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If the eyes are the windows to your soul, then your mouth is the gateway to your overall health. Research has found a surprising number of links between the state of your oral health and your overall health.


Be on the lookout for these warning signs provided for you by Marc Liechtung, DMD, a dentist in NYC  and the inventor of the Snap-on Smile® and principal in New York-based Manhattan Dental Arts, a practice that specializes in cosmetic and restorative dentistry.

Erectile Dysfunction-- According to a study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, men with erectile dysfunction (ED) are three times more likely to have gum disease than men who do not have ED. These bacteria can also seep into the bloodstream and damage blood vessels, and because erectile problems can be caused by impaired blood flow in the penis, poor dental hygiene can be associated with ED.


Dementia—Studies have found that people with Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia, have more gum disease-related bacteria in their brains than a person without Alzheimer's. "It's thought that gum disease bacteria might get into the brain causing inflammation and brain damage," notes Dr. Liechtung.


Diabetes—Bright red bleeding gums, also known as periodontal disease, that are puffy and may contain small abscesses or loose teeth are harbingers of diabetes
Parkinson's Disease-- Saliva helps to wash away bacteria and debris that lead to cavities and gum disease. And if you're producing too little saliva, your dentist will know. Dry mouth may be caused by medications or it may be a sign of a disease such as diabetes or Parkinson's disease.


Anemia—"Your dentist will look for a pale-colored tongue as an indication of iron deficiency or anemia that affects one in five women," notes Dr. Liechtung. Anemia is a condition marked by a deficiency of red blood cells or of hemoglobin in the blood, resulting in pallor and weariness.


Celiac Disease-- Canker sores may be an indication of gluten intolerance, also known as celiac disease. Celiac disease is an inherited, immune system disorder in which the proteins found in wheat, rye and barley cause damage to the lining of the small intestine.


Osteoporosis--Osteoporosis does not cause changes in the teeth, but it does cause changes in the bones that support teeth. "This may show up as a receding gum line and loose teeth. If your dentist sees any oral signs of osteoporosis, let your medical doctor know right away," warns Dr. Liechtung.


Heart Disease--Inflamed gums and loose teeth can be warnings of heart disease. That's because if you have a gum disease like periodontitis, the bacteria in your gums could travel to your heart and contribute to coronary artery disease.


Eating Disorders--Dentists are often the first health professionals to observe signs and symptoms of eating disorders like anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder, the three most common. "That's because eating disorders can cause poor nutrition which can lead to oral conditions like bleeding gums and dry mouth," describes Dr. Liechtung. In addition, erosion on the insides of the front teeth may be a sign of forced vomiting in a young person with bulimia -- stomach acid wears away at enamel and also makes teeth more sensitive.


Reflux Disorder-- Erosion of enamel from the insides of teeth, especially the upper back molars, is a clue to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Reflux disease can cause erosion of the esophagus and may even lead to esophageal cancer, so let your doctor know if your dentist sees possible signs of reflux.

 

Dr. Marc Liechtung, D.M.D. and inventor of Snap-On Smile, graduated from The University of Pennsylvania, one of the most world-renowned dental schools, as well as having the best fellowship programs in the country. After graduation, he attended an Advanced Restorative and Implant fellowship at The University of Pennsylvania, and graduated from that fellowship in 1987. Dr. Marc Liechtung has had his prestigious dental practice for over 18 years, and is dedicated to each of his patients’ dental needs. Dr. Marc Liechtung believes in treating each of his patients on an individual basis, because needs and treatment differ from person to person. Dr. Liechtung is a member of the following professional organizations: New York City Dental Society, American Dental Association, Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, Mid-Manhattan Advanced Dental Study Club and has recently been Elected to a Fellowship in the International Academy for Dental Facial Esthetics.Marc Liechtung, DMD is the founder of Manhattan Dental Arts and the Inventor of the Snap-on-Smile®. Manhattan Dental Arts P.C. is located on the Upper West Side at 68th and Broadway. We specialize in dental cleanings,emergency dentistrydental implantsall-on-4 dental implants, full mouth reconstructiondental crownsroot canals,periodonticsSnap on Smile, dental bridgesdenturesextractionssmile makeovers and all forms of general and cosmetic dentistry. If you are looking for an emergency dentist in NYC then we offer free consultations. The practice group also owns Kew Gardens Dental Arts, a dental practice in Queens offering dental implants in Queensemergency dentistry in Queensteeth cleaning in Queensdental crownsdental bridges,periodontal surgery and all forms of cosmetic and general dentistry. If you are looking for a periodontist in Queens we offer all gum disease treatments at our practice for patients for all types of gum disease. 

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Achieving a beautiful smile is more than a dream for some people. For some people they have the perfect smile already and it only requires minimal effort and 6 monthly trips to the dentist. For others it may require extensive cosmetic procedures such as periodontal work, dental crowns, dental implants, porcelain veneers, root canal treatments or more. There is a process in dentistry known as full mouth reconstruction and it is a process of rebuilding a patients teeth using a number of cosmetic procedures. Full mouth reconstruction can cost anywhere from $15 to $20,000 up to $80,000 or even $100,000. The search for a cosmetic dentist begins with a look on the internet to understand what procedures you might need.

 

Secondly you would visit a dentist, one that you were recommended to go to or one that you found by yourself. Once you have discussed the procedures that you may need or would like to have ( you may want to see two or three dentists so that you can get a consensus opinion) then you go with who your heart tells you to go with, taking into account their previous work that you have seen, their understanding of what you would like to achieve and the price that you can afford and what seems most sensible. Make sure the dentist does wax-ups or is able to show you how your smile looks on the computer program he is using. Get a feeling for the staff. Are they able to answer all your questions? Make sure that you ask them have they attended lots of courses for the work that they are about to perform and have a look at their previous work. Is the location convenient to your home or work? Ask the dentist how long he thinks the treatment will take? Lastly check their reputation online.

Marc Liechtung, DMD is the founder of Manhattan Dental Arts and the Inventor of the Snap-on-Smile®. Manhattan Dental Arts P.C. is located on the Upper West Side at 68th and Broadway. We specialize in dental cleanings,emergency dentistrydental implantsall-on-4 dental implants, full mouth reconstructiondental crownsroot canals,periodonticsSnap on Smile, dental bridgesdenturesextractionssmile makeovers and all forms of general and cosmetic dentistry. If you are looking for an emergency dentist in NYC then we offer free consultations. The practice group also owns Kew Gardens Dental Arts, a dental practice in Queens offering dental implants in Queensemergency dentistry in Queensteeth cleaning in Queensdental crownsdental bridges and all forms of cosmetic and general dentistry. If you are looking for a periodontist in Queens we offer all gum disease treatments at our practice for patients with all types of gum disease. 

M. Marc Liechtung, DMD also owns a practice in New Rochelle NY called New Rochelle Dental Arts. The practice in New Rochelle offers emergency dentistry, dental cleanings, dental crowns, root canal treatments, dental implants, invisalign, porcelain veneers, full mouth reconstruction, cosmetic dentistry and we have an in-house periodontist and a pediatric dentist at our New Rochelle dental office.

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If coffee, cigarettes, red wine and food have left their mark on your teeth, you’re not alone.  The rule of thumb is anything that can stain a white T-shirt can stain your teeth too, that what we tell all our patients. 

That does not mean you have to give up your morning cup of coffee or your evening glass of red wine, if your teeth are discoloring, you might want to consider consuming less and thoroughly rinsing your mouth with water after you’re done eating or drinking. 

Dr. Liechtung’s dirty dozen foods that stain your teeth include:

1. Black Coffee and Black Tea—The darker the beverage, the more staining that can occur. So try adding a little extra milk to lighten the color and reduce the staining effect.

2. Wine—Both red and white wines, if taken in excess, will stain your teeth.   Although red stains, white wine’s acidic composition actually etches tiny grooves in your teeth, making them more porous and more easily stained.

3. Colas and Sports Drinks—Because they are so highly acidic, they help promote staining by other foods.

 

4. Berries– Blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, cherries and other berries, although excellent for your overall health, can stain your teeth. So, if you’re crazy for berries, be sure to rinse out your mouth thoroughly with water after each indulgence.

5. Sauces—Soy sauce and tomato sauce, as well as other deeply colored sauces, are believed to have significant staining potential.

6. Juice—Grape, pomegranate and cranberry are highly pigmented and can cause staining.  So, if you must imbibe, try rinsing your mouth out with water or drinking juices through a straw, thereby bypassing the fronts of your teeth.

7. Pickles and ketchup—These acidic foods are good at opening up the pores of your tooth enamel allowing for easy staining.

8. Balsamic Vinegar—While great on a salad, it can cause havoc to your teeth.  If you must, try it on lettuce, which has a natural ability to provide a protective film over your teeth.

 

9. Candy–Sweets contain teeth-staining coloring agents. If your tongue turns a funny color, there’s a good chance that your teeth will too.

10. Beets—Now here’s a vegetable that could put a powerful stain in your t-shirt, so, like all foods that stain, moderation is called for with this one.

11. Curry—Although great on Indian food, this yellow-staining food flavoring can be harsh on teeth. So make sure to rinse thoroughly after indulging.

12. Popsicles—Did you ever look at your tongue after you’ve finished your fruity, sugary pop? Not only does it color your tongue, but also your teeth. Plus, it has an added double whammy negative effect because of all of that sugar.

But, did you know that Mother Nature has some natural solutions to whitening your pearly whites?  Here is Dr. Liechtung’s list of tooth-whitening foods:

12 Tooth Whitening Foods

1. Apples, pears and guavas increase salivary production which flushes away stains over time.

2. Cauliflower and cucumbers also help to increase salivary production, the natural way to flush away stains.

 

3. Cheese is rich in protein, calcium and phosphorus, all of which can help safeguard  against the acids in your mouth.

4. Sesame seeds help scrub away plaque. (Read more reasons to love sesame seeds.)

5. Salmon provides calcium and vitamin D, nutrients needed for healthy bones and teeth.

6. Shiitake mushrooms help inhibit bacteria from growing in your mouth.

7. Onions help reduce bacteria that cause tooth decay.

8. Pineapple acts as a natural stain remover.

 

9. Green vegetables like broccoli, lettuce and spinach contains iron which helps form an acid-resistant film or barrier that can help scrub away stubborn stains and protect the enamel on your teeth.

10. Ginger acts as an anti-inflammatory to support healthy mouth tissue.

11. Carrots contain vitamin A, which is needed for healthy tooth enamel.

12. Basil is a natural antibiotic that reduces bacteria in the mouth.

Marc Liechtung, DMD is the founder of Manhattan Dental Arts and the Inventor of the Snap-on-Smile®. Manhattan Dental Arts P.C. is located on the Upper West Side at 68th and Broadway. We specialize in dental cleanings,emergency dentistrydental implantsall-on-4 dental implants, full mouth reconstructiondental crownsroot canals,periodonticsSnap on Smile, dental bridgesdenturesextractionssmile makeovers and all forms of general and cosmetic dentistry. If you are looking for an emergency dentist in NYC then we offer free consultations. The practice group also owns Kew Gardens Dental Arts, a dental practice in Queens offering dental implants in Queensemergency dentistry in Queensteeth cleaning in Queensdental crownsdental bridges and all forms of cosmetic and general dentistry. If you are looking for a periodontist in Queens we offer all gum disease treatments at our practice for patients with all types of gum disease. 

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Marc Liechtung, DMD is an emergency dentist in NYC and has seen thousands of emergency dental patients over the years. Here he gives some useful advice for patients that may have a dental emergency and are not near their usual dentist.  


There is nothing worse than being on your honeymoon, in-flight, on a camping trip, or a long car ride when it strikes - an unrelenting toothache so severe you feel like you want to die. Toothaches and other dental inconveniences occur regardless of the fact that it may be 2 AM or that your dentist is away on a Caribbean vacation. Knowing what to do can prevent major discomfort. Toothaches can range from a distressing inconvenience to an intense, miserable experience. Severe, emergency dental pain may be as unrelenting as kidney stones or even labor contractions. Fortunately, the chance of an unforeseen dental crisis can usually be prevented by early detection and treatment of dental disease. When dental disaster does strike, (and it always seems to be at the most inopportune time) knowing how to alleviate the pain is invaluable information everyone can use.

A toothache is any pain or soreness within or around a tooth, indicating inflammation and possible infection. Generally, a toothache occurs if tooth decay is very close to or has penetrated the pulp chamber that contains nerves and tiny blood vessels. Ideally, it’s best to undergo dental treatment at once. Dr. Marc Liechtung is a cosmetic and restorative dentist in New York City. Throughout his many years in practice, he has heeded the call of many a patient in dental distress. Dr. Liechtung has developed an arsenal of at-home tips to help patients with toothaches and other emergencies until they reach his dental chair. “If your toothache is caused by trapped food, you should rinse the area with warm water and swish it about. Floss between the teeth this should dislodge the food or it may loosen whatever is causing the pain.

There are many over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers to cure toothaches that you can choose from. Most common are paracetamol, aspirin, and acetaminophen. If you feel that a small swelling has occurred, you may take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) for their inflammatory components, like ibuprofen, (Advil, Aleve) and mefenamic acid. However, those with a history of ulcers as well as pregnant women need a doctor's recommendation before taking NSAID and aspirin.

A definite dont is to rub aspirin on your gums to numb an aching tooth isn't a good idea. It will in factdo more harm than good, due to the fact that aspirin contains salicylic acid, which can burn and damage gum tissue. For general pain relief, it's a better idea to simply swallow the aspirin. Or stop by a pharmacy for pain-relieving gels like Anbesol or Orajel.

 

There is also something that a patient can buy called Dentemp. It’s over the counter and can be used to cement a temporary or permanent crown until the person gets to his/her dentist. It could also be used to caulk or fill a hole in case a filling breaks.

Other home remedies for a toothache include rinsing your mouth with salt water or dabbing some clove oil directly on the bad tooth. Clove oil has bacteria-slaying properties, along with a remarkable numbing effect.

 

Clove oil has been used in dentistry for years and is responsible for that stereotypical dental office smell. Years ago, we would dab clove oil over a tooth before putting a filling in it, but now we have better ways of decreasing the sensitivity. For another home remedy, there is numbing power in cooled peppermint tea. Swish, then swallow if you like the flavor.

 

Patients can try putting some ice on the area, but the temperature of the ice could send them over the edge - most challenging are toothaches that stem from inside a tooth, but in cases where a lost filling or a broken tooth is causing the pain the sore tooth with softened chewing gum can ease the pain - covering the sensitive area until it can be repaired.

Dr. Liechtung also receives frequent complaints about canker sores. He suggests that people with frequent canker sores check to see if their toothpaste contains sodium lauryl sulfate, or SLS. SLS is a foaming agent that in some studies has been linked to the development of canker sores. "Toothpaste that doesn't contain SLS usually makes a big deal about it by saying 'SLS free' on its label," says Dr. Liechtung. An additional remedy for both canker sores and gum pain is tea tree oil. Tea tree oil should be applied directly to the infected site and can even be purchased in mouthwash form to soothe inflammation. Another preventive measure for canker sores is to avoid eating chips and other jagged foods that can cause tiny cuts and scrapes, which can be an entryway for a virus to set up shop in your mouth. Besides that, stay away from foods that trigger canker sores. Potential troublemakers include whole wheat, rye, barley, shellfish, pineapple, chocolate and tomatoes, as well as salty or citrus fruits. There is a remedy of 1/3 Mylanta, 1/3 Benedryl, and1/3 viscous Lidocaine. This will ease the discomfort of canker soars.

"About 80 percent of our population deals with gum problems - from gingivitis all the way up to losing teeth," according to Dr. Liechtung. Ginseng can be used to alleviate the pain associated with irritated gum tissue. A ginseng tonic can be directly applied to the gum to promote circulation and speed healing. An additional home remedy suggestion is to use a wet tea bag for tooth or gum pain. Tea contains astringent tannins, which have the power to shrink swollen tissue and stop bleeding. No toothache will heal on its own. A toothache is a dental problem that needs to be treated as soon as possible.

What should you do if you've knocked out a tooth - whether from a blow, a fall or accident?

Shake off debris (rinsing or scrubbing could remove important periodontal ligament), place it in a container of milk or back in its socket and try to reach the dentist within 30 minutes. “Unfortunately, not all teeth can be saved,” cautions Dr. Liechtung. Alternative methods, such as a bridge or implants, may need to be considered."

What should you do if you've broken a tooth?

Again, if you've lost the broken piece, just get to the dentist. “If you have it, gently shake off surface dirt and definitely keep it,” says Dr. Liechtung. "Even if the piece can't be bonded back to the original tooth, it can be used to help re-create the look of that tooth."

If something (food, other foreign matter) is wedged between your teeth, should you try to dislodge it?

Gentle flossing or brushing is fine, but if the object does not respond to that treatment and the surrounding gum begins to swell, make an appointment with your dentist. A bit of broken filling or chipped enamel can throw your bite off and make you panic. Popcorn husks are one of the worst problems and occasionally need to be removed by a dentist.

What should you do if you lose a filling or crown?

If you lose a filling, it's not worth saving. However, just cover the hole with temporary material, do not try to put the old filling back in the tooth. If you lose a crown, you'll want to try and salvage it (you can use Temparin or Dentemp, available in pharmacies, to put the crown back in place until you can reach a dentist). In either case, visit the dentist as soon as possible. Many people don't realize that when a filling falls out, there's a reason for that, whether it's a cracked tooth or more severe. You need to see a dentist.

ABOUT DR. LIECHTUNG:
Marc Liechtung, DMD is the founder of Manhattan Dental Arts and the Inventor of the Snap-on-Smile®. Manhattan Dental Arts P.C. is located on the Upper West Side at 68th and Broadway. We specialize in dental cleanings,emergency dentistrydental implantsall-on-4 dental implants, full mouth reconstructiondental crownsroot canals,periodonticsSnap on Smile, dental bridgesdenturesextractionssmile makeovers and all forms of general and cosmetic dentistry. If you are looking for an emergency dentist in NYC then we offer free consultations. The practice group also owns Kew Gardens Dental Arts, a dental practice in Queens offering dental implants in Queensemergency dentistry in Queensteeth cleaning in Queensdental crownsdental bridges and all forms of cosmetic and general dentistry. If you are looking for a periodontist in Queens we offer all gum disease treatments at our practice for patients with all types of gum disease. 

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