Did You Know Your Dentist Can Treat Sleep Apnea?

by Robert C. Rawdin, DDS

The importance of sleep cannot be over-emphasized. Sleep replenishes your body and mind. Sleep allows your body to stay healthy and recharges your battery every day so you can be active and productive in your daily life.

If you don’t sleep well, you know it. Poor sleep or deprivation of sleep will take its toll on the way you feel and have negative health consequences. The reasons for poor sleep can be numerous, but there are many things you can do to help improve your sleep. The key is to identify what is causing your sleep issues.

Do you have a sleep disorder?

Sleep Apnea is a condition that greatly impacts the quality of your sleep. Many people who have Sleep Apnea are not aware that they have it. Estimates run, from 30-80 million people in the US are affected with sleep apnea, and are undiagnosed. With Sleep Apnea you actually stop breathing while you sleep. Each episode of non-breathing lasts at least 10 seconds and can happen hundreds of times per night! Without breathing, your body is deprived of oxygen and this can lead to serious health issues if left untreated; high blood pressure, diabetes, higher risk of stroke and heart attack, cardiovascular disease and weight gain. You also can’t get into deep sleep if your brain is constantly arousing you to start breathing.

What are the signs and symptoms of Sleep Apnea?

The signs and symptoms of Sleep Apnea are fairly obvious, but many people ignore them and feel they just don’t sleep well. Others have no idea they have Sleep Apnea – think of the high profile, recent headlines of train operators and the catastrophic results of working while sleep deprived. If you are feeling tired all the time, have morning headaches, snore a lot, feel irritable and/or depressed, have high blood pressure, or can’t lose weight, chances are that you have Sleep Apnea.

Not everyone with Sleep Apnea needs a CPAP

Most people, who know anything about Sleep Apnea, associate it with the CPAP machine. This is a mask that provides Continuous Positive Air Pressure. Many people reject the idea of having to use this and would rather do nothing. The CPAP is a very effective device to prevent sleep apnea. However, it is best employed in patients with severe Sleep Apnea. Contemporary wisdom these days agree that the use of oral devices are very effective treating Sleep Apnea in those with mild to moderate Sleep Apnea. Dentists who are trained in dental sleep medicine make these devices. Sleep appliances are also indicated in cases where patients cannot tolerate the CPAP or just refuse to use it.

Sleep tests are simple – and might save your life!

Testing for Sleep Apnea is quite simple. In most cases, a simple home sleep test is available. In the past testing meant a trip to a sleep lab where, ironically, no one really gets a good night’s sleep!

If you sleep poorly, you need to talk with your doctor or dentist. If a sleep test is indicated (based on answering a few questions), you can easily be set up to have a home sleep test. The treatment can be much simpler than you may have thought; an oral device is a non-invasive approach that is effective in about 85% of patients. The oral device is portable and easily used anywhere.

Treat your Sleep Apnea. It can be life changing and in some cases, life saving. To learn more, visit sleep.gallery57dental.com




5-Ways The Flu Compromises Oral Health

It’s official, 2018 flu is the worst with hospitalizations higher than ever seen since tracking has begun in 2005 and it’s far from over. The CDC predicts that although it has probably peaked, there at least 11-13 more weeks of influenza to go.

Most people who get the flu see improvement in several days to less than 2 weeks. But some people can develop serious complications caused by viral infections of the nasal passage, throat and lungs that can compromise oral health.

Your mouth is the villain of the flu story

Our mouth is the primary villain in the story of how flu bacteria spreads, originating from saliva and mucus in our nasal passages. Some of the most common ways we contaminate everyone around us:

-Sharing drinks

-Sneezing without covering the mouth and nose in the crook of our arm.

-Not disposing of loose tissues that have been sneezed in.

A pain in the gums

Along with sneezing and sniffling, you might notice a dull pain in your gums, but this might not be a dental problem. Toothaches during flu season can be due to sinus chambers getting blocked with excess mucus. You can alleviate this discomfort by taking a mild decongestant, rinsing your sinuses with a Neti Pot or gargling with mouthwash or salt water.

Sinus pain that persists for more than a week might be due to a sinus infection and needs to be treated by a doctor who may prescribe antibiotics. If once the flu has resolved and you’re still experiencing gum pain, make an appointment with your dentist.

The link between oral health and pneumonia

One of the dangerous complications of the flu is developing pneumonia. Maintaining oral health throughout the year prevents periodontal disease, which studies have found create a predisposition to pneumonia. Research has found that people who don’t maintain their dental health had a greater risk of developing pneumonia than those who visit the dentist twice a year. 

Disinfect Disinfect Disinfect…

Aside from vaccination, the most important thing to do is prevent the spread of germs. Everything you touch while you’re sick is loaded with bacteria. Seriously EVERYTHING! Wash your hands frequently for about 20 seconds and wipe down doorknobs and anything else you touch with a Lysol wipes. Don’t neglect decontaminating your dental gear. Mouth guards, retainers and removable braces should be carefully cleaned. To be on the safe side, dispose of your toothbrush once you’ve recovered. You should be replacing it every 3-4 months anyway.

 Maintaining oral health while recovering

It’s difficult to do much of anything while recovering from the flu. But try not to neglect your oral health, especially since recovery can take weeks if not more. It’s a long time to go without brushing your teeth and maintaining your dental health.

We all have our go-to cures, but unfortunately not all of them are tooth friendly. Orange juice, Vitamin C boosts, ginger ale, tea and throat lozenges can cause havoc to our dental health. Brush frequently and try to use sugar free options whenever possible.



5-Ways Exercise Helps You Sleep Better

Working up a sweat at the gym can lead to more restful Zzz’s at night. Just 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity a week enhances the quality of your sleep by 65 percent and leaves you feeling more energetic all day.

Developing a regular fitness regimen can transform the way you sleep at night in many ways:

Helps Restore Your Sleep Cycle

Working out helps regulate our internal clocks and circadian rhythms, so you can sleep at night instead of dozing off during the day.

When is the best time to exercise? Early morning and afternoon may raise the body temperature slightly, then allowing it to drop and bring on sleepiness at night when you need it most. It also helps to exercise outdoors, letting your body absorb the natural sunlight during the daytime hours.

Alleviate Stress

Are you tossing and turning nightly with all the problems of the world circling your head? How can you relax? Science has found that even five minutes of aerobic exercise reduces anxiety. Choose any of your cardio favorites, running, kickboxing or Zumba to decrease your tension and get into a better headset. Exercise and other physical activity produce endorphins—chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers—and also improve the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress.

Improves Quantity And Quality Of Sleep

Exercise can help to improve not only the quantity of sleep but also the quality. Studies have shown that daytime physical activity stimulates longer periods of slow-wave sleep, the deepest and most restorative stages of sleep.

Combats Insomnia

Chronic insomnia is the most common sleep disorder among adults. Unfortunately exercising once in awhile doesn’t do much to alleviate this problem and in fact might make it worse. A regular fitness regimen that’s maintained over a course of time could begin shifting your internal clock. But you have to be patient. It might take several weeks or months to significantly change the sleep pattern. 

Decreases The Severity Of Sleep Apnea

Exercise alone is not a substitute for medical therapy in treating a serious disorder such as Sleep Apnea. With this condition, airways collapse during sleep, which causes breathing to stop briefly and restart as many as 30 times an hour, all night long.

An estimated 30-40 million Americans have this sleep disorder, which can cause severe daytime drowsiness, difficulty in concentrating and irritability. Along with medical treatment, developing exercise regimens such as walking, running on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike can help improve symptoms.

Start counting your steps to a better night’s sleep. *ENTER OUR “30 SECONDS TO WIN A FITBIT” CONTEST! Just complete our questionnaire online or in-office to enter! https://goo.gl/sJMqbh * Winner to be announced January 29th.


Dr. Sam’s Holiday Gift Guide 2017

Still scrambling to find a holiday gift for your family/friend/co-worker/work wife/work husband/dog walker/hair stylist/manicurist/doorman? Luckily, there’s one thing that they ALL have in common… they’ve all got teeth that need some TLC.  Who wouldn’t want a gift that can give them a sparkling smile AND improves their overall health and wellness? Check out our fun picks below, suited to fit any budget or style.

And don’t worry, we fully encourage the “treat-yo-self” mantra when it comes to and ordering any of these just for you!

Electric Toothbrushes

At Gallery57Dental, we’re always recommending electric toothbrushes to our patients. It’s a better clean with less work! Plus, most of them have a 2-minute timer so you know exactly how long you should be brushing.

quipIf you guys follow me on Instagram (if you don’t, you should! My handle is @style.your.smile) you may have seen my story about Quip toothbrushes. Coming in at under $50, this is an awesome gift for anyone who likes a chic, minimalist look. I see you, rose gold handle! Plus, there’s a subscription service to get a new brush head every 3 months so you’re never stuck with old, yucky bristles. $45 for the brush, $5 billed every 3 months for replacement brush heads https://www.getquip.com/

sonicare    The brand I recommend most often is the Philips Sonicare. Any of their brushes are going to give you 7x better plaque removal than a manual toothbrush, but this HealthyWhite+ line focuses on removing surface stains to give you whiter teeth in just one week. It has 2 modes and 3 levels of intensity for maximum comfort and cleaning. 119.99 for the brush, travel case and charger https://www.usa.philips.com 

apa toothbrushIf you’re really trying to impress your gift recipient, go for the Apa Beauty Clean White Sonic Toothbrush. This brush is as much a décor item for your vanity as it a functional product. Carried by high end retailers such as NET-A-PORTER and Violet Grey, this brush delivers 40,000 sonic vibrations per minute to clean, whiten and massage the teeth. $250 for the brush, charger and travel protector  https://www.net-a-porter.com/

Whitening Products

When it comes to whitening, there are a bunch of different ways to achieve that luminous smile. One of these products is a sure way to tell your gift-getter that they brighten up your holidays!

optic whiteThe simplest (and least expensive) way is with a whitening toothpaste, such as Colgate’s Optic White High Impact. This toothpaste (which is under $10!) not only cleans teeth and fights cavities, but also contains the same active ingredient that is found in professional whitening products. $5.99 on Amazon  https://www.amazon.com/Colgate-Optic-Impact-Whitening-Toothpaste

crest - Copy (2)  For a more noticeable whitening result, head to your nearest drug store and pick up Crest White Strips. I happen to be a fan of the FlexFit series, as they tend to stay in place a little better. This particular line is meant to be worn only for an hour at a time, so it’s a great gift for those constantly on the go! $75.99 for a 3-week supply https://crest.com/

kor - Copy  If you’re really looking to splurge, contact our office to give the gift of in-office whitening. It’s still the most effective way to whiten teeth in one session, plus it comes with custom fit whitening trays for at home touch-ups. Call us to find out more!  $475 and up(212) 246-8700  https://gallery57dental.com/

Stocking Stuffers!


A few more of my favorite items that are perfect for helping keep the teeth in tip-top shape through the New Year.

cocofloss  One of my new product finds is Cocofloss. It’s a multi-filament dental floss that actually scrubs between the teeth to better remove plaque than any other floss I’ve tried. It contains coconut oil to help soothe the gums AND comes in peppermint flavor just for the holidays! $22 for a pack of 3 https://cocofloss.com/

marvisFor the jet-setter, a set of fancy travel-sized toothpastes would make the perfect gift! The cinnamon flavor is especially festive this time of year, but the retailer also makes other contemporary flavors such as ginger, jasmine and licorice. $15 for set of 3 https://shop.nordstrom.com

Koffie strawIf your giftee is a coffee-lover, these reusable straws will help keep their teeth white and shiny long after the holidays are done. Koffie Straws are bent at the top to direct coffee, tea or other stain-inducing liquids behind your front teeth and they’re made from silicone so they can be safely used in hot beverages. Plus, they come in different fun colors! $12.99 for 2 straws and cleaning brush https://koffiestraw.com/

Pumpkin Soup That’s ‘Gourd For You


Nothing more comforting then pumpkin soup with some toasted pumpkin seeds sprinkled on top to warm you on a chilly winter’s day. How often is something delicious also healthy? Well pumpkins are loaded with vitamins that include.Zinc, Magnesium and Vitamin A which boosts gum health, strengthen teeth and promotes healing damaged gums. Just one ounce of pumpkin seeds fulfills 35 percent of your daily magnesium needs and tops the whole thing off. Enjoy this tooth friendly pumpkin soup recipe.


1.2 kg / 2.4 lb pumpkin (any), unpeeled weight (Note 1)

1 onion, sliced (white, brown, yellow)

2 garlic cloves, peeled whole

3 cups / 750ml vegetable or chicken broth, low sodium

1 cup / 250 ml water

Salt and pepper


1/2 – 3/4 cup / 125 – 185 ml cream or half and half (Note 2) or 3/4 cup / 185 ml milk (any type, I use low fat)



  1. Cut the pumpkin into 3cm / 2.25″ slices. Cut the skin off and scrape seeds out (video is helpful). Cut into chunks.
  2. Place the pumpkin, onion, garlic, broth and water in a pot – liquid won’t cover all the pumpkin. Bring to a boil, uncovered, then reduce heat and let simmer rapidly until pumpkin is tender.
  3. Remove from heat and use a stick blender to blend until smooth. If you don’t have a stick blender, use a blender – see notes.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper, stir through cream (never boil soup after adding soup, cream will split).
  5. Ladle soup into bowls, drizzle over a bit of cream, sprinkle with pepper and parsley if desired. Serve with crusty bread!







Is Snoring Coming Between You?

Nothing more romantic than a couple in bed snuggling and drifting off to sleep, right? Not so much if one of them is snoring. Sleeping with a snorer can take its toll on a partner’s physical and emotional health. Can this marriage be saved?

Second Hand Snoring Blues

The National Sleep Foundation found a direct correlation between a couples’ relationship and the quality of their sleep. The required 7-9 uninterrupted hours of sleep per night becomes impossible when spouses of snorers are being woken up, at least partially, an average 21 times an hour.

The consequences for the snoree can go way beyond suffering from fatigue. A wife can develop an extrinsic (something that occurs outside of your body) sleeping disorder by being woken up multiple times by her husband who might be suffering from an intrinsic sleep disorder such as Sleep Apnea.  Without sleep it becomes hard to perform cognitive tasks involving memory, learning reasoning and mathematical skills. It can impair motor skills and cause headaches, burnout and depression to name a few symptoms.

All this sleep deprivation can create strain in a relationship. In fact snoring is the third leading cause of divorce in the United States, trailing behind infidelity and financial problems.  Let’s face it, it’s hard to feel affectionate when you’re grumpy and sleep deprived.

What to do

– If your relationship is suffering because of snoring, it’s important to remember that it’s a symptom of a physical condition, such as Sleep Apnea, sinusitis or nasal obstruction that can be treated.

– To find out if second-hand snoring is the culprit, some doctors suggest taking a sleep vacation from your partner by moving into another room to gauge what is the cause of your exhaustion.

-For the sake of both you, the snoring partner should agree to seek medical help to evaluate his condition. He might be suffering from Sleep Apnea, a potentially life threatening condition which causes them to stop breathing many times a night waking up gasping for air. This condition lowers the oxygen level in the blood. leaving the patient vulnerable to lung and heart disease, diabetes, obesity and stroke.

Can this marriage be saved?

Can marital satisfaction be restored if a snoring spouse’s sleep disorder is treated? For sure! The Sleep Disorders Center at Rush University Medical Center conducted a scientific sleep study before and after husbands were treated with CPAP and the results were optimistic.  

Following treatment the wife’s quality of life increased, her sleepiness dropped and marital satisfaction scores improved considerably. In fact another study found that spouse’s quality of life surged more than those receiving the actual treatment.

The bottom line is don’t let a relationship deteriorate because of snoring, it will take it’s toll on your relationship and both of your physical well being. Addressing the problem will have you both happily snuggling together in bed once again!


Can Stress Really Cause Tooth Loss

Dr. Samantha Rawdin discusses the link between stress and tooth loss.

This past week, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon hosted actress Demi Moore. As an avid Tonight Show watcher, I (not-so-shamefully) pride myself on having deciphered the interview sequence they take with their guests:

Guest sits down. Jimmy welcomes guest. Jimmy brings up interesting, obscure detail about guest. Guest tells funny story having to do with interesting, obscure detail.

But this time, the story particularly caught my attention since they started talking about how said guest lost her two front teeth! Due to stress!

If you happened to watch the interview, and saw the part where Jimmy and Demi start praising modern dentistry, I know what you’re thinking. I should be thanking Jimmy for calling me a genius.THANKS JIMMY! Really appreciate the shout out. (Yea, yea. I know. He called all dentists geniuses. But a girl can dream, no?)

So yes. Modern dentistry is awesome. We can do really amazing things to replace teeth and make them look natural and beautiful. (Hence why I love my job.) BUT they didn’t really get to the core issue here. Demi Moore’s teeth fell out due to STRESS. As New Yorkers, it seems we’re always stressed. Should you be worried that one day you’ll just be walking down the street, all of a sudden you feel something fall out of your mouth, and when you look down you’re surprised to see it’s your tooth? In short, no. That’s really not how it happens.

Stress can manifest itself in the oral cavity in a few ways. The most common is bruxing, clenching or grinding your teeth. (Collectively, we call these parafunctions.) This habit can happen either at night while you sleep or during the day– especially while working out or dealing with an aggravating situation. If you continue with this habit for long enough, it will start to wear down your teeth. This does kind of sound like what Demi was saying in that she “sheared off” her teeth… but if you’re guilty of any of these habits, you typically see wear distributed on most, of not all of your teeth.

Interesting that the rest of Demi’s smile appears to be intact, no? Well I have another theory. My guess is that Demi suffers from a super common condition called periodontal disease. Periodontal disease occurs when bacteria that is not removed by regular dental cleanings travels down the root surface of the tooth, causing the gums and bone to be resorbed and thus reducing the stability of the teeth. Periodontal health is intimately linked to overall health. Stress, and all of the other systemic conditions that it is associated with, such as cardiovascular issues, nervous system issues and GI problems, can all exacerbate periodontal disease. This loss of support of the teeth in combination with stress and parafunctional habits can, in fact, cause your teeth to literally fall out of your head.

But, this isn’t something to freak out about. These changes occur over a long period of time. Bottom line? Make sure you see your dentist for regular check ups. Tracking these changes over time is the best way to diagnose early and treat any issues you might have before you start dropping teeth like coconuts falling from a tree.

I give Demi a ton of credit. In an industry where you’re supposed to be flawless all of the time, it must not be easy to plaster a photo of yourself all over the internet, sans one front tooth. It would be a very vulnerable state for anyone, let alone a movie star. Kudos to Demi for bringing the dental consequences of stress to the forefront of pop culture at her own expense.

Broken tooth on vacation?

What happens when you break a tooth on vacation? Dr. Samantha Rawdin is on-the-job providing tips on how to manage this dental emergency:

You’ve been planning for months. Flights are booked. Bags are packed. You finally

arrive at your destination… and then your tooth breaks.

What’s a vacationer to do?! Well, it’ll depend on a few things…

If you’re in pain…

…you should seek help right away. If you’re in a hotel, ask the concierge. Usually

they can direct you to a dentist near by. If you’re not in a hotel, but still in the U.S.,

you can go to the American Dental Association website (www.ada.org) and utilize

their “Find-a- Dentist” tool. It has some advanced search options to help you narrow

down your results. If you’re out of the country, things can be a bit trickier.

Depending on where you are in the world, dental care can be very good or not so


If you can get to a pharmacy…

…try to find a product that helps with toothaches—they’re usually found in the

dental aisle. They come in gums, gels and pastes and can be applied to the sensitive

area. Be sure to follow the instructions, as they can vary slightly among brands.

Can’t get to a pharmacy?

A piece of (sugarless!) chewing gum can help protect a sensitive area from irritants.

You can also try putting desensitizing toothpaste, such as Sensodyne, directly on the

area and then covering it with gum. If you can find it, a drop of clove oil on a cotton

swab can have a palliative effect.

If you have a cap/crown/temporary/veneer that came off…

…you have a few options. Pharmacies typically have some sort of temporary cement

for at-home use. Again, be sure to follow the instructions. Before using, try to clean

the inside of the restoration as best as you can to remove excess cement or debris.

Then, try it in a few times so you know which way it goes. Mix up the cement, place

only enough inside the restoration to coat the surface in a thin layer and seat the

restoration. Bite down gently, but be sure to bite down all the way. Clean up any

excess with a cotton swab or toothpick before it hardens. If you can’t find temporary

cement, denture adhesive will work as well. Just be aware that you’ll need to replace

it a few times per day. If you’re not in pain and the temporary isn’t staying in well,

take it out before you go to sleep so you don’t swallow it.

And whatever you do, don’t use Krazy Glue! Still confused? Call or e-mail us. Even if

we’re not close by, we can probably at least help point you in the right direction.

And, of course, be sure to come see us as soon as you get home!

Getting Personal About HPV and Oral Cancer

Dr. Samantha Rawdin gets personal about HPV and Oral Cancer:

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, and as a member of the medical community dealing directly with the oropharynx (including the mouth and throat), this is something that we feel our patients and readers should be aware of. Although it doesn’t always get the attention that other types of cancer receive, oral cancer is still a prevalent issue in the U.S. Almost 50,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year and one person every hour of every day will die from it.

Tobacco use and alcohol consumption still remain the greatest risk factors for developing oropharyngeal cancer, but the fastest growing population of people being diagnosed are young, healthy, non-smoking individuals with Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). Now, this is where things get a little weird. HPV is a sexually transmitted disease that can occasionally manifest in the oral cavity. Since your dentist is usually the only one examining your mouth on a regular basis, finding one of these lesions can lead to conversations you wouldn’t otherwise expect to have with your oral health care specialist.

According to an article this week in the New York Times, more than forty-two percent of Americans bewteen the ages of 18-59 are infected with HPV. In adults aged 18-69, 7% have an oral HPV infection and 4% have the high-risk strains that can cause cancer in the mouth and throat.

The good news? Over 90% of HPV infections are gone from the body within 2 years.  But, just to be on the safe side, make sure your dental professional is doing a thorough oral cancer screening. And don’t feel bad about asking– it’s something that should be a routine part of their examination anyway. If you see or feel something that’s not quite right in your mouth or throat that sticks around for longer than two weeks, such as discoloration, swelling or irritation, make an appointment to see your dentist or doctor. If you are visiting them on a regular basis, changes will be easier to spot and may be easier to manage.

Can Activated Charcoal Toothpaste Make Your Teeth Whiter?

Dr. Samantha Rawdin clarifies the hype over charcoal toothpaste. Can it really make your teeth whiter?

In accordance with the DIY health remedies that have taken the Internet by storm recently, we wanted to take a closer look at one in particular—activated charcoal toothpaste. Up there with turmeric and matcha, activated charcoal is an increasingly popular wellness trend. It has well documented use in medicine as a detoxifying agent in treating poisonings and overdoses, but does it have a place in dentistry?


Activated charcoal is thought to absorb the stains and impurities that remain on teeth, which can make teeth appear whiter. However, there are no studies that prove this and the long-term effects of using charcoal, both on your teeth and systemically, are unknown. Plus, by just using the activated powder alone, you’re missing out on the benefits of using a fluoridated toothpaste.


What about all of the positive reviews online? Brushing your teeth for 3-5 minutes with any abrasive material is going to make your teeth appear whiter—especially if there was a lack of attention to oral hygiene habits previously.


So, until new research on activated charcoal tells us otherwise, stick with the traditional bleaching products for whitening. If you’re at the drug store and not sure what to buy, just look for the ADA seal of acceptance. It can be found on both toothpastes and at-home whitening products that are proven to be both safe and effective. If you’re interested in learning more about your options for tooth whitening, let us know. We’d be happy to go over them with you!

Tune into our Facebook Live Session Monday April 24th at 4:00 with Dr. Samantha Rawdin to learn the best options for teeth whitening.



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