Tag Archives: Palm Harbor Dentist

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.

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.

Dental Crowns and Bridges vs. Dental Implants

ThinkstockPhotos-464323669

There are many risk factors that can result in tooth loss, such as injury, disease or tooth decay. Thankfully due to modern dentistry, proper dental treatments can replace your missing teeth, and also improve your confidence and smile. In fact, proper dental treatments may even improve your smile in the long run. While there are many dental treatments that can replace missing teeth, were going to focus on crowns and bridges vs. dental implants.

What are crowns and bridges?

Both dental crowns and bridges are known as fixed dental prosthetic devices. Unlike other dental appliances like dentures, dental crowns and bridges can only be removed by a professional. The dental appliance consists of false teeth in the middle and one or more anchoring crowns on either side.  Crowns and bridges are placed by cementing them to the affected tooth, and in some cases to a dental implant. The upside to this dental treatment is that it doesn’t requires oral surgery.

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are artificial tooth roots (or “posts”) that are integrated into the jawbone to support a crown. After being placed into the jawbone through a short surgical procedure, the artificial tooth root must fuse with the jawbone to stay firmly anchored in the correct position. Once the implant fuses with the jawbone (which takes between 3-6 months), a crown is attached to the post. The post protrudes above the gum line and provides a surface where the crown is either screwed or cemented into place.

Bridges compared to implants

Before you choose which dental treatment you would like to go forth with to replace missing teeth, you should take the following into consideration:

  • How long they both last. If taken of care of properly, dental implants can last many years and typically last a patient of the age 45 the rest of their lifetime. The crown may have to be replaced every 10-15 years due to normal wear and tear, but the implant itself is permanent. Dental bridges typically need to be replaced periodically, but can last up to 10 year or more by practicing proper oral hygiene
  • Long-term oral health. Bone and tissues loss occurs underneath dental bridges where the tooth was missing or extracted, which can cause the remaining teeth to become unstable. Dental implants, on the other hand, are the only dental restorations that simulate bone growth, which preserves both the bone and gums.
  • Oral hygiene. Using a specific type of floss and other dental tools are required to clean underneath the dental bridge and to keep them free of plaque. Dental implants require excellent oral hygiene, but can be brushed and flossed just like natural teeth.
  • The appearance. While modern bridges look natural, as the bone and gum tissue are lost over time, gaps can form underneath the dental appliance. Dental implants deliver the high-quality aesthetic results. The crown arises through the top of your gums in the same way a natural tooth would.

When it comes to making a final decision, it all depends on what you’re looking for. The best option would be dental implants, but if you’re looking for quick results and want to avoid surgery, a dental bridge would be best option for you.

If you would like to further explore your options for replacing missing teeth, 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.

Everything You Need To Know About Dentures

false teethDentures are dental appliances used as replacements for missing teeth that can be taken out and placed right back in the mouth when necessary.

While a fairly effective replacement, both in terms of esthetics and function, for real teeth, dentures often are criticized for how long it takes to get used to them and how they’ll never feel the same as one’s natural teeth. However, today’s dentures have been improved to look much better and be much more comfortable to wear.

How Dentures Work

There are three types of dentures – the conventional full denture, the partial denture and the immediate full denture.

The dentist will be the one to recommend which of the three fits your particular case best, or if you’ll benefit better from a different type of dental treatment.

For the dentures, they are custom-made dental appliances that are made in a dental laboratory using impressions that were taken based on the exact specifications of your mouth.

  • Conventional Full Dentures – The conventional full denture is placed in the mouth only after the remaining teeth have been removed and tissues have been given enough time to heal. The healing process typically takes several months, during which time you will be without teeth. Special care instructions are given to prevent complications resulting from the lack of teeth. Also, it is often recommended to change one’s diet until the gums and its tissues have fully healed.
  • Immediate Full Dentures – his type of denture is inserted immediately after all the remaining teeth have been removed. Thus, it is a viable alternative for those who don’t want to go through the hassle of living without their teeth for months. The drawback, though, is that multiple dental visits are necessary as the dentures will have to be relined because the bone supporting the teeth changes its shape as it heals, which if not corrected will cause the denture to become loose.
  • Partial Dentures – Partial dentures are placed on top of a metal framework that’s attached to the remaining natural teeth. In many cases, crowns are placed on top of some of the natural teeth to serve as anchors for the dentures and to ensure a better, more stable fit. Partial dentures are often advised to those who dislike the permanent nature of dental bridges.

 

Do Dentures Really Feel Awkward?

Yes, especially for the first few months. Eating and speaking with dentures will take a lot of time getting used to. Even your cheeks and tongue will have to learn how to hold your dentures properly in place, resulting in you feeling that the dentures are a bit loose.

It is also not uncommon for you to experience excessive saliva flow and feel that the tongue is a bit cramped inside your mouth, or that you’re suddenly developing minor irritations and soreness.

If, however, the irritations are no longer what you’d consider as minor, be sure to see your dentist.

How Can I Make My Dentures Last?

Like many other dental appliances, dentures will have to be taken special care of to last for as long as intended, or even longer.

Here are a few tips to help you take better care of your dentures.

  • As much as possible, stand over a folded towel, or a basin of water, or carpeted floors, or basically, anything clean and soft, when handling your dentures. This is so as the denture doesn’t break when accidentally dropped.
  • Dentures should be placed in a glass of plain water or denture cleanser soaking solution when not being worn. Warm water is not advised as it can cause warping.
  • Dentures will have to be brushed like natural teeth to rid them of food deposits and prevent plaque build-up, as well as stains.
  • The gums, tongue and palate should also be brushed at least once every day. Preferably, use a soft-bristled brush and do this every morning, before the dentures are inserted.
  • Any breaks, chips, cracks on the dentures should be reported to the dentist immediately. So too should be any feeling of looseness. Any attempt of adjusting the dentures yourself may only result in irreversible damage.

Missing teeth don’t only look bad, they’re also bad for the health.

Visit your dentist today to have your missing teeth replaced with dentures so you can have your smile back again and for you to not have to suffer from further health complications resulting from missing teeth.

If you are interested in denture and would like more information, contact Dr. Larry Lieberman at 727-785-8017 to schedule a consultaion today. Or visit www.dentist-lieberman.com to learn more.

Accepting 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.

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.

Veneers | Palm Harbor Dentist

186932212Obtaining the ‘perfect smile’ seems to be on the mind of a lot of patients now a days. Which so many cosmetic procedures, how do you know which one is for you? Lets talk about what veneers can do for you. Porcelain veneers are fabricated from a solid piece of porcelain. They fit over the front and underside of your tooth covering the entire surface of visible tooth. Veneers can be fitted to lengthen or widen teeth to close gaps or fill in chips.

How can veneers help you? Veneers can enhance the color and or shape of your tooth or teeth. Veneers are capable of providing a natural tooth appearance, but outside of the cosmetic benefits, veneers do the following:

-Gum tissue tolerates porcelain well.

-Porcelain veneers are resistant to stains.

-The color of a porcelain veneer can be selected such that it makes dark teeth appear whiter.

-Veneers offer a conservative approach to changing a tooth’s color and shape-veneers generally don’t require the extensive shaping prior to the procedure that crowns do, yet offer a stronger, more aesthetic alternative to bonding.

Modern porcelain veneers tend to last many years, are easy to care for, provide a very natural appearance, and offer a stronger alternative to other cosmetic options.

Veneers won’t erase preexisting issues, therefore an exam is needed to determine if you are a good candidate for veneers. Only a Dr. Lieberman can determine whether or not porcelain veneers are the best option for you. If you are unhappy with your smile and would like more information on porcelain veneers contact Dr. Lieberman today for more information.

To find out more about veneers 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.

 

Foods that Aid in Oral Health | Palm Harbor Dentist

dental implantsMany people recognize that a healthy diet is important for a healthy body, but it’s important to realize that diet is important for oral health as well. What a person eats or drinks may contribute to tooth decay or gum disease, and in some cases, certain foods can actually help prevent tooth decay. Understanding oral health can help you make healthy decisions to keep your teeth safe.

Foods and drinks high in sugar and acid are typically bad for your teeth. The sugar provides food for bacteria that contributes to both tooth decay and periodontal disease, and foods high in acid wear down tooth enamel, making them weaker, more likely to crack, and more vulnerable to tooth decay. Some drinks – such as sugary sodas – are both acidic and sugary, and stay on your teeth long after you finish drinking them. These should be avoided if possible.

Foods that are low in sugar and acid, and high in fiber and water content tend to be good for teeth. Drinking plain water can help cleanse food, acid, and sugar from your teeth, minimizing tooth decay. Foods like celery can help brush food particles off of teeth, and they also encourage the production of saliva to cleanse the teeth. Foods high in calcium and protein (such as cheese, milk, meats, and nuts) tend to be low in sugar, but help contribute to stronger teeth by protecting tooth enamel.

In addition to the sugar and acid contents of food, patients should pay attention to how long the food is in contact with their teeth. Very soft foods (such as peanut butter) are more likely to be stuck between teeth, and drinks that are sipped throughout the day tend to stay in contact with teeth all day. If you do eat foods high in sugar or acid, try to eat them in a single sitting, and then brush your teeth immediately afterward, removing the food from your mouth. If you’re unable to brush your teeth, chew sugar free gum – sugar free gum encourages saliva to help cleanse your teeth, and also tends to contain Xylitol, which can help discourage bacteria growth in your mouth.

To find out more about oral health 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.

Tooth Crowding | Palm Harbor Dentist

162713815While many children and adults have orthodontics (braces) to treat alignment and spacing issues, many more people have – or believe they have – problems with tooth crowding that goes untreated. Crowding can be caused by a number of different factors, and knowing the actual cause may impact the treatment options.

One of the common causes of tooth crowding is natural occurrence – so called mesial drift phenomenon, where your front teeth drift slowly to the center of the mouth. In the past, some dentists believed this was caused by the presence of wisdom teeth, crowding the front teeth from the rear of the mouth, though in reality many of the problems are due to simple insufficient space for the number of teeth as adults grow. Beyond mesial drift, other potential causes – such as weakened support due to periodontal disease, thumb sucking, and tongue thrusting – can also influence teeth to move in directions that are undesirable, leading to misalignment and crowding issues.

While many patients see crowding as a cosmetic problem, the reality is that poorly aligned teeth are at an increased risk for periodontal disease, decay, and the patient is more likely to suffer from TMJ (jaw-joint) problems, as their irregular bite may cause strain on their jaw over time. For these reasons, fixing alignment should be considered more than simply a cosmetic procedure – correcting the alignment allows the patient to have better access to brush and floss, and their bite will be more level.

If you notice crowding in your front teeth, make a point of asking your dentist about options in your next regular checkup. There are a number of treatments available, and treating the crowding early can help prevent more serious problems from developing in the future.

To find out more about tooth crowding 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.