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




Are All Sugar-Free Gums Created Equal?

Which sugar-free gum is the healthiest?

As part of our healthy lifestyle, we try to eat responsibly ie organic, non GMO, natural… and of course we only chew sugar- free gum.

We dentists recommend chewing gum because it increases the salivary flow in the mouth. Especially if chewed after eating, the increased salivary flow can help neutralize and wash away acids that are produced when food is broken down by the bacteria in plaque on teeth. But are all sugar free gums created equal? Not really.


Most conventional sugar-free gum uses an artificial sweetener called Aspartame, which does make food taste awesome, no doubt. Though counter intuitively, studies are linking these chemicals to weight gain!


Here’s the deal. The healthier options taste great, but that taste doesn’t last long. This is because they use alternative sweeteners like xylitol, which can have healthy benefits such as decreasing your cavities. But unfortunately it tends to lose flavor after a short time.

The consistency also tends to fall apart after a short while … the reason for that is that the brands we’re more familiar with use plastic! Most gum brands you’re familiar with contain synthetic rubbers, emulsifiers, the controversial preservative BHT and plastic called polyvinyl acetate.

There is no great substitute for the proprietary ‘gum base’ and that is why the healthiest brands simply don’t taste good for very long.

Be a savvy label reader

Also, if you’re going clean, beware! Many gum brands market themselves as “healthy” and use xylitol instead of Aspartame or sugar, but use fool coloring and other chemicals you may not want to chew on.

Becoming a savvy label reader, able to weed through confusing ingredient lists is always a great tool! The real answer boils down to your comfort level and tolerance to sacrifice taste and flavor for a clear conscience health-wise.

I hope this answered your questions! Please feel free to reach out with more!






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.



Dental Trends To Leave Behind In 2018

New year, new you… right? No? Whew, me neither.

Even though we may not have become entirely new people over the course of the last few weeks, wellness is still at the forefront of everyone’s minds. And since dental health is an integral part of our overall health, there are a few key trends you can leave behind to help keep your teeth in their best shape for the year ahead!

Oil Pulling

This is an Ayurvedic technique that involves swishing sesame or coconut oil in the mouth for 20 minutes before spitting it out. In theory, the oil has antibacterial and antiviral properties that can whiten teeth and treat periodontal disease. However, there is no scientific evidence that supports these claims. Oil pulling won’t cause any harm but won’t solve any of your problems either.

Charcoal Toothpaste

Charcoal is a known detoxifying agent in medicine. Due to its porous composition, the idea is that it will absorb any stains on the teeth and make them appear whiter. But, no charcoal-containing toothpaste has been proven to do this. The abrasive particles will help scrub teeth clean but can also do some serious damage by wearing away the outer white enamel layer of the teeth and can actually cause the teeth to look darker!

Apple Cider Vinegar

The benefits of drinking apple cider vinegar seem to be a never ending list—weight loss, helps with digestion, bad breath, even cavities! The dental claims are totally unfounded, plus drinking ACV can cause erosion of the teeth due to it’s acidic pH. (ACV is 3.075 and tooth enamel starts to dissolve at 5.5!)

The keys to keeping your oral health in shape all year round? Brushing twice a day, flossing once a day and regular visits to your dentist—no fancy tricks required. If you have questions about any wellness trends, please let us know!

Why My Patients Love Solea Laser

I work in a midtown Manhattan dental office and have a lot of busy patients. Solea Laser allows me do in one visit, what could take many visits with a conventional drill. My patients truly appreciate being able to be treated quickly and painlessly in one visit. 

Dental phobic patients are not uncommon, their anxieties run deep and can date back to their early childhood. For these patients being able to avoid a drill puts them at ease, helping eliminate their fear of going to the dentist. 

Advanced dental technology

Lasers have been used in dentistry for decades, mostly for controlling bleeding and removing gum tissue when needed. Solea Laser stands out from the rest. It is the first laser that can painlessly cut through tooth and bone.  

One of its amazing side effects is that is numbs the tooth as you use it. What this all means is that it replaces a drill and virtually eliminates the need for anesthetics.

Less invasive and more precise procedures

The Solea Laser seals your blood vessels and nerve endings as it works. This results in a recovery that is basically instantaneous. This also means that your healing time is significantly reduced and you are less susceptible to infection. 

Whirring scary-sounding drills are a thing of the past. The laser is silent and vibration-free, which helps patients feel calmer and more at ease throughout the procedure.

The majority of patients who I’ve treated with Solea Laser have not undergone anesthesia and have reported no pain resulting from their dental procedures. This is huge! It means that as a dentist you could work on multiple parts of the patient’s mouth in one visit eliminating multiple visits and forcing the patient to endure needle injections and hours with a numb face.

A Game Changer

I feel fortunate to be practicing dentistry in 2018. When I look back 15 years almost everything has changed, including the materials that are now available and the technology we use. Thanks to companies like Convergent Dental, there are now endless options to help treat our patients quickly and painlessly.



Raising The Barre For New Year’s 2018

Every New Year we all resolve to start a new fitness regimen. In fact last year, despite being the most popular resolution, only 8 percent of people actually followed through. It’s extremely hard to keep it going regularly and once we’ve fallen off the wagon it gets harder and harder to get back into fitness mode. Let’s raise the bar, not only for your oral health but also your overall health for 2018.

Making fitness part of our regular routine is no easy feat. One way to get the momentum going is remembering what’s at stake. The health benefits of working out  go way beyond looking good, they also include cholesterol control, improved muscle and bone health (osteoporosis prevention), heart health as well as improved sleep and weight control.

For best results, how often do you really need to exercise?

For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends these exercise guidelines: Get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. For city dwellers this can be easier to incorporate by choosing to walk or bike to work. For commuters in the suburbs this can be tough.

Here are some tips I personally use and find helpful:

  • Take the steps no matter what! This is great way to sneak in cardio.
  • Split your dessert in half and save some for the next day (or share with a friend).
  • I get on an exercise machine for half hour 4 days a week (minimum) and stream my favorite show to pass the time.
  • Wear a heart rate monitor when working out, it really motivates to push yourself further.
  • Reward yourself! I always indulge myself to a great post-workout treat. My favorite is bananas, SunButter and Justin’s Hazelnut Spread.
  • Find a workout that will keep you motivated. Me and Dr. Sam Rawdin love doing a barre class at Physique 57. It’s a fun cardio workout that tones and shapes your body!

We care about your dental health and overall health. That’s why we’re giving away 2 barre classes to help jumpstart your workouts. Join our Instagram contest and raise the barre for 2018!


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!







Tooth Tips For Halloween


From Halloween candy to pumpkin lattes to candy canes… These holidays can be hard on your teeth! It doesn’t make sense to deprive you or a child entirely, we all know how that story ends, with an eventual binge!

Here are some tips for helping to keep your mouth healthy this season for children and adults alike!

First let’s ask ourselves…

How do sugary foods lead to cavities? When we eat foods filled with sugars or starches (about 90% of all food) bacteria in dental plaque is enables to produce acid which attacks our tooth enamel. This attack by bacterial acid can last 20 minutes or more and lead to a loss of tooth mineral and eventually to cavities.

Eat Candy with Meals

Halloween candy should be consumed with meals or shortly after mealtime. Saliva increases during meals. This helps cancel out acids produced by bacteria in your mouth. When acid is being produced in your mouth all day it is a problem. That’s why popping candies all day is problem, it doesn’t allow your mouth time to recover to a balanced PH.

Some Candies are Better than Others

Avoid hard candy that stay in your mouth for a long time. The length of time sugary food is in your mouth plays a role in tooth decay.

The stickier candies, like taffy and gummy bears, take longer to get washed away by saliva, increasing the risk for tooth decay.

Drink More Water

Drinking fluoridated water can help prevent tooth decay. Water will also help flush out your mouth and food particles.

Chew Sugar Free Gum!

Chewing sugar free gum after meals helps reduce tooth decay, because increased saliva flow helps wash out food and neutralize the acid produced by bacteria.

Don’t Forget to Brush and Floss

Electric toothbrushes tend to be more effective and gentle than manual. Check in with your dentist and see what they recommend.

Don’t forget, have fun !

Increased Cancer Risk For Women With Gum Disease

This one is for the ladiessssssss

As if I needed another reason to preach about the benefits of maintaining a healthy mouth, a study by the American Association of Cancer Research states that post-menopausal women who have periodontal disease are at an increased risk of cancer. And with October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, this topic fits right into the conversation…

This finding is based on a study that examined over 65,000 women aged 54-86. The women self-reported if they had ever been diagnosed with periodontal disease over a 15 year follow up period. The results showed that those women with periodontal disease had a 14% higher risk of developing any type of cancer. The associations were especially high with esophageal and gall bladder cancer, and just behind them is an increased risk for breast cancer. However, no definitive relationship was made. Researchers are still unsure of the exact biologic process of how the bacteria actually cause a cancerous lesion, but there are a couple things they are sure of—First, it is well known that the bacteria which cause periodontal disease create inflammation in the body, even in very small amounts. Since the bacteria are sitting in the oral cavity, these strains are being continually inhaled and ingested throughout the day, and if they settle somewhere else in the body, can cause inflammation in that remote site. (There’s tons of literature on the role of periodontal disease in other co-morbidities such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stroke—but that’s for another blog post!) Secondly, periodontal pathogens have been isolated from precancerous and cancerous lesions and have been shown to create a microenvironment that can promote cancerous growth.

A big limitation of the study? The percentage of patients with periodontal disease was self-reported, so the validity may be questionable. However, my guess is that the incidence of the periodontal disease is likely UNDER-reported in this study. Especially because we do not know the demographic or social background of these patients—or if they’ve ever even been to a dentist! They may have periodontal disease but have not been diagnosed, which would make the likelihood of the cancer-perio disease link even greater. On the flip side, both cancer and periodontal disease are both known to be more prevalent in older populations, so just getting older puts you at risk for both diseases and the reported potential relationship could be somewhat incidental. As the researchers pointed out, further studies are needed to prove a causal relationship between periodontal disease and cancer in older women.

The bottom line? Visit your dentist twice a year for regular check-ups and cleanings. Periodontal disease is something that can be diagnosed and managed. Good oral health leads to better overall health!

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