What You Should Know About Tooth Decay and Root Canal Therapy

Did you know that over 90% of adults in America under the age of 60 have had at least one cavity in their permanent teeth? Cavities are also the number one chronic disease among school-aged children in America. When caught early, tooth decay can typically be treated or reversed with minimal invasion. However, severe tooth decay typically requires a bit more effort to treat, if it can be saved at all. If the decay reaches the center of your tooth, called the pulp, then a root canal procedure may be necessary. Although root canal treatments have a bad reputation among certain people, they actually relieve the discomfort of your decayed tooth rather than cause more. To help clear the confusion about root canal therapy, Astoria dentist Dr. Jeffrey Leibowitz explains the progression of tooth decay, and why a root canal treatment may actually help save your tooth.

The Formation of Tooth Decay

When you eat acidic foods or drink acidic beverages, that acid attacks and weakens your tooth enamel. When you eat or drink something sugary or loaded with carbohydrates, the bacteria in your mouth convert them into acid, which also attacks and weakens your teeth. Under this double acid attack, your teeth can soon fall victim to acid erosion and bacterial infection. (more…)

Spice Up Your Thanksgiving Meal and Help Your Teeth, All at Once!

Without herbs and spices to compliment our meals, eating would probably not be as enjoyable as many of us find it now. But did you know that some seasonings may do more than satisfy your taste buds? Certain herbs and spices are also beneficial to your health, including your oral health. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, herbs and spices will be used (and consumed) in abundance. To help you make the most of your feast this year, Astoria family dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Leibowitz, names a few spices with specific benefits to your oral health.

The Season(ings) for Healthy Mouths

  • Cinnamon—A crowd favorite, the smell and taste of cinnamon is often associated with the holiday season. It also contains antioxidants that help regulate things like blood sugar and cholesterol. Antioxidants are also known to help fight harmful bacteria and other free radicals that can damage soft tissue cells (like gum tissue). (more…)

Are You Prepared for a Dental Emergency?

By now, we hope that you know to brush your teeth every day, twice a day, and to floss at least once every day. The especially diligent will also regularly attend their dental checkups and cleanings every six months. These simple yet effective oral hygiene techniques are your best defense against destructive oral health issues like tooth decay and gum disease, and can help keep your smile shining its brightest. However, when an emergency occurs, you may need more than good dental hygiene to save your tooth. To help prepare you for a dental emergency, your Astoria family dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Leibowitz, explains proper emergency techniques.

Sudden Toothache

A tooth can ache for a number of reasons, but typically, none of those reasons are benign. If your tooth hurts, but there is no visible traumatic damage, try flossing to remove any food debris that may be lodged between them. If the discomfort continues, call our office immediately and arrange a consultation with Dr. Leibowitz. Apply a cold compress to your cheek, on the side with the aching tooth, to help relieve the pain and reduce swelling, if present. (more…)

Treat Your Teeth Right with Help from Astoria Dentist

As adults, most of us still relish the idea of gorging ourselves on sweets this season, but with age has come the knowledge of what leftover Halloween candy can mean for our health and our teeth. Luckily, you don’t have to completely miss out on reliving your childhood to protect your teeth. You can reduce your risk of developing tooth decay with these words of advice from Dr. Jeffrey Leibowitz, your Astoria family dentist.

Beware: Harmful Treats

Sugar is one of the main motivators behind the processes that cause tooth decay. When the bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar, they excrete lactic acid over the surfaces of your teeth. These acids constantly attack and weaken your tooth enamel until it can no longer protect your teeth from bacterial infection. Candy corn, cookies, and cakes are all loaded with sugar and can increase your risk of developing cavities. Chewy snacks, like gummy bears and taffy, can wreak havoc by sticking to the surfaces of your teeth or lodging between teeth and continually feeding bacteria. Although the opposite of sweet, sour candies are also among the dentally dangerous treats to look out for. Sour candies tend to be acidic and can introduce acid to your teeth without the need of a bacterial middle man. (more…)

A Discrete Solution for Straighter Teeth in Astoria with ClearCorrect

Crooked and misaligned teeth are common among people of all age groups; however the most effective traditional treatment for straightening teeth, metal braces, is usually attributed to children and young teens. Adults must contend with a usually strong sense of self-consciousness when considering braces for straighter teeth. Many choose to eschew the treatment and endure their crooked teeth in lieu of the possible embarrassment of wearing metal brackets and wires to work and social functions. Luckily, you no longer have to choose between discontent from crooked teeth and apprehension about metal braces. Dr. Leibowitz, a family dentist in Astoria who offers ClearCorrect to his patients, explains the revolutionary product that can allow you to have straighter teeth without announcing your treatment to the world.

Why You Should Straighten Your Teeth

If you’ve refused braces for a while now, you may have convinced yourself that it is just not worth the treatment to straighten your teeth. After all, the people around you don’t seem to notice, and your imperfect teeth probably haven’t held you back from a successful professional life. However, straightening your teeth is about more than improving the look of your smile. (more…)

Astoria Dentist Explains the Power of Your Smile

Old wisdom tells us that a smile is contagious, and many of us recognize the saying, “smile, and the world smiles with you.” What some people are unaware of, however, are the tangible benefits of the simple act of smiling, including an improved overall quality of life. Unfortunately, a large portion of the population does not reap these benefits due to insecurities regarding their smile. Smiles that are blemished by stained, crooked, or missing teeth can significantly reduce your confidence, causing you to smile less often and less sincerely. Dr. Jeffrey Leibowitz, your Astoria family dentist, outlines the benefits of smiling, and the methods to achieve the smile you’ve always wanted.

Everybody Loves a Smile

One of the more immediate benefits of smiling is, as stated above, the fact that it’s contagious. Studies regarding the therapeutic effects of smiling have shown that the more often you smile the more positive effect you have on your environment. (more…)

Astoria Dentist Explains Tooth Extraction

The thought of manually removing a tooth is enough to send shivers down the spines of some patients. At our Astoria dental office, Dr. Leibowitz strives to preserve as much of your natural tooth structure as possible, and offers numerous innovative dental procedures to restore diseased or damaged teeth. In some cases, however, a tooth may be damaged beyond repair, or so thoroughly infected that removal is necessary to prevent the further spread of infection. At such times, a tooth extraction may be your best, if not only, option to preserve your oral and overall health.

Does My Tooth Have to Go?

When your tooth is affected by tooth decay, or exposed due to an injury, early detection can typically translate into successful, relatively non-invasive treatment. Unfortunately, some oral health issues rarely, if ever, exhibit noticeable symptoms or discomfort until they have progressed. Depending on the severity at the time of detection, treating a diseased or damaged tooth can include removal of diseased tissue, or total tooth removal to prevent the spread of infection throughout the rest of your teeth. After a comprehensive dental examination, Dr. Leibowitz can discuss with you your viable treatment options, including tooth extraction, if necessary. (more…)

Astoria Dentist Weighs in on Dental Fillings

One of the oldest examples of ancient dentistry consists of a tooth whose cavity was filled with beeswax. In times past, our ancestors were quite inventive in their endeavors to treat dental issues. Materials that ancient humans used to fill teeth included stone chips, resin, cork, and eventually, metal. Today, the practice of removing and replacing infected tooth tissue continues strong. However, the materials of choice have advanced greatly. Your Astoria, NY, dentist Dr. Jeffrey Leibowitz explores the pros and cons of the two most popular dental filling materials; composite resin and silver amalgam fillings.

Silver Amalgam Dental Fillings

For over 150 years, silver amalgam has been the dental filling of choice. At the time that it was introduced to the US, in the early 1800s, gold was the standard dental filling material, but only a few select people could afford to pour the precious metal into their teeth. Aside from affordability, silver amalgam fillings were also durable. Amalgam fillings are strong and durable, typically lasting at least 10 or 15 years. Amalgam is also strong enough to adequately withstand chewing forces, and it is usually less expensive than the alternatives. Unfortunately, since they are made of silver and other metals, amalgam fillings are not aesthetically pleasing. To make room for the large fillings, additional healthy tooth structure must be removed, which can compromise the integrity of the remaining tooth structure. (more…)

Easing TMJ Discomfort in Astoria

If you experience discomfort in your gums or teeth, your first inclination may be to visit the dentist. It may surprise you to learn that the same inclination may also help you alleviate aches and pains in your jaw, head, neck, and shoulders. A common cause for tension and discomfort in these areas is a condition known as TMJ disorder, which affects the temporomandibular joints (TMJs) that connect your lower jaw to your skull. Many people visit a doctor to try and resolve the issue. However, the condition is often misdiagnosed, or not diagnosed, due to the fact that the symptoms are similar to those of numerous other health maladies.  As a dentist in Astoria, NY, Dr. Jeffrey Leibowitz can help diagnose TMJ disorder, and offers treatments to relieve and sometimes eliminate its debilitating symptoms.

What Causes TMJ Disorder?

The temporomandibular joints are the two large joints located just in front of each ear. These joints and the muscles around them are responsible for the complex movement of your jaw. Unfortunately, there is no single root cause for the development of TMJ disorder. However, experts agree that the condition often results from over-taxation of the jaw joints and the muscles surrounding them. This undue pressure can be caused by a number of dental conditions, including malocclusion (a misalignment in the way your upper and lower teeth fit together) and bruxism (the habit of grinding and clenching your teeth). Other factors, including injury, stress, or a joint affliction such as arthritis, can also cause TMJ discomfort. (more…)

Astoria Dentist Explains Different Kinds of Tooth Stains

One of the most common tooth complaints that dental patients express is a discontent with the color of their teeth. This unhappiness is the reason why teeth-whitening is among the most popular cosmetic procedures today. However, stains on your teeth are not all the same, and in some cases, even professional-strength whitening procedures may not suffice to correct the blemish. Dr. Jeffrey Leibowitz, your Astoria, NY, dentist, explains the two major types of tooth stains and the best options for correcting them.

Extrinsic, or External, Tooth Staining

Extrinsic tooth staining occurs on the outside of the tooth. Common causes for extrinsic tooth stains include consumption of dark-colored foods and beverages, such as coffee, soda, wine, berries, and tea, among others. Poor oral hygiene is another common factor for tooth staining. Plaque attaches to your enamel (the protective outer layer of your tooth), and if allowed to remain for too long, it can turn your teeth yellow. (more…)