Category Archives: Periodontal Disease

Reasons You May Need to Have Your Tooth Pulled | Palm Harbor Dentist

Having a toothache can be excruciating, no matter how it comes about. Not only can you have trouble eating, but the headaches that go hand-in-hand can drive a person insane. So, it’s off to the dentist for an assessment – it’s time to have a tooth extracted.

There are a few reasons why you would ever have to have your tooth pulled: Impaction, infection or decay. We are going to break down each reason and how your smile can be improved.

Impacted tooth. A tooth that is trapped beneath the gumline is known as an impacted tooth. A very common type of an impacted tooth is what we also call a wisdom tooth. Left untreated, these teeth can damage surrounding teeth and accelerate gum disease. Common symptoms: red, swollen or bleeding gums, bad breath and pain when chewing.

Infected tooth. When a tooth is infected, it becomes filled with pus and other debris, also known as an abscessed tooth. Left untreated, these teeth can lead to more serious infections throughout the body. Remember, our mouth is the first line of defense for our overall health. The importance of taking care of our dental health is of the utmost importance. Common symptoms: tooth sensitivity, fever, swelling around the infected area, bad breath or pain when chewing.

Tooth decay. Unfortunately, this is the final stage of a tooth’s life, because tooth decay is permanent and irreversible. The good thing is, the extracted tooth can be replaced by a crown, bridge or dental implant, depending on your situation. Because these teeth are brittle and have visible holes, they are also prone to infection. If you are having intense dental pain, don’t delay – make an appointment as soon as possible.

If you’re interested in learning more about tooth extractions, 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.

Preventing Gum Disease at Home | Palm Harbor Dentist

Even the most subtle dental problems signal periodontal disease. These symptoms include simple gum inflammation, swollen gums, sensitive teeth, and pain when chewing. The ramifications of periodontal disease are detrimental to your oral health. Not only does periodontal disease causes your gums to constantly bleed, but the disease can lead to the loss of your permanent teeth.

Luckily, preventing periodontal disease is simple. Here are some 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 carry a toothbrush everywhere you go. 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.

Watch what you eat. Your diet is key is preventing periodontal disease. For this reason, 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.

In order to prevent periodontal disease, it is essential to keep your gums and teeth healthy. Extensive brushing and flossing are recommended, along with frequent visits to ensure that no dental problems arise. 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 keeping your gums healthy and strong, 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.

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.

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.

Summer Is Over, Autumn Is Here | Palm Harbor Dentist

Now that we’ve said goodbye to our summertime fun, it is time to get things in order. We are getting close to the holiday season and the end of the year, so we start the school year and get our head’s in the proverbial game. If we drop the ball on our dental health, it can cause load of issues down the road. If we don’t have good dental habits, we can develop various dental maladies, like gum disease. You may not think much of gum disease, but not only is it harmful to your smile, but it is harmful to your overall health. Let’s look at just how madly poor dental hygiene can affect us:

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, leading to heart attack triggering inflammation.

Brain. 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 and increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Blood. Gum disease makes it harder to control you blood sugar, resulting in a high chance for diabetic issues. And with loads of sugars, there is more bacteria to attack your teeth, causing gum disease in a cyclical motion.

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

Fertility. Women with gum disease take an average two months longer to conceive a child that those who don’t have gum disease. In men, it can lead to low sperm counts and unhealthy semen.

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.

When Eating Ice Cream Begins to Hurt Your Teeth | Palm Harbor Dentist

If you’ve ever experienced a sharp and annoying pain in your teeth whenever you indulge in the wonderful frozen treats this summery weather can provide? No one wants to hear that they can’t have ice cream or iced tea because their teeth are too sensitive. So, what causes this cruel summertime malady?

Loss of tooth enamel, which leaves the dentin exposed, is the main reason why tooth sensitivity occurs. This may happen if you’ve been using a hard-bristled toothbrush instead of a soft one, as it may wear away as the abrasion can wear away the tooth enamel. However, it can also be the result of frequent consumption of acidic foods or gum recession.

It is important to take note, however, that the sharp pain when exposed to hot and cold food and beverages is not always caused by tooth sensitivity. Sometimes, it may be because of the following:

  • A cracked, chipped or fractured tooth
  • Dental caries
  • Constant grinding or clenching of the teeth, or a condition known as bruxism
  • A broken restoration that’s been leaking
  • A side effect of certain teeth whitening procedures, namely tooth bleaching

In order to find out if your teeth are indeed sensitive, talk to your dentist. Be sure to describe your symptoms in detail, like when the pain first started or anything you’ve done for the pain. Using your descriptions, the dentist will try to find out the possible cause of your sensitivity, and once finished, the dentist will then treat the underlying cause. The treatment will usually vary, depending on the case.

If you’re interested in learning more about tooth sensitivity, 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.

Don’t Skip Lunch on National Make Lunch Count Day | Palm Harbor Dentist

Today is a day to stop and enjoy your lunch break. According to a survey commissioned by TGI Fridays, many American workers don’t take full advantage of their lunch breaks. Some eat their lunch at their desk, some skip lunch altogether. Unfortunately, taking a break has many benefits. It improves your productivity and gives your brain a chance to relax and ingest some healthy foods to nourish your bodies. The following ten foods will not only fit those bills, but will also keep our smiles bright and shiny:

Pineapples can help whiten teeth due to an enzyme called bromelain, which acts as a natural stain remover while breaking up plaque.

Ginger can protect against gum disease, which causes the loss of bone and supportive connective tissue in your mouth.

Carrots contain vitamin A, needed for healthy tooth enamel. And eating them raw stimulates saliva, your mouth’s natural cleanser.

Basil is a natural antibiotic that reduces bacteria in the mouth.

Cheese is rich in protein, calcium, and phosphorus and they all help reduce acid in your mouth.

Sesame seeds help “scrub” away the plaque on your teeth. Not only that, but chewing nuts can also provide this coarse, scrubbing action.

Shiitake mushrooms contain a compound called lentinan, which inhibits bacteria from growing in your mouth.

Onions contain the sulfur compounds, thiosulfinates and thiosulfonates, which reduce bacteria that cause tooth decay, but you need to eat them raw.

Salmon not only provides calcium but also vitamin D, another nutrient needed for healthy bones and teeth.

Broccoli contains iron, which helps form an acid-resistant film or barrier that can protect the enamel of your teeth.

If you’re interested in learning more about smile-friendly foods, 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.

Breaking the Myth: Periodontal Disease Edition | Palm Harbor Dentist

gum disease myth

According to the American Academy of Periodontology, three out of four Americans suffer from some form of gum disease. Despite the major prevalence, only three percent of those individuals actually seek treatment for their gum disease. With more research indicating that gum disease may be linked to several other diseases, maintaining healthy teeth and gums have become more and more important. Here are some common things in which the AAP have deemed misconceptions about oral health that should help you distinguish signs of gum disease:

Bleeding gums are not important.

Red, swollen, and bleeding gums are an important sign of periodontal disease. If you notice bleeding while brushing or flossing on a regular basis, you should schedule a visit with your dental professional in order to be evaluated for periodontal disease right away.

You don’t need to floss every day.

Having a set oral health routine is incredibly important. This includes keeping up with brushing AND flossing. Doing one without the other is giving opportunities for harmful bacteria to wreak havoc on your dental health.

A tooth lost to gum disease is lost forever.

This is not true, but not exactly false either. While gum disease is a major cause of tooth loss, and you tooth is indeed lost forever, periodontists use procedures such as dental implants to replace teeth.

Poor oral hygiene is the only way to develop gum disease.

Good oral hygiene can definitely contribute to the prevention of gum disease, however there are other factors in which having good oral hygiene won’t matter. For example, using tobacco increases your chances of developing gum disease by a large amount.

If you’re interested in learning more about periodontal disease, 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.

New Year, New Smile | Palm Harbor Dentist

As we sit and take stock of what we would like in the upcoming year, it is important to think about how our health comes into play. Because without our health, we can’t work towards our other goals. One of the easiest ways to improve our health is basic dental care. Because it may not seem like it, but our mouth is the first line of defense for our overall health. There is a reason we are wearing masks – to protect our health. So, before we walk into a brand-new year, here are a few dental hygiene tips to help you brighten that smile and keep you on your dentist’s good side. You may not think you need it, but many of us can use the refresher:

Brushing. The rule of thumb is pretty well-known – brush your teeth twice a day, for at least two minutes. Start your day off right with fresh, clean breath and wrap up your day with a quick brush before bed to prevent cavities from forming while you snooze. Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush in rounded strokes to keep your gums healthy as well.

Flossing. It’s one of the least favorite tasks on the list of dental hygiene tasks. The problem is, flossing not only removes stuff stuck deep between each tooth, but it also keeps your gums healthy by preventing bacteria from getting inside and causing infection.

Rinsing. Rinsing is not only a quick way freshen breath, but it also adds an additional layer of protection from plaque and cavities. We have been taught to rinse with mouthwash after brushing but doing it beforehand can loosen any particles you may have, making your brushing more effective.

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