Astoria Dentist Discusses an Interesting Discovery in Your Gum Tissue

pretty woman magnifying her smileMuch of the discussion concerning your oral health revolves around the over-600 identifiable bacteria that are found in a healthy mouth at any given time. Some of these germs erode your tooth enamel by producing acid, while others release toxins and incite inflammation to destroy your gum tissue. Nevertheless, not every microscopic entity in your mouth is dangerous. Today, your Astoria dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Leibowitz, discusses what experts have recently discovered tucked away in your gingival tissues—stem cells that can differentiate into other cell types, and contain a host of other exciting possibilities for the world of dental and systemic health care.

Understanding the Impact of Stem Cells

If you’ve never heard of stem cells, then you might be amazed to learn that they’re significance lies in their ability to differentiate, or transform, into any specific cell type to form organs and other body tissues. A stem cell is essentially a blank canvas, and with the right set of instructions, it can become the required cell type and reproduce by dividing itself into identical daughter cells; a process called mitosis. (more…)

Interesting Facts About TMJ Pain & Your Trigeminal Nerve

3D guy with jaw painMany patients who’ve suffered from chronic headaches, earaches, jaw pain, and other craniofacial discomfort are often surprised to learn that the origin of their troubles lies with a dental problem; specifically, with the joints (temporomandibular joints) and muscles that move your jaw. TMJ disorder describes a condition where undue stress and pressure (usually from an uneven bite) damage your TMJs, causing inflammation and misalignment that disturbs an important nerve in your jaw. To help you understand how TMJ pain can lead to a host of seemingly non-dental symptoms, your Astoria dentist, Dr. Leibowitz, examines what you should know about the trigeminal nerve that innervates your jaw and much more.

The Largest Nerve of All

  • Cranial nerves account for about 80% of the sensory input to your brain. Your trigeminal nerve, the largest of your 12 cranial nerves, consists of three branches (one of which passes through your jaw) and accounts for 70% of your cranial nerve input. (more…)

Astoria Cosmetic Dentist’s Quiz: The Art of Professional Teeth-Whitening

pretty woman portraying healthy teethEven if you diligently brush and floss your teeth every day, your oral health still requires professional care and maintenance on a routine basis. Likewise, your smile’s appearance may need a professional cosmetic touchup from time to time to ensure that it remains bright and presentable. After all, a brighter smile is one of the most frequently-requested cosmetic dental procedures today, and professional results require professional treatment. Your Astoria cosmetic dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Leibowitz, quizzes your knowledge of professional teeth-whitening, including when it’s needed and how it can be achieved without interrupting your busy schedule.

The Professionally-Brighter Smile Quiz

1.) Sometimes, tooth stains are inevitable.

a.) True

b.) False (more…)

Astoria Dentist Answers: What is a Dental Implant?

dental implantsKnowledge is power, especially when it comes to your dental health. For instance, if you lose a tooth, then you may instinctively know that replacing it is important, but knowing the full effects of tooth loss can help you understand the benefits and shortcomings of your tooth-replacement options. As a dedicated dentist in Astoria, Dr. Leibowitz often recommends securing replacement teeth to one or more dental implants, which are the only option that can help preserve the longevity of your jawbone following tooth loss.

Tooth Loss—More than Meets the Eye

How much do you know about tooth loss? The gaps left in your smile aren’t the only influence that missing teeth have on your oral health. (more…)

Your Choice of Dentures at Your Astoria Dentist’s Office

happy middle age couple smilingAlthough many patients benefit from the use of dentures to restore their smiles after significant tooth loss, every dental prosthetic is custom-designed to address each case specifically. At your Astoria dentist’s office, Dr. Jeffrey Leibowitz offers a variety of dentures to match the severity of your tooth loss, whether you’ve lost all of the teeth on one or both of your dental ridges, or if some of your healthy teeth still remain. Today, we explore the difference between partial and complete dentures, and how dental implants can improve whichever one you need.

Partial and Complete Dentures

Restoring your smile’s ability to operate is a top priority when addressing significant tooth loss. For patients who’ve lost a significant amount of teeth, but retain some healthy teeth that don’t require extraction, a partial denture can be crafted to replace the teeth you’ve lost while fitting around existing health teeth. (more…)

Astoria Dentist: What You Should Know About Tooth Loss

blonde woman ponderingYour smile doesn’t grow spare parts. Therefore, if you lose something, like a tooth, replacing it is of vital importance to the continued good health and function of your smile. To help motivate you to seek prompt treatment for the loss of one or more teeth, your Astoria dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Leibowitz, explains what tooth loss means for your remaining teeth, as well as for your oral health as a whole.

How Remaining Teeth React

The camaraderie of a full set of teeth is about more than making your smile beautiful. All of your teeth work together to balance the power of biting and chewing, evenly displacing the pressure among all of your teeth. When you lose a tooth, its absence can disrupt the balance and your remaining teeth may shift to try and take up the slack. Unfortunately, while noble, this attempt to cover for their lost brethren can lead your teeth to an increased risk of dental disease, as well as exposing them to a host of other dental issues. (more…)

Learn Why Your Breath Smells, and How to Defeat It in Astoria

beautiful woman with bad breathBad breath can offend even the most polite people, and when you’re aware that your breath is offensive, your confidence can suffer a significant setback. Most people experience bad breath at least once in a while, usually in the form of morning breath immediately after waking. Sometimes, however, morning breath can tend to linger long after it should have dissipated. Your Astoria dentist, Dr. Leibowitz, understands how chronically offensive breath, or halitosis, can affect your daily life. Today, we explain a common source of persistent bad breath and a few ways for you to defeat it.

Tracing the Source of Chronic Bad Breath

Most instances of bad breath, including common morning breath, are caused by an excessive buildup of oral bacteria (which, consequently, is the same reason tooth decay and gum disease develop). Some of these germs release volatile sulfur compounds—the same kind of compounds that lend rotten eggs their stench—as they metabolize protein and other nutrients. Poor oral hygiene or a lack of saliva can allow these germs to multiply exponentially, overwhelming your breath with the sulfuric gases they release. (more…)

Astoria Dentist: Is it Smart to Remove Your Wisdom Teeth?

removing wisdom toothWisdom teeth are an interesting phenomenon in the world of permanent teeth. As the last teeth to erupt, they often don’t have the room they need to grow comfortably and must be extracted for the sake of your smile’s good health. Unlike your other teeth, however, wisdom teeth don’t need replacement if they must be extracted. Your Astoria dentist, Dr. Leibowitz, explores why wisdom teeth follow a different set of rules than the rest of your permanent teeth, and whether or not you should have yours extracted.

What are Wisdom Teeth?

Officially, wisdom teeth are known as third molars and typically appear between the ages of 17 and 25. This period was once known as the age of wisdom, hence the nickname wisdom teeth. Although a typical, healthy human mouth can comfortably accommodate 28 permanent teeth, the addition of your wisdom teeth brings the total count to 32. Your existing teeth may impede the progress of these molars, but they won’t stop your wisdom teeth from continuing to grow.   (more…)

Astoria Dentist Explains Possible Causes for Your Toothache

woman toothacheA toothache can result from a number of different causes, none of which should be ignored. Before you can find relief from your discomfort, however, you must know what’s causing it. After a thorough examination to determine the source of your toothache, your Astoria dentist can prescribe an appropriate treatment plan to resolve the issue and ease your aching tooth. Today, we explain how some of the most common causes of toothaches, like tooth decay and gum disease, can compromise your teeth until they hurt, hopefully prompting you to seek immediate treatment.

Compromised Tooth Structure

A cracked, fractured, or cavity-afflicted tooth often hurts due to exposed sensitive tissue. The crowns (top, visible parts) of healthy teeth are comprised of layers—the protective outer shell of enamel; dentin, which forms the majority of your tooth’s structure underneath the enamel; and a chamber in the middle called the pulp, where your tooth’s nerves and blood vessels are housed. When enamel and dentin are compromised, the soft tissues at the center of your tooth can become exposed to hot and cold temperatures, food debris, bacteria, and other irritants. If not treated and sealed promptly, your tooth can become severely infected and require a root canal treatment or tooth extraction to prevent the spread of infection. (more…)

Oral Cancer and Your Astoria Dentist’s Role in Screening & Defeating It

checking inside mouthDr. Jeffrey Leibowitz has spoken extensively about the importance of your mouth’s wellbeing to the state of your overall systemic health (known as the oral-systemic connection). For instance, studies have shown a significant correlation between the mechanisms of severe gum disease and other health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, respiratory infections, and dementia, among many others. However, your Astoria dentist warns that travelling mouth germs aren’t the only threat that can originate in your mouth and prove disastrous for your physical health. Today, we explore the silent but deadly phenomenon of oral cancer, and how regular screenings are the cornerstone of successfully defeating it.

Things You Should Know About Oral Cancer

One of the greatest tragedies of oral cancer is that it doesn’t garner as much attention as others, such as lung or breast cancer, leading many people to believe that oral cancer is rare. The truth, though, is that approximately 42,000 people in the U.S. alone are newly diagnosed a year, which equals more than 100 new patients a day. Oral cancer isn’t hard to detect, but mainly because of the lack of awareness, most cases of oral cancer are discovered as late-stage cancers. The survival rate five years after a late-stage diagnosis is less than 57%. When detected early, however, the survival rate jumps drastically to about 90%. (more…)