How Mouth Breathing Can Have A Negative Impact On Your Teeth and Oral Health

sleeping man with sleep apnea

Scientists say sleeping with an open mouth is as damaging to teeth as sipping orange juice or fizzy soda before bed. If you wake up in the morning with dry lips and your throat feeling like you’ve just swallowed sand, you could be a mouth breather. Breathing through your mouth as you sleep is more than just an annoying habit for a partner sharing your bed. Mouth breathing causes some very real health concerns that are worth addressing.

Dry mouth and high pH

A study published in the Journal of Oral Rehabilitation found that the pH level in a normal mouth is a neutral 7.7. A mildly acidic level would be a pH of 6.6, but some mouth breathers reached acidity levels as high as 3.6! Dry membranes and a high pH balance in the mouth makes it easy for bacteria to take hold, causing bad breath, tooth decay, and periodontal disease.

Skeletal deformities

Mouth-breathing promotes the growth of the upper jaw, causing a rather large overbite and gummy smile. Children who breathe through their mouths often develop long face syndrome – which is characterized by unattractive features like flat facial features, less prominent cheekbones, long and narrow face shape, poor muscle tone, and small jaws. They may suffer from poor posture and crowded teeth. Kids who wear braces take longer to treat and are more likely to suffer relapse when they breathe with their mouths open all the time. Often, children struggle with lisps related to an underlying facial deformity and mouth-breathing. Screening for and diagnosing mouth-breathing before age 5 can prevent these abnormal changes.

Poor oxygen concentration in the bloodstream

A particularly low amount of oxygen in the blood is called hypoxemia, which causes high blood pressure, fatigue, and headaches. The journal of General Dentistry explains: “Mouth-breathing also irritates the tonsils and adenoids, so you have a double whammy where the sinuses are congested, which causes further blockage of the upper airway.”

Not only is it difficult to take in oxygen through the nose, but the lack of oxygen passing over the mucous membrane and into the sinuses inhibits nitric oxide production, which is necessary for the proper functioning of the heart and blood vessels.

Sleep difficulties

People who mouth-breathe often wake multiple times a night when their oxygen supply is low. Children may be diagnosed with ADHD due to problems concentrating and learning difficulties at school. Adults may suffer from brain fog, excessive daytime sleepiness, and chronic fatigue. Breathing through your mouth can also cause the jaw and tongue to fall back, blocking the airway to cause apnea and increasing the likelihood of loud snoring. Many people do not know they have Sleep Apnea until they find out they are mouth breathers.

How dentists treat mouth breathing

Dentists can treat mouth breathing several different ways, depending on the root cause. If the cause of mouth breathing is huge tonsils, removal may be an option. Structural issues can be corrected with orthodontic treatment or surgery. Some patients use affordable oral appliances similar to sports mouth guards that open up breathing passages. Treating underlying allergies with nasal sprays or antihistamines may also improve the condition.

To reduce mouth dryness, dentists recommend treating the root cause of mouth breathing, using a humidifier at night, drinking additional fluids during the day, and rubbing a small amount of Vitamin E oil on the gums before sleep. Special treatments or coatings can be applied to the teeth and mouth to restore proper pH.

More on the adverse effects of mouth breathing on your teeth and jaw:

Author Info

Jenn Fusion

How to Fix Gaps in Teeth

Excessive or irregular gaps between the teeth are a common result of malocclusion, or an improper bite. In more severe cases, they are indicative of tooth loss.

At Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry, we understand the serious psychological and social issues associated with a less-than-desirable smile, and we want to fix this problem.

Dr. Nick and Dr. Elliot on Long Island offer multiple solutions for patients with gaps in their smile.

Rapid transformations with porcelain veneers

If you’re looking for a quick solution to your dental issues, porcelain veneers might be right for you. These are individually customized, wafer-thin sheets of porcelain that are shaped to resemble your natural teeth. Your cosmetic dentist will carefully trim and shade your veneers before bonding them to the visible sides of your teeth. As an added bonus, porcelain veneers will instantly camouflage other imperfections, like stubborn stains and misshapen teeth. However, they cannot replace gaps due to missing teeth and they generally aren’t a great option for people who grind their teeth.

Effective malocclusion correction with Invisalign

If your gaps aren’t due to missing teeth, but rather to malocclusion, then Invisalign is an effective and easy option. Your cosmetic dentist will carefully evaluate your mouth to make sure you’re a good candidate for Invisalign. This treatment gently guides misaligned teeth into the positions they should be in. You’ll wear a series of clear plastic aligners that are custom-made just for you. Invisalign can’t transform your smile as quickly as porcelain veneers, but patients do tend to get great results in about a year on average. For best results, wear the aligners 20 to 22 hours per day.

Bridging the gap with dental bridges

Dental bridges are indicated for patients with gaps created by missing teeth. Although dental implants are considered the gold standard for tooth replacement, these do require oral surgery. Dental bridges are a noninvasive alternative for people who aren’t good candidates for surgery or simply prefer to avoid it. Dental bridges may be fixed or removable. If you choose this option, your cosmetic dentist will make two crowns that fit over the teeth adjacent to the gap. These crowns hold a replacement tooth in place to cover up the gap in your smile.

Filling in the gaps with dentures

If you have several missing teeth, dentures may be a good choice. These removable sets of replacement teeth are a quick way to fill in the gaps at a low cost. By replacing these gaps in your smile, dentures can even improve your facial symmetry. The main drawback of dentures is that they are removable and may, on occasion, slip out of place. Consider talking to your cosmetic dentist about implant-supported dentures to fix this problem.

Artistic cosmetic dentistry on Long Island

There are lots of cosmetic dentistry solutions available to help you get a great smile, but the only way to find out which choice is best for you is to come in for a consultation. At Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry, you’ll find customized cosmetic dentistry treatment plans and state-of-the-art medical technology. Call us today to request your one-on-one consult.

Additional “how to fix tooth gaps” resources:

  1. Invisalign, Frequently Asked Questions, https://www.invisalign.com/frequently-asked-questions
  2. WebMD, Dental Health and Bridges, http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/dental-health-bridges#1

Author Info

Jacky Gale

Dr. Elliot Explains How to Get a Celebrity Smile in Bella Magazine

Dr. Elliot discusses porcelain veneers in Bella Magazine

What do Julia Roberts, Zach Efron and Blake Lively all have in common? Perfectly aligned teeth and a beautiful, mega-watt smile! While some of Hollywood’s hottest stars were blessed with naturally flawless teeth, others have perfected their red carpet smiles with the assistance of a skilled cosmetic dentist.   

In the June issue of Bella – New York’s premier women’s luxury lifestyle magazine – Dr. Elliot Koschitzki offers expert advice on how porcelain veneers can help patients achieve a dazzling celebrity smile (think Charlize Theron or Kate Hudson!). When applied properly, veneers are totally indistinguishable from your own natural teeth, and according to Dr. Elliott, these thin porcelain restorations can last upwards of 20 years with regular cleaning and dental checkups.

If you’ve ever dreamed of having a movie star smile, porcelain veneers are an easy, painless way to boost self-esteem, by giving your teeth a more desired color and shape. In the article, Dr. Elliott answers some frequently asked questions about dental veneers, which offer life-changing results in just two office visits. “Very often our patients can get pretty emotional when my assistant hands over a mirror at the end of the appointment,” adds Elliott. “We like to keep a box of tissues nearby!”

What are porcelain veneers?

Dental veneers are micro-thin pieces of porcelain that are customized to fit over the front surfaces of the teeth – much like an artificial acrylic nail.  Veneers are ideal for camouflaging gaps in teeth, severely discolored teeth, teeth that are slightly misaligned, crowded or those with small cracks and chips. A mold of your teeth is taken so that you and your dentist can create a customized treatment plan, using temporary mock-ups to fine tune the final veneers. Once the veneers are fabricated, a thin layer of enamel is removed from the fronts of teeth where the permanent veneers are bonded using a strong dental adhesive. The whole procedure is minimally invasive and requires just two office visits.

Customized treatment plans

Thanks to modern techniques in cosmetic dentistry, getting porcelain veneers is a pain-free and simple process involving minimal discomfort.  During a one-on-one consultation in which you can discuss your aesthetic concerns, a treatment plan will be designed to give you the best results possible. The goal, emphasizes Dr. Elliott, is to achieve a harmonious smile. So whether you have front teeth that are too crowded or spread out too much, you may need additional veneers to create a more attractive outcome.

Besides offering a virtually instant celebrity smile makeover, veneers offer some extra benefits. They are incredibly durable and, unlike your natural teeth, resistant to stains. That means you can enjoy your coffee, tea and wine without worrying about dulling your new pearly whites.

Porcelain veneers in Suffolk County

If you are interested in learning more about custom-made veneers with one of New York’s leading cosmetic dentists, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Elliott at Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry, located in Rocky Point.

It’s never too late to get a beautiful new smile – call our offices today for an appointment!

Author Info

Ava Lawson

Top Trends in Cosmetic Dentistry for 2016

Americans are increasingly aware of the profound impact dental health has on physical attractiveness and self-esteem. Cosmetic dentistry is a thriving industry as people seek tooth restoration to look and feel better, to turn back the clock, and to prepare for upcoming events such as weddings, reunions, and vacations.

The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) has identified several key industry trends that have led to increased demand for smile enhancement over the past year in their annual “State of Cosmetic Dentistry” survey.

Crowns

Restoration using dental crowns is the most common procedure in cosmetic dentistry today, used “most frequently” by 82 percent of all cosmetic dentists. Dental crowns are used to restore a broken tooth, protect a weakened tooth, cover a failed implant, or fill large holes once decay has been removed. Crowns are most commonly made from ceramic or porcelain. Most crowns last between 5 and 15 years, but some last up to 30.

3D technology and tooth printing

Here at Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry, we have advanced 3D print technology that manufactures personalized dental crowns in just 20 minutes, so we can get patients in and out the same day. We also use 3D technology to determine the right placement for implants, measure the jaw, prepare patients for reconstructive surgery, examine decay and tooth root structures, and reduce radiation exposure. Despite all the advantages of 3D technology, only 28 percent of cosmetic dentists have made investment a priority.

Teeth whitening

When cosmetic dentists were asked to describe the ONE “most popular” cosmetic procedure at their practices, a third of survey respondents named tooth whitening. There are in-office and at-home methods of teeth whitening, depending on your individual circumstances. Years of tobacco use and drinking red wine, coffee, tea, or cola can be lifted from the teeth in just two office visits. The popularity of teeth whitening has skyrocketed over the last 20 years, as more people become aware of how quick, effective and affordable it is.

Tooth bonding

Seventy-four percent of cosmetic dentists list teeth bonding as a “frequent” procedure at their practices. For 30 percent of cosmetic dentists, it’s the #1 procedure. Bonding is a method of using resin to fill gaps between the teeth or cover existing teeth that are imperfect. Bonding can repair minor chips and cracks, make teeth appear the same length, give the teeth a uniform shape, and reduce awkward spaces. Bonding is a permanent solution to many of the mouth’s biggest problems.

Mini implants

In the past, patients with significant bone loss in the jaw, difficulty eating or speaking, and severe dental problems had no choice but to be fitted for removable dentures. The mini implant procedure hasn’t received much press, but it’s popular among cosmetic dentists who say it’s an affordable and reliable method of tooth restoration. This technique places small-diameter implants, which attach to the dentures to create a strong anchor for dentures, cemented crowns, or bridges. Patients enjoy added support that enables them to eat, speak, and laugh without worry. Best of all, the whole procedure can be done in less than one hour.

Contact Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry to schedule a free consultation and learn more about any of these trending smile makeovers!

Additional cosmetic dentistry resources:

Author Info

Jenn Fusion

Dr. Nick Named to Incisal Edge Magazine’s Best Young Dentists List

Dr. Nick Augenbaum of Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry has been recognized as one of America’s best young dentists, according to the prestigious dental magazine Incisal Edge. Dr. Nick joins the ranks of 39 other dentists who made the magazine’s coveted ‘Top 40 Under 40’ list.

Fifteen women and 25 men – hailing from 20 different states – were among this year’s Incisal Edge 40 Under 40 winners. The recipients are praised for their remarkable achievements in the professional arena and charitable endeavors that give back to the community — earning them the distinction of some of the “finest young practitioners in our industry.”

Dr. Nick named Incisal Edge Magazine’s 40 Under 40

A press release issued by Benco Dental, publisher of Incisal Edge, states of the 40 Under 40 list: “America’s best young dentists seem to create additional hours within each day during which they balance life with career, find creative ways to give back, and all the while achieve the professional excellence that allows them to provide unsurpassed patient care.”

To honor these trailblazing young dentists, Incisal Edge will be hosting a two-day event in New York City later this week.  The whirlwind itinerary will feature face time with renowned Forbes editor Randall Lane, a photo-shoot near Madison Square Garden, and celebrations that highlight their professional careers.

Dr. Nick, along with other honorees of this esteemed list, was nominated by industry experts from around the country and thoroughly vetted by an independent panel. Chosen for their dedication to excellent patient care, dental innovations, and philanthropic work, these young men and women characterize a new generation of dental practitioners.

Other notable achievements of Dr. Nick

Dr. Nick has accrued other notable achievements, including an American Academy of Implant Dentistry Award for his outstanding work in implant dentistry, and the International College of Dentists Award for his extraordinary leadership and professionalism.

Along with his colleague Dr. Elliot Koschitzki, he provides general and cosmetic dentistry services in Suffolk County in a state-of-the-art facility located in Rocky Point, NY.

To schedule a free consultation at Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry, please call 631-319-9509.

Author Info

Ava Lawson

Long Island Dentists Announce Scholarship Winner

The staff at Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry are proud to announce the first winner of our scholarship award.

This award was created to help single mothers finance their higher education to take their careers to the next level and give themselves and their families hope for the future.

Many qualified candidates applied for our scholarship award this year, making the final decision challenging. We believe that our finalist best exemplifies the true spirit of the award in helping single mothers achieve solid professional footing for themselves and their children, beginning with the right education and training.

2016 scholarship award winner

Tracy Birts of Aurora, Colorado, is the first recipient of the Long Island Implant and Dentistry Scholarship Award. Birts is a single mother who has worked her way through a local technical college, earning a GPA of 3.77 while working to support herself and her child. Birts believes that by earning her degree, she will inspire her child and others in her family to do the hard work necessary to get ahead in life.

Birts states in her award-winning essay that “leading by an example” can be just what another person needs to move their life forward in a similar way. She acknowledged that no one gets an “A” just by wanting it – the grade must be earned. In her quest for an education, Birts said she had to learn to remain consistent in her time management skills to balance parenting, work and school on a daily basis.

About the scholarship award

Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry introduced their scholarship award to help single mothers earn college and graduate degrees. Applicants of the award must be currently enrolled in high school, junior college, a four-year university or a graduate school. Applicants must show they have maintained a GPA of 3.0 or higher in their current school or the school they previously attended.

To apply for the scholarship, applicants must include a 1000-word essay with their application. The essay needs to explain how earning a degree with influence the future of their family. They also need to talk in the essay about the challenges in balancing motherhood and education and how their previous motherhood experience has prepared them for facing those challenges.

Author Info

Whitney Taylor