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The Bright Sun Helps Make a Bright Smile

Posted on 30 September 2009 by admin

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I have spent many years as a cosmetic dentist in Manhattan, New York and every sunny day I see the effect a sunny day has on the city.  People from all five boroughs flood the parks to take in the rays, work on their tan, and enjoy the weather.  Little do these sun worshippers know, but they are also extending the life and health of their teeth!  That’s because vitamin D, sometime referred to as the “sunshine vitamin,” is made by the body through casual exposure to the sun.  Vitamin D is just as essential as calcium for forming and maintaining strong teeth and bones. 

     Vitamin D and Calcium are both equally necessary to counteract bone deficiencies and reduce the weakening of bone tissue.  If one does not obtain the proper amounts of vitamin D and calcium, they will most certainly encounter bone loss and inflammation of many of the tissues in the body.  Findings show that inflammation is a major symptom of gum diseases, which draws the conclusion that a deficiency of calcium and vitamin D may be a major risk factor for periodontal disease. 

    Many hours of research have been devoted to finding the best means of obtaining the required amount of vitamin D.  So far, basking in the sun is at the top of the list.  In fact, during winter months when the sun tends to hide away, researchers record huge drops in the levels of vitamin D in their patients. Ten to 15 minutes of sun exposure at least two times per week is usually sufficient to provide adequate vitamin D.  During those winter months, when the sun tends to hide away, it is advised to eat foods fortified with vitamin D such as milk, eggs, sardines and tuna fish.

     Now, it is not advised to forego sunblock or reduce the amount of times you brush your teeth if you are hitting the beach regularly.  In fact, the amount of sun you are currently soaking in is probably up to par with the recommended level.  Sunblocks will allow the proper amount of vitamin D to enter the body.  Exposure to the sun is not a cure to periodontal disease, it is simply is a valuable tool to combat a stubborn and rampant danger to our bodies. 

     If you feel that you are not receiving adequate levels of vitamin D and calcium, it is very important to talk to your dentist or physician about the possibility of taking supplements or providing other means to put you on the right track.

Daniell Mishaan, D.M.D. is a Cosmetic and Restorative dentist in the Garment District in midtown Manhattan. He serves patients from all over New York City and is open Sundays for all patients including emergencies.

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The Effects of Stress on Oral Health

Posted on 24 September 2009 by admin

New York City is a great place to live, work, and play.  As a leading dentist in one of the world’s busiest cities, I know all too well the stress that my patients undergo.  If stress is allowed to plague the body long enough it can cause severe damage to an individual’s physical and mental health.  As a society, the dangers that stress poses to the body are fairly well known.  Unfortunately, not many people are aware of the effects that chronic stress has on oral health.

     Chronic stress can have many significant effects on oral health.  For instance, emotional stress is believed to be related to the practice of tooth grinding, also known as bruxism, jaw and facial pain, and headaches.  Increased tension in the muscles of the face are a major side effect of stress.  This tension can cause an individual to inadvertently grind upper and lower teeth during their sleep or even while awake.  This can lead to sensitive teeth, cracked or chipped teeth, or a change in their bite.  Bruxism is usually treated with a mouthguard that is worn at night to stop grinding, however, when brought on as a result of stress, patients are encouraged to treat this symptom by focusing on reducing stressful triggers and relaxation.

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Stress is also known to significantly affect the immune system, leaving the victim more susceptible to infections.  Oral health suffers greatly, as the risk of periodontal disease almost doubles.  The gum tissue cannot fight off the ever-present bacteria lurking within the mouth and is also more vulnerable to mouth sores, dry mouth, burning mouth syndrome, and TMJ disorder. 

     Finally, its has been found that someone under a great deal of emotional stress is more likely to develop certain coping habits to help reduce anxiety, but in the end have negative effects on oral health.  Such habits include ignoring proper oral hygiene practices, engaging in desctructive behaviors such as smoking and alcohol abuse, and eating foods full of sugar. 

     If you are experiencing any of the following and lead a stressful lifestyle, you may be diagnosed with chronic stress:

  • Upset Stomach
  • Headaches
  • Backaches
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Anger

     If you feel you have chronic stress, it is very important to speak with your dentist about ways you can avoid causing harm to your oral health.  Your dentist will likely advise a variety of methods to control chronic stress, including exercise, healthy eating habits, stress management and relaxation techniques, adequate rest, and relaxing hobbies. 

 Daniell Mishaan, D.M.D. is a Cosmetic and Restorative dentist in the Garment District in midtown Manhattan. He serves patients from all over New York City and is open Sundays for all patients including emergencies.

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After Orthodontics: How to Keep Your Teeth Straight

Posted on 14 September 2009 by admin

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“After Orthodontics: How to Keep Your Teeth Straight”

Although it is commonly believed that the teeth are fused or attached to the surrounding bone structures of the jaw, in reality, the roots are surrounded by a soft periodontal ligament. This is why when you press against a tooth or slightly “wiggle” it, you can feel slight movement. Orthodontics treatment is basically the same idea but on a full treatment scale. Orthodontic treatment involves moving or tilting and holding the teeth into a new position. The pressure supplied by orthodontic apparatuses allows the soft “housing” around the tooth to change shape and permit the gradual movement of the teeth.

When this pressure is applied to the teeth and the supporting structure for an extended period of time, the fibers of the periodontal ligament are stretched and contorted. Due to the fact that these fibers are very elastic, once braces or other orthodontic equipment is removed there is a high tendency for the ligament to restore the placement of the teeth into their original position. This happens most often in the short term.

The general layout of your bite and teeth is mostly dictated by genetics.However, there are other factors that contribute to the eventual look and feel of your smile. Tongue placement and movement, cheek size, and speech, swallowing, and breathing patterns can change the placement of your teeth.Therefore, these factors can also aid in poor retention of orthodontic results.

After many long months of braces, the last thing you want is for all your hard work to go undone. Therefore, it is necessary to prevent a relapse.Many patients will be given a retainer to wear after treatment has finished.Retainers are removable plates that fit around the teeth to prohibit movement. Retainers are generally worn while the patient sleeps.Eventually, the retainers can be worn less frequently as the periodontal ligament losses elasticity.

Many patients are not bothered by their retainers. In order to retain the perfect results caused by proper orthodontic procedures, a patient is advised to wear their retainer every night, indefinitely. For patients who find retainers cumbersome, but would still like to retain their perfect smile, many dentists will recommend a bonded retainer.

A bonded retainer is a small wire attached to the back of the front teeth.Since the bonded retainer rests behind the teeth, there are obviously no aesthetic drawbacks. The bonded retainer does not hinder dental hygiene. It is very easy to floss between the bonds and your dentist can check stability and gum health during each visit. As life gets busier and the hours in the day seem to shorten, not many patients have the time or the mind to gain good habits with their removable retainer. That is why the bonded retainer has become so popular with orthodontists and their patients in the last couple years. Maintaining that beautiful smile is easier than you think!

Daniell Mishaan, D.M.D. is a Cosmetic and Restorative dentist in the Garment District in midtown Manhattan. He serves patients from all over New York City and is open Sundays for all patients including emergencies.

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The Truth About Mouthwash

Posted on 02 September 2009 by admin

mouth-wash-and-bad-breathA new review of studies delves into how to beat bad breath  (halitosis) — and gives high marks to mouthwashes.

Researchers led by Zbys Fedorowicz from the Bahrain Ministry of Health reviewed results from five studies with participants who were randomly given mouthwashes or placebo; 293 people in Thailand, the U.S, the Netherlands, Spain, and Israel took part.

According to background information provided by the researchers, halitosis is widespread around the world: Up to half of people in the U.S. say they have bad breath, 50-60% of people in France complain of it, and 24% of Japanese say it’s a problem.

The participants in the data review were adults over 18 years old who did not have any serious chronic gum or mouth diseases or other conditions such as diabetes, which can bring on bad breath. What researchers found when they compared data is that the type of mouthwash can make a difference in either masking or eliminating bad breath.

“We found that antibacterial mouth rinses, as well as those containing chemicals that neutralize odors, are actually very good at controlling bad breath,” Fedorowicz says in a news release.

But researchers also found that mouthwashes that contain chlorhexidine can temporarily stain the teeth and tongue and reduce taste in one trial.

Researchers also found: Mouthwash containing antibacterial ingredients such as chlorhexidine (Elgydium Refreshing Mouthwash) and cetylpyridinium (Crest Pro-Health Mouthrinse, and BreathRx) did the job of getting rid of bad breath better than a placebo. This is likely due to decreasing the amount of bacteria in the mouth responsible for bad breath.  Mouthwash with chlorine dioxide (Profresh, and TheraBreath) and zinc (TheraBreath, and BreathRx) helped to wipe out bad smells by neutralizing them. Bad breath is caused by bacteria and traces of food that collect in the back of and creases of the tongue.

Researchers write that these particles and bacteria then “break down into volatile sulphur compounds,” which are responsible for the smell.  Dr. Mishaan believes that having good oral health requires proper brushing and flossing habits. Do not forget to brush your tongue to remove bacteria and keep your breathe fresh! Please be aware that if you have chronic bad breath it is a potential sign of  infection and you should visit your dentist to have this issue resolved.

Daniell Mishaan, D.M.D. is a Cosmetic and Restorative dentist in the Garment District in midtown Manhattan. He serves patients from all over New York City and is open Sundays for all patients including emergencies.

Source:  Kelley Colihan for WebMD Health News

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Chocolate Toothpaste? Extract Of Tasty Treat Could Fight Tooth Decay…

Posted on 10 August 2009 by admin

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For a healthy smile brush between meals, floss regularly and eat plenty of chocolate?

According to Tulane University doctoral candidate Arman Sadeghpour an extract of cocoa powder that occurs naturally in chocolates, teas, and other products might be an effective natural alternative to fluoride in toothpaste. In fact, his research revealed that the cocoa extract was even more effective than fluoride in fighting cavities.

The extract, a white crystalline powder whose chemical makeup is similar to caffeine, helps harden teeth enamel, making users less susceptible to tooth decay. The cocoa extract could offer the first major innovation to commercial toothpaste since manufacturers began adding fluoride to toothpaste in 1914.

The extract has been proven effective in the animal model, but it will probably be another two to four years before the product is approved for human use and available for sale, Sadeghpour says. But he has already created a prototype of peppermint flavored toothpaste with the cavity-fighting cocoa extract added, and his doctoral thesis research compared the extract side by side to fluoride on the enamel surface of human teeth.

I am curious to know what you think of this research. I find it hard to believe….

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/71158.php


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School Of Dentistry Studies Link Between Oral Health And Memory

Posted on 27 July 2009 by admin

Keeping your teeth brushed and flossed can cut down on gum disease, drastically reducing risk of heart attack and stroke, dentists have warned for years. Now researchers at West Virginia University have found a clean mouth may also help preserve memory.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a $1.3 million grant over four years to funyc-dentist-connection-between-a-healthy-mouth-and-memoryrther build on studies linking gum disease and mild to moderate memory loss.

“Older people might want to know there’s more reason to keep their mouths clean — to brush and floss — than ever,” said Richard Crout, D.M.D., Ph.D., an expert on gum disease and associate dean for research in the WVU School of Dentistry. “You’ll not only be more likely to keep your teeth, but you’ll also reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke and memory loss.”

Crout will share the grant with gerontologist Bei Wu, Ph.D., formerly of WVU and now a researcher at the University of North Carolina; Brenda L. Plassman, Ph.D., of Duke University, a nationally recognized scientist in the field of memory research; and Jersey Liang, Ph.D., a professor at the University of Michigan. Wu is the principal investigator.

The team will look at health records over many years of several thousand Americans.

“This could have great implications for health of our aging populations,” Crout said. “With rates of Alzheimer’s skyrocketing, imagine the benefits of knowing that keeping the mouth free of infection could cut down on cases of dementia.”

The research builds on an ongoing study of West Virginians aged 70 and older. Working with the WVU School of Medicine, School of Dentistry researchers have given oral exams and memory tests to 270 elderly people in more than a dozen West Virginia counties.

Funded by a $419,000 two-year grant, they’ve discovered that about 23 percent of the group suffers from mild to moderate memory loss.

A blood draw is also part of the study for research subjects who agree.

“If you have a gum infection, you’ll have an increased level of inflammatory byproducts,” Crout explained. “We’re looking for markers in the blood that show inflammation to see if there is a link to memory problems. We’d like to go full circle and do an intervention — to clean up some of the problems in the mouth and then see if the inflammatory markers go down.”

Researchers don’t yet understand whether microorganisms in the mouth create health problems or whether the body’s inflammatory response is to blame. It may be a combination of both. Researchers also don’t know much about mild to moderate memory loss, even though the connection between severe dementia and gum disease is well-known, Crout said.

In the future, dentists may routinely administer memory tests to their older patients, he said.

“A dentist may see a longtime, older patient with an area of the mouth that’s showing signs of inflammation because of not being properly cleaned daily,” Crout said. “Many times we as clinicians, however, don’t think of this as due to a memory problem. The patient may not be flossing or brushing properly as we have instructed they should. But this research indicates that the problem may be due to memory loss as opposed to noncompliance.”

Daniell Mishaan, D.M.D. is a dentist in the Garment District in midtown Manhattan. He serves patients from all over New York City and is open Sundays for all patients including emergencies.

Source: West Virginia University Health Sciences Center


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Eat for a Beautiful Smile- what you eat affects your teeth and gums too!

Posted on 17 July 2009 by admin

A FEW SIMPLE CHANGES TO YOUR DIET CAN HELP KEEP YOUR TEETH HEALTHY FOR LIFE.

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You brush, you floss, you see your dentist, but do you eat with your oral health in mind? And it’s not just the usual suspects like sugar that may be harmful. Some surprising–even healthy–foods can cause cavities, while others can help protect you from decay, gum disease, and even bad breath. Here, how to tailor your diet for optimal dental health.

Eat carbs at mealtimes
A handful of potato chips or even a whole wheat roll can be just as damaging to your teeth and gums as a chocolate chip cookie. All carbohydrates break down into simple sugars, which are ultimately converted by bacteria in the mouth into plaque, a sticky residue that is the primary cause of gum disease and cavities. Carb-based foods such as breads and crackers tend to have “a chewy, adhesive texture,” making it easier for them to get caught between teeth or under the gum line, where bacteria can then accumulate, says Christine Gerbstadt, MD, RD, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. Have carbs at mealtimes rather than as a snack: When you eat a larger amount of food, you produce more saliva, which helps wash food particles away.

Drink tea Black and green teas contain polyphenols, antioxidant plant compounds that prevent plaque from adhering to your teeth and help reduce your chances of developing cavities and gum disease. “Tea also has potential for reducing bad breath because it inhibits the growth of the bacteria that cause the odor,” explains Christine D. Wu, PhD, associate dean for research at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry, who has conducted several studies on tea and oral health. Many teas also contain fluoride (from the leaves and the water it’s steeped in), which helps protect tooth enamel from decay.

Sip with a straw
Most sodas, sports drinks, and juices contain acids, such as citric and phosphoric, that can erode dental enamel–even if they’re diet or sugar-free versions. Sipping acidic drinks through a straw positioned toward the back of your mouth limits their contact with your teeth and helps preserve the enamel, says a study in the British Dental Journal.

Increase your C intake
“Vitamin C is the cement that holds all of your cells together, so just as it’s vital for your skin, it’s important for the health of your gum tissue,” says Jones. People who consumed less than 60 mg per day of C (8 ounces of orange juice or one orange contains more than 80 mg) were 25% more likely to have gum disease than people who took in 180 mg or more, according to a study of over 12,000 US adults conducted at the State University of New York University at Buffalo.

Eat 800 mg of calcium a day
People who do are less likely to develop severe gum disease, says a recent study by the Buffalo researchers. The reason: About 99% of the calcium in your body is in your bones and teeth. Dietary calcium–available in foods like cheese, milk, and yogurt–strengthens the alveolar bone in the jaw, which helps hold your teeth in place. The recommended amount is 1,000 mg per day for women younger than 50 and 1,200 mg for those older.

Dr. Daniell Mishaan, is a dentist in Midtown, New York City. For more information about what kind of preventive measures you can take to protect your teeth- please click here.

For More information- feel free to check out the following link: http://www.prevention.com/loveyoursmile/index.shtml

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What Your Body Is Telling You by Melinda Beck

Posted on 26 June 2009 by admin

The body speaks volumes about what ails it…

Teeth and HypertensionWhat the Body says about You

The mouth provides another window into overall health. That’s what inspired New York University’s College of Dentistry to team up with its College of Nursing to check patients at the university’s free dental clinic for other health-related issues. More than 60% of the patients referred from the dental clinic met the criteria for hypertension, and 30% had diabetes or pre-diabetes. “The tooth pain brings them in. Diabetes and hypertension are often silent diseases,” says Edwidge Thomas, the nursing school’s director of clinical practice affairs.

In rarer cases, gums can bleed and become inflamed from leukemia. Bulimia can leave telltale acid marks on the backs of teeth — and missing teeth can be a sign of poor nutrition, advanced gum disease or long-term drug use.

Some body signs are more statistical correlations than causal relationships. Short leg length has been linked to a higher risk for diabetes, atherosclerosis and heart disease, which could all be due to poor nutrition in utero or early childhood. Several studies have found that the shorter a man’s index finger in relation to his ring finger, the more aggressive he’s likely to be. One possible explanation is exposure to testosterone in the womb, but so far, that remains more a curiosity than a clue

Melinda Beck wrote a this article in the June 23rd article of the Wall Street Journal.   For the full article click on the following link:  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124571709339739367.html

For more information about the Effects of Periodontal Disease on the Body please read click here.

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New Perinatal And Infant Oral Health Guidelines

Posted on 20 June 2009 by admin

mother-with-baby1New Perinatal And Infant Oral Health Guidelines

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), the recognized leader in pediatric oral health, announced new oral health guidelines for expectant mothers and infants. The guidelines call for all pregnant women to receive counseling and oral healthcare during pregnancy, and also that infants receive an oral health risk assessment and oral care by their first birthday. These steps will contribute to optimal oral health for both mom and baby.

“There is evidence associating periodontal disease and increased risk of preterm birth and low-birth weight,” said AAPD’s Immediate Past-President Dr. Beverly Largent. A recently published study found significant differences between women treated for periodontal disease and those who were not treated. The findings suggest that incorporating periodontal care may result in improved pregnancy outcomes.

“Because premature births have become the number one obstetric problem in the United States, we felt the need to provide more guidance about necessary oral care for expectant moms, in addition to promoting oral health as a key part of pregnant women’s overall health,” said Dr. Largent.

The guidelines are based on studies that suggest that proper dental care during the perinatal period may help prevent preterm and low-birth weight babies and is an important aspect of overall health for pregnant women - allowing them to enter delivery in optimal health. Many women, however, are unaware of the implications poor oral health can have on themselves and their babies and often don’t seek oral care during pregnancy.

Additionally, mothers with poor oral health may be at greater risk of infecting their children with the bacteria that causes cavities, increasing their children’s caries risk at an early age. Because cavities in infants are preventable, determining which mothers are at the highest risk improves opportunities for preventive intervention.

“Every expectant mother should receive a comprehensive oral health evaluation and risk assessment,” said Dr. Largent. “Dental treatment is safe throughout pregnancy, and this is a time when expectant mothers need to be screened for oral risks, counseled on proper oral hygiene and receive necessary dental treatment.”

The updated guidelines also address proper oral care for infants and toddlers, the age group most susceptible to early childhood caries (ECC), which is an infectious but preventable disease that causes tooth decay and potentially more serious health issues. When left untreated, ECC can affect speech and communication, eating and dietary nutrition, sleeping, learning, playing, and quality of life - even into adulthood. The guidelines outline how simple changes in a mother’s oral hygiene, diet, use of topical fluoride and sharing of eating utensils can significantly reduce a child’s risk for ECC.

Overview of the new AAPD Oral Health Guidelines for expectant mothers and infants:

  • Oral Hygiene: Tooth brushing and flossing on a daily basis are important for the parent to reduce bacterial plaque, which research has linked to preterm, low-birth weight babies.
  • Diet: Dietary education for the parents, including the potential effect of foods and beverages on their oral health, helps maintain good dental care.
  • Fluoride: Using a fluoridated toothpaste approved by the American Dental Association and rinsing every night with an alcohol-free, over-the-counter mouth rinse containing 0.05% sodium fluoride have been suggested to help reduce plaque levels.
  • Caries removal: Routine professional dental care for the parents can help keep their oral health in optimal condition.
  • Delay of colonization: Education of the parents, especially mothers, on sharing utensils, food and cups can help prevent the transmission of cavity-causing bacteria.
  • Xylitol gum: Recent evidence suggests the use of xylitol chewing gum (four pieces per day by the mother) can decrease a child’s caries rate.

Dr. Daniell Mishaan, D.M.D.
MIDTOWN DENTAL GROUP
www.midtowndentalgroup.com

241 West 37th Street
New York, NY 10018
Phone: 212 730 4440
Fax: 212 764 7122

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The Effects of Periodontal Disease on the Body

Posted on 28 May 2009 by admin

     pain-body My patients know that I am a huge advocate of preventative dentistry, emphasizing proper oral hygiene through brushing and flossing and timely treatment of problems.  Preventative dentistry techniques keep the mouth healthy.  A healthy mouth provides a bright and beautiful smile, fresh breath, and prevents other medical problems throughout the body.  When proper oral hygiene is ignored, bacteria tends to build up around the teeth and gums.  This bacteria is the cause of periodontal disease. 

      An astounding 75 percent of adults over the age of 35 have some degree of periodontal disease.  Left unchecked, periodontal disease can cause serious damage to bone and tissues in the mouth and affect conditions elsewhere in the body.  In fact, there is ongoing research linking periodontal disease with very serious medical problems.  Some of these potential ailments include:

 Increase in the risk of Cardiovascular Disease

  • Increase in the risk for strokes
  • Respiratory problems
  • Problem pregnancies
  • Diabetes
  • Osteoporosis
     

    Bacteria stored in the plaque in your mouth can very easily enter the bloodstream, which has been know to trigger an increase in certain protective materials which attach to vessels in the heart.  This build up of plaque and fatty proteins thickens coronary arteries, a condition known as atherosclerosis.  This inflammation is the major cause of the development of cardiovascular disease and increases the risk of having a stroke.

      Researchers have found that a person with a large amount of bacteria, due to improper oral hygiene, will inhale these germs into the respiratory tracts.  An increase in bacteria in the respiratory system causes infections and worsens existing respiratory conditions, such as pneumonia.

      Current research has found a link between periodontal disease and pre-term births.  Mothers with periodontal disease have been found to be much more likely to give birth to a pre-mature or low birth weight baby.  While this research is new, periodontal disease seems to increase certain biological fluids which induce labor, leading to pre-term births.

      Periodontal disease has been known to be more prevalent in those who suffer from diabetes.  New research is now finding that periodontal disease may, in fact, play a role in the development of diabetes.  While victims of diabetes have a hard time fighting the infections caused by the bacteria associated with periodontal disease, conversely, these infections can bring about reactionary processes that lead to the onset of type 2 diabetes in healthy individuals.

      While periodontal disease is found in a large majority of adults, it is important for people of all ages to be aware of the damage this disease can cause to the mouth and the rest of the body.  It is imperative that proper oral hygiene is practiced at home and regular trips to your dentist’s office are scheduled throughout the year. 

 Daniell Mishaan, D.M.D. is a dentist in the Garment District in midtown Manhattan.  He serves patients from all over New York City.

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