The technical name for gum disease is periodontitis or periodontal disease. This is a common infection that, according to a recent CDC report, affects nearly half of all American adults age 30 and older.
The mildest form of this disease is called gingivitis. Early symptoms include tender and swollen gums, gums that bleed when you brush your teeth, and a receding gum line. If left untreated, periodontal disease can become painful, lead to pussy discharge, and even result in tooth loss. Advanced gum disease can also increase the risk of stroke, heart attack, and other health problems.
Protect yourself from gum disease and the associated side effects by following these preventative tips.
- Brush with fluoride toothpaste. Make this a habit every morning and evening, no matter how busy or tired you are. Use toothpaste that contains fluoride and has the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Choose a soft toothbrush, and brush thoroughly but gently to avoid irritating your gums. Brush for two full minutes, and hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle along the gum line so it sweeps away the bacteria hiding there.
- Floss every day. When it comes to preventing gum disease, flossing is arguably more important than brushing because it stimulates the gums and removes debris from between your teeth. The American Dental Association says it doesn’t matter when you floss—do it in the morning, at night, or after lunch—just do it!
- Swish with a medicated mouthwash. All mouthwash products offer some benefits, but some promote gum health better than others. Shop for a version that reduces plaque buildup, slows tartar formation, fights gingivitis, or all three! Remember, mouthwash complements brushing and flossing—it doesn’t replace it.
- Consider and address your risks. Some people are more likely than others to get gum disease. Risk factors include advancing age, genetics, AIDS, cancer, and hormonal changes in females. While many risk factors are out of your control, others can be addressed. For instance, you can reduce your risk if you quit smoking and control associated health conditions, such as diabetes.
- Get your teeth cleaned regularly. Gum disease develops rather quickly, and the earlier you begin treatment, the better. Therefore, children and adults of all ages should schedule a dental exam and professional cleaning every six months or as recommended by their dentist. If you already have gum disease, you may need more frequent visits to maintain your gums and prevent them from getting any worse.
At Park 56 Dental, our team of qualified dental professionals can help your smile stay healthy and beautiful. We encourage you to visit us twice a year for preventative care. Then, if you notice signs of gum disease or other oral health problems, reach out to us right away. We’ll help you slow or even reverse gum disease with effective treatments such as root planing and scaling, flap surgery, and bone and tissue grafts. Contact us online or call us at (212) 826-2322 to learn more.
You may not think of your teeth as being alive, but they are. The outer shell, called the enamel, is the hardest substance in the human body. However, the nerves and blood vessels at the heart of your teeth are soft and vulnerable. If this inner layer (known as the pulp) becomes damaged, blood may stop flowing. A tooth with no blood flow is called a “dead” tooth. Without treatment, this tooth may become infected or abscessed and will eventually fall out.
What Causes a Dead Tooth?
Trauma or injury is a common reason for a tooth to die. Falling or being hit in the mouth can cut off the blood supply to a tooth or even cause blood vessels to burst. With no blood flow, the nerve inside the pulp dies.
Tooth decay is another possible cause. Without consistent dental hygiene habits, cavities can start to form. Left untreated, decay slowly eats through the tooth toward the sensitive pulp, eventually causing an infection. Inflammation may cut off blood flow to the pulp, causing the tooth to die.
How to Spot a Dead Tooth
It isn’t always easy to identify a dead tooth. Only a dental professional can pinpoint signs of restricted blood flow and a dying tooth in its early stages, which is why regular dentist visits are so important. Before long, though, the problem will soon become apparent.
Pain is the first symptom to watch out for. This may seem odd because the nerve inside your tooth is dead, but that’s not where the pain comes from. Bacteria and dead nerve remnants touching the extremely sensitive nerve endings around your tooth, called the periodontal membrane, are the source of your pain.
A change in color comes next. Dead teeth often darken over time as red blood cells die. This is very similar to developing a bruise. If a single tooth in your mouth gradually becomes yellow, gray, or black, visit the dentist right away.
Signs of infection could also appear if the dead tooth doesn’t receive treatment. You may notice swelling, a bad taste in your mouth, or an inflamed sore on your gums.
Treatment for a Dead Tooth
A root canal is the first option. Dentists want to avoid removing teeth whenever possible, and this procedure could save a dead or dying tooth. It involves removing all signs of decay and infection from deep within the tooth. Then, the dentist fills and seals it. In many cases, a crown is needed following a root canal.
Tooth extraction is the next choice. Even if your dentist can’t save your tooth, prompt treatment is necessary to avoid other complications. Once removed, you have several options for replacing the missing tooth, including an implant, bridge, or partial denture.
Park 56 Dental offers tooth care and smile restorations out of our spa-like, patient-centered New York dentist office. If you notice signs of a dead tooth, please contact us online or call us at (212) 826-2322 to schedule an appointment.
There are several options for replacing missing teeth, including dental bridges. Closing the gap in your smile can help prevent problems with your existing teeth and gums, including driting, bone loss, difficulty chewing, or speech problems. Learn more about dental bridges to help you decide if this is the right restorative treatment for you.
What is a Dental Bridge?
Dental bridges literally “bridge the gap” left by one or more missing teeth. A bridge is comprised of multiple parts:
- Crowns cap the teeth on either side of the gap, known as the abutment teeth.
- One or more false teeth, called pontics, are suspended between the crowns to replace the missing tooth or teeth.
- Crowns and pontics may be made of porcelain, alloys, gold, or other materials.
What is the Process of Receiving a Dental Bridge?
Your first visit with the dentist involves preparing the abutment teeth by removing some of the enamel. This creates room to place crowns, which serve as anchors for the pontic cemented between them.
During the same visit, your dentist takes an impression of your teeth to use as a model when creating custom pontics and crowns for your dental bridge. A temporary bridge protects your exposed teeth and gums until the permanent product is finished.
At your second appointment, the dentist removes the temporary bridge and puts the new pontic and crowns in place. Temporary cement ensures a comfortable fit. After a few weeks, you return to the dentist one final time to have the bridge firmly cemented in place.
Factors to Consider
When comparing bridges with other tooth-replacement options, keep these factors in mind:
- Time: You can complete the dental bridge process in two or three visits spaced within a few weeks of each other.
- Cost: While your insurance coverage determines what you pay out of pocket, bridges tend to be a middle-of-the-road option, with dentures costing less and implants costing more.
- Longevity: With excellent oral hygiene and regular checkups, dental bridges can last up to 15 years.
- Aesthetics: Pontics aren’t embedded in the gum line, so it may be possible to distinguish them from your natural teeth upon close inspection. For this reason, bridges often replace teeth toward the back of the mouth.
- Comfort: Bridges are not removable, so there’s no risk of slipping, which may exist with some types of dentures.
- Oral care: Whether you have a dental bridge or not, you should brush twice a day and floss once a day. If you have a bridge, your dentist may also recommend using antiseptic mouthwash and a special flossing tool to clean out debris from under the pontic.
Park 56 Dental is pleased to offer bridges and other smile restoration options to meet your diverse needs. We operate out of our spa-like, patient-centered New York office that makes going to the dentist a pleasure. Contact us online or call us at (212) 826-2322 to schedule a consultation for dental bridges in NYC today.
Have you noticed a shift in your bite? You might think that your teeth are firmly attached, but it’s actually very common for them to shift, becoming crooked or misaligned. What causes teeth to move around in your head? And what should you do about it?
- Sometimes baby teeth become crooked. It doesn’t necessarily mean the permanent teeth will be crooked, but in some situations it does. Baby teeth may just be crooked because they’re too small for the available gum space. If a child sucks a thumb or pacifier for too long, the baby teeth may become crooked, and if there is trauma to the mouth or tooth decay that causes a baby tooth to fall out prematurely, the permanent teeth may grow in crooked. If the baby teeth are crowded, the permanent teeth probably will be too. Genetics and heredity play a role, and poor dental habits and poor nutrition are sometimes the problem.
- Your jaw size may be to blame. Some scientists believe that our teeth often become overcrowded because our jaws have evolved to be smaller than they used to be. Interestingly, the lower jaw grows forward continually, throughout a person’s lifetime. This can cause the lower front teeth to bump into the upper front teeth, which either makes the top teeth spread out or the bottom teeth become crowded. On the other hand, the width of your lower jaw diminishes over the years, which also contributes to crowding of the lower teeth.
- Teeth can lose enamel and change shape. Whether it’s because of an injury or acid erosion, sometimes enamel is lost from your teeth, changing their shape. This can cause them to move out of alignment. Grinding the teeth, a condition called bruxism, can change the shape of the teeth as well.
- As you age, your teeth may shift. Aging causes bones, ligaments, and muscles to grow weaker. What’s more, the constant pressure of moving against each other can wear teeth down, causing them to shift and crowd.
Sometimes, there’s no reason to do anything about teeth that have shifted. Your quirky, crooked smile may just be part of who you are, and there’s nothing wrong with that. There are some factors, though, that would make it a good idea to move your teeth back where they belong. If it’s hard to chew, to speak, or to keep your teeth clean, or your crooked teeth are diminishing your confidence, there are many options available for straightening them.
At Park 56 Dental Group, we provide personalized, quality dental care in a spa-like environment. We offer pediatric, prosthodontics, endodontics, oral surgery, Invisalign®, emergency, and sedation dentistry, all at the highest level of treatment. We serve the Midtown, Central Park, Upper East Side, Park Avenue, and all surrounding Manhattan and New York areas, in a patient-centered practice with hours to fit your schedule. Schedule your complimentary consultation today by contacting us online or calling us at (212) 826-2322.
Even if you brush and floss religiously, doing your best to have pristine teeth and perfect oral health, you’re likely to one day have a cavity. If this happens, don’t delay treatment. It’s important to get any cavities filled as soon as possible, for many reasons.
- Tooth decay, left to its own devices, will spread. If you ignore a cavity, the decay will soon spread to the area around the cavity. Then you’ll not only have a bigger cavity than you originally had, but you may also have additional cavities as well. Getting it filled will solve the problem and keep the damage from spreading.
- Bacteria from a cavity is unlikely to stay in your mouth. An unhealthy tooth won’t just affect nearby teeth: it will spread bacteria as far as it can. Bacteria in your mouth is not ideal, but once it gets into your bloodstream and makes its way to other parts of the body, it can be extremely dangerous.
- Fillings keep your smile intact. If you don’t get a cavity filled in a timely manner, you may end up having to have the tooth removed entirely. Dental implants can solve the problem of missing teeth, but they’re much more expensive than fillings and require a much more complicated process. You’ll have a hole in your smile until you can get the implant, and this can compromise the bone in your jaw.
Those are pretty compelling reasons to get your cavities filled, but did you know there are different types of fillings? Each material used in fillings has its pros and cons, and your dentist will be able to help you determine which is right for you.
- Amalgam fillings have been around for over a century. They’re strong and ideal for cavities in the molars, because they can take the impact of chewing. Made of a combination of several metallic elements, they are sometimes visible when you laugh or smile, but they’re some of the least expensive cavity-filling materials.
- The other most common filling material is composite fillings. Sometimes called composite or filled resins, they’re made of a combination of glass or quartz filler. They can be made to match the color of your tooth, and they’re good in areas involved in moderate chewing.
- Metals, ceramic, and glass ionomer are also used as fillings. Gold and silver are often used, and these metallic fillings can last 10-15 years. Ceramic or porcelain fillings are attractive but expensive, and glass ionomer fillings can release fluoride to protect teeth but are less durable than other fillings.
At Park 56 Dental Group, we provide personalized, quality dental care, offering pediatric, prosthodontics, endodontics, oral surgery, Invisalign®, emergency, and sedation. We serve the Midtown, Central Park, Upper East Side, Park Avenue, and all surrounding Manhattan and New York areas, in a patient-centered practice with hours to fit your schedule. Schedule your complimentary consultation by contacting us online or calling (212) 826-2322.
If your dentist were to ask you about your sleep, would that surprise you? In fact, dentists are often the earliest diagnosticians of sleep disorders. What is the connection between oral health and sleep disturbances?
According to the National Sleep Foundation, about 18 million Americans have sleep apnea. This condition involves pauses in breathing throughout the night, lasting from a few seconds to minutes, and sometimes occurring 30 or more times each hour. They happen because of airway obstructions caused by a too-large tongue, flaccid throat muscles, or a too-small jaw. But what does this have to do with your teeth?
Often, the first sign of sleep apnea is bruxism, or tooth grinding. When a dentist notices worn tooth surfaces, this is an indication that the patient suffers from bruxism. Grinding the teeth can cause tooth breakage, and sometimes a spike in cavities because of the damage.
Sleep apnea can be dangerous. It diminishes sleep quality because gasping for breath causes people to wake up throughout the night. What’s more, sleep apnea is linked to high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. It can also contribute to periodontal disease.
You might notice some of the signs of sleep apnea yourself. These include chronic snoring, daytime drowsiness, morning headaches, or waking up with a dry mouth or sore throat. Bruxism can manifest in tired, tight jaw muscles or sensitive teeth. If any of these symptoms seem familiar, talk to your dentist about sleep apnea
If your dentist thinks you have sleep apnea, he or she may recommend a sleep study. Once a diagnosis is confirmed, there are solutions for sleep apnea. You benefit from lifestyle changes like losing weight and quitting smoking, or you might need a custom mouthguard. If your sleep apnea is moderate to severe, you might need a CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure device. This is a mask that fits over your nose when you’re sleeping and uses air pressure to keep your airway passages open. You might also benefit from a custom Often, when the apnea is resolved, the bruxism stops entirely.
At Park 56 Dental Group, we want to deliver the most effective sleep disorder treatment in NYC. Our founding senior partner, Dr. Philip S. Abramsky, specializes in sleep disorders, and he will work to determine which treatment is right for you. Through a series of examination, he’ll diagnose the cause of your sleep disorder, in order to recommend the proper treatment. It’s all part of our commitment to offering personalized, quality dental care in a spa-like environment. We offer pediatric, prosthodontics, endodontics, oral surgery, Invisalign®, emergency, and sedation dentistry, all at the highest level of treatment. We serve the Midtown, Central Park, Upper East Side, Park Avenue, and all surrounding Manhattan and New York areas, with a patient-centered practice that has hours to fit your schedule. Schedule your complimentary consultation today by contacting us online or calling us at (212) 826-2322.
When cavities, stains, or traumatic injuries damage your teeth, you may find yourself covering your mouth every time you smile. To help you regain your confidence, you need restorative dentistry from an experienced dentist in NYC. Take a look at nine dental procedures we offer that can restore your smile.
- Crowns: A dental crown is an effective way to restore a discolored or oddly shaped tooth. This solution can even protect a weak tooth from breaking or repair one that’s already broken.
- Tooth-colored fillings: Many people assume that fillings are always metallic, but new materials and techniques mean you have the option of getting more natural-looking, tooth-colored fillings. Talk to your dentist about what option is best for you. Factors such as the size of the filling, location of the tooth, price, and personal preference must all be considered.
- Veneers: This cosmetic solution covers the front side of chipped, stained, or misshapen teeth with a natural-looking porcelain veneer. The finished product looks great and functions flawlessly. Your dentist may recommend avoiding coffee, tea, wine, and tobacco to maintain your beautiful new smile.
- Bonding: Similar to veneers, bonding is a cosmetic treatment that involves attaching tooth-colored resins to your teeth to improve their shape and color. The results are strong, long-lasting, and natural-looking.
- Contouring and reshaping: Dental contouring and tooth reshaping may be all that’s required to fix elongated or roughly shaped teeth. This process involves removing a small amount of tooth enamel to alter the surface or shape of the tooth. This technique is often combined with bonding to create the most attractive smile possible.
- Implants: Dental implants consist of a titanium body, which takes the place of the missing root, and a crown, which fills the gap and replaces the function of your missing tooth. Implants can last a lifetime if properly maintained.
- Bridges: The purpose of a dental bridge is to replace one or more missing teeth. It involves installing crowns on the adjacent teeth and “bridging” the gap with an artificial tooth called a pontic. Unlike implants, no titanium root is inserted into the gums.
- Whitening: Years of drinking coffee, sipping on wine, and enjoying brightly colored berries can take a toll on your pearly whites. Luckily, you can turn back the clock with Zoom in-office whitening. Our dental professionals can brighten your smile by an average of eight shades in just one hour. Plus, the process is safe, simple, and pain-free!
- Smile makeovers: If several different problems exist in your mouth, you can combine two or more of the above dental procedures for a complete smile makeover. Your self-esteem will soar like never before once you feel confident enough to smile naturally around your friends, family, and new acquaintances.
Need help deciding which dental procedure is right for you? Ready to get the process started? Contact Park 56 Dental at (212) 826-2322 to ask questions or request a consultation at our New York dentist office.
Are you frustrated that your teeth appear dull and yellow, despite brushing and flossing every day? The fact is that even the best oral care can’t always prevent staining. Learn which foods cause tooth stains and which foods help ward off discoloration.
6 Foods that Stain Teeth
- Curry and tomato sauce: With their bright colors and high acidity, these sauces create the perfect conditions for staining teeth. Over time, they may turn your pearly whites yellow, so it’s best to limit your intake of curry and tomato sauce.
- Balsamic vinegar: It may taste delicious on salads, but balsamic vinegar is known for staining teeth. Its dark color and reputation for sticking to your teeth mean it can leave stains behind if not washed away quickly.
- Berries: Raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and cranberries are all brightly colored and quite acidic, a bad combination for your teeth. However, they’re packed with beneficial antioxidants, so don’t cut them out of your diet just yet. Instead, drink milk or rinse your mouth with water after eating berries to wash the staining juices away.
- Citrus fruits: Oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes contain citric acid, which weakens enamel and exposes the dentin underneath. If you eat other staining foods at the same time, you could end up with discolored teeth.
- Candy: Sweets that change the color of your tongue can also stain your teeth. The sugar in candy also leads to tooth decay.
- Dark-colored or acidic drinks: Coffee, tea, wine, soda, and sports drinks are darkly colored, acidic, or both. Of these culprits, tea—green tea in particular—is the healthiest option.
4 Foods that Clean Teeth
- Fruits: Apples are perhaps the best fruit for your teeth because of their texture. Chewing an apple scrubs your teeth and stimulates your gums. The nutrients in other fruits, including pears and strawberries, also promote stronger, healthier teeth.
- Raw vegetables: As with apples, the texture of raw celery, carrots, and cauliflower have a tooth-scrubbing effect when you chew them. Other veggies known to support good oral health include cucumbers, spinach, kale, and broccoli.
- Baking soda: While eating food with baking soda in it won’t change your smile, choosing toothpaste with this mild abrasive certainly will. You can even brush with baking soda straight from the box on occasion for gentle at-home teeth whitening.
- Dairy products: Yogurt, milk, and cheese contain calcium and proteins required for healthy teeth. They also balance the pH in your mouth, so consume dairy products after eating acidic food to counteract the negative effects.
By avoiding foods that stain your teeth and reaching for foods that clean them instead, you can help keep discoloration at bay. Of course, professional dental cleanings are also critical for maintaining a bright, white smile. Remember to brush and floss daily as well to promote healthy teeth and gums.
Park 56 Dental can help your smile look its best. Schedule your next teeth cleaning in NYC by calling (212) 826-2322 today.
When you consider ways to maintain a healthy smile, you might think of brushing and flossing, avoiding sweets, and visiting the dentist regularly. Did you know there are certain foods that also promote stronger teeth and better oral health? Include the following in your diet to help you smile with confidence.
Milk tends to get all the credit for promoting strong teeth and bones, but cheese also contains the protein and calcium found in milk. Your body needs these nutrients to maintain healthy tooth enamel. Cheese has also been shown to raise the pH level in your mouth, making your saliva less acidic and lowering the risk of tooth decay as a result.
As with cheese and other dairy products, yogurt is high in tooth-strengthening protein and calcium. Yogurt offers the added benefit of probiotics, which take the place of harmful bacteria in your mouth to help prevent cavities. To maximize the positive effects, choose plain yogurt with no added sugar.
Kale, spinach, and other leafy greens are packed with vitamins and minerals, including calcium. These super foods also contain folic acid, a type of B vitamin that has been shown to treat gum disease in pregnant women.
Apples might be sweet, but unlike candy, they’re also high in fiber. Plus, the act of eating an apple increases saliva production, which rinses away bacteria. Even the crisp texture of this fruit helps to scrub your teeth and stimulate your gums as you chew.
Carrots & Celery
Raw carrots and celery sticks offer many of the same benefits as apples. They’re crunchy, full of fiber, and encourage saliva production, making them an ideal food with which to end a meal. Plus, they provide the body with vitamin A. This nutrient helps prevent dry mouth, a condition that increases the risk of gingivitis, tooth decay, and oral infections. Vitamin A also promotes a faster healing time for mouth sores.
In addition to being a good source of calcium and protein, almonds are also low in sugar, which is good news for oral health. They’re crunchy, which means they won’t gum up your teeth, and they provide a power-packed energy boost.
Green & Black Tea
Compounds found in tea called polyphenols slow the growth of the harmful bacteria associated with gum disease and cavities. If you use tap water to brew your tea, you might also get a healthy dose of fluoride. Just remember to rinse your mouth out with water after drinking tea because it can cause cosmetic staining.
In addition to increasing your intake of foods for a healthier mouth, remember to avoid certain foods as well. Avoid plaque buildup, tooth decay, and gum disease by steering clear of candy, soda, acidic fruit juice, sticky foods, and refined carbohydrates.
Maximize your efforts to maintain good oral health by visiting Park 56 Dental. We offer personalized care at our spa-like, patient-centered New York dentist office. Contact us today at (212) 826-2322 to schedule an appointment.
Are you self-conscious about a chipped tooth or that gap in your smile? Stop hiding your mouth behind your hands, and restore your confidence with dental veneers! Here are the most frequently asked questions we hear about this type of cosmetic dentistry.
What are dental veneers?
Veneers are thin, strong pieces of tooth-colored porcelain that resemble an artificial fingernail. They are custom-made to fit your teeth using an impression or digital scan of your mouth. Veneers are bonded to the front of your teeth to improve their color, shape, size, and function.
How much do veneers cost?
The cost range depends on the dentist’s experience, the quality of the material used in making your veneers, and how many veneers you receive. Sometimes, insurance will cover the cost of one or two veneers when a fracture or decay is present.
How long do veneers last?
Thanks to the durability of porcelain and the strength of the bonding agent used to attach each veneer, you can expect the results to last decades. As long as the work is done right, the only time a patient should have problems with a veneer is after a traumatic event. Porcelain can crack, just like real teeth, but it takes a hard hit to the face or biting down on a bone to make it happen.
Are there any dietary restrictions?
It’s always wise to treat your teeth gently, whether you have veneers or not. This means avoiding using your teeth as tools and biting tough foods (like taffy, beef jerky, or French bread) with caution. Also, while veneers are stain-resistant, your dentist may recommend avoiding coffee, tea, red wine, and tobacco to help your beautiful new smile last.
What happens to the tooth under a veneer?
To ensure a natural appearance, about 0.5mm of your existing tooth must be shaved down in preparation for placing the veneer. There’s no need to damage the tooth structure aggressively to achieve authentic-looking results.
Will my teeth be immune to cavities?
Veneers can’t decay, but the natural tooth underneath can still get cavities. The most vulnerable spot is the junction between the veneer and your natural tooth. Sealing this area while placing the veneer closes it off to help prevent decay. Continue to brush and floss as usual to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
How many veneers should I get?
Eight is the most common number of veneers patients receive. With veneers on the four upper and lower teeth, a bright, white shade can be selected to make your smile look its best. If you get fewer veneers than this, the color must match your existing teeth to avoid standing out.
At Park 56 Dental, we help our patients look their best with dental veneers and other cosmetic dentistry. If you’re interested in learning more, please contact us at (212) 826-2322 to schedule a complimentary consultation. We serve Midtown, Central Park, Upper East Side, Park Avenue, and the surrounding Manhattan and NYC areas.