Impact of Stress On Oral Health

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Good News
Millennials on average will be living two decades longer than boomers.
Bad News
Millennials suffer from unprecedented stress level in relation to all other previous generations.

What are the oral health implications of this? Grinding (bruxism) is on the rise. What used to be isolated to a few individuals just a decade ago, is epidemic among our young patients in Midtown.

Why is that concerning? Grinding causes irreversible damage to dental enamel, the outer protective layer of teeth. In the absence of enamel teeth become vulnerable to normal masticatory forces (dental abrasion), not to mention acidic content in food and drinks (dental erosion).

While among boomers tooth loss meant gradual individual break down of teeth due to periodontal condition or decay, what we are witnessing in millennials is erosion affecting all teeth due to grinding, clenching and other stress induced para-functional habits. And this is just part of the story.

What are the solutions?

Manage stress, pay attention to clenching and grinding habits, wear occlusal guard while sleeping, drink less caffeine and alcohol.

But the truth is, these solutions are much simpler said than done! Most patient, despite their best efforts have a tough time with implementing these changes, until it is too late.

What is your strategy to ensure stress doesn't adversely affect your healthspan? 



Summer and sorbets are around the corner and if you are one the 40% of Americans between ages of 20 and 50 suffering from tooth sensitivity, read on!

First the basics...
Tooth sensitivity refers to an irritation in one or more teeth and usually starts with biting in ice cream, drinking ice coffee, or chewing on candy such as jelly beans. With time, sensitivity could even trigger from breathing in cold air. The discomfort can be sharp, sudden and reach deep down into the nerve endings of your teeth. The condition varies from a mild twinge to a severe pain.

...Why do teeth hurt?
Here are some common reasons

  • Abrasion:Vigorous brushing

  • Erosion:Dental exposure to acid through diet or acid reflux

  • Grinding and Clenching

  • Fractured Teeth

  • Plaque Buildup:Combination of bacteria and food particles

  • Dental treatment:Cleaning andwhitening may leave your teeth temporarily sensitive

  • Gum recession:When gums recede, the dentin is exposed so teeth become vulnerable to sensitivity

What to do?

1. Maintain good daily hygiene to rule out plaque build up.
2. We recommend electric brushes, which will reduce the tension caused by abrasion.
3. Stay away from acidic foods.
4. Wear a night guard if grinding.

Beyond the sudden sensation,sensitivity that lingers on could be a warning sign of more severe dental conditions, such as a cavity or dental infection. Be sure to take note of that lingering sensitivity and schedule an appointment to address the issue as soon as you can.

As an aspiring dental student at BrilliantSmile®, I have seen severe conditions that could have been avoided if preventive measures were taken. Dental prevention matters so it's best to address lingering sensitivity before root canal and periodontal issues arise. 


Teeth Whitening: The Good, The Bad and The Verdict

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Let’s Start with the Facts

Teeth whitening has become a common procedure in dentistry. The procedure uses products that contain hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide as agents to transform the color of your teeth.

The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry reports that 74 percent of adults believe unattractive smiles hinder employment success. The confidence that accompanies a whiter smile is a key benefit of teeth whitening.

Bleaching sounds risky. Is it safe?

When it's done under professional supervision it is! It minimizes possible risk factors such as soft tissue irritation, blotchy appearance and unintentional ingestion, while maximizing the whitening results. In-office whitening products are not only fast-acting, but they also have a neutral pH to prevent dehydration and shade relapse.

The Good

  • Efficient: Teeth whitening could fix months of yellow teeth in as fast as 15 minutes. 

  • Low risk: The right bleaching formula will NOT harm your enamel or gums. 

  • And of course, WHITER TEETH!

The Bad (That’s not TOO BAD)

  • Tooth sensitivity: Short-lived and varies for each individual. At BrilliantSmile®, we use a product that contains potassium nitrate and fluoride, which helps relieve tooth sensitivity; 

  • Gum Irritation: Generally happens with ill-fitting at home trays or in the presence of gingivitis (puffy gums). At BrilliantSmile® we use a special dam to minimize gum sensitivity. Otherwise it can last 24-48 hours after treatment completion.

  • May require periodic re-application.

  • Cannot change the color of existing fillings or crowns.

The Verdict

The purpose of teeth whitening is to create a brighter smile and boost confidence. There are safety measures that should be considered but for us New Yorkers, risks out weight the benefits.  Book a complimentary consultation to see if teeth whitening is right for you.

Dental Erosion: What You Need To Know


What exactly is it?

An accelerated and irreversible loss of  tooth structure due to chronic exposure to acid in the mouth.

Where does the acid come from?

  1. Stomach (acid re-flux, disorder, chronic vomiting due to bulimia, alcoholism or pregnancy)

  2. Food(soda, wine, sugar, chlorine, dairy, gluten) See infographic below

How does acid damage teeth?

  1. Acid in the mouth causes irreversible enamel erosion.

How do I know if I have acid erosion?

At early stages enamel erosion makes teeth look dull and yellow; as it advances teeth look see-through and greyish/blue.

Any other symptom?

At early stages teeth become sensitive to cold foods and beverages as well as sweets. In advanced stages teeth chip away and become short and deformed.

How can I prevent acid erosion?

  1. If consuming acidic beverages such as wine and soda, use a straw to bypass your teeth

  2. If you are suffering from alcoholism or bulimia seek help

  3. If you are suffering from acid re-flux marked by acidic taste in mouth speak to your primary care provider.

What if I already have the signs and symptoms of acid erosion?

  1. Schedule a consultation to rule out other conditions that can mimic acid erosion such as bruxism with malocclusion

  2. Enamel loss can be successfully restored with porcelain laminates and onlays.