gum disease symptoms

Do You Have Gum Disease? Here’s How to Check

Around half of all adults older than thirty have periodontal disease. That’s close to 65 million Americans walking around with advanced gum disease. Let that sink in for a moment.

The cause of this rampant lack of dental hygiene is partly from people not taking enough care of their gums, such as not flossing or brushing less than the recommend amount. This is also caused by a startling lack of knowledge of what gum disease is.  Thankfully, we’re here to change that. Read on to learn what gum disease is and how to check if you have gum disease.

Gingivitis and Periodontitis

You’ve heard of gingivitis before, we all have, but what is it? Well, gingivitis is an inflammation of your gums caused by a buildup of bacteria. The bacteria are caused by a buildup of plaque and tartar. The plaque and tartar are caused by poor dental hygiene.

Gingivitis is the milder form of gum disease. It’s easily treatable improving brushing habits, flossing daily, and getting regular teeth cleanings. Periodontitis, on the other hand, is much more serious.

Periodontitis is “advanced gingivitis.” It’s when your gums actually pull away from your teeth and form infected areas called pockets. These bacteria from these pockets spreads below your gum line and begins to break down gum tissue. If left untreated, these bacteria can even break down bone. Either of these will require a gum graft or bone graft to fix.

While it’s true that almost 65 million Americans have some form of gum disease, you’ll know if you have periodontitis. How will you know? You’ll start to display some of the gum disease symptoms listed below.

Your Gums are Swollen, Receding, or Bleeding

A simple way to tell the health of your gums is by how they look and feel. This may sound like common sense, but you’d be surprised by the large number of people who pay little attention to what’s going on in their mouths.

Ask yourself the following questions: what color are your gums? What size are your gums? How far down your teeth do they reach? How do they respond to being brushed? What about being flossed?

The answers will start to give you an idea of how healthy your gums are. If they’re pink and “normal sized,” you’re in luck. If they’re red and inflamed, you’re going to want to practice better brushing and flossing habits. If your gums bleed while brushing and flossing, it’s time to seriously reevaluate your dental hygiene.

Your Teeth are Sensitive

Another simple way to test whether you have gum disease or not is to pay attention to how your teeth are feeling. A healthy set of teeth won’t be sensitive to hot or cold food and drink. You’ll be able to eat ice cream without wincing if your teeth and gums are healthy.

On the other hand,  if your teeth hurt after eating or drinking something hot or cold, it’s time to start brushing and flossing more often. Sensitive teeth are a common sign of gingivitis

You Have Bad Breath

This may seem too obvious, but persistent bad breath is a sure sign that something’s going on in your mouth. It’s important to note that we’re not talking about morning breath, but chronic halitosis.

Halitosis is bad breath caused by bacteria and the decay of food particles. Remember, a buildup of bacteria leads to both gingivitis and periodontitis. So, if you have bad breath and think you may have gum disease, you’re going to want to improve your brushing and flossing habits.

If you have any questions about how to prevent gum disease, come see the experts at SmilesNY. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

Celebrity Dental Secrets

Five Celebrity Dental Secrets

Have you ever looked at a magazine and thought about how perfect celebrities seem to be on the cover? They seem to always have the perfect body and the even more perfect smile.

If you are wondering how celebrities get their perfect pearly smile, then you have come to the right place. SmilesNY is about to tell you some of the celebrity dental secrets that make the smiles of celebrities perfect for the cover.

Teeth Whitening

A pearly set of white teeth will always be good to look at. Yellowish stained teeth will just look awful on pictures, and they are not good to show off at all. You may observe that celebrities on the red carpet are always showing off their sparkling white teeth. Do not get tricked as most of them may have undergone teeth whitening procedure.

In cosmetic teeth whitening procedure, experts use a powerful bleaching agent which is applied to the teeth. This bleaching agent makes the teeth whiter than its natural color.

Discoloration on the teeth may be caused by the things that we drink such as coffee, soda, and wine. However, do not feel bad if your teeth are not as white as you want them to be. This procedure will help you fix that.


Try Googling images of celebrities back when they were teenagers and compare it to how their teeth look like now that they are adults. You may see that their teeth were crooked, while their teeth now are way more aligned. There is a great chance that they have had braces.

There are a lot of orthodontist braces which may be helpful for you to use. In general, these braces can fix crooked teeth and put them and your lips into correct alignment. If you ask people who have had braces before, they may tell you that it can be very uncomfortable. However, here at SmilesNY, we can assure you that the results will be worth it.

Porcelain Veneers

If you feel like braces are too much of a hassle to wear for a long period of time, you might want to ask your dentist about porcelain veneers. These thin but solid pieces of porcelain will give you the various benefits of having braces without wearing the braces.

For this procedure, make sure that you consult our experts here at SmilesNY. The material for porcelain veneers should be sturdy and well made. Due to this, it is important to go to a trustworthy clinic to get them.

Dental Implants

Smiling with a missing tooth is never a good idea. If you have unfortunately lost a permanent tooth because of an accident, do not worry about not getting it back. Dental implants will easily solve your problem.

Dental implants make use of an artificial tooth. This tooth is held by a root placed into your jaw. Celebrities have had dental implants not only to fill a missing tooth, but also to change the shape of their teeth.

Dental Crowns

A dental crown is also known as a cap because of what it looks like. Dental crowns are prosthetic objects which are cemented onto the teeth to cover the damaged ones. Once a dental crown has been placed, only a dentist will be able to remove it. A dental crown does not only hide the appearance of a damaged tooth, it also gives it more strength.

Here at SmilesNY, we offer Porcelain Dental Crowns which can strengthen the structure of your tooth and protect it from any further damage. Ask our specialists about it.

Celebrities across the country may have a lot of things that make them different from the others. But one fact is for sure, they all have a good cosmetic dentist who help them so they can show off a perfect smile on the red carpet. If you want to wear a smile worthy of being on the covers of magazines, make an appointment with us here at SmilesNY.

Activities to Get Kids Excited About Dental Health

4 Activities to Get Kids Excited About Dental Health

Once you see that your child is beginning to grow some teeth, it is also time to think about his or her dental health. Some kids, however, may find taking care of their teeth to be a bit difficult or too much work. Sometimes, making them brush their teeth is a struggle that parents face. That is why it is important to teach them to care about dental health as early as possible.

The best place to teach your children about the importance of dental health is at home. As the first tooth starts to grow, you can start encouraging your kids to have healthy dental habits.

Get your kids excited about taking good care of their teeth with these fun activities.

1. Let your toddler choose his own toothbrush and toothpaste.

For years, various companies have manufactured toothbrushes and toothpaste that have cartoon characters on them. There are also toothbrushes that have lights on them. The lights turn on when you start and turns off after a full recommended 2-minute brushing. These products, which are made to keep your teeth clean and healthy, are designed to be appealing to kids.

The next time you head to the grocery store, ask your kid to choose the toothbrush that has his favorite character on them. Then let him choose his own toothpaste in his favorite flavor. This way, he will always look forward to brushing his teeth.

After every meal, make it a habit to brush your teeth with your kid. Set an example, and tell him why it is important to brush your teeth after you eat. Let him see how you do it and guide him as he brushes his teeth.

2. Make an “I brushed my teeth” chart.

Design a chart that lets your kid put a star beside his name every time he finishes brushing his teeth. Put this chart on the bathroom wall where he can see it while he brushes his teeth.

With this activity, kids tend to get too excited that they do the brushing very quickly just to be able to put a star on the chart. So, make sure that a parent is present while your kid brushes to make sure that he or she is brushing his or her teeth thoroughly. You can add more fun by giving a prize (hint: no candies!) once he or she reaches a certain number of stars.

3. Do an experiment at home!

No, we are not telling you to use harmful chemicals and start boiling liquids. This experiment is easy to do, and is harmless for you and your kids.

Put each of 4 hard-boiled eggs into separate cups. Fill each cup (completely submerging the eggs) with different liquids: soda, vinegar, fruit juice and water. Leave the setup overnight. The following morning, make observations with your kids.

Tell them that the egg shell is pretty much like our teeth. Anything that we drink or eat will also affect our dental health as digestion starts in the mouth. It is important to add a detail to the egg submerged in soda. The egg will completely change in color. Try brushing it off with toothpaste, so kids can see how important toothpaste is.

4. Encourage them to be more conscious with the food that they eat.

Cut out different pictures of food (healthy and unhealthy) from magazines. Ask your kids to put each picture of food into one of these two groups: Healthy and Unhealthy Food. Guide them as they do the groupings. If you need some health, check out our guide about food that is bad for your teeth.

Once your kid is done, review the pictures and ask them why he or she thinks it is healthy or unhealthy, then validate their answer. Gather all the pictures of healthy food and put them inside a bag. Label the bag “Happy Teeth” and tell them that the food inside the bag, does not only make our body healthy, it also keeps our teeth happy.

Place the pictures of the unhealthy food into another bag and label it “Sad Teeth” and tell them how eating sweets make our teeth sad. This activity will help your kids identify the foods that are bad for their teeth. It will also show them how to take care of their general health through the food that they eat.

It is important to have your kids visit their dentist at least once a year. For more information on how to get your kids excited about dental health, visit us at SmilesNY. If you have any questions about Invisalign or pediatric dentistry, call today.  

5 Concerns You Should Definitely Mention to Your Dentist

5 Concerns You Should Definitely Mention to Your Dentist

You would be hard-pressed to find someone who actually enjoys going to the dentist. In fact, many people fear going. Unfortunately, it is vital that you get a cleaning twice a year to prevent any dental health issues. When attending these cleanings, it is important to mention to your dentist any health-related information that you think may be good for him or her to know. However, there are several things that you may not realize need to be addressed to your dentist. Here is a list of five that you should always mention.


            Many of us suffer from headaches regularly. However, many of us do not realize that these aches can be a symptom of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), an infected tooth or a cavity. If you are consistently having headaches and are not sure as to what is the cause, you should discuss it with your dentist.

Weak and tingling feelings in arms and legs

            This may seem like a weird symptom to mention to your dentist. However, similar to headaches, weak and tingling feelings in limbs is a symptom of TMJ. This feeling in your fingers and toes could also signal diabetic neuropathy. Because this is closely related to gum disease, it is crucial to mention to your dentist. Furthermore, overusing denture adhesives can result in nerve damage. If this is something you use and are dealing with these symptoms, you may need to discuss another option with your dentist.


            Fatigue is a common symptom many of us deal with daily. While there are many different causes of excessive fatigue, sleep apnea is a major one. If this is the case for you, your dentist can work with you to determine the right treatment for your sleep apnea. Also, fatigue is a symptom of mercury poisoning, which can be result of metal fillings.


            Women who are pregnant have many different doctor appointments to keep up with that going to the dentist may slide through. Try not to let this be the case. If you are pregnant, you should work with your dentist to ensure you maintain good oral health. Similar to the health of the rest of your body, a healthy mouth makes for a healthier baby. Furthermore, women who have gum disease while pregnant can result in more complications.

Your toothcare

            This may seem like an obvious one. However, most patients do not get a dentist’s opinion on what products are best for their mouth. There are so many different options out on the market today and all advertise different things. Phrases like “fluoride-free” or “silica blend” can oftentimes be confusing. Furthermore, each patient’s specific needs are different depending on their health history. Ask your dentist which toothbrush and toothpaste he or she recommends for your teeth. Also, inquire if there are any other issues you should be addressing when practicing oral hygiene.

            Maintaining dental health is vital to sustaining your overall health. SmilesNY is here to answer any questions or concerns you may have. Call us at 888-353-7165 to make your appointment today.

Sensitive Teeth? These 5 Tips Are for You

Sensitive Teeth? These 5 Tips Are for You

                If you have sensitive teeth then you know that it can be quite the hassle. Eating cold foods and drinking cold drinks are often incredibly painful for those with sensitive teeth issues. Tooth sensitivity can be the result of several factors. Gum recession, consuming acidic foods and drinks, teeth grinding and brushing too hard are all causes of sensitive teeth. Tooth sensitivity can also occur after a dental treatment, like whitening, cleanings or root canals, as well as from root nerve damage. Fortunately, there are several ways to combat tooth sensitivity. To prevent any unwanted pain, check out our top five tips below.

Use the right toothpaste

                Perhaps the best way to fight against tooth sensitivity is with a toothpaste designed for those with sensitive teeth. Many popular brands like Colgate, Crest, Sensodyne and Arm & Hammer all sell these toothpastes. When making a purchase, make sure that potassium nitrate is among the ingredients. This ingredient works to fight tooth sensitivity and prevent pain by blocking the tiny tubules that are in the dentin. Following up your toothbrushing routine with a mouthwash that has stannous fluoride will help the desensitization process.

Brush with the right tools

                How you brush your teeth and the brush you use make a big difference with tooth sensitivity. Make sure that you are utilizing a toothbrush that is soft-bristled and ensure you are brushing gently. Brushing aggressively with medium or hard bristles will accelerate receding gums, which will in turn expose teeth and destroy enamel.

Steer clear of acidic foods and drinks

                Foods high in acidic nature, like coffee, tea and citrus fruits, work against sensitive teeth by dissolving enamel. Avoiding these kinds of foods and drinks is ideal. If this is not possible, attempt to limit your exposure to them. Also, use a straw to consume these beverages as it will minimize the contact with them.

Wear protection

                If you are a teeth grinder at night, chances are you suffer from tooth sensitivity. Grinding teeth can dissolve enamel, which in turn makes teeth more sensitive. If this is the case, we suggest coming in and getting a customized mouth guard fit for your mouth. This will help to prevent any destroying of enamel during the night.

If you are not sure if you grind your teeth, look out for the symptoms: serious headaches and severe jaw pain are both big signs that you may grind your teeth.

Stay close with your dentist

                If tooth sensitivity is an issue for you then visiting your dentist is a good idea. He or she can determine exactly where the sensitivity is deriving from and can then apply an in-office desensitizer. This painted-on barrier, like a fluoride varnish, will work to decrease the sensitivity levels. Your dentist may recognize another issue that could be contributing to the sensitivity and will then be able to treat it.

If sensitivity continues to occur, call us today at 1-888-353-7165 to make an appointment to see Dr. Roth or Dr. Chase.

The Surprising Things You Should Check for Mouth Cancer

The Surprising Things You Should Check for Mouth Cancer

Around 50,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year, and it will cause around 10,000 deaths. Oftentimes, when someone is diagnosed with cancer, it is after exhibiting certain symptoms. For mouth cancer, there are several symptoms to look out for.

Typically, oral cancer appears as a sore or growth inside the mouth, and the cancer does not subside. Cancer in the mouth includes cancer that resides in or on the lips, tongue, sinuses, throat, cheeks, floor of the mouth and hard and soft palate. If not diagnosed and treated immediately, oral cancer can be life threatening. Check out below for a list of the most common symptoms of oral cancer.

Sores within the mouth

            A major symptom of oral cancer is the development of lumps and rough spots throughout the mouth. This especially includes areas like the lips and gums. Other physical symptoms include white, red and speckled patches throughout the mouth. Unexplained bleeding is also a major symptom.

With mouth cancer, you may experience numbness and tenderness of the face, neck and mouth. Sores around the face, neck and mouth that are not healing within two weeks are also signs, especially if they bleed easily.

Pain in the throat

            Another major symptom of oral cancer is a constant feeling of soreness in the throat. It may feel as if something is caught in the back of your throat. As a result, you might experience a difficulty in chewing and swallowing. Speaking and moving the jaw is often uncomfortable. A change in voice can also occur.

Unexpected symptoms

            Other symptoms that can be experienced that may signal mouth cancer include a pain in the ears and dramatic weight loss. Movement of the teeth has also been reported. This could impact how dentures fit.

Who is at risk?

            The American Cancer Society reports that men are twice as likely to develop oral cancer than women. Men who are over 50 years old have the highest risk. During 2014, over 40,000 people were diagnosed with oral cancer in the United States.

While men over 50 are at the highest risk, other factors can put you at risk for mouth cancer. Smoking is the top factor for raising the risk of oral cancer. Those who smoke cigarettes, pipes and cigars are six times more likely to develop oral cancer than those who do not smoke.

Also, those who excessively consume alcohol are also about six times more at risk than those who do not drink. Other factors that raise risk of oral cancer include a family history and excessive exposure to the sun. Those who have contracted human papillomavirus (HPV) are at higher risk as well, as certain strains of HPV are etiologic risk factors for Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma.

Despite these factors, over 25% of those who are diagnosed with oral cancer are nonsmokers and only consume alcohol socially.

How to prevent

            The best way to prevent an oral cancer diagnosis is to steer clear of smoking and excessive alcohol usage. Consume a healthy, balanced diet and limit exposure to the sun.

Once a month, you should be conducting a self-exam on your lips, gums and roof of your mouth to search for any lumps or enlarged lymph nodes. Using a bright light, feel around your entire mouth as well as your neck and under your jaw. If anything feels odd or you are exhibiting any symptoms listed above, contact your dentist immediately.

To ensure a healthy mouth, you should be seeing your dentist at least twice a year for regular preventative checkups. It is recommended for those between 20 and 40 years old to have an oral cancer screening with a dentist every 3 years. For those who are over 40, these checks should be annually.

Call us at 1-888-353-7165 to book your oral cancer screening today.

Considering Whitening Your Teeth? Here is What You Should Know

Considering Whitening Your Teeth? Here is What You Should Know

Everyone aspires to have a bright, white set of teeth. Every model in the magazines and movies has a perfect smile. Every toothpaste advertises its whitening properties, promising brighter teeth. If you are looking for a way to get that picture-perfect smile, consider this before you make any decisions.

Know the logistics

The basic teeth-whitening products that are available in drugstores are all different strengths, with different levels of hydrogen peroxide. In drugstore brands, the range is usually from about 3% to 15%. This is significantly less than the procedure offered at a dentist, which is anywhere from 15% to 40%.

Always consider the possible side effects of any teeth-whitening procedure. If you have particularly sensitive teeth, you will likely feel these effects stronger. These may include gum irritation and temporary pain and sensitivity. However, the important thing to remember is that these are only short-lived. When a dentist is administering the whitening procedure, he or she can help with any negative symptoms. Often, he or she will offer some desensitizing gel to help ease the pain. Taking an ibuprofen before and after the procedure will help as well.

Before committing to a whitening procedure, make sure that you are a safe candidate. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, along with those who still have baby teeth, are not eligible. Those who have gum disease or especially sensitive teeth should also abstain from these procedures.

If you choose to do an in-home treatment, ensure that you are following the directions exactly. Avoid leaving the whitener on for longer than the recommended time period. Too much whitening gel can result in damaged teeth. It can also leave a translucent and discolored permanent look. Follow the instructions regarding how long to abstain from food or drink afterward in order to gain the best results.

The results

If you are still unsure of which system to purchase or which procedure to do, ask your dentist. He or she can recommend the best option for you and your budget. Note that whatever system you do end up choosing, the results are not permanent.

As we age, teeth begin to yellow or become pale. Therefore, the results from any teeth-whitening procedure are not permanent. Certain foods and drinks, like coffee and red wine, also stain our teeth more than others. Results will typically last anywhere from six months to two years, depending on your teeth and your diet.

Understand that results vary depending on several factors. The better you have taken care of your teeth in the past, the better results you will have. If you have regularly brushed your teeth, flossed and visited your dentist, then you can expect better results.

If teeth whitening sounds right for you, contact SmilesNY for more information about our Zoom! Teeth Whitening procedure. This scientifically advanced system is safe, effective and fast. It provides patients with instantly whiter teeth in just one hour. Zoom! Teeth Whitening is proven to remove stains caused by coffee, tea, smoking, red wine, dark soda and artificially colored foods. Contact us at 888-353-7165 to book your session today.

Keeping Your Teeth Pretty in Ugly Weather

Keeping Your Teeth Pretty in Ugly Weather

Winter in New York is a magical time of the year. As your NYC cosmetic dentist, I want to make sure that your teeth are looking and feeling good despite the snow, rain, and slush. The winter months bring about many wonderful changes, but winter can also hurt your teeth. As part of our dedication to you, we want to help make your smile glow even while the sun is not shining.

Teeth are sensitive to temperature

One of the first facts that you need to understand is that your teeth have pores. Your teeth are hard and strong, but they have tiny holes in them to help maintain good dental health. These pores lead into the teeth and ultimately influence the nerves that are there.

While these pores are necessary, they also make your teeth sensitive to temperature changes, especially when it is incredibly hot or freezing cold. Last year, the average temperate in Central Park was 38 degrees in January. You need to protect your teeth. Your teeth respond to temperature swings by expanding and contracting. This means that your teeth are sensitive to the extremes, and rapid temperature changes affect them.

Limit your time outdoors

When you are outside, you need to protect your mouth. You should try to limit your time outdoors as much as possible. This will help prevent cold sores in addition to shielding yourself from cold temperatures and temperature shifts. Should you have to go outside, it is wise to bring a scarf along with you. Breathing through your nose means that cold air is not hitting your teeth directly. This does not expose them to the air, saving you from discomfort.

When it is cold outside, some people clench their mouth very tightly. This is a mistake. Clenching and grinding your teeth is called bruxism and it can be incredibly harmful. Similarly, when your teeth are clattering together, this is bad for you. Staying warm not only feels good, but it is good for your dental health. Jackets with high collars, to warm your neck and jaw, are a must-have.

Stay hydrated

Drinking lots of water is vital in the Summer, due to how much water people lose through sweat. Consuming water is just as important in January and February. You need water to maintain a certain level of moisture in your mouth. Your saliva helps fight off bad bacteria, which in turn protects you from cavities and infection. When the heater is running, everything is drying out faster. People often do not realize this. Hydrating yourself is important for your whole body.

When it is nasty outside, we understand the temptation to drink hot chocolate. If a cold day calls for a cup of cocoa, do not add any sugar or try to find a sugar-free drink. Hot chocolate can and will stain your teeth if you drink enough of it, and the sugar of the drink may cause cavities. It is a good idea to limit how much hot chocolate you are drinking when you can.

Visit your dentist

If you have any questions about how to maintain a bright and healthy smile, come see the experts at SmilesNY. We want your smile to glow the same way you do. Call us today at 212-752-6537, and schedule an appointment with us.

3 Tips for Taking Care of Your Porcelain Veneers

3 Tips for Taking Care of Your Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers have grown in popularity, as their use has increased by more than 200% in the past ten years. As a New York City cosmetic dentist, many people come through the doors asking for this procedure. At SmilesNY, we are dedicated to helping our community.

If teeth are worn down, discolored, or broken, veneers will help. They offer natural tooth appearance while preserving your teeth’s structure. Veneers have a long life expectancy. With that being said, you still need to make sure to take care of them. As part of our service to you, we have made a list of actions to take to make sure your veneers last a long time.

1. Employ a Regular Brushing and Flossing Routine

The application of porcelain veneers is one of the most forgiving dental procedures on the market. You will not need to make any massive adjustments to your dental routine, but you will have to make sure to brush your teeth and floss them at least twice a day.

Do not be afraid to brush and floss your veneers. They can handle the pressure. That being said, it is wise to acquire a soft-bristled toothbrush and a non-abrasive toothpaste to ensure that your veneers do not wear down. Regularly brushing and flossing not only protects your porcelains, it helps your natural teeth. Guaranteeing to brush and floss frequently is vital.

2. Do Not Chew on Anything Too Hard

Veneers are extremely durable. Despite that, they are not as strong as your natural teeth. All of the hard foodstuffs that harm your natural teeth will harm your veneers. Do not bite your fingernails or chew on pens when you are nervous. We understand that some people do that when they are anxious or uncomfortable, but it is harmful to your teeth.

In addition, pretzels, hard candy apples, and nuts are bad for your veneers. If you have to eat hard food, we recommend chewing with your back teeth. You can also break up candy bars or cut apples into pieces before you eat them, to ensure that your veneers do not chip.

3. See Your Dentist

After you have had your veneers put in place, your dentist will ask you to come back. It is important to make sure that the veneers were put in place correctly. Bruxism, or grinding one’s teeth, harm your veneers as well as your teeth. Visiting your dentist is a good way to see if you are affected by this and the dentist can spot any other problems which arise.

Foods and drinks that stain your teeth also stain your veneers. Your NYC cosmetic dentist will be able to tell you if your teeth are becoming discolored. Some people’s gums react negatively to the addition of veneers, although this is rare. Your dentist will be able to recognize the problem and fix it, in the unlikely cases that it arises.

If you have any questions about dental veneers in New York City, we are happy to help. Stop by SmilesNY for a visit, or call us at 212-752-6537 today.

Can Dentists Really Help Me Sleep?

Can Dentists Really Help Me Sleep?

As much as 40% of the American population snores, and around 16% of the US has a diagnosable form of obstructive sleep apnea. Between 50 and 70 million people in our country has a sleep disorder. Many people feel that they are not getting enough sleep, but what most people do not know is how visiting a dentist can help.

Worn-down enamel

Your mouth, neck, and jaw show indicators of how well or poorly you are sleeping. For example, worn-down enamel is a sign of stress or anxiety. This causes someone to grind or gnash their teeth at night. Another way a dentist helps is by looking at the shape of your jaw. Your jaw may indicate whether or not you are prone to having sleep apnea.


Many people find snoring to be nothing more than annoying. While it may be irksome if your partner drones on at night, it has a deleterious effect on your sleep. Sleep apnea disrupts your rest. This has an impact on you not only while you sleep, but it decreases your brain’s executive functioning, limits your ability to pay attention, and impairs your memory. In general, a reduction in the quality of sleep also leads to a decline in general health.

How dentists can help

Dentists are equipped with a few means of improving your sleep. One of the least intrusive means is a mandibular advancement device. During your visit to the dentist, he or she takes a mold of your mouth, so the device is unique to you. Then he or she can show you how to put it in, and make it comfortable. This device will pull your jaw forward, which forces the tongue forward and clears your airway. When your airway is clear, the quality of sleep is greatly improved.

In addition, a dentist may prescribe you a continuous positive airway pressure machine, otherwise known as a CPAP. You place a mask over your head before you sleep, and the device establishes a pressure which is conducive to helping you sleep. This is considered one of the best ways to help you sleep if you have sleep apnea.

Unfortunately, these devices have an incredibly low adherence rate. This means that many patients do not use the CPAP as much as they should. CPAPs require electricity, and are not portable. The masks are often bulky, and as much as half of users stop using. This is not recommended. These devices are the best means of fighting moderate to severe sleep apnea.

There are additional disorders that dentists diagnose. Upper airway resistance syndrome, hypopnea, and bruxism are all noticed upon a visit to the dentist. Sleep apnea is one of the most common dental-related sleep disorders, but it is far from the only one.

To answer the question, yes. Dentists really can help you sleep. If you have any questions about how dentistry and sleep are related, contact us at (212) 752-6537.  The dentists at SmilesNY will use their decades of experience to assist you in any way they can.