Have you lost a tooth to decay, gum disease, dental injury, or infection? If you have missing teeth, then you know that your speech and eating habits suffer. But did you know that a missing tooth can also be harmful to your oral health? Dr. Jeffrey Leibowitz, your Queens dentist describes the compounding problems associated with tooth loss and how you can prevent them.
Tooth Loss Can Lead to Malocclusion
Each of your teeth serves a specific purpose. Their location, shape, and size relate to the role they play in chewing and speaking. When one tooth is missing, other teeth will try to make up for the loss. This results in teeth shifting out of place and a misaligned bite. Malocclusion, or misaligned bite, can present several problems for your oral health. A poor bite can create issues with jaw health, since your jaw hinge joint will continually struggle to hold your teeth at the correct angle. Malocclusion can also cause excessive tooth wear when one tooth attempts to make up for the role of a different tooth, which it is not meant to handle.
Tooth Loss Can Lead to Jawbone Damage
Another serious, yet often overlooked consequence of missing teeth is jawbone deterioration. Known as alveolar atrophy, this occurs when your jawbone no longer receives the chewing stimulation it needs to stay healthy. The bone begins to shrink in what is known as bone resorption. The result of multiple missing teeth is a sunken-in look, since your jawbone and teeth give your face vertical height. Without the height from your teeth and jawbone, your face will begin to look collapsed, with severe wrinkles around the mouth. (more…)
On these hot summer days, many Americans look forward to the simple joys of ice cold lemonade, snow cones, and ice cream as the perfect treat to cool you down. However, for many people, these nostalgic treats induce pain. For patients with sensitive teeth, it may be difficult to enjoy cold or hot beverages because of the aching sensation that accompanies extreme temperatures. Your dentist in Queens, Dr. Jeffrey Leibowitz will help diagnose and treat the cause of your sensitive teeth to quickly address problems so you can comfortably eat that snow cone this summer!
How Tooth Sensitivity Works
The main role of tooth enamel, the hard mineral substance on the outside of your tooth, is to protect the sensitive inner structures of your tooth. When your enamel is weakened, the dentin is more vulnerable to temperature as well as bacteria. Tooth sensitivity and tooth decay are the most common signs of enamel erosion. Weakened enamel can also make it easier for teeth to become stained or discolored. When the slightly exposed dentin feels hot or cold beverages, it transmits the temperature to the nerve center of the tooth, the pulp center. The nerves will then send pain signals to your brain, creating toothache.
What Causes Tooth Sensitivity
Since insufficient amount of enamel protection is the main cause of tooth sensitivity, dental conditions that wear away enamel are the main culprits. Teeth grinding, TMJ disorder, and tooth decay are common causes of enamel erosion. Gum disease and gingival recession can also contribute to sensitive teeth.
How Our Queens Dentist Treats Sensitive Teeth
At a dental checkup with Dr. Jeffrey Leibowitz, we will help you determine the cause of your enamel erosion and how to treat your dental condition. Your Queens dental office offers bruxism and TMJ disorder prevention, periodontal care, and even cosmetic dentistry treatments that may help alleviate some of your tooth sensitivity. Dr. Leibowitz can also recommend fluoridated toothpastes and mouthwashes to help strengthen your tooth enamel. (more…)
What You Need to Know About Root Canal Treatment
At our Astoria dental office, we believe that patient education is an important part of encouraging your best dental health. The more you know about dental procedures, the less anxiety and fear you may have about receiving the dental treatment you need. Dr. Jeffrey Leibowitz will explain the truth about root canal treatment so that you can feel relaxed in the dental chair.
Myth: Root Canals Hurt
Truth: This myth most likely originated from an era before modern medicine and local anesthesia were readily available. Today, root canals are about as uncomfortable as a simple filling. Your Astoria dentist, Dr. Leibowitz will take great care to help you feel relaxed and completely safe. He will also explain the procedure to you beforehand and answer any of your questions. Then, using local anesthesia, he will numb the treatment site.
Ironically, the purpose of a root canal procedure is to literally remove pain. Root canal treatment removes damaged nerves from the tooth halting the infection from spreading and eliminating painful toothache.
Myth: Root Canals Are Not Necessary
Truth: Once decay has breached the inside of the tooth, only professional dental care can remove the infection and prevent further damage. When cavities reach the pulp center, the infection travels down the root of the tooth and eventually into the jawbone, creating abscess. This severely painful dental condition can be prevented with endodontic treatment from your gentle Astoria dentist. (more…)
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…)
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.
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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 leibowitzdental.com.