Surprising Symptoms of TMJ Disorders

 

If you’re one of the 10 million Americans suffering from temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD for short, you’re probably already aware of the many different types of pain TMD causes. In addition to the jaw pain that is synonymous with TMD (after all, the temporomandibular joint is in the jaw), you may experience pain in other areas of the head and body. But for the millions of estimated undiagnosed TMD patients, their pain may not be an obvious clue. That’s because as TMD sufferers are probably already aware, every case of TMD is different, and the pain isn’t always in the jaw.

Continue reading
  7889 Hits
7889 Hits

Should New York City Teachers Brush Their Students' Teeth?

 

When the New York City Board of Health recently announced a proposal to require preschool teachers to brush students’ teeth after meals and snacks, many people thought it was a brilliant idea - but others were left scratching their heads. How can we ask a teacher to provide this type of personal care to a student, especially when many teachers are already stretched for time, space and resources? But is this a good reason to not require this program? Here are the reasons why this proposal could - and should - work.

Continue reading
  14161 Hits
14161 Hits

ADA Takes Aim at Opioid Crisis

With growing cries from as high up as the White House for America to tackle the growing opioid addiction crisis, the American Dental Association announced it will now take a hardline approach to dentists prescribing the drugs. ADA President Dr. Joseph Crowley has asked that all 161,000 member-dentists "eliminate opioids ... if at all possible." While the move is a noble attempt to help reduce addiction and cull the sale of opioids from the secondary market, many are left wondering what it could mean for the comfort of patients undergoing painful procedures like pulled teeth, dental implants and root canals.

Continue reading
  1055 Hits
1055 Hits

Protect Teeth from These Internet Challenges

 

Even if you haven’t seen the videos yourself, you’ve probably heard about those trendy YouTube "challenge" videos that surge in popularity every few months. It started a few years ago with the ice bucket challenge, a noble campaign to help raise money and awareness for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS. The videos were fun and funny, and they did an excellent job achieving their goal, raising over $115 million for ALS research. Since then, many other video challenges have been issued, but most have not been for raising awareness - rather, they have been issued for internet fame. And therein lies the danger. When impressionable kids see a way to get quick fame and popularity, it can be a dangerous combination.

If you are considering attempting one of these challenges, or if you have children who may be, read up on how these seemingly innocent competitions could wreak havoc on your oral health.

Continue reading
  1810 Hits
1810 Hits

Five Foods to Avoid Before a Dental Appointment

 

With so many healthy dietary choices out there, most Americans have no reason to eat junk food if they can help it. But just because a food is good for you doesn’t mean it’s a good choice to eat before your dental or orthodontic appointment. If you’re wondering what to avoid before you hit the dental chair, check out this list of the top five offenders, and what makes them such a bad mix with your exam.

Continue reading
  8617 Hits
8617 Hits

Startling Oral Health Data from Ireland Raises Important Questions in America

According to a new study by Queen Mary University in London, parents in Ireland are failing to bring their children to the dentist at appropriate times. The study found that only 30 percent of parents brought their child to the dentist when the child was suffering from dental pain, while the rest visited either general practitioners to address the pain or the pharmacy for over-the-counter pain medication.

"The problem with this, obviously, is that a general practitioner isn’t a dentist and can’t fix a dental problem," says Bellmore, New York, dentist Dr. Gary Lederman. "Even if a general practitioner could diagnose a dental problem, they would still end up referring the patient to a dentist."

The problem is increasingly troubling because Ireland and the entire United Kingdom are facing major budget shortfalls due to cuts in their National Health Service (NHS) medical care program - shortfalls that have had a significant impact on the dental services the NHS provides U.K. residents.

"The NHS was in the news recently because they have charities that normally provide free dental care to children in Third World countries coming to the United Kingdom to work on children in England. That’s how short they are on funding. The program cannot even pay for routine dental care for its own participating children," says Lederman.

The other problem, which Lederman says is a far bigger issue, is that some parents are completely bypassing the general practitioner and heading straight to the pharmacy.

"Treating your child’s dental pain with over-the-counter pain medication instead of addressing the problem is just asking for trouble," says Lederman. "They might find temporary relief, but meanwhile the problem could be getting worse, which will only end up causing more pain and costing more money down the road."

While there appears to be no viable solutions on the horizon for the NHS budget crisis, Lederman says that domestically, parents can learn a thing or two from the United Kingdom situation.

"This should really show us just how vital it is to take care of our children’s teeth, and how urgent it is to be seen by a dentist if your child is complaining of discomfort," says Lederman. "We are fortunate here in America to have government programs like the NHS program, so if your child needs dental care and you are uninsured or cannot afford it, I absolutely encourage you to look into Medicaid programs in your community."

Continue reading
  1519 Hits
1519 Hits

Is It OK to Brush Teeth in the Shower?

 

You may or may not remember a very interesting interview with actress Jennifer Aniston that was published back in 2008, in which the actress claimed to be eco-friendly because she limited her showers to three minutes and during that time also brushed her teeth. That’s right. She brushes her teeth in the shower. For some of us, that admission came as a total shock - not because an actress would want to conserve water, but that someone would actually brush their teeth while they were showering. But for others, this admission was not remotely surprising, as this is common practice for some people.here aren’t any data on just how many people brush while showering, but there are enough of them out there that it has become somewhat of a subject of debate between dentists and patients over the years.

When it comes to brushing your teeth in the shower, there are a few questions we need to ask ourselves when trying to determine if this is a good idea or not. First of all, why are you brushing your teeth in the shower? If you are doing so like Aniston to save water, this is not a good idea. Why? Because if you are in the shower, you are using a lot more water than you would if you brushed at the sink. Unless you're doing other tasks - like shampooing or scrubbing your back - at the same time, you're not really doing much good. And if you are standing directly under the water, you may be getting some of it in your mouth as you brush, causing your toothpaste to dilute or run down your face.

Bottom line: If you want to save water, take your shower as quickly as you can, and brush your teeth before or after with the faucet off while you brush.

Another reason people brush in the shower is to save time, or to multi-task. This is a good idea in theory, but it can have its drawbacks, too. First of all, where are you storing your toothbrush when you’re done? Is it staying in the shower? Do you share the shower with another person? If you have a hook in the shower for your brush, can you be 100 percent sure it's not getting sprayed with soap or oils from someone else when you’re not using it?

Furthermore, how clean is your shower? Do you regularly scrub the tiles for mold, mildew, hard water scale and soap scum? Leaving your brush in a space that is susceptible to any of those contaminants could mean you’re getting them in your toothbrush, too, and by proxy brushing that onto your teeth. Showers can be a hotbed of all kinds of nasty bacteria - not exactly something you want to be putting into your mouth. For this reason, if you truly must brush your teeth in the shower, it is highly recommended that your toothbrush be stored outside of the shower when not in use.

Another question you have to ask yourself about shower brushing is: Where does all that foam go when you’re done brushing? Do you spit out your toothpaste onto the floor of your shower? Do you step out of the shower to spit it into the sink? Many people would argue that the idea of stepping in their own used toothpaste during the shower is not a pleasant one.

Finally, there’s one more reason that brushing in the shower isn’t the best idea. Accuracy. Yes, you’ve probably been brushing your teeth for longer than you’ve been showering, so chances are you know what you’re doing by now. But how can you be sure you’ve gotten all the plaque and debris from your teeth if you’re not brushing in front of a mirror? It makes more sense to brush at your sink, so you can see exactly what you’re doing and make sure you’re not missing any particles that are on your teeth. Furthermore, you still need to floss, which is very difficult to do without a mirror. If you’re going to floss in the mirror, shouldn’t you just brush there too?

Ultimately, it's up to you when and where you brush your teeth, but brushing in the shower is definitely not recommended. The time it may save is negligible, and the water it may save is debatable. If you’re short on time or worried about your water consumption, set your alarm a few minutes earlier in the morning so you don’t have to rush, and make sure you and your family are shutting the faucet off while they are brushing in the sink. These little changes can make as big of, if not a bigger, impact than shower brushing, and they’re a lot better for you, too.

Continue reading
  7672 Hits
7672 Hits

Are Hi-Tech, ‘Smart’ Toothbrushes Really Worth It?

It seems like every product we use on a daily basis these days has a "smart" version either on the market or in the works. From app-enabled lawn sprinkler systems to doors you can lock from your phone, we are becoming an ever-increasing digital society. Naturally, dentistry is no exception.

You may have already heard of the new smart toothbrushes hitting the consumer marketplace every few months. Recently, the Apple Store launched its exclusive Colgate E1 toothbrush, which works hand in hand with its very own Apple-only app. The Colgate E1 claims to provide "mouth mapping technology," "real-time feedback" and even "brush coaching," among other things. With a $99 price tag, it’s definitely not cheap, but it's also pretty on-par with the average better-quality electric toothbrush. The question is: Is it worth the investment? A quick glance at the customer reviews on the Apple Store website aren’t very clear.

So far, out of 18 reviews, the brush gets a score of 3.5 out of 5 from consumers. Review headlines exclaim "Needs work" and "Nice Idea Poorly Executed." Overall it seems that, so far, consumers aren’t quite in love with the Colgate E1.

Another popular brush that has been around for over a year is the Grush brush for children. First introduced to the world via the ABC invention reality show "Shark Tank," Grush was designed with the goal of helping children clean all their teeth for an appropriate amount of time and with the appropriate amount of pressure. The brush connects to a smartphone app that plays a video game while your child brushes. The better he or she brushes, the higher the score. At the end of the game, parents can check the brushing data and see where their child missed the mark on brushing their teeth.

It also shows children as they brush where they need to apply a bit more pressure and what quadrant of the mouth they should be cleaning at any given time. The Grush brush isn’t quite as costly as the Colgate E1, but at $33 on Amazon, it’s still a lot of money for a kids’ toothbrush. Still, the Grush gets relatively good reviews from parents, earning 3.9 out of 5 stars. The chief complaint among Amazon reviewers is that the movements aren’t accurate. Bottom line, for $33, if you want to give the Grush a try, it can’t hurt. Kids love video games, and most kids love any excuse they can get to play on mom and dad’s smartphone for a few minutes.

As great as that sounds, unfortunately the Grush also has a high potential to backfire. Some parents have reported that their kids are more focused on the game than they are on brushing their teeth, and they’re not really paying attention to what they’re doing with the toothbrush while the game is running. The game is great if it teaches your child how to brush, but if he or she is focused solely on an app and not even looking at their teeth in the mirror while they brush, they’re not really going to learn as much about proper brush technique as they could if they were watching their own mouth.

Ultimately, it’s up to you if you want to invest in a smart toothbrush. Yes, they can be pretty cool, and if you’re a gadget person and have to have the latest high-tech innovation the second it comes out, then these devices will probably be right up your alley. But for the rest of us, it’s probably better to hold off until the smart-brushing technology improves a bit, or just skip the smart brush trend altogether. If we can’t disconnect from our phone for the four minutes a day it takes to brush our teeth, when can we?

There are plenty of affordable electric toothbrushes available today that can get your teeth clean with the correct amount of pressure and for the correct amount of time, all without requiring you to use an app or slay a virtual dragon.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns about your toothbrush or your brushing technique, please feel free to give Dr. Lederman's office a call at 516-882-1764.

Continue reading
  1162 Hits
1162 Hits

This Candy Helps Fight Cavities

You’d be hard pressed to find a kid who doesn't love candy. But for many parents, it’s a love they’re hesitant to indulge. That’s because with so much sugar already in our diets, the last thing most kids need is more of it. Sugar in moderation is OK, but when sugar is overdone, it can cause a whole list of chronic problems including obesity, diabetes and cavities. Some studies have even linked it to hormone imbalances, premature aging and cancer.

Continue reading
  2020 Hits
2020 Hits

The Truth About 'Lie Bumps'

If you’ve ever had one of those painful, annoying white or red bumps on your tongue, you probably had a few questions, like "What is this?" and "How did it get here?" and, "Is it dangerous?" Well, to answer those (literally) burning questions, the bumps are probably transient lingual papillitis, and they are for the most part harmless.

Continue reading
  8308 Hits
8308 Hits

What Is Interproximal Reduction?

If you’ve ever had Invisalign treatment, you may have heard of IPR, short for interproximal reduction. But many people don't hear about the procedure until they're getting ready for orthodontic treatment, and it can be a little confusing to say the least.

Interproximal reduction is the act of filing down the tooth enamel to reduce crowding between teeth. Also sometimes referred to as enamel reduction, IPR is common in orthodontic treatments like Invisalign, as it helps to create room for teeth to fit together better.

Continue reading
  3418 Hits
3418 Hits

How to Ease the Pain of New Braces

Congratulations, you just got new braces! You can expect many great things from orthodontics: straighter teeth, a more even smile and even a better aligned bite. But what you may not be expecting is the pain that goes along with new braces. It can be hard to adjust to. Usually when you experience tooth pain, it’s focused on one or two teeth. With braces, your entire upper and lower jaw can hurt at once, and that can often be almost unbearable.

Continue reading
  2661 Hits
2661 Hits

Resolve to Quit Smoking in 2018

A new year means a fresh start. It’s also a wonderful time to implement new resolutions to improve your quality of life. But some resolutions are easier to achieve than others. One of the most difficult resolutions to stick with is quitting smoking. Smoking statistics are scary ones. An estimated 15 of every 100 Americans smoke cigarettes. That’s about 36.5 million people! Worse yet, an estimated 16 million Americans live with a smoking-related illness, such as lung cancer or emphysema – and these diseases are completely preventable. Smoking also prematurely ages you, gives you bad breath and stains your teeth.

Continue reading
  1930 Hits
1930 Hits

Study Finds Link Between Gum Disease, Frailty

A recent study by the American Academy of Geriatrics has found a link between the presence of gum disease, tooth loss and frailty in senior citizens. Conducted in the United Kingdom, the study of nearly 8,000 people found that more than 60 percent of citizens over the age of 65 had some form of periodontal disease, and many more were missing more than one tooth. Another common side effect experienced by respondents was dry mouth.

Continue reading
  1477 Hits
1477 Hits

Mouth May Offers Signs of Celiac

Do you suffer from frequent canker sores? Do you always seem to have dry mouth? These could be caused by many things that are no cause for alarm, but they could also be warning signs of a bigger problem: celiac disease. Celiac disease has several of what are known as "oral manifestations" – physical symptoms that occur in the mouth that may indicate the presence of celiac disease in the body. If you are experiencing any one or more of these indicators, you may have the condition.

Continue reading
  782 Hits
782 Hits

Dry Mouth? It Could Be Sjogren’s Syndrome

For most people, dry mouth is a minor annoyance that can be easily fixed by having a glass of water. But what happens when water isn’t enough, and that dry mouth never really goes away? For the estimated 4 million Americans who suffer from an autoimmune disorder called Sjogren’s Syndrome, this problem can be an uncomfortable reality.

Continue reading
  577 Hits
577 Hits

Could Mouthwash Raise Diabetes Risk?

For the 23.1 million Americans with known cases of Type 2 diabetes, living with this often-debilitating blood glucose disease can be detrimental to overall health and well-being. Not only does Type 2 diabetes affect blood sugar and insulin production, but it can also cause damage to the heart, eyes, kidneys, feet and gums. But now, a startling report out of Harvard University has revealed that one common activity many people do to protect their gums could be increasing their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Continue reading
  2879 Hits
2879 Hits

Know the Symptoms of Oral Cancer to Increase Survival Odds

In the United States, an estimated 48,000 new cases of oral cancer will be diagnosed this year, and of those cases, only about half will survive beyond the five-year mark. With oral cancer, early detection is key to survival, so it goes without saying that knowing the warning signs could truly save your life.

Continue reading
  17033 Hits
17033 Hits

Five Warning Signs of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a serious condition that affects approximately 22 million people in the United States. It is categorized as the starting and stopping of breathing during sleep. Often, people with sleep apnea stop breathing for more than 10 seconds at a time, anywhere from five to 100 times an hour. Worse yet, because they are asleep, they don’t realize it's happening, making a bad situation potentially deadly.

Continue reading
  6405 Hits
6405 Hits

Chinese Woman Discovers Surprising Culprit for Nasal Congestion

When a 57-year-old woman from Hunan Province, China, recently sought help for her chronic sinus congestion and nosebleeds, she received quite a shock from her doctor. While there are a variety of medical problems that can cause chronic congestion, the woman’s scan revealed none of those "usual suspects" were to blame. Instead of a deviated septum or sinus infection, her scans showed a small round object blocking the nasal passage. But what that object ended up being was the biggest surprise: a tooth!

Continue reading
  1257 Hits
1257 Hits
fbq('track', 'ViewContent');