Category Archives: Tooth Decay

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.

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.

Turkey Day Dental Tips | Palm Harbor Dentist

As we prepare for arguably the yummiest holiday of the year, it is important to realize that if we don’t look after our smiles, we could run into some issues come the new year. It is a holiday and for many of us, a time to indulge in all of the flavors this time of year has to offer. But there are some we should try to maintain a healthy balance, so as not to cause any dental issues in the future.

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, more likely 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.

Don’t worry – lots of holiday favorites are actually really great for our smiles, so feel free to indulge in them! Foods like celery can help brush food particles off of teeth, while producing saliva to naturally cleanse the teeth. Foods high in calcium and protein (cheese and meats) help contribute to stronger teeth by protecting tooth enamel.

In addition to the sugar and acid contents of food, patients should pay attention to how long the food is in contact with their teeth. If you have a toothbrush handy, a quick brushing wouldn’t hurt. If you’re unable to brush your teeth, chew sugar free gum – sugar free gum encourages saliva to help cleanse your teeth, while helping to discourage bacteria growth in your mouth.

If you’re interested in learning more about Thanksgiving dental tips, 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 Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Halloween Edition | Palm Harbor Dentist

As parents, we want to give our children the world. Thankfully, we as parents have the good sense to restrict the things we know aren’t good for them. Things become a bit trickier when it comes to things like Halloween. Ghosts, goblins and gooey sweets is the name of the game on this scary holiday. It is tough to impose good health when you’re surrounded by treats. Depriving your child of everything that this scary holiday celebrates won’t score you any parenting points, so it’s important to keep a balance between having spooky fun and staying good health. Because not all candy is the same, why not just weed out the really bad ones? Here are the top four sweetest enemies:

Skittles. Skittles may want you to taste rainbows, but they are also letting you ruin your teeth’s enamel by combining sweet and sour for a pH level of 2.5, levels so high they can cause serious damage to your little one’s teeth.

Caramel. Not only does the sticky texture stick to your teeth’s surface and loves to get deep into the crevices, but it can also loosen dental fixtures, like braces or fillings, making it especially harmful for those with dental work.

Gummy Bears. Similar to caramels and other sticky candies, the gelatin used to make the gummy candy gummy, also sticks to the crevices of your teeth, making it difficult to remove.

Jolly Ranchers. Not only are they a hard candy that can damage teeth when bitten but sucking on hard candy isn’t a quick process, and the sugar wastes no time working their way into a tooth.

If you’re interested in learning more about Halloween candy, 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.

Bonding: Fast and Easy Smiles | Palm Harbor Dentist

When considering a smile makeover, one treatment option to consider is dental bonding – a fast, easy way to correct a number of minor dental aesthetic issues. A tooth-colored synthetic resin is bonded to the tooth, allowing the dentist to adjust the shape, spacing, and color of teeth to correct chips, cracks and other smile issues. In some cases, bonding can even be used as an alternative to traditional fillings, or to protect a tooth’s root in cases where a gum recession has exposed portions of the tooth that would normally be protected.

Bonding is generally considered to be fast and painless – a typical procedure requires less than an hour per tooth, and often does not require anesthesia. The dentist will begin by matching the color of the resin to the shade of the tooth, then lightly etch the surface to help the resin adhere to the tooth, before applying the clay or putty like resin and molding it to match the surface of the tooth. In some procedures, the resin will be molded to fill cracks or chips where the original tooth is no longer available, but it can also be used to cosmetically extend teeth to correct gaps between teeth, or make teeth appear longer for a more aesthetically pleasing smile. Once the dentist has shaped the resin, it is hardened in place with a special light, leaving it permanently bonded to the tooth.

Unlike some other dental procedures like bridges, bonded teeth do not require much in the way of special care. While the bonding resin is not as strong as a natural tooth, it should be brushed and flossed like normal teeth, and often lasts for many years.

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

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.

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.