Category Archives: Tooth Decay

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.

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.

Is Bleaching Your Teeth Dangerous? | Palm Harbor Dentist

When we think about the perfect smile, many of us associate it with bright white teeth. Not only does it improve our smile, but it brightens our overall demeanor. After all, who doesn’t like to show a gorgeous smile? With improved self-esteem comes an improvement on daily life. And so, we purchase products over the counter and schedule whitening treatments through our dental professionals. But where did this need to whiten our teeth come from?

Whitening strips and bleach trays may be an invention of the past 30 years, but techniques for teeth whitening go back centuries. In the 1100s, physicians would recommend scrubbing teeth with elecampane (a yellow flower) or a sage and salt mixture to make “them firm, white and healthy” or “clean, white, and sweet,” Trevor Anderson, an osteoarchaeologist, notes in a 2004 paper on medieval dentistry.

Later on, some would use acid washes in an attempt to strip away stains, but unfortunately, these rinses mostly stripped away all the enamel on the teeth, leaving them crumbling, says Dr. Scott Swank, curator of the National Museum of Dentistry in Baltimore.

It wasn’t until the advent of Hollywood and Technicolor movies that there was widespread interest in whitening teeth, usually through whitening toothpastes, he says. Enter the 1980s and in-office bleaching treatments, and it only took off from there, Swank says.

Unfortunately, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Overbleaching your teeth causes your teeth’s enamel to wear down. Not only will that cause your teeth to become sensitive, weak and prone to decay, but it also defeats the purpose as teeth’s natural underbody is yellow and becomes exposed by overbleaching. Teeth whitening is a safe procedure but must be used in moderation.

If you’re interested in learning more about teeth whitening, 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.

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.

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.

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.

Designing Your Perfect Smile | Palm Harbor Dentist

If you have some flaws to your smile that make you feel self-conscious, it may be time for a smile makeover. These days, there are lots of ways to improve it.

Both bonding and porcelain veneers have similarities. They cover dental imperfections, but the procedures are quite different. Dental bonding uses a smooth tooth-colored solution that is applied to the flawed teeth, dried and cured to create a more natural look. This procedure is used on patients who need one or two teeth corrected.

When it comes to veneers, they are created differently. Your new teeth will be fabricated from a solid piece of porcelain. While bonding is applied to your actual teeth, veneers fit over the front and underside of your tooth, covering it completely. They are used for multiple reasons, especially when it comes to lengthening or widening teeth to close gaps or fill in chips. While bonding is best for simple small fixes, porcelain veneers are generally used for patients who have several cosmetic problems or want their entire set of front-facing teeth made over.

A crown is a functional covering that dentists put over a damaged or decayed tooth or teeth to improve appearance and can be placed on top of a dental implant. With advancements in dental technology like the CEREC system, you can get all of this done in one day. The scanner takes 3D images of your jawline and the computer the dentist takes excellent images of the crown’s area. Unlike a porcelain veneer, these one-day crowns are made with an enamel-like material.

A dental consultation is necessary to find out more about your smile makeover options and to coordinate a dental treatment plan. Ask about your options.

If you’re interested in learning more about cosmetic dentistry, 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.