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.
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!
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.
To Our Patients, Friends, Family and Colleagues,
It’s been three months since we’ve moved and so far the feedback has been great!
The office renovation is complete. The integration of our practice into Gallery 57 Dental (now NY Smile Specialists at Gallery 57 Dental) is finally and happily, complete.
We are happy to have welcomed many of our patients here already. If you have not yet had the chance to see us at the new location, we look forward to your next visit. If you are overdue for a visit, please consider this a reminder to call and make your appointment soon. If you are in the neighborhood and want a tour, let us know. If you have been here and want to share your experience, please do – we are all ears.
We are excited to once again highlight some of our progressive and hi-tech office features and how they will enhance the level of dentistry, service and care that will benefit our patients. It’s the primary reason we made this move!
- Electronic Records – Offer the ability to easily communicate with all of our patients and referring doctors.
- 3D Digital Radiography – State of the art X-ray/scanning system allows for better diagnosis and precise planning when it comes to implant dentistry.
- Onsite Dental Laboratory – Allows us to fabricate beautiful ceramic restorations, very often in the same day, and on extensive treatments, within a day or two. This greatly reduces the time necessary to complete treatment, which saves our patient’s time! We will also have greater control over most steps in the laboratory process to consistently produce the highest quality restorations and prostheses.
- SOLEA Laser – Allows us to cut soft and hard tissue (gums and teeth) usually without the need for anesthetic! Minor gum procedures can be done easily, as well as removing cavities very quickly and easily without having to be numb.
Our warm and friendly staff is here to help you with scheduling, billing, submitting insurance, special assistance that you may need, privacy arrangements, and transportation.
As always, we look forward to continuing the very personal relationships we have with our patients.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns that you may have. We have maintained the same phone number, 212-247- 4194. We can also be reached at 212-246-8700.
Come visit and Happy Spring!
Drs. Robert Rawdin, Spiro Balaouras, Samantha Rawdin and Staff
24 West 57th Street Seventh Floor, Suite 701 New York, NY 10019
Dr. Andrew Koenigsberg of New York City’s Smilespecialists@gallery57dental discusses ways to alleviate dental anxiety:
Dental anxiety affects up to 20% of adults and can have serious health consequences. Fear of dental treatment may keep patients from seeking or delaying care until there is an emergency, often resulting in pain and additional oral health issues. Ironically, phobic patients may wind up needing more extensive treatment than they would have needed had the problem been treated in a timely manner resulting in increased treatment, trauma and expense.
Fortunately, dental anxiety can be managed by caring professionals. Dr. Camilla Mager, a New York City psychologist, suggests that the first step is to find a compassionate dentist who is willing to “openly communicate” with the anxious patient. The dentist should understand the person’s apprehensions, be willing to take some extra time and establish signals so that the patient can use if they’re feeling overwhelmed.
Dr. Mager also explains that there are self-help techniques that help reduce and control dental anxiety before getting to the dental office. People can realize that they are choosing to seek dental treatment which gives a sense of control. They should acknowledge what aspect of the treatment they fear, (embarrassment, pain, bad memories), and challenge these thoughts. They should communicate this to the dentist who can reassure them that their concerns will be accounted for in treatment.
During the dental visit, Dr. Mager suggests several meditation/relaxation techniques. Before the appointment, a patient may decide on a “brave thought” to think about and mentally repeat during treatment. There are also “apps” available such as Budhify and Headspace that teach “soothing and calming” techniques. These should be practiced in advance and can be listened to during treatment.
Medications that control and reduce anxiety are available through healthcare professionals when other techniques aren’t enough. These medications are safe when used properly and often allow people to get care they otherwise might avoid.
On Friday March 17th between 9-4pm we are inviting our existing patients and the public to come and learn about the sleep disorder, Sleep Apnea, that is affecting millions of Americans, but far too often goes undiagnosed. Those who suffer from sleep apnea can stop breathing up to 50 times a night in severe cases. Left untreated, this condition can result in serious chronic illnesses like, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. Brochures will be available on the topic as well the latest innovations available to treat sleep apnea, that are available right in your dentist office, known as mandibular advancement devices. Similar to a mouth guard, it pulls the bottom jaw forward to ensure constant oxygen to the airway. We will be offering complimentary iSleep evaluations to patients that day. Anyone who completes the questionnaire will receive a gift. Light refreshments will be served. For further information, please call 212.246.8700.
DR. ROB RAWDIN EXPLAINS THE TRUTH ABOUT SLEEP APNEA:
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine labels sleep apnea as “A hidden health crisis costing America billions”. Sleep Apnea is a serious health condition where you actually stop breathing during your sleep. These episodes of not breathing can last for a few seconds or up to a minute or more. And the number of times this can occur during one’s sleep can be very few or more than 50 times in one night’s sleep. Sleep apnea is classified as obstructive or central. Obstructive sleep apnea is when the airway gets obstructed during sleep. If you are overweight this is more likely. When the muscles of the tongue, palate and throat relax during sleep they can cause the airway to collapse. Your brain senses the lack of oxygen and there is an arousal signal from your brain to start breathing again. In central sleep apnea there is a problem in the central nervous system. This is less common but more of a serious health problem.
It is estimated that there are as many as 30 million adult Americans that have sleep apnea that are not diagnosed. Many of these people may complain of daytime tiredness but left untreated the consequences of sleep apnea can be quite serious. There are many serious health conditions that can arise from untreated sleep apnea. The most prevalent are high blood pressure, cardiac disease and diabetes. Other conditions associated with untreated sleep apnea are stroke, asthma and other breathing disorders, insomnia, impotence, weight gain, depression and anxiety and possible complications in pregnancy. One can see from the potential health problems how this could cost billions in health care dollars. Low productivity at work and potential accidents at work or driving also significantly contribute to the cost of this serious health condition.
Sleep apnea is often not diagnosed due to several factors. Doctors don’t routinely screen for this condition and patients often attribute daytime sleepiness to stress and not always getting a full night’s sleep. Doctors and dentists should routinely screen their patients for sleep apnea. A simple questionnaire is all that is necessary to see if a patient potentially has sleep apnea. Snoring is very often a sign of sleep apnea. The next step is a home sleep test or a visit to a sleep lab. Once a diagnosis is made the treatment will depend on the severity of the condition. When someone has mild to moderate sleep apnea the treatment options include: an oral device made by a dentist that positions the lower jaw forward during sleep to prevent the airway from being obstructed, surgery of the palate/throat or a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine. When someone is diagnosed with severe sleep apnea the treatment options include: CPAP or surgery.
Sleep apnea awareness has increased somewhat in the past few months. There have been several incidents where train operators have fallen asleep and caused terrible accidents. These operators were found to have sleep apnea after the fact. The NY MTA has decided to have all employees screened for sleep apnea. The trucking industry as well as airlines and other shipping and train corporations should be doing the same. Basically all businesses would benefit if their employees did not suffer from sleep apnea; more productivity, less sick days, and overall healthier and happier employees.
Sleep apnea is a serious health condition and often not diagnosed. Please ask your doctor or dentist about being screened. The benefits of treatment can literally add years to your life.
Robert C. Rawdin, DDS
Diplomate, American Board of Prosthodontics
NY Smile Specialists at Gallery 57 Dental
24 W 57th St., suite 701
New York, NY 10019
February we celebrate Children’s Dental Health Month to help raise awareness about the importance of developing good oral health habits at an early age. Remember to schedule regular dental visits to establish a foundation for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.
Teaching kids to enjoy healthy snacks that are low in sugar is an essential part of keeping our children healthy for years to come. Just sneak some veggies and fruit into their favorite foods, like pancakes and muffins, to help fortify their diets.
Liam, Judah and Hannah, Dr. Andrew Koenigsberg’s grandchildren, would like to share their favorite recipes with you.
Liam’s Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
1/2 cup mint leaves
11/2 cup baby spinach leaves
1/4-1/2 cup of milk
2 scoops vanilla protein powder
1/3 cup chocolate chips
Blend all ingredients except for chocolate chips. Freeze for an hour and top with chocolate chips. Enjoy!
Hannah’s Strawberry Popsicles
4 (1/2 cup) popsicle molds
2 cups vanilla greek yogurt
1 cup fresh strawberries chopped
- In a small bowl stir yogurt and fruit
- 2. Pour yogurt mixture into popsicle molds leaving 1/4 inch of room on top
- Cover the molds with the lids before freezing. Place the pops into freezer for about 3-4 hours until frozen
- To unmold the pop run mold under warm water for 10 seconds. Enjoy!
Judah’s Spinach Muffins
28 standard cupcake liners
2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup honey
l large banana
6 oz spinach
1/2 cup butter
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 and line muffin pan with liners.
- Combine all dry ingredient in large mixing bowl
- Blend wet ingredients in blender or food processor until pureed
- Pour puree into dry ingredient bowl and fold together gently.
- Spoon batter into muffin pan and bake for 18-22 minutes or until muffins are firm to touch on top.
Kiss your Valentine with confidence this holiday, and everyday, by brushing and flossing regularly, while also maintaining your oral and overall health. Your good health is the greatest gift you can share with the people you love!
February is not only has Valentines Day but also is American Heart Month. Its the perfect opportunity to make a commitment to preventing heart disease while maintaining oral health. Heart disease leads to one in four deaths annually. Going to the dentist is one of the ways to protect your oral and heart health.
Research has shown the link between heart disease and gum disease. Studies have found similar bacteria in the mouths of patients with gum disease as in people with hardening arteries.While researchers are not completely sure how to account for this link, the working theory is that the body reacts to inflammation by elevating certain chemicals in the blood. In the short run, these chemicals fight inflammation but in the long run can damage vessels in the heart and other organs. The chronic inflammation of gum disease may contribute to these inflammatory factors being constantly elevated.
Some of the signs of gum disease include bleeding gums during brushing or flossing, chronic bad breathe and loose teeth or gums that pull away from your teeth.
What are the best tools for maintaining oral health? Visit your dentist regularly for an exam and dental cleaning and floss and brush your teeth twice a day. This will help keep your smile young and beautiful for years to come. Happy Valentines Day!