Category Archives: Preventive Dentistry

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.

Is Easter Good for Your Smile? | Palm Harbor Dentist

Springtime is a wonderful time of year. The sun shines brighter, nature is blossoming – there are lots of reasons to want to smile during this time of year. And with springtime comes the Easter season. Pastel colors, baby farm animals and colorful hidden eggs abound. But is the Easter Bunny hurting your smile?

Easter baskets. One of the staples of Easter is the egg hunt – this necessitates the use of a basket. For some little ones, these baskets are filled with candies and other little gifts from the Easter Bunny. We all know that candy isn’t good for our teeth, but in moderation, everything can be enjoyed. Try to stay away from overindulging in hard, sticky candies. Not only do they stay in your mouth longer as they dissolve, but they can break teeth or other dental appliances, like braces. Believe it or not, but chocolate is the best for you, especially the darker varieties. Fancy a chocolate bunny?

Easter eggs. A childhood favorite during this cheerful holiday is dying hard-boiled eggs. The designs and colors not only dazzle the eyes during egg hunts, but it’s a family activity that really brings home the reason for the season. Fortunately, eggs are a great source of protein, and our teeth need protein to stay strong. One large egg contains 95 mg of phosphorus and its protein to phosphorous ratio is excellent. Since the yolk of an egg contains vitamin D also, eating them is an easy way to get two needed tooth nutrients in one shot.

But beyond pretty eggs, lots of the foods we eat during our Easter feast are great for our teeth. Fruits, veggies and meats all have bits that can benefit our smiles. Happy Easter!

If you’re interested in learning more about keeping your teeth 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.

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.

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.

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.

It’s World Smile Day! | Palm Harbor Dentist

There’s something about a smile. Not only can it brighten your day, but it is extremely contagious. Strangers smiling on the street, a happy child, even a playful puppy can bring a smile to even the grumpiest of faces. In fact, it’s the first feature noticed upon meeting someone. This is why it is important that we take good care of our smile. Our smile is one of the most powerful tools we have to make the world a better place. So much so, today is World Smile Day!

It’s true. Today is the day we celebrate our pearly whites. And because our smile is so important, it is vital that we take care of it with proper daily dental hygiene and a healthy, balanced diet. Make sure to brush at least twice a day for a minimum of two minutes, floss to get into those areas missed by your toothbrush, and rinse thoroughly to remove any of those cavity-causing bacteria.

A healthy balanced diet is not only good for our overall health, but also for our teeth. Fruits and vegetables are a great way to get vital nutrients into our systems, but there are some in particular that add a dental boost. Crunchy foods like apples and carrots increase saliva production, which is our mouth’s natural cleanser. Dairy products include lots of calcium, which is ideal for strong teeth and gums. Staying away from excessive sweets and junk food is also going to help keep your grin the brightest it can be.

So, before you start your day, take a moment to put a smile on your face. Not only will it help your general disposition, but it can spread to everyone you meet. Say cheese!

If you’re interested in learning more about taking care of your smile, 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.

Patient Care Is Our Number One Concern | Palm Harbor Dentist

We all know that no one likes to go to the dentist. While most of us just find it more of a hassle than anything, for some, it’s an overwhelming anxiety that is difficult to overcome. The reasons for it can vary – some fear the sounds, others worry about pain. Regardless of the reasons, dental anxiety is a real fear, and we understand that it affects our patients in various ways. Thankfully, through the latest developments in the dental industry, we have begun to address our patients’ needs to feel a bit more comfort when coming to visit.

If a more relaxed environment is what you’re after to calm your nerves, we have implemented a few amenities for our patients to enjoy when they come in for a checkup. With these little creature comforts available, our patients can come in for a visit and feel like they’re right at home. How about these for making your dental exam a little less bothersome?

  • Head rest pillows and patient comfort chair pads
  • Blankets
  • Flat screen TV’s with headphones
  • Relaxing spa like atmosphere in each treatment room
  • Specialty coffee bar
  • Sedation

Yes, it’s true – your regular checkups can now feel like a movie night in. And if you are still a bit skittish about coming in for your appointments, we have various sedation methods to help ease your fears. From minimal to deep sedation, anesthesia is a great way to get your dental procedure done without fear. And if you are worried about sedation dentistry being safe, rest assured that integrating sedation dentistry into your procedure is absolutely comfortable and safe. Patients agree that it’s the best option because it allows your dental professionals to work thoroughly and quickly.

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