Tag Archives: dental tips

Signs and Symptoms: TMJ Edition | Palm Harbor Dentist

No one wants to experience jaw pain, but for most patients, it can’t be helped. Here is where it gets tricky – did you know that TMJ, or Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome, is one of the most misdiagnosed syndromes in the world? Oftentimes, TMJ is overlooked, as jaw related issues can be linked to a multitude of different health issues. So, how do you know when it’s not just a chance occurrence or something that is becoming an issue, we need to concern our dental professional with? Here are some signs and symptoms in which point to TMJ:

  • Pain in the jaw, especially around the joint
  • Popping or clicking of the jaw
  • Ear pain
  • Ringing or popping sounds in the ears
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Tight or sore jaw or neck muscles
  • Shoulder pain
  • Locking or dislocation of the jaw

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, contact Dr. Lieberman immediately, as he can appropriately diagnose the root of your jaw and facial pain. Thankfully, there are lots of ways to treat this condition and get you back to sleeping peacefully. Below are some of DIY tips you can do on your own to relieve some of the pain you’re experiencing:

  • Facial exercises such as stretching, relaxing, or massaging the muscles found around the jaw.
  • Avoiding actions such as yawning, singing, or excessive chewing.
  • Learning new stress relieving techniques including but not limited to meditation, breathing exercises, or personal stress relievers.
  • Formulating an exercise plan in order to increase our pain tolerance.

If you’re interested in learning more about TMJ pain, 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.

Perhaps You Should Consider Getting Veneers | Palm Beach Dentist

Why veneers? Because porcelain veneers can help improve many dental issues, ranging from brightening a discolored smile to repairing a cracked tooth. Porcelain veneers are thin custom-made shells of porcelain that are used to cover the front surface of one or more teeth. Here are some reasons one may consider getting porcelain veneers:

Severally stained or discolored teeth. Not everyone’s teeth responded to teeth whitening techniques. Sometimes staining can go through the enamel, staining the dentin and discoloring it. Teeth whitening techniques, such as bleaching may not be viable in these types of cases. In such cases, porcelain veneers are a great alternative.

Misshapen or worn teeth. Slightly misaligned teeth can be treated with porcelain veneers rather than with braces. Some orthodontic work can take years to improve misalignments, while veneers can improve one’s smile within a week or two. Veneers can even reduce the size of gaps and create a perfectly aligned smile.

Porcelain veneers are long-lasting. By practicing proper oral hygiene and visiting your dentist for regular checkups and professional cleanings, porcelain veneers can last up to 15 years.

Quick solution to enhance your smile. It can take as little as three visits to your dentist’s office to get a set of porcelain veneers, making them a quick and easy solution to obtaining a beautiful smile.

A pain-free procedure. Placing porcelain veneers is a simple dental procedure. Anesthetics are not required as the actual procedure doesn’t cause pain or any significant discomfort.

Life-changing investment. Last but very not least, porcelain veneers can completely change your life in the most positive way. Not only can they drastically improve a patient’s smile, but porcelain veneers can also improve one’s self-confidence.

If you’re interested in learning more about 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.

Even More Reasons to Practice Good Dental Hygiene | Palm Harbor Dentist

We all know it is important to brush your teeth on a daily basis. Not only does it prevent bad breath and teeth staining, but it also keeps our smile healthy. No one wants to lose teeth from practicing poor dental habits, but there is more to keeping your mouth clean and healthy – your general health.

Believe it or not, but gum disease as well as poor oral hygiene may be more detrimental to your health than you think. It turns out oral issues can be linked to other life-threatening diseases. Here are just some of the reasons brushing your teeth is so important:

Hurting your heart. Individuals with gum disease are twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease because harmful bacteria from your mouth enter your blood stream and attaches to fatty plaques in your heart’s blood vessels. This leads to inflammation, making you more prone to clots that may trigger heart attacks.

Memory loss. Researchers have found that there may be a close link to 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.

Diabetes. Individuals with diabetes are more like to have periodontal disease than those without diabetes. Conversely, gum disease makes it harder to control you blood sugar, resulting in a high chance for diabetic issues.

Breathing issues. Individuals with poor hygiene 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.

If you’re interested in learning more about gum disease effects on 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.

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.

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.