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!

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.


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!







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!

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.

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