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…)

A Small Habit that’s Far from Harmless

clenching teethClenching your teeth is common when you’re angry, aggravated, in pain, or otherwise agitated. Tapping your foot and drumming your fingers are frequent signs of nervousness, and humming is a popular tic for some people. Only one of these habits, though, can prove detrimental if allowed to continue without intervention. Habitual teeth-grinding, known as bruxism, can be more than annoying; it can signify a more serious dental condition that can threaten your mouth’s foundation, and it can destroy your teeth through constant pressure and friction. Astoria dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Leibowitz, explains how bruxism can be your teeth’s worst enemy, and explores the habit’s connection to the severe discomfort of TMJ disorder.

More than Your Teeth were Meant to Take

Your mouth is like an intricate machine, designed to accomplish its goals with minimal strain and wear on its various components. To put that into perspective, the human bite can exert up to 200 pounds of pressure on its back molars. While not every bite will be so powerful, your mouth is the most used part of your body, and the continuous stress can take a toll on the teeth that bear it. (more…)

A Very Close Look at TMJ Disorder with Your Astoria Dentist

very close look at human skullWe’ve discussed TMJ disorder, or TMD, and its diverse range of effects at length in the past, including ways to find relief from jaw pain until you can treat it professionally. The varying symptoms often make TMD diagnosis difficult, but regardless of the exact pattern of discomfort, the majority of cases result from an imbalanced bite, which can strain and damage your jaw’s joints and muscles. So how does a jaw problem result in sometimes-unbearable migraines, earaches, neck and back pain, and many other forms of agony? Your Astoria dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Leibowitz, explains the complexities of TMJ disorder by taking a very close look at the mechanisms that make your mouth work and how the dysfunction affects them.

The Joints That Make it Happen               

TMJ disorder owes its name to the temporomandibular joints, or TMJs, that connect your lower jaw to your skull. These joints allow your mandible (the lower, moveable part of your jaw) to glide smoothly along its socket, displacing the pressure of your bite evenly instead of concentrating it on a single area. If your jaw is imbalanced, or your bite is thrown off by malocclusion (crooked teeth), the muscles and joints have to work harder to keep your mouth straight as it opens and closes. The strain can damage the joints or cause them to become misaligned, leading to severe TMJ discomfort that can affect a wide area of your head, face, neck, shoulders, and back, as well as the proper function of your mouth.   (more…)

Astoria Dentist Discusses the Reinvention of Traditional Dentures

innovative smileWhile losing one or more teeth can be unsettling, losing most or all of your teeth can be devastating. Even if you didn’t mind a small gap in your smile, chances are you’d feel differently if the gap extended to cover your entire dental ridge. Luckily, you don’t have to spend the rest of your life dealing with the loss of your chewing ability. With partial or full dentures (depending on the extent of your tooth loss), you can regain your beautiful, fully-functioning smile and the confidence that goes with it. As your Astoria dentist warns, however, traditional dentures are not flawless, and there are extenuating circumstances to severe tooth loss that they may not be able to address. Dr. Leibowitz discusses these circumstances, and the innovative dental procedure that can boost your denture’s effectiveness at restoring your oral health.

The Need for a Dental Prosthesis

The need for a complete set of teeth becomes more apparent as more teeth are lost. One of the most obvious inhibitions created by tooth loss is the reduced ability to bite and chew your food. The first, and perhaps most important, step to digestion begins when you rip, tear, crush, and grind your food into something that your esophagus can safely transport to your stomach. If you can’t adequately chew your food, you’ll have to readjust your diet, and you may not receive an ample supply of the nutrients your body needs to operate properly. By replenishing your dental ridge with a set of dental prosthetics (artificial teeth), dentures can restore this ability and help prevent health complications resulting from malnutrition. (more…)

Do You Need a Root Canal Treatment?

thinking ladyNot many people would be excited at the prospect of needing root canal treatment. In fact, the procedure has gained a foul reputation mainly due to misreports and exaggerations among those who’ve never had one. The truth, however, is that root canal therapy is designed to relieve your dental discomfort, not cause it, and if you’ve been told you require one, then the treatment may be your tooth’s last chance at survival. Astoria dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Leibowitz, explains the science of root canal treatment and the conditions that lead to its necessity.

Tooth Decay at a Glance

Tooth decay is a progressive disease that begins with an often-unnoticed bacterial process called acid erosion. When you consume sugar and other carbs, some of the bacteria in your mouth convert them into lactic acid, which depletes your teeth of essential minerals and weakens protective tooth enamel. Once your enamel is too weak to repel bacteria from its more vulnerable main structure, tooth decay soon sets in and treating it becomes essential to retaining your tooth. (more…)