Tag Archives: Palm Harbor FL

What Type of Sleep Apnea Do You Have? | Palm Harbor Dentist

We all crave a good night’s sleep. Not only does it refresh our minds and bodies for the next day’s activities, but it is also the time of day our body uses to heal itself and ensure things are running smoothly once we wake. The issue lies when we don’t get a solid sleep. Research has linked sleep apnea to inflammation in the body, which increases the risk of various conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke. In order to understand how to deal with our sleep apnea issues, it’s important to know which type you have:

The most common form of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea. OSA becomes more prevalent with age, especially in males, people with excess body weight, pregnant people, and people who sleep on their back. Some symptoms include:

  • waking during sleep or feeling very tired when awake
  • waking panicked
  • snoring or gasping for air
  • frequent headaches
  • dry mouth
  • feeling confused or unable to concentrate

Unlike with OSA, in central sleep apnea, the body does not try to breathe, so there is no snoring. Instead, because the brain and nervous system do not consistently send a signal to breathe, the person stops breathing. Some people have no symptoms, but others may notice bouts of insomnia, daytime sleepiness or trouble concentrating. Some potential causes include:

  • insomnia
  • waking up short of breath or feeling panicky
  • daytime sleepiness or trouble concentrating

Complex sleep apnea syndrome combines and central sleep apnea. The symptoms are similar to those of OSA and include:

  • brief wakings from sleep
  • daytime fatigue
  • confusion on getting up
  • headaches or dry mouth
  • insomnia or poor-quality sleep

If you’re interested in learning more about sleep apnea, contact Dr. Lieberman 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 Palm Harbor and all surrounding areas.

Turning Your Dental Checkup into a Sci-fi Movie | Palm Harbor Dentist

When we think of the dentist, we don’t necessarily think about a sci-fi movie, but lasers are being used more and more in the dental industry. Because when patients were asked about what they feared about dental procedures, they mostly associated it with pain and discomfort. By implementing dental lasers, not only are dental professionals getting a more precise effect but there is no real pain as lasers don’t use heat, vibration or pressure to the patient the way a traditional drill would.

We can all agree that dental anxiety is a real affliction; and it’s mainly due to the sound of the drill. After all, most menacing dentists we see in movies love to torture their patients with that high-pitched sound. A thus, a lot of patients associate a trip to the dentist with that sound, making it very difficult to keep their appointments. Today’s dental checkups aren’t like our grandparent’s checkups because of the use of laser dentistry. And it may surprise you, but lasers have been used in dentistry since the early 1990’s.

So, what does a dental laser do? 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, making treating infected or diseased tissue in difficult places easier than with normal tools.

The dental laser provides 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, the dental laser is a fantastic technical advancement that both patients and dentist can appreciate.

If you’re interested in learning more about dental lasers, contact Dr. Lieberman 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 Palm Harbor and all surrounding areas.

Celebrating National Toothache Day | Palm Harbor Dentist

It’s true – there is a national day to celebrate the toothache. Something no one hopes to experience in their lives, the toothache is one of those pains that can drive someone insane. Not only because a toothache is painful, but it is a constant pain that can be caused by a number of issues.

If you find that you are developing tooth sensitivity to hot or cold, it may be brought on by exposed dentin from thin enamel or receding gums. A cracked tooth is a different type of pain, rooted deep in your jaw or gums when you bite down. The pressure of biting can cause the cracked tooth to spread, putting pressure on nerves, and causing an intense pain localized to a single tooth.

Throbbing pain on one side of the mouth may be caused by an infection below the tooth, often related to periodontal disease or dental abscess. If left untreated, the infection may spread to the bone, jeopardizing one or more teeth, and potentially causing loss of gum tissue.

There are even some mouth pains that have nothing to do with your teeth. Sinus issues and problems of the TMJ (jaw/skull joint) can both cause pain in the mouth and face but aren’t necessarily problems your dentist can solve.

So, if you find that you have woken up with a toothache, best bet is to schedule a dental appointment as soon as possible to avoid further issues down the road. In the meantime, there are loads of over-the-counter products that can help soothe your pain. Soaking a cotton ball in vanilla extract, apple cider vinegar, tea tree or oregano oil, or baking soda with some water will soak into your sore tooth for optimal relief.

If you’re interested in learning more about toothaches, contact Dr. Lieberman 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 Palm Harbor and all surrounding areas.

Biting Your Nails Is Damaging Your Teeth | Palm Harbor Dentist

There are lots of bad habits that can damage your teeth. For one reason of another, many of us use our teeth as tools for anything but eating. We drink teeth-staining beverages, we use our teeth as a knife, we smoke tobacco. But there is one bad habit that starts from childhood and progresses through adulthood – nail biting.

You may think that biting your nails is a harmless habit to have, but it really does a number on your smile. Not only can you chip a tooth, but you can also expose your mouth to bacteria that is hidden beneath your nail surface, which can wreak more havoc than a cosmetic issue.

If you are a chronic nail biter, you really need to consider stopping before your smile is damaged. Here are a few tips:

  • Keep your nails trimmed.
  • Apply bitter-tasting nail polish to your nails. This over-the-counter option is safe, and the awful taste deters the most avid nail biter.
  • Get regular manicures. Spending money to keep your nails looking attractive may make you less likely to bite them.
  • Replace the nail-biting habit with a good habit, like a stress ball.
  • Identify your triggers. By figuring out what causes you to bite your nails, you can figure out how to avoid these situations and develop a plan to stop.
  • Try to gradually stop biting your nails. Start with your thumbs and eventually you can work your way to both sets of nails.

Making small steps towards quitting a habit is a great way to ensure you’re breaking the habit. The goal is to get to the point where you no longer bite any of your nails, so slow and steady will win the race.

If you’re interested in learning more about the effects of biting your nails on your teeth, contact Dr. Lieberman 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 Palm Harbor and all surrounding areas.

When It’s Time to Buy a New Toothbrush | Palm Harbor Dentist

If you really think about it, we will have thousands of toothbrushes in our lifetime. Not only do they need to be changed out every three months, but also when we catch a cold. When you choose a toothbrush, it needs to be convenient and can reach all the nooks and crannies of our mouth for the ultimate clean. Here is a quick reference to help you think through your choices. After all, we use this little gadget twice a day – we should make it count, right?

Electric and manual. As a general rule, electric toothbrushes tend to outweigh the manual variation. They’re more effective at reducing plaque and they may better reduce the risk of gingivitis, but they are also more expensive.

ADA seal. The American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval signifies that a product is both safe and effective.

Opt for a soft-bristled brush. Hard bristles are very abrasive on your teeth, they can cause damage. Instead, choose a soft-bristled brush.

Customization is key. Not all mouths are the same size, so it makes sense to select a toothbrush head size that’s the right fit for you. Also consider the head shape—some are more tapered, others broader.

It’s all about the grip. As with head size and shape, grip is also something to consider. There is no right or wrong, so just choose one that feels good in your hand. Don’t be afraid to try out the feel of different toothbrush handles before committing to a purchase.

When in doubt, just ask. If you’re still feeling overwhelmed, ask a professional. They will give you ideal recommendations based on your particular case.

If you’re interested in learning more about toothbrushes, contact Dr. Lieberman 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 Palm Harbor and all surrounding areas.

Do You Need a Filling or a Root Canal? | Palm Harbor Dentist

Keeping our smile clean and healthy is important – not only for your general health, but in order to dodge any extra trips to the dentist. Because when we develop tooth decay, it is important to see a dentist as soon as possible because it will only get progressively worse the longer you ignore the issue. And when we hear the words ‘cavity’ or ‘root canal’, we regret ever skipping a day of dental hygiene. But do you know why these two dental issues strike fear in the hearts of so many? Let’s take a moment to explain the differences. After all, knowledge is power – the more we know, the easier it is to change poor habits.

Now, a cavity is a hole in a tooth left behind by dental decay. And this is the biggest issue with decay – it spreads like wildfire. If you find that you have a cavity, your dentist will clean out the decay and fill it with a special composite resin. This dental filling material is not only safe but also tooth-colored to blend in with your natural teeth.

When it comes to a root canal, decay is not damaging the outside of the tooth, but the pulp inside of a tooth. This pulp becomes inflamed or infected, possibly leading to an infection spreading to the surrounding teeth and affecting your overall health. It is at this point you will need root canal therapy, where the affected tooth pulp is removed, thoroughly sterilized to remove any leftover debris, then then filled with a special material to seal the tooth and prevent the further infection and a crown.

If you’re interested in learning more about tooth decay, contact Dr. Lieberman 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 Palm Harbor and all surrounding areas.

The ABCs of Tartar Buildup | Palm Harbor Dentist

One of the first instances of poor dental habits is the development of tartar. This is why it’s so important to practice good dental hygiene each and every day. And if you find that you are developing tartar, don’t ignore the issue and visit the dentist for treatment. Tartar is just the jumping off point that leads to further dental issues, like gum disease and tooth decay, down the road. That said, let’s take a look at what tartar is and how we can prevent it.

Tartar, sometimes called calculus, is plaque that has hardened on your teeth. When plaque isn’t removed regularly by brushing and flossing, it can harden and become tartar. It forms at, underneath, and above the gumline and can irritate gum tissues and lead to cavities and gum disease. When tartar collects above the gumline, the tissue can become swollen and may bleed easily.

Symptoms. Unlike plaque, a colorless film of bacteria, tartar is a mineral buildup that’s fairly easy to see if it’s above the gumline. The most common sign of tartar is a yellow or brown color on the teeth or gums. The only way to detect tartar — and to remove it — is to see your dentist or dental hygienist.

Prevention. Proper brushing, especially with a tartar control toothpaste, and flossing are essential in reducing plaque and tartar buildup. Regular visits to the dentist also help. Because once tartar has formed, only your dentist or dental hygienist can remove it. During a scaling, a dental professional uses special instruments to remove tartar from your teeth above and below the gumline, all the way down to the bottom of the tooth pocket.

If you’re interested in learning more about tartar, contact Dr. Lieberman 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 Palm Harbor and all surrounding areas.

Getting Botox Injections at the Dentist? | Palm Harbor Dentist

No one likes getting older, but it’s bound to happen, no matter how hard you try to stop it. Just a few decades ago, dental professionals needed to be convinced to do cosmetic procedures, like whitening and orthodontics. The main focus of dentists back then was simply to ensure that their patient’s teeth were healthy and that nothing was wrong with them. How teeth looked wasn’t a focus – it was all about function.

These days, more and more dental professionals have realized that function and esthetic go hand-in-hand in achieving optimal health. Our faces, mainly our jaws, have muscles prone to suffering from constant muscle spasms. Conditions such as bruxism, TMJ and others involving facial pain have been proven to benefit from Botox injections, though not all dentists are aware of this.

Safe for treating conditions involving facial pain, Botox injections may also prove useful in many other dental cases. In orthodontics, the teeth of patients with strong mentalis muscles are prone reverting back to pre-therapy positions. Botox can help with this by making the muscles weaker to allow more normal movement and prevent the undoing of the effects of the current treatment. Patients who are still getting used to dentures can benefit from Botox, especially if they suffer from strong and consistent muscle contractions

If you find that you are nervous about Botox injections, you may want to know that local anesthesia, which is far more frequently used by dentists, is a lot more dangerous and has greater potential for complications and negative reactions, compared to Botox or dermal fillers.

If you’re interested in learning more about Botox injections, contact Dr. Lieberman 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 Palm Harbor and all surrounding areas.

Let Your Smile Enjoy Thanksgiving | Palm Harbor Dentist

Here we are again… The day before Thanksgiving, one delicious American holiday. And as we prepare to give thanks for everything that we are grateful for, take pause to throw a quick thank you to your smile. After all, our smiles help us with the best parts of life – eating amazing foods, speaking about our blessings and showing off our happiness with a smile. To enjoy the holiday season without a ton of dental repercussions in the new year, follow these simple tips:

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, apt to crack, and more vulnerable to tooth decay. Yes, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie are Thanksgiving favorites, just make sure to keep your helpings to a minimum.

And fear not, foodies – lots of holiday favorites are really great for our smiles, so feel free to indulge in them! Foods like celery can help brush food particles off teeth, while producing saliva to naturally cleanse the teeth. If you are eating foods that are high in calcium and protein (cheese and meats), help contribute to stronger teeth by protecting tooth enamel.

After you’ve stuffed yourself to the gills, make sure you don’t allow the bacteria in your mouth enjoy what you did. If you have a toothbrush handy, a quick brushing wouldn’t hurt. If you’re unable to brush your teeth, make sure to have a glass of water to rinse or chew sugar-free gum – it encourages saliva to help cleanse your teeth, while helping to discourage bacteria growth in your mouth.

If you’re interested in learning more about dental health during the holiday season, contact Dr. Lieberman 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 Palm Harbor and all surrounding areas.

How Gum Disease Affects Your Body | Palm Harbor Dentist

When we think about our dental health, we mainly box it into things relating to our smile. If we don’t look after them, our smiles are affected. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. Because our mouth is our first line of defense when it comes to our OVERALL health, it is important to know that how we treat our smiles can directly affect the way our body responds. Because oral issues, like gum disease or poor dental hygiene, can be linked to other life-threatening diseases, here is a breakdown of just what is affected:

Blood. Individuals with diabetes are more like to have periodontal disease than those without diabetes. Gum disease makes it harder to control you blood sugar, resulting in a high chance for diabetic issues.

Brain. Researchers have found that there may be a close link to poor oral health with an increased risk of dementia. Oral bacteria may spread to the brain through cranial nerves that connect to the jaw and may contribute to a type of plaque that has been linked to Alzheimer’s.

Heart. Individuals with gum disease are twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease. Harmful bacteria from your mouth enter your blood stream and attaches to fatty plaques in your heart’s blood vessels. Ultimately leading to inflammation in which makes you more prone to clots that may trigger heart attacks.

Lungs. Individuals with poor hygiene are hurting their respiratory systems. Gum disease may increase your risk of respiratory infections such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Reproductive system. Women with gum disease take an average two months longer to conceive a child that those who don’t have gum disease.

If you’re interested in learning more about gum disease and how it affects your health, contact Dr. Lieberman 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 Palm Harbor and all surrounding areas.