompt and proper, gingivitis can be successfully reversed. Treatment involves care by a dental professional, and follow-up procedures carried out by the patient at home.mIn the vast majority of cases, if gingivitis is treated and the patient follows the dental health professional’s instructions, there are no complications. However, if the condition is left untreated, gum disease can spread and affect tissue, teeth and bones, leading to periodontitis. Other treatments include deep cleaning your teeth, antibiotic medications, and surgery.

Remember, practicing good oral hygiene is essential to your oral health. Preventative care starts at home, not in your dentists chair every six months.

To find out more about gingivitis 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.