Category Archives: Oral Health

How Can I Whiten My Smile? | Palm Harbor Dentist

Everyone 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.

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 patient’s 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 interested in learning more about whitening options, 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 I Need a Filling? | Palm Harbor Dentist

Are you experiencing toothaches, sharp pains, or sensitivity? If so, it may be time to schedule an appointment for an examination. For something simple like a cavity, the repair option would be a filling. If left untreated, it can progress into more severe dental issues, so it is important to keep an eye on your smile and any changes that may be developing. But how do you know what to look for when it comes to something common like a cavity? If you notice any of the following signs, dental fillings will likely be a solution:

  • A dark spot or hole in your tooth
  • A chipped tooth
  • A rough tooth
  • If floss is tearing in a particular location between your teeth

If your dentist finds that a filling is necessary, there are a few options to choose from. Some of the choices include amalgam, composite and ionomers. Amalgam fillings are very durable, easy to use, and inexpensive when compared to other materials and usually used for molars. Composite fillings are made out of a mixture of glass or quartz and resin, producing a tooth-colored filling. Composite fillings are durable and provide good resistance against fracture in small to medium restorations but tend to stain and discolor over time. Ionomers, on the other hand, are made out of a mixture of acrylic acids and fine glass powders used to fill cavities on the root surfaces of teeth or in small fillings that do not require any chewing resistance.

Dental fillings are essential in maintain ideal oral health because they prevent tooth decay. Without dental fillings, individuals risk the chance of permanently losing their teeth.

If you’re interested in learning more about dental 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 Palm Harbor and all surrounding areas.

Time to Clean Your Teeth Professionally | Palm Harbor Dentist

We 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. Regular dental exams and professional cleanings can prevent these and many other health problems. Here are important reasons to have your teeth professionally cleaned:

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 prevent it.

Maintain good oral health. Regular dental visits will help your dentist look closely for any signs of problems with your teeth and gums.

Oral cancer detection. 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

If you’re interested in learning more about professional dental cleanings, 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.

Gum Disease Prevention During a Pandemic | Palm Harbor Dentist

We are constantly getting news about how our world is changing by the day. Makes things feel very up in the air, but there are some things we can do to help keep ourselves grounded during this shaky time. Keeping up our daily dental routines will not only prevent future issues with your smile, but will also help prevent gum disease, which can lead to lot of other issues down the line. Thankfully, there are ways to easily prevent periodontal disease:

Brushing your teeth. The number one way to prevent periodontal disease is to brush after every meal. Avoid brushing only twice a day and have a toothbrush handy. Brushing after every meal prevents plaque from building up in the mouth.

Floss. Flossing is extremely important in preventing periodontal disease because it removes plaque and bacteria that accumulates in the mouth.

A mindful diet. Your diet is key is preventing periodontal disease. For this reason, make the proper substitutions. Replace sodas and junk food with water and veggies.

In extreme cases, patients experience bleeding gums and permanent tooth loss. Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria buildup in the mouth which aids in the formation of a sticky plaque on teeth. Plaque is extremely harmful to individuals because if hardened, patients risk the formation of tartar, which cannot be removed by brushing or flossing. By preventing or treating periodontal disease, you will not only save a significant amount of time and money, but your will save your smile from decay and permanent loss.

If you’re interested in learning more about gum disease 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 Palm Harbor and all surrounding areas.

Sleep Your Way Through Dental Appointments | Palm Harbor Dentist

sleep dentistry

Having a healthy mouth is important, but for many of us, there are fears helping us avoid the dentist. Take a moment to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is your fear of the dentist stopping you from receiving dental care that can improve your oral health and smile?
  • Are you anxious about visiting the dentist?
  • Are you afraid that you might constantly fidget during a dental procedure?

If you have answered yes to the following questions, it is possible that you have what is widely known as Dental Anxiety, or DA. But you need not worry – you aren’t alone. Dental fears are a common reaction to visiting the dentist. Thankfully, the dental industry has developed treatment options that can resolve those fears you may have through the use of sedation dentistry. Dr. Lieberman uses sedation treatments for your dental care because “your comfort and peace of mind are important to us. To help you with a relaxing, stress free dental visit we offer several different types of sedation.” Dental professionals will generally offer three types of sedation – which is used depends on the patient’s needs. These sedation preferences include:

Oral conscious sedation. This option allows patients to take a safe and effective pill prior to the appointment. It is handy to have a driver around afterwards.

Nitrous oxide gas. Also known as laughing gas, this alternative gives you relaxed feeling while receiving treatment, but will wear off quickly once the procedure is complete.

IV sedation. The most intrusive of the options, this option allows patients to be completely unconscious while receiving treatment through medication administered by needle.

If you’re interested in learning more about sedation dentistry, 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 Palm Harbor and all surrounding areas.

Energize Without Energy Drinks | Palm Harbor Dentist

These days can be trying for everyone involved. Between social distancing and keeping our hands clean, we are looking everywhere to have some type of normalcy. For many of us, energy drinks are keeping us alert and ready to take on the constant updates on our world. The problem is, if you don’t watch your intake, those comforting energy drinks are going to begin to do more harm than good.

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. 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, it’s the combination of the sugar content and acidic levels that makes energy drinks such a danger to the teeth. 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.

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. If you choose to brush, wait an hour before you do to prevent spreading the acids.

If you’re interested in learning more about energy drinks, 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 Palm Harbor and all surrounding areas.

Do I Have Temporomandibular Joint Disorder? | Palm Harbor Dentist

When someone experiences Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, or TMJ, they may experience symptoms, such as discomfort and pain in areas surrounding the face or jaw. But what exactly is TMJ and how does one develop the disorder?

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, 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 Palm Harbor and all surrounding areas.

What Are Dental Lasers? | Palm Harbor Dentist

laser dentistry

Being scared of the dentist is a legitimate fear, called dental anxiety. Many times, this will prevent patients from seeking proper dental care. For many, the root of their fear lies in the pain. For others, it is just the sounds that give them issue. Fortunately, there have been lots of technological developments that have taken place that have addressed these issues. One of these developments is laser dentistry. While not commonly associated with dental treatment, lasers have been used in dentistry since the early 1990’s.

Dental lasers can help the patient calm their nerves in order to experience a smoother, less stressful dental visit. 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.

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, in order to treat infected or diseased tissue that would otherwise be difficult to reach 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 feel like you suffer from some type of dental anxiety, rest assured dental lasers will be used to give you the best dental experience possible.

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

When You Need a New Toothbrush | Palm Harbor Dentist

Good habits begin with a positive beginning. Your dental hygiene is no different. If you start with the right tools, creating a proper hygiene routine will fall right into place. But with so many shapes, sizes and styles of toothbrushes on the market, deciding which kind to buy can be confusing. Here are some tips to keep in mind while shopping for your next toothbrush:

Most dental professionals agree that a soft-bristled brush is best for removing plaque and debris from your teeth. Small-headed brushes are also preferable, since they can better reach all areas of the mouth, including hard-to-reach back teeth

When it comes to the type of handle (such as non-slip grip or flexible neck), shape of the head (tapered or rectangular) and style of bristles (such as rippled, flat or trimmed to a dome shape), pick whatever is most comfortable for you. The best toothbrush is one that fits your mouth and allows you to reach all teeth easily.

For many, a powered toothbrush is a good alternative. It is important that your teeth get scrubbed well and an electric toothbrush gives a vibrating scrubbing that many find ideal. Older folks will also find this is a great option to have to ensure a proper cleaning takes place. An electric toothbrush can do a better job of cleaning teeth, particularly for those who have difficulty brushing or who have limited manual dexterity.

When it comes to replacing your toothbrush, the rules are quite simple. Replace your toothbrush when it begins to show wear, or every three months, whichever comes first. It is also very important to change toothbrushes after you’ve had a cold, since the bristles can collect germs that can lead to reinfection.

If you’re interested in learning more about choosing a toothbrush, 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 Palm Harbor and all surrounding areas.

Am I Developing Gingivitis? | Palm Harbor Dentist

Gingivitis, or gum disease, is one of those ailments one dreads hearing they have. It usually develops when oral care falls by the wayside, so it can easily be prevented with proper dental routines. 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 on the surface of your teeth. When you don’t brush, it hardens and becomes tartar. 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, causing them to fall out.

The problem is many people aren’t aware that they have gingivitis. It’s possible to have gum disease without any symptoms, and without regular dental checkups, it can go completely undetected. However, the following can be symptoms of gingivitis:

  • red, tender, or swollen gums
  • bleeding when brushing or flossing
  • 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

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

If you’re interested in learning more about gingivitis, 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 Palm Harbor and all surrounding areas.