TMJ Stem Cells Used to Repair Damaged Cartilage

A promising new study by the Columbia College of Dental Medicine at Columbia University is offering hope for the tens of millions of people around the world suffering from Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder. In the study, researchers were successfully able to regenerate the cartilage within the temporomandibular joint using stem cells located within the jaw bone. Dr. Gary Lederman of Bellmore, NY is a neuromuscular dentist who specializes in the treatment of TMJ disorder. We spoke to him about the implications of this study, and what the findings could mean for patients living with TMJ disorder.


The TMJ joints are the joints which anchor the lower jaw to the upper jaw, allowing the jaw to open, close, speak, and chew. If the temporomandibular joint becomes misaligned, it can become painful enough to restrict the movement of the jaw. This is known as TMJ disorder. Though there are many treatments for TMJ disorders, most only treat the symptoms of the disorder and not the cause. One successful method of treatment is neuromuscular dentistry, which while it does treat the cause, cannot currently heal the cartilage in the temporomandibular joint- in fact, until recently, nothing could. This is because the cartilage found in the TMJ is fibrocartilage, a type of cartilage also found in the vertebrae and knee meniscus that doctors long believed could not regrow or heal. In fact, damage to this cartilage is considered permanent- but the findings of this study have the potential to change everything.

Researchers discovered that when they took stem cells directly from the temporomandibular joint of a mouse, manipulated those cells, and transplanted them directly back into the fibrocartilage of the joint, the implanted stem cells spontaneously regrew damaged cartilage within the joint. Even more promising is that the cells used were the subject’s own cells. This is important because using donor stem cells has a lower rate of success because donor stem cells can often be rejected by the body- and even when they’re accepted, can introduce pathogens and increase the instance of tumors in the area of implantation.

The ability to regrow fibrocartilage offers hope for not just patients suffering from TMJ disorders, but patients with knee and spine injuries, and children suffering from juvenile idiopathic arthritis, a condition which often causes stunted growth in the jaw- and for which there is currently no treatment.

Though an actual stem cell treatment is not yet available to the public, Lederman is optimistic. "This type of stem cell treatment may be the missing piece of the puzzle between neuromuscular dentistry and eliminating TMJ pain entirely in some patients," Says Lederman. In the meantime, there is no need for patients to needlessly suffer through treating just the symptoms of their TMJ disorder. For those patients, Lederman suggests giving neuromuscular dentistry a try. "Neuromuscular dentistry can actually put the temporomandibular joint back into its optimal alignment by repositioning the jaw. This will eliminate pressure on the teeth, muscles, and joints, so they all work together harmoniously. By realigning the jaw, you can drastically reduce or even eliminate TMJ pain." While nobody knows how long it may be before the stem cell treatment is available – or if it will ever become a reality, "For now," says Lederman, "it offers hope. "

Continue reading
  1104 Hits
1104 Hits

How does the Environment Affect your Jaw?

It’s no secret that pollution and environmental damage can have harmful effects on your health. You’ve probably seen news reports about how poor air quality can contribute to an increase in skin and lung cancers, among other things. But did you know that the environment can also be linked to chronic conditions like Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ) and sleep apnea? Dr. Gary Lederman discusses how something as simple as the air we breathe can have a huge impact on our bodies.

Continue reading
  1255 Hits
1255 Hits

Looking to Improve Your Game? The Edge You Need May Be In Your MouthGuard

If you’ve ever watched professional sports on TV, you’ve probably noticed athletes from a variety of different sports wearing mouth guards. But while mouthguards make sense in rougher sports like hockey, football, and boxing, did you know that athletes from every genre of sport can utilize the benefits of mouthguards? One such mouth guard- the Pure Power Mouthguard, is creating a lot of buzz in both the athletic and dental communities. We spoke to Dr. Gary Lederman of Bellmore, NY about this innovative technology.

Continue reading
  929 Hits
929 Hits

What is Neuromuscular Dentistry?

Our bodies are complex systems that are interconnected in many ways. One part usually almost impacts another in some shape or form. Our mouths are no different, which is why the practice of neuromuscular dentistry can be quite beneficial, though it’s a fairly unknown form of dentistry. Dr. Lederman finds this type of dentistry has been the right fit for many of his patient’s suffering from mouth and jaw issues.

Continue reading
  899 Hits
899 Hits

If the Set of Dentures Don’t Fit, You Must Pitch It

Many dental patients who wear dentures are not satisfied with the results because the shape and condition of their jaws can change due to bone loss and the loss or displacement of other teeth over time. But there is no excuse for tolerating the frustration of ill-fitting dentures. Dr. Gary Lederman is a dentist who specializes in helping patients with ill-fitting dentures upgrade to the new American Dental Association (ADA) standard of care – dental implants.

But dental implants are far more expensive than dentures, so aside from the fit, why upgrade? A dental patient wearing dentures –that fit well, mind you—exert approximately 50 psi of bite force, whereas dental implants can restore you to a full healthy bite force of 150 psi. This means that opting for dental implants can dramatically improve your quality of life by restoring your ability to indulge in more solid foods. Not only does this provide you with the ability to enjoy more foods and flavors; it allows you the opportunity to have better nutrition through food choices as well.

The other problem with dentures? When you lose an adult tooth, your tooth roots are not stimulated by the activity of chewing, and that lack of stimulation means that the root structure is no longer summoning the appropriate nutrients to maintain the place they occupy in your jaw, and your jaw actually begins to shrink through a process called osseointegation.  The jawbone actually gets smaller to bring your remaining teeth closer together so that nature maintains your ability to chew with what you have left. This can result not only in functional degradation, but cosmetic deformation of your facial features as well.

When dental implants are placed, the oral surgeon inserts a titanium screw post into the jaw bone, and Dr. Lederman tops the post with a porcelain crown. The titanium posts embedded in the jaw actually fuse with the bone and prevent further bone loss.  In fact, this fusion makes the dental implant and the the jawbone one, and maintains the full 150 psi bite force and the root stimulation for the areas the teeth have been lost.

To schedule a consultation to determine if dental implants are right for you, call our office at 516-882-1764.

Continue reading
  981 Hits
981 Hits

How Sedation Dentistry Can Help You Relax in the Dentist’s Chair

For most people, going to the dentist is one of their least favorite things to do. In fact, that’s often why it gets pushed to the bottom of the priority list. But for some people, the anxiety they experience before and during a dental appointment can be debilitating and may even cause them to forgo dental treatment all together. Dr. Lederman wants his patient to have the most comfortable experience possible while undergoing dental treatments, which is why he offers sedation dentistry. 

Sedation dentistry is a technique used to help patients relax during dental procedures or treatments. It helps ease anxiety associated with dental fear. Because stress can cause patients to become agitated and sometimes less cooperative, procedures can take longer to complete. When patients are in a more relaxed state, it helps expedite the process by eliminating resistance from the patient which in turn allows the dentist to work more quickly. Additionally, if more than one procedure is necessary, your dentist will be able to perform them in one sitting. Sedation dentistry allows patients to be more at ease, making the experience considerably more comfortable.

At our office, our sedation dentistry process doesn’t involve needles. We take a gentler and less invasive approach. Instead, patients take one pill approximately one hour before their visit. You aren’t unconscious but rather in a more relaxed state, making your appointment less stressful and much easier to manage.

If you’re nervous or anxious about your upcoming dental appointment, sedation dentistry might be right for you. Call our office today at 516-882-1764 to request sedation dentistry for you next appointment.

Continue reading
  2744 Hits
2744 Hits

The Surprising Fruit that Prevents Plaque Buildup

Often publications have shown how particular foods are bad for teeth because they introduce sugars and acids that promote the development of plaque and tooth decay.  However, since 2005, researchers have been looking to cranberries and cranberry juice as a possible ally in the war on plaque, gum disease and tooth decay.  Dr. Gary Lederman offers professional dental cleanings and restorations to help patients keep their smiles in tip top shape.

So what is magical about cranberries apart from other foods and juices that makes them good for your teeth?  When eaten raw, the texture of the cranberry acts as a detergent food helping to brush sticky plaque forming bacteria away from teeth to be carried off by saliva as you chew.  This property has also been found in apples, celery, and certain cheeses.

But what is most interesting about cranberries and sugarless cranberry juice is the way that researchers have found it inhibits the growth of oral biofilm containing the bacteria streptococcus mutans.  Streptococcus mutans is the main ingredient in the formation of plaque.  Additionally, chemicals in the cranberry juice also reduce inflammation and reduce the production of acids and restore the pH balance of the oral flora.

However, this does not mean that you should run straight to the grocery store and buy just any cranberry juice off the shelf.   Most commercially produced cranberry juice is full of sugar and other additives that can cancel out the benefits of the cranberries.  Scientists have been working since 2005 to find ways to isolate cranberry extracts for inclusion in tooth pastes and mouth wash.

To learn more or schedule your semiannual checkup, contact our office at 516-882-1764.

Continue reading
  949 Hits
949 Hits

The Basics of Biomimetic Dentistry

Dr. Lederman works to help his patients maintain their smile in some of the most minimally invasive ways possible. One such way is through biomimetic dentistry, a type of dentistry that promotes tooth conversation. One of the primary principles of biomimetic dentistry is maintaining and conserving natural tooth structure. By utilizing minimally invasive techniques that treat weak and decayed teeth, dentists are able to strengthen and seal effected teeth and preserve their natural integrity.  

Biomimetic loosely translates to “mimicking nature.” The goal of this type of dentistry is to preserve as much of the natural tooth as possible. Oftentimes, traditional dentistry requires dentists to compromise the healthy tooth structure to successfully restore it. In contrast, biomimetic dentistry aims to minimize this by only replacing that part of the tooth that is damaged.

Once a tooth has been structurally compromised, such as being prepped for a crown, it often requires additional work which further chips away at the natural tooth. Ironically, while a crown is meant to protect and strengthen the tooth, it can have the opposite effect. For a tooth needing a crown, a biomimetic dentistry approach only removes the damaged part of the tooth. The final restoration, often called an inlay or onlay, is safely bonded to the natural tooth. In fact, using a biomimetic approach can actually preserve a tooth that might otherwise require extraction.

Biomimetic dentistry is a great way to preserve the appearance of your smile while also maintaining the look, structure and strength of your natural tooth. Contact our office at 516-882-1764 to learn more.

Continue reading
  912 Hits
912 Hits

Fashion Week Highlights Beautiful Smiles as Fashion

This year’s New York Fashion Week featured a surprising accessory that you already have: your smile. In conjunction with fashion expert Tai Beauchamp, the American Association of Orthodontics set up a pop-up shop in NYC’s Columbus Circle where the public could come and learn more about how to get their best smile ever.

Continue reading
  1001 Hits
1001 Hits

Porcelain Veneers: Your Path to the Perfect Smile

Do you cover your mouth when you laugh or talk, dread having your picture taken, or force a tight-lipped smile to hide your teeth? If you don’t love your smile, it’s time to talk porcelain veneers. You may have considered porcelain veneers in the past, but have a preconception about veneers or unanswered questions about veneer application, the ability to achieve a natural look, or their durability. Read on to find out why Dr. Lederman believes that porcelain veneers are the best fit to fix your smile and bring back your confidence!

What Exactly are Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain veneers are custom-made, ultra-thin layers of ceramic similar in structure to your tooth’s enamel, and are designed to cover a myriad of common cosmetic dental issues. These issues include worn or discolored enamel caused by diet or smoking, general wear and tear like chips or cracks, and also uneven or misshapen teeth. Porcelain veneers can even cover orthodontic concerns such as smile symmetry, gaps, and incorrect tooth positioning – but you’ll see results instantly versus lengthy traditional orthodontic treatments like braces.

I Want to Look Natural.

Materials used to craft veneers are matched with your existing tooth color or a color that is desirable to you in to produce a natural look. Veneers are highly personalized, so expect your dentist to take measurements and pictures of your existing teeth, smile, and bite profile to produce an image or wearable sample of what your smile will look like when your veneers are applied.

But Will They Last?

Despite their thinness, porcelain veneers are extremely durable and strong.  Veneers also are resistant to stains caused by normal eating and drinking (even dark beverages like coffee, tea, or wine), and smoking.  Veneers are extremely durable, but it is important to take care of them just like you would your regular teeth. This means avoiding crunching hard candy or ice, using your teeth in place of scissors, bottle openers, or other tools, and using a night guard to prevent teeth grinding or chattering. 

Normal 0 false false false EN-US ZH-CN AR-SA

Porcelain veneers are an excellent option for patients who want to achieve a perfect smile and feel confident again. Call Dr. Lederman today at 516-882-1764 to schedule a consultation on porcelain veneers and bringing back your confidence!

Continue reading
  972 Hits
972 Hits

TMJ and TENS

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, an estimated 10 million Americans suffer from Temporomandibular Joint and Muscle Disorders, or TMJ. The disorder can cause a number of problematic symptoms including jaw pain, stiffness and even lock jaw. Dr. Lederman has extensive post-graduate training in neuromuscular dentistry and works with his patients to treat this condition with the best individualized course of treatment. One step in the neuromuscular treatment process that may be beneficial for some patients is TENS, or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation.

TENS treatments for TMJ are an electric massage used to relax the jaw muscles. Electrodes are attached to the patient’s face to stimulate the facial muscles and nerves. The end goal is full relaxation of the muscles to help your dentist determine proper jaw position. Once your dentist is able to achieve this, he or she can access whether additional treatments are necessary.

TENS treatments also trigger the release of endorphins. Endorphins are your body’s natural pain relieving chemicals, and as such, they often lessen symptoms associated with TMJ.

For many patients, TENS treatment can provide relief of their TMJ-related symptoms. Though patients are initially and painless Patients feel rhythmic taps on their face that may trigger a tingling sensation. The intensity of the treatments can also be adjusted to accommodate the patient’s comfort level.

Whether TENS or another neuromuscular treatment option is the best course of action for TMJ, Dr. Lederman’s patients can rest assured that he will recommend the most appropriate treatment plan. To schedule your consult, contact our office today at 516-882-1764.

 

Continue reading
  1008 Hits
1008 Hits

How Dental Implants Prevent Bone Loss

Dental Implants are becoming the standard of care for adult tooth loss, largely due to the fact that they provide superior bite force in comparison to bridges and dentures. They also prevent further bone loss from the structure of the jawline. Dr. Lederman explains how.

The dental implant is made up of a titanium screw that is surgically placed into the jawbone topped by a porcelain crown that replaces the missing tooth. The titanium screw functionally fills the space that was once taken by the roots of the extracted tooth, and provides stability for the crown above the gum line.

The screws are made of titanium specifically because titanium has the ability to fuse to the bone, a process called osseointegration. The fusion between the titanium and bone preserves the previously weakened bone structure caused by the loss of the tooth.

Without the placement of the implant, the bone density is lost because the stimulation of the root structure by the pressure of chewing is necessary to support the body’s natural upkeep of the alveolar sac like structure in the bone that was once a pocket that held the teeth.

Without the stimulation created by the tooth chewing, the root structure retracts and the pocket collapses causing the jawbone structure to thin and recede. Over time, with multiple teeth lost, the remaining teeth will drift to fill in the space occupied by missing teeth, causing problems with jaw alignment. If you have questions about Dental Implants call us at 516-882-1764.

Continue reading
  941 Hits
941 Hits

1- Visit Veneers

For lots of patients considering cosmetic dentistry to improve their appearance, time can be a big deterrent.  Multiple visits to the dentist’s office to get impressions taken, waiting for porcelain onlays to be milled and shipped to the dentist, then another appointment for them to be placed, can seem like too much for some.  Dr. Gary Lederman offers CEREC as a 1-visit alternative.

CEREC stands for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics. The process was first developed at the University of Zurich in 1980, with the first successful applications placed on patients in 1985.

The process begins with Dr. Lederman creating a digital 3D impression of the patient’s mouth using digital radiographs or an intraoral camera. He then used a Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) program to design the porcelain onlays. Once the design is complete, a special 3D printer mills the onlays to the prescribed specifications and provides them to the dentist.

The dentist then provides the finishing touches by painting it, polishing and glazing it before he cements or adhesively integrates it to the tooth. Depending on the type of ceramic material used, the onlay can be crafted in as little as fifteen minutes.

If you have questions regarding cosmetic dentistry, call us today at 516-882-1764. We would be happy to answer your questions.

Continue reading
  841 Hits
841 Hits

Why I Don't Use Dental Crowns

Crowns were once the best possible fix in dentistry. They gave decayed teeth their strength back and alleviated pain for the time being.

However, this kind of restoration does immediate and irreversible damage. When preparing teeth for a crown, all sides (including the biting surface) must be drilled away. Crown material also tends to break, causing the need for replacement every few years. Even with crowns, cracks often grow over time and a root canal becomes a necessary to resolve the problem. Cavities are also difficult for the dentist to detect because the entire tooth is covered.

Using the principles of Biomimetic Dentistry, we practice a minimally invasive approach. Rather than tearing away vital structure, we work to build the tooth back up for healthy restorations that look and function just like natural teeth. In some cases, we avoid the drill all together by using air abrasion technology to remove decay. Biomimetic restorations are more comfortable for patients in the short term and produce long-lasting results.

If you have any questions about Biomimetic Dentistry restorations, please contact us today at 516-882-1764.

Continue reading
  794 Hits
794 Hits

Neuromuscular Dentistry as a Treatment for TMJD

Many people experience TMJ symptoms without ever realizing the true source. The Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) is at the center of the connection between the jaw and the head. Knowing that, it’s easy to understand why dysfunction in the joint can cause so many potential problems.

The most common symptom of TMJD is severe headaches. Many TMJ sufferers confuse these headaches with migraines and treat them with medication. Unfortunately, medicating only masks the larger issue and symptoms will prevail in the long-term. Other TMJ symptoms range from jaw clicking and ringing in the ears to neck, shoulder and back pain. Patients often have a combination of symptoms, making the disorder even more difficult to recognize.

Through neuromuscular testing, we can determine exact points where TMJ problems are occurring. This is done through pads on the skin connected to computerized technology that lets me see muscle and tension issues. We can then begin to explore the best course of action for correcting the patient’s poor jaw position. This process realigns your posture, starting with your head and neck. One of our neuromuscular treatments is a mouthguard that’s used in golf, hockey, basketball, football and other sports that require balance and strength for increased performance.

Do you have questions about Neuromuscular Dentistry? Don’t hesitate to contact us 516-882-1764. We’re here to help!

Continue reading
  830 Hits
830 Hits

The Jaw and the Airway

Have you ever thought about what your jaw has to do with the breathing process? Many patients are unaware that the struggles they have getting quality rest at night actually relate directly with dentistry. Simply put, the upper jaw must be wide enough to accommodate the tongue so that the airway can remain open at night.

Nasal breathing is an optimal bodily function. Everything about the nose is designed to maximize oxygen flow in the body. Nasal hairs trap bacteria before it enters the bloodstream and the shape and structure of the nose helps facilitate optimal oxygen distribution rate. The mouth serves as an OK backup, but if relied on over a long period of time puts an unhealthy amount of strain on the body.

The most common indication of an airway issue is snoring at night. Frequent, loud snoring is especially concerning as it could be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea. It’s also possible to experience a breathing disorder without noticeable snoring, so the best thing to do is see a professional if you fell depleted of energy even after a full night’s rest.

Do you have any questions about the jaw or sleep apnea? Please don’t hesitate to give me a call at 516-882-1764.

Continue reading
  886 Hits
886 Hits

Sleep Apnea and Women

About 22 million Americans receive treatment for sleep apnea and doctors estimate there are millions more sufferers who are unaware or misdiagnosed. When it comes to the classic case, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is fairly straightforward to spot. The profile is typically an overweight male who recognizes snoring loudly and frequently. But part of the barrier to reaching other patients in need is lack of education about the different ways sleep apnea can manifest in people.

Because of this misunderstanding, experts in the field suspect that many untreated cases are women. Women are likely to describe symptoms such as insomnia and depression, which can lead physicians down the wrong path. It’s easy to confuse problems such as difficulty falling asleep at night with stress-induced anxiety. These women then begin treatment for depression and never undercover the true source.

Women with sleep apnea are commonly misdiagnosed with anemia, cardiac disease, depression, diabetes, fatigue, fibromyalgia, hypertension, insomnia, menopausal changes and obesity. Having a sleep study done is the only way to get complete and conclusive information about how your airway is functioning. Like anything else, if there is an issue it’s better to identify it so we can provide the best treatment to get your health back on track.

Sleep apnea disturbs vital bodily functions and causes life-threatening conditions. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you experience symptoms that could be related to sleep apnea: 516-882-1764.

Continue reading
  884 Hits
884 Hits

Headache or TMJ?

Many Americans live with migraines and never nail done the root cause. As a result, sufferers end up taking pain medication and making compromises in their daily lives. Headaches can be debilitating, leaving us out of commission for hours at a time. One common explanation for frequent headaches is TMJ disorder.

TMJ is the small but crucial connecting piece between the jaw and the head. If something is out of balance with this joint, all kinds of painful symptoms can occur. TMJ sufferers may experience a combination of one or all symptoms related to jaw, head, neck, shoulder or back pain. The variety of symptoms that can occur in each individual is what makes TMJD difficult to diagnose.

In recent years, dentistry has made advancements in the specialty of jaw and muscle balance. Using neuromuscular testing we can evaluate your muscle position so that we can begin to correct posture. When the muscles are in a comfortable position, symptoms are finally alleviated.

Do you experience any symptoms you think could be related to TMJD? Please don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation by calling 516-882-1764.

Continue reading
  871 Hits
871 Hits

White Fillings Can Also Repair Chipped or Cracked Teeth

White fillings, also referred to as tooth colored fillings or composite resin fillings, have long been used for fillings, but with advances in technology, they can also help restore the shape of chipped or cracked teeth. Dr. Lederman recommends white fillings for their cosmetic advantages as well as the concerns that have been raised over the potential toxicity of metal fillings.

Traditional fillings are made up of an amalgam of tin, silver, mercury, zinc and copper, and they prevent the spread of tooth decay, but can be quite noticeable because of the metal’s color. They are generally considered safe by the American Dental Association, but some researchers have voiced concerns about mercury toxicity, which could affect patients if they are exposed to large amounts of mercury.

Composite resin fillings are made up of a flexible combination of plastic and glass that are tinted to match the shade of the patient’s natural teeth. The material is flexible and can be shaped before being hardened by the application of a special blue light. Unlike amalgam which is simply shaped to fit the hole drilled into the tooth, the composite resin actually bonds directly to the tooth and can be used to repair chipped teeth, cracked teeth, or fill cavities on the front sides of teeth.

For more information about white fillings, or to schedule an appointment, please contact our office at (516) 882-1764.

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