Tag Archives: dental issues

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.

End the Year Without Your Bad Habits | Palm Harbor Dentist

Let’s face it – this has been one wild ride of a year. There was always something new to make us overwhelmed. And with this, some bad habits may have presented themselves. It’s understandable. So, as we are preparing to enter a new (and hopefully less stressful) year, why not take a moment to think about these bad habits and make a change for the better? Here is a list of some bad dental habits that we hope you can try to curtail because they are really killing your smile:

Chewing ice. We’ve all been guilty of this. After you’ve finished a drink, you might have the habit of chewing the ice that is leftover. But it’s the cold and hardness of the cubes can actually chip or crack your teeth.

Oral tool kit. Just like the ice habit, using your teeth to crack open nuts, or tear through plastic can be incredibly detrimental. Just like chewing ice, using your teeth as a tool may cause damage to your teeth.

Drinking soda. This may seem harmless, but there is a number of reasons why soda is bad for our teeth. Chockful of sugar, even the sugar-free options are bad for our teeth. Sodas are acidic and incredibly harmful to teeth.

Nail biting. A nervous habit, we know and perhaps one of the most common bad habits at that, biting your nails itself is not only damaging to your nail beds, but also to your teeth.

Teeth grinding. Officially called bruxism, grinding your teeth can begin to wear them down. While this is difficult to control while you’re sleeping, a dentist may give you a night guard to help you get it under control.

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

Fix the Flaws with Dental Veneers | Palm Harbor Dentist

Obtaining the ‘perfect smile’ seems to be on the mind of a lot of patients nowadays. There are so many cosmetic procedures, how do you know which one is for you? To be fair, only a dental professional can tell you that. Not all patients are the same. But there is one option that is quite versatile for many dental issues – porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers are fabricated from a solid piece of porcelain. They fit over the front and underside of your tooth covering the entire surface of visible tooth. Veneers can be fitted to lengthen or widen teeth to close gaps or fill in chips.

How can veneers help you? Veneers can enhance the color and or shape of your tooth or teeth. Veneers are capable of providing a natural tooth appearance, but outside of the cosmetic benefits, veneers do the following:

  • Gum tissue tolerates porcelain well.
  • Porcelain veneers are resistant to stains.
  • The color of a porcelain veneer can be selected such that it makes dark teeth appear whiter.
  • Veneers offer a conservative approach to changing a tooth’s color and shape-veneers generally don’t require the extensive shaping prior to the procedure that crowns do, yet offer a stronger, more aesthetic alternative to bonding.

Modern porcelain veneers tend to last many years, are easy to care for, provide a very natural appearance, and offer a stronger alternative to other cosmetic options. Veneers won’t erase pre-existing issues – therefore an exam is needed to determine if you are a good candidate for veneers. If you find that your smile could use the benefits of veneers, contact your dentist for an appointment today!

If you’re interested in learning more about porcelain veneers, 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.

When You Can’t Get Your Teeth Whitened | Palm Harbor Dentist

When You Can’t Get Your Teeth Whitened

Believe it or not, but everyone isn’t a good candidate for teeth whitening procedures. Tooth-colored fillings, crowns or bonding on your front teeth are going to remain the color that they are, so they will make them stand out against your freshly whitened smile. If this is the case for you, there are alternative options, such as veneers or dental bonding, that you may want to look into.

Dental veneers are thin pieces of porcelain or plastic that are bonded to the front of your teeth to improve their appearance or function. Veneers can aid in improving teeth that are severely discolored, chipped or misshaped. Stain-resistant, this treatment option is very popular for people looking to have a perfect smile. There are two types of veneers:

  • Porcelain. This option is fabricated in a dental lab to fit your teeth and typically requires two office visits. Porcelain veneers costs a bit more but will last from 15-20 years, depending on your dental hygiene routine.
  • Composite. This type of veneer is bonded to your tooth enamel in a single visit. Composite veneers cost much less, but only last around 5-7 years.

Dental bonding uses a tooth-colored composite resin to restore teeth that are chipped or broken, slightly gapped, discolored or misshapen. Bonding can also be used as a cosmetic alternative to silver fillings. After applying a mild etching solution that slightly roughens the surface of your tooth and allows the bonding material to adhere, your dentist will apply the composite resin and will begin to sculpt and shape the bonding material. Following the sculpting, your dentist will use a high-intensity light to harden the material and then finely polish the restoration.

If you’re interested in learning more about alternative 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.

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.

Sleep Your Way to a Healthy Smile | Palm Harbor Dentist

For some of us, going to the dentist is a rather frightening thing to think about doing. There are plenty of reasons one would be nervous about, sitting in the dental chair, and it is a very common fear for many patients. Thankfully, there is help that can get you through these checkups so you can have a healthy smile, regardless of your dental anxiety.

Sedation dentistry, also referred to as “sleep dentistry”, uses medication to help ease and relax patients before or during their dental procedure. There are many methods that can be used in sedation dentistry, and the method used depends on the patient’s needs. Here are the four most common methods of sedation dentistry:

Nitrous Oxide. Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is combined with oxygen and inhaled through a mask over your nose. This nitrous oxide helps calm the patient’s nerves. This method requires little recovery however, you will still need to have someone drive you home.

Oral sedation. The night before a procedure, the patient will take an oral medication to ensure that you’re calm and relaxed during the procedure. The recovery time for this method is a bit longer, so a ride home will be necessary.

IV sedation. This method is considered to be moderate to deep sedation. This type of dental sedation is administered into the bloodstream, which results in immediate relaxation.

General anesthesia. The strongest method of sedation is general anesthesia. During this type of sedation, the patient cannot be easily awakened until the effects fully wear off. Because it will take a while, making arrangements for a ride home will be wise.

If you’re interested in learning more about sedation 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.

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.

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.

Why You Should Consider Dental Implants | Palm Harbor Dentist

When we have a flawed smile, we visit our dentist for help. But depending on your circumstances, your treatment options will be tailored to fit your needs. If dental implants are an option, don’t shy away from the idea. Today’s technology has made incredible advances, and these replacements are better than ever.

Dental implants are artificial tooth replacements that resemble a tooth of a group of teeth. Most commonly used for individuals who have cracked or even missing teeth, dental implants provide a multitude of advantages to any individual looking to create a beautiful smile! Here are some of the advantages of considering dental implants:

Versatility. Though dental implants have their own single purpose in replacing missing or cracked teeth, they may also serve as an important part in other restorative procedures. A tooth implant can support a dental crown, as well as dental bridges.

Naturalness. Most individuals look to dental implants because they are the closest to natural that fake teeth can get. These days, your dentist will design these implants to look and feel the most natural that they can be, even taking the time to get the color right so that they blend in with your natural teeth. No one will know the difference.

Confidence. People who suffer from missing teeth are oftentimes uncomfortable with their appearances and tend to refrain from smiling at all. This can not only affect your days but can begin to take a toll on your demeanor. Because dental implants are so natural looking, one’s confidence should be restored, especially when flashing a smile.

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