Astoria Dentist Warns Against These Bad Dental Habits Part II

In last week’s blog, we learned about how your tongue gives clues to health conditions, the dangers biting your fingernails can have on your tooth enamel, and other bad dental habits to avoid. Your Astoria dentist, Dr. Leibowitz also warns against other behaviors that can have a negative effect on your oral health.

Spit Out Your Gum

Did you know that chewing sugar-free gum may actually benefit your teeth? Chewing gum made with stevia or xylitol, healthy sugar alternatives, can help protect your teeth when brushing is not an option. Of course, you cannot replace brushing with simply chewing gum, but a sugarless gum can be helpful in a pinch. The gum stimulates saliva production which not only washes away food debris, but also stabilizes the acidity in your mouth, preventing cavities. However, there is a catch to chewing sugarless gum: spit it out after 15 minutes.

Prolonged Gum Chewing Hurts Your Jaw Muscles

Chewing gum for hours on end, like the obnoxious, gum-chewing record holder, Violet of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, can result in dire consequences for your oral health. Your temporomandibular joint is the lower jaw joint that allows you to chew, open your mouth, and speak. Continuous chewing for more than 15 minutes can contribute to TMJ disorder, a condition related to issues with this lower jaw joint.

Avoid TMJ Disorder

Also called TMD, TMJ disorder can create a multitude of oral health and overall health problems. Some symptoms of TMD include teeth grinding, weakened enamel, jaw popping, difficulty opening your mouth, shoulder and neck pain, earaches, headaches, and dizziness, especially in the morning. If you are going to chew gum, avoid sparking TMJ disorder issues by chewing it sparingly and only for short amounts of time. (more…)

Your Worst Dental Habits Explained by Astoria Dentist Part I

Stop Biting Your Fingernails

Your teeth are composed of a pulp center which houses all of your tooth’s nerves and living tissues. The layer surrounding the pulp center is the soft dentin. Both of these sensitive inner structures are protected by a hard outer layer of enamel.  Your tooth enamel blocks bacteria and harsh temperatures from harming the inside of your tooth or causing pain.

Nail-biting Can Cause Enamel Erosion

Biting your fingernails, chewing on inedible objects, and crunching hard substances like ice can slowly wear down this hard mineral surface. Enamel erosion creates tooth sensitivity and a heightened risk of cavities. In addition, nail-biting introduces harmful bacteria that is trapped underneath your fingernails, which may cause illness.

Do Not Neglect Your Tongue

Have you ever experienced stale breath even after brushing your teeth? If you skip scrubbing your tongue, you may be leaving behind odor-causing bacteria. Brushing your teeth removes food particles and debris, preventing plaque buildup and tooth decay; however, brushing alone is not enough for complete oral hygiene. Use a tongue scraper or the bristles of your toothbrush to clean the bacteria that build up on the back of your tongue and create bad breath.

Your Tongue Shows Signs of Health Conditions

Your tongue can also give clues to certain oral health issues. Looking for signs of lesions, keeping track of sores, and paying attention to discoloration can help you discover health conditions early. For instance, if you notice a sore spot, or white splotchy substance that has not healed in 7-10 days, contact your Astoria dentist immediately, as this may be a symptom of oral cancer.


The Importance of Dental Checkups in Astoria

Astoria Dentist Prevents Oral Health Issues

Think a toothache is your only reason to visit the dentist? What if you could prevent toothaches completely? The American Dental Association recommends two dental checkups and cleanings a year because most of these dental issues can be avoided altogether with professional dental care. Dental exams can help you keep cavities, gum disease, and other dental problems at bay and even protect you against oral cancer.

Addressing Tooth Decay in Astoria

Using X-rays of your teeth and advanced cavity screening methods, our Astoria dentist, Dr. Leibowitz can spot even the smallest dental caries and keep the infection from progressing into bigger dental problems. Dental radiography also allows us to see decay underneath restorations like porcelain crowns or fillings. While cavity detection is an important part of a dental checkup, spotting decay is only one way that Dr. Leibowitz examines your oral health.

Gum Disease Detection in Astoria

A highly treatable condition, gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is not curable, but early treatment can alleviate symptoms and stop the progression of gingival infection. At a dental checkup, Astoria dentist, Dr. Leibowitz meticulously inspects your mouth for signs of gum disease to address any infection quickly. Periodontal disease treatment is essential to avoiding the ravages of periodontitis, which include extreme gum recession, loose teeth, and general illness.

Oral Cancer Screening in Astoria

Perhaps one of the most important ways a dental checkup can benefit your health is with an oral cancer screening. A good prognosis depends on early detection and treatment. If you are over 40, smoke, or have a family history of oral cancer, your risk of oral cancer increases, making dental exams even more important for protecting your health. (more…)

Astoria Dentist Explains What you Should Know about Gum Disease

Gum Disease is More Common than You Think

Nearly 80 percent of adults in the United States have some form of gum disease, from gingivitis to severe periodontitis. While certain risk factors may make you more susceptible to periodontal infection, anyone can get gum disease. Aside from poor oral hygiene, other health aspects like hormonal changes, pregnancy, and diabetes can make you more vulnerable to periodontal disease.

Bleeding Gums is Not Normal

One of the most common signs of gum disease is bleeding gums, especially during brushing. Gingivitis, the earliest form of gum disease, is also characterized by deep red or purple gum tissue, inflamed gums, or chronic bad breath. As gum disease progresses, the symptoms become more severe and more difficult to treat.

Untreated Gum Disease May Lead to Tooth Loss

Periodontal disease symptoms include a receding gum line. Gingival tissue shrinks away from the tooth root because of an infection between the gums and tooth, called a periodontal pocket. Plaque and bacteria build up in these periodontal pockets causing a greater separation between the tooth and gums, eventually causing the tooth to become unstable in its socket. Because gum disease destroys  connective tissue, periodontitis, the severe stage of this condition, is the main cause of adult tooth loss in the United States.

Gum Disease is Highly Treatable

From the early stages of gingivitis, to severe periodontitis, gum disease treatment can be highly effective. Routine dental cleanings and consistently thorough oral hygiene habits can keep gum disease at bay. Deep cleaning, or scaling and root planing, removes gingival infection so that the gum tissue can heal and reattach to the tooth root. (more…)

Astoria Cosmetic Dentist Answers Porcelain Veneers FAQs

What are porcelain veneers?

Your Astoria dentist, Dr. Leibowitz uses porcelain veneers as a method of improving the appearance of your smile by correcting the color, shape, or spacing of your teeth. Porcelain veneers are thin shells of porcelain which are custom-fabricated by an expert ceramist in a dental lab.

How durable are porcelain veneers?

Unlike some other dental restorations, veneers are shaped from hard porcelain instead of molded from a liquid. This method makes porcelain veneers able to stand up to everyday tooth function. Because dental veneers are less porous than teeth that have damaged enamel, and smoother than the composite resin used in dental bonding, veneers can even resist staining. With proper oral hygiene and professional dental cleanings from our Astoria dentist, your veneers can last for decades.

How are veneers attached to my teeth?

Dental bonding that is hardened by a curing light allows porcelain veneers to attach to the front side of your tooth with minimal preparation. Veneers are much more minimally invasive than bulky porcelain crowns and conserve more tooth structure.

How long will veneer placement take?

Your smile makeover will be complete in as little as two office visits. At your first appointment with our Astoria cosmetic dentist, we will discuss your options for completing a smile makeover. After determining your candidacy based on your oral health and facial structure, Dr. Leibowitz will take an impression of your smile so that the veneers can be fabricated to fit optimally to your teeth. Color matching is also an important part of the porcelain veneer process so that your cosmetic restorations will blend seamlessly with your smile. At your second appointment, our Astoria dentist will place the thin porcelain shells individually over each tooth. After a quick polishing, your smile makeover will be complete. (more…)

Get to Know Your Astoria Dentist

Meet Jeffrey Leibowitz, DDS

A New York native, Dr. Jeffrey Leibowitz grew up in the Flushing area of Queens. Dr. Leibowitz has been practicing dentistry in the Astoria area for over two decades. During that time, he has earned the trust of Astoria residents as a compassionate dentist, offering quality dental services. Since receiving his dental degree from the State University of New York, Buffalo School of Dental Medicine in 1987, he has focused on providing comprehensive family dentistry services in a caring environment. With such a personal approach to dentistry, Dr. Leibowitz has many loyal patients, including those who travel from upstate New York, New Jersey, and eastern Long Island for our exceptional dental care.

Our Caring Dental Professionals in Astoria

At our dental office in Astoria, our office manager, Veronica keeps the atmosphere friendly and changing with the seasons, as she usually decorates with the theme of each upcoming holiday. With her warm and sincere personality, Veronica can help you and your family feel at ease at your dental appointment with Dr. Leibowitz. While you wait, you can enjoy free WiFi and coffee, and when your  hygiene appointment is done, you leave with a goodie bag with toothbrushes and toothpaste trials.

Our Relaxing Astoria Dental Practice

Our intimate dental practice can help you and your family feel truly welcomed and important. For your convenience, we are located within walking distance from the “N” and “R” trains. For patients who prefer to drive, we also have street parking just outside of the office. We understand that investing in our patients is an important part of offering superior dental services. At our dental office in Astoria, we believe in going the extra mile to help you feel comfortable. (more…)

Welcome to our Leibowitz Dental News Blog

Astoria dentist, Jeffrey Leibowitz, DDS welcomes you to our newest endeavor for offering comprehensive dental care: a blog for all of your oral health needs.

Increase Your Dental Knowledge

We make patient education a priority at our friendly dental office in Astoria. We believe patients who are more informed about their dental health can make better decisions for treatment, maintenance, and oral hygiene. Our goal is to use this blog as a resource for helping you understand more about the dentistry services and treatments at our Astoria dental office that can give you optimal oral health. This blog can also serve as a communication for what’s new with our family dentistry practice and more.

Your Astoria Dentist Answers Common Dental Health Questions

In addition to offering you relevant, factual, and interesting information about your dental care and your oral health, we hope that this blog will help our current patients, as well as our future patients feel more at ease with our Astoria dental team. Over the next few months, our blog pages will be answering questions like:

  • Who is a candidate for porcelain veneers?
  • Why are dental checkups important?
  • How can I help my kids prevent cavities?
  • Are root canals painful?
  • How can I whiten my teeth?
  • What is a dental implant?
  • How should I handle a dental emergency?

Information from Your Astoria Family Dentist

For updates whenever a new blog is posted to this site, click on the orange RSS Feed button. Then, select how you would like to receive your notification—in your Google reader, by email, or otherwise.

Family Friendly Dental Care

See Dr. Jeffrey Leibowitz for a compassionate and comprehensive dental exam. You can schedule an appointment with our Astoria dental office at (718) 728-8320, or visit us online at