Why Your Smile Thanks You for Not Smoking

stop smoking handThough the dangers of smoking and chewing tobacco are well-known and well-documented, tobacco use is still a widely-practiced habit. Given the wealth of information regarding smoking’s effects on your lungs and other vital organs, you might not be surprised to learn that the habit can also destroy the health of your teeth and gums. Your Astoria general dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Leibowitz, examines tobacco’s effects on your oral health, and why not smoking is as good for your smile as it is for the rest of your body.

What’s in Your Cigarette?

A typical cigarette contains about 600 additives approved by the U.S. government. These additives, however, produce over 4,000 chemicals when burned that are known to cause harm, including 69 known carcinogens (substances that cause cancer). Below are just a few of the chemicals found in first- and second-hand smoke, and the more popular uses for these chemicals; (more…)

Astoria Dentist Discusses the New Face of Dental Fillings

tooth checkIf you’ve ever had to treat a cavity, or know someone who has, then you may be familiar with a dental filling. If the cavity was treated years ago, then there’s a good chance that the filling was made from silver amalgam—the dental filling material of choice for over a century. Amalgam makes for a durable, inexpensive solution to treat a decaying tooth, but as Dr. Leibowitz knows, it’s far from a perfect solution. Learn how today’s white fillings differ from traditional amalgam, and how your Astoria dentist can treat your tooth decay without making it obvious when you open your mouth.

What is a Dental Filling?

The science behind a dental filling is pretty direct. When infection reaches your tooth’s main structure, called dentin, saving the tooth requires the removal of the decayed material. Since your permanent teeth cannot repair or regrow themselves, your tooth can become structurally weak after this removal. A dental filling is a manmade material that is used to replace the excavated portion of your tooth, reinforcing it against the pressures of use and sealing the tooth’s vulnerable insides from further infection. (more…)

Astoria Dentist Explains the Dangers of Worn Teeth

worn down toothWith dental diseases affecting well over half of America’s adult population, the health of your smile is a big deal. The complexity of your mouth’s components means that a single dental issue can have negative consequences on your entire oral health. One of the lesser-known maladies that can afflict your teeth is excessive wear and tear, which breaks down your tooth’s defenses and leaves them vulnerable to disease. Worn teeth can also throw your bite off balance and place undue stress on you jaw’s joints and muscles. To help protect your smile from such quiet destruction, your Astoria dentist, Dr. Leibowitz, explains how your teeth can become worn, and how you can help prevent it.

A Gradual Destruction

Your mouth is the most-used part of your body, and your teeth are constantly put under pressure as you bite and chew. Healthy teeth are designed to withstand this pressure without incidence, but a number of issues can wear your teeth down and negate their defenses. One of the most common causes of tooth wear is bruxism, or habitual teeth-grinding. The pressure from constantly rubbing your teeth together can damage your tooth enamel—the strong, highly mineralized substance that protects your teeth. (more…)

Astoria Dentist Presents: The Bright Smile Quiz!

proud of her bright smileThough general and cosmetic dentistry place different focuses on your smile (health and aesthetics, respectively), a bright smile usually means a healthy smile. In our quest to help make your smile both healthy and beautiful, Dr. Leibowitz has spoken extensively about the measures you can take in your daily life to preserve your smile’s youthful glow. To see how much you’ve learned about good dental health care, take our bright smile quiz below, provided by your dedicated Astoria dentist.

Keep Your Pearly Whites, Well, Pearly White

1. When oral bacteria weaken your tooth enamel, your tooth becomes more susceptible to staining, as well as tooth decay and cavities. What substance do these germs produce that erodes your teeth’s natural defense? (more…)

Want Whiter Teeth? Try These Tips from Your Astoria Dentist

fruits and veggiesMost people would admit to wanting a brighter smile. You’ll be happy to know that whiter teeth may be easier to achieve than you think. While it’s true that your teeth can stain and lose their luster naturally over time, there are also natural ways in which you can help ensure your smile’s shine lasts longer. To help make the most of your smile and avoid the need for cosmetic teeth whitening, your Astoria dentist, Dr. Leibowitz offers these tips for maintaining a bright smile at home.

Simple Steps to a Brighter Smile

Eat more fruits and vegetables

You probably already know that fruits and vegetables are healthy for you. Crunchy fruits and veggies, like apples, celery, and carrots, also have a fibrous texture that helps scrub your teeth clean of minor stains. They also help stimulate saliva flow, which is your mouth’s natural rinse and defense against harmful bacterial plaque buildup and the food debris that feeds it. (more…)

Astoria Dentist Explores the Sleep Disorder You May Not Know You Have

shockedFor the most part, people are usually aware of staying awake all night, so the exhaustion the next day is not typically a mystery. Sometimes, however, you can feel as though you’ve been deprived of sleep even though, to the best of your knowledge, you enjoyed a full night’s rest the night before. Obstructive sleep apnea describes a sleep disorder that deprives you of the rest your mind and body need without fully rousing you from sleep. Your Astoria general dentist, Dr. Leibowitz, has extensive experience helping patients sleep better by addressing the underlying issues behind obstructive sleep apnea. Today, he explains how the disorder robs you of rest, and how a small, custom-designed dental appliance can help you enjoy the benefits of sleep once again.

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

One of the telltale signs of obstructive sleep apnea is excessive, almost exaggerated snoring. When you sleep, the tissues in your mouth and throat relax, compressing together and restricting your airway. Snoring is the sound of air trying to squeeze past these tightly compacted tissues, and it grows louder as your airway becomes smaller. In some cases, your oral tissues can compress together tightly enough to completely close your airway, forcing you to stop breathing. (more…)

A Brief History of Dentures and Other Tooth Replacements

full set of denturesInquiring minds may have wondered at some point, who invented dentures? However, the question may be harder to answer than you might realize. While the modern design for dentures may be a few hundred years old, evidence shows that the idea of replacing lost teeth may date back thousands of years. With impressive experience restoring patients’ smiles after tooth loss, Dr. Leibowitz is familiar with the advantages of today’s dentures. To learn about the milestones that have led to the modern marvels, read on as your Astoria dentist briefly revisits the history of dentures and other tooth replacements.

The Human Quest to Replace Dentition

  • The earliest known example of tooth replacement is from around 700 BC, when the Etruscans who populated the hills of northern Italy crafted crude dentures out of human and/or animal teeth. As you might imagine, these replacements deteriorated quickly, but given the high renewability of the source, their popularity lasted well into the 19th century. (more…)

Your Astoria Dentist Wants to See What You Know About Dental Implants

woman with an ideaPart of our dedication to helping our patients maintain beautiful, healthy, and fully-functional smiles is educating them about their oral health, the dangers it faces, and the most efficient ways of protecting and treating your smile. As one of the most devastating events that can affect your mouth, tooth loss is especially dangerous because it influences the state of your entire oral health when ignored or inadequately treated. In the past, we’ve spoken about the continuing damages of tooth loss, and how dental implants can help preserve your oral health. Today, your Astoria dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Leibowitz, quizzes your knowledge about the consequences of tooth loss and the benefits of dental implants.

Crash Course on Tooth Loss and Dental Implants

Your remaining teeth react to the loss of their brethren. What phenomenon can occur after tooth loss, and can be prevented by replacing the crowns (top, visible parts) of your teeth? (more…)

What Kind of Dental Cleaning Do You Need?

checking teethThere’s no denying the fact that you simply can’t keep your teeth and gums as clean as your dentist can. However, you can ward off destructive dental plaque long enough to keep your smile clean and disease-free in between your dental checkups and cleanings. Even if plaque happens to get the best of your hygiene routine and manages to gain a foot hold, its calcified and more stubborn counterpart, called tartar, is no match for our advanced hygiene tools and techniques. Your Astoria dentist, Dr. Leibowitz, examines the different levels of dental cleanings that can be employed to remove the danger from your smile.

Heavy-Duty Teeth Cleaning

Your regular, run-of-the-mill dental cleaning, and the one most people are familiar with, involves removing traces of plaque and tartar from your teeth that you may have missed. The danger of plaque lies in the germs that it carries, which are responsible for the development of tooth decay and gum disease. (more…)

Astoria General Dentist Discusses the Discovery of Fluoride

drinking waterAlthough your teeth were meant to last a lifetime, there are a number of ways for you to lend them a hand against harmful acids and tooth decay. Among those methods is the application of fluoride, which can be introduced in myriad ways, including through tap water and most toothpaste products. So how did an obscure mineral become one of dental hygiene’s most effective weapons, and how does it help protect your teeth? Your Astoria general dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Leibowitz, explores the discovery of fluoride’s dental benefits, and how it works on a molecular level to fortify your teeth’s natural defenses.

An Amazing Anomaly

The discovery of fluoride’s benefits actually occurred as a result of an investigation into a wide-spread dental problem. In the early 1900s, when Frederick McKay traveled to Colorado Springs, Colorado, to open his practice, the young dental school graduate was astonished to notice grotesque brown stains on the teeth of most of the town’s residents. (more…)