Could Your Tooth Pain Actually Be a Symptom of One of These Underlying Problems?

Could Your Tooth Pain Actually Be a Symptom of One of These Underlying Problems?

Most people know that they need to schedule a visit to their dentist as soon as they feel tooth pain. However, you might be surprised to learn that the cause of a toothache is not always cavities or tooth damage.

Pain in your tooth can sometimes be caused by a health condition occurring in a different part of your body. If you are noticing pain in one of your teeth, it may be a symptom of the following health issues.

Ear Infection

An ear infection can occur whenever bacteria cause inflammation in any part of the ear. These sorts of infection cause swelling throughout the ears, nose, and throat, and all the buildup of pressure can make the teeth ache. You might have an ear infection if you have pain in your teeth or ears along with one or more of these symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Dizziness
  • Ear pain
  • Nausea
  • Impaired hearing
  • Difficulty balancing

In most cases an ear infection will likely clear up on its own or with the help of an antibiotic prescription from the doctor. However, prolonged tooth pain should be examined by a professional dentist to ensure that there aren’t any other hidden issues affecting the tooth.

Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ)

Commonly called TMJ, this is a disorder that makes it difficult for the joint of the jaw to move properly. It often results in pain while you move your jaw or chew, and many patients make the mistake of thinking it is a tooth problem. Signs of TMJ can include:

  • Jaw pain
  • Ear pain
  • Face pain
  • Clicking noises in the jaw
  • Limited motion while opening or closing the jaw

TMJ is a complicated condition. Sometimes it may be caused by an injury to the jaw or teeth grinding, but it may also be due to genetics, arthritis, or connective tissue diseases. As such, there are many different treatment options you could explore. There are solutions available such as custom night guards created to prevent grinding in your sleep.

If you’re in the Manhattan NYC area, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with one of our providers, who are experts at diagnosing and treating TMJ disorder.

Head Trauma

Any sort of head injury is obviously very serious because it can cause damage to the brain and the delicate structures of the face. Following an injury to the head, you may notice that your teeth are beginning to hurt. Why is this?

Head trauma can cause pain in the mouth even when there is no detectable injury. This can be due to an injury to the nerves in the head. Head injuries should not be taken lightly and you should seek a professional opinion.

Dental Abscess

A dental abscess occurs when a pocket of bacteria is present inside the gums, bone, or teeth. Due to the inflammation build-up in the area, you may notice these issues occurring:

  • Throbbing pain around a tooth or gum
  • Pain spreading from sore gums to the neck, jaw, or ear
  • Swollen, reddened gums
  • Unusually bad breath
  • Swelling and redness in the face.

This type of infection can spread and can cause high fevers and infections throughout the body, so it is important to get them treated as soon as possible. Keep in mind that you will need treatment from a professional dentist, not a general physician to fix this issue. If you believe you have a dental abscess, please contact us to schedule an appointment.

As you can see, a toothache can sometimes be a sign of something more serious. The only way to find out the true cause of your tooth pain is by visiting a dentist.

At our NYC dentist office, we can treat common reasons for dental pain while ruling out the possibility of more serious health problems. With our friendly staff, boutique environment, and lack of wait times, we make a dentist trip into a convenient and comforting experience.

Click here to schedule an appointment.

Can Teeth Repair or Regrow Themselves?

Can Teeth Repair or Regrow Themselves?

can teeth repair themselves

Whether you’ve broken a tooth due to a fall or lost a tooth from disease, you may be asking yourself, “can you regrow teeth?” or “can teeth grow back?” It may sound silly, but we’ve come across many people who ask these questions! Understanding this topic can help ensure that your dental health is well-maintained throughout the years.

Can Teeth Repair Themselves? Here’s The Simple Answer

When your teeth are cracked or chipped, or the enamel is damaged, the simple answer is that they are not going to regrow themselves.

Your teeth are different than your skin and do not regenerate. You probably know that when you get a cut, the skin should eventually grow back. Teeth, however, do not operate in the same fashion because they are not made of living tissue. Due to this, you will need to seek out the help of a cosmetic dentist to see what options are available to repair your teeth.

But What About “First and Second” Teeth Sets?

Humans are actually born with two sets of teeth. This is why children have the ability to regrow teeth when they lose their first set of teeth and their adult set eventually grows in. However, once that second set of adult teeth are in, you can’t grow another set naturally.

In other words, as an adult, if your teeth are damaged or one or more of them has fallen out, regrowth is not going to happen on its own. In most situations you are going to have to get your chipped or cracked tooth fixed professionally so that the damage doesn’t become worse.

Why You Shouldn’t Use Over-the-counter Methods

While it may be tempting to stop by the local drugstore and grab an over-the-counter dental repair kit or similar product, we do not advise this. Some of these products may seem like a convenient idea, but keep in mind that they are not designed specifically for your condition or any underlying problems you may have that has contributed to your chipped, cracked or lost tooth.

Scheduling an appointment with a professional is a much better idea than using over-the-counter repair kits. By visiting a skilled cosmetic dentist like Dr. Mishaan, you are getting the benefit of a professional diagnosis and treatment plan, which increases your odds of a speedy recovery.

How Cosmetic Dentistry Can Help

Cosmetic dentistry services are varied and depend upon your specific needs. This specialty is really the best for dealing with damaged teeth and enamel problems as there are several available options.

At your appointment Dr. Mishaan will discuss all of the available options and provide a treatment plan. For example, there are dental veneers, dental crowns, or fillings to help repair the problem.  Depending on where your damaged tooth is located, you may need to have one or more of your teeth bonded using a tooth-colored composite, which will completely restore the appearance of the tooth.

When Dr. Mishaan is finished with your procedure, you will never be able to tell there was an issue. In addition, we will walk you through your options and discuss the best solution to your problem. We will also discuss how to prevent further damage to your teeth to avoid these issues in the future.

The Bottom Line

In general, unfortunately adult teeth cannot regrow or repair themselves. Fixing your smile requires the help of a professional in the field. We encourage you to schedule an appointment with Dr. Mishaan today and start loving your smile again.

Know the Differences Between Teeth Whitening, Bleaching and Cleaning

Know the Differences Between Teeth Whitening, Bleaching and Cleaning

Most people know about professional cleaning and what it involves – cleaning the teeth and removing plaque. However, many people may not realize that there is actually a subtle difference between teeth whitening and bleaching because the bleaching process is similar to, but not exactly the same, as the whitening process.

Learn more about the similarities and differences between these three popular procedures.

What is Professional Teeth Whitening?

Teeth whitening is the process of whitening several shades of your natural teeth. It’s designed to remove yellow stains that are caused by plaque along with certain foods like coffee or tobacco. Whitening removes the brown spots or yellow stains that are stuck on teeth for years.

The whitening process is classified as either surface whitening or bleaching. The most basic whitening occurs at the surface level of teeth above the enamel, and this is achieved by brushing the teeth using toothpaste. The second type involves the use of a specialized, adapted bleach compound used specifically for teeth whitening. This compound penetrates deeper, allowing for a whiter look to teeth. This is what you’ll find at many professional dental offices.

The myth about professional whitening is that it’s fast and completed in 30 minutes or less. To get the optimal results though, it’s actually a multi-step process that starts with the careful examination of the teeth. Dentists review the patient’s dental history and take X-rays to look for damaged areas. They observe the teeth and gums up close to make sure that everything is healthy before treatment.

At Midtown Dental, Dr. Mishaan actually uses a specialized teeth whitening service, called Zoom! whitening. This procedure uses a combination of light and a whitening gel to quickly and safely whiten your teeth in just one visit.

teeth whitening bleaching smile

What is Teeth Bleaching?

Teeth bleaching is the same as whitening, except it includes the use of dental-grade (which is safe for your mouth!) bleach. To many dentists, bleaching is the strongest, most effective method of creating the whitest look on teeth. The teeth are bleached when they are whitened beyond their natural color.

Hydrogen peroxide is the most common ingredient used in bleaching gels and strips. Since bleaching can be slightly more harsh on your teeth than traditional whitening methods, it’s important to work with an experienced professional to determine whether bleaching is right for you.

Our office in New York uses a procedure called Brite Smile, which is a safe and effective teeth whitening and bleaching solution. Dr. Mishaan prefers this method because it does not usually cause post-op sensitivity on the newly bleached teeth like some other procedures do, and is a perfectly safe way to achieve optimal results.

Routine Teeth Cleaning

In general, professional teeth cleaning is a preventative dental service that involves removing dirt and debris from the teeth without any focus on the aesthetics. Dentists can professionally clean teeth that will still remain yellow afterwards. At our office, we tell our patients that annual cleanings are necessary to maintain good dental health; however, we recommend whitening strictly as a cosmetic dental service.

During cleanings, dentists like Dr. Mishaan focus on removing plaque using the scaling and root planing technique. They also clean the gums and look for any early-to-advanced signs of gum disease. They take X-rays of the teeth and look for cavities, which may lead to the recommendations of dental fillings.

Whitening or bleaching the teeth is done solely to improve the appearance of teeth. In contrast, cleaning is done to improve the functions of teeth and gums. Dentists also look for signs of diseases and other imperfections in the mouth, and may suggest referrals to oral surgeons if there are significant problems.

Dentistry has gotten more complicated over time, and so many dental procedures are now available. If you plan to visit the dentist at all, it’s still important to know what separates one procedure from another. In this case, knowing the difference between teeth whitening and bleaching can be helpful because these two terms are mistakenly used interchangeably.

At Midtown Dental, Dr. Mishaan provides professional cleaning and whitening services to those in NYC. With his expertise in Cosmetic Dentistry, we’re confident that you’ll walk away with a better looking smile for years to come. Contact us to schedule a consultation.

Fluoridated Water: Questions & Answers

fluoride-tutorial1. What is fluoride?

Fluoride is the name given to a group of compounds that are composed of the naturally occurring element fluorine and one or more other elements. Fluorides are present naturally in waterand soil.

2. What is fluoridated water?

Virtually all water contains some amount of fluoride. Water fluoridation is the process of adding fluoride to the water supply so that the level reaches approximately 1 part fluoride per million parts water (ppm) or 1 milligram fluoride per liter of water (mg/L); this is the optimal level for preventing tooth decay (1).

3. Why fluoridate water?

In the early 1940s, scientists discovered that people who lived where drinking water supplies had naturally occurring fluoride levels of approximately 1.0 ppm had fewer dental caries (cavities). Many more recent studies have supported this finding. Fluoride can prevent and even reverse tooth decay by enhancing remineralization, the process by which fluoride “rebuilds” tooth enamel that is beginning to decay.

4. When did water fluoridation begin in the U.S.?

In 1945, Grand Rapids, Michigan, adjusted the fluoride content of its water supply to 1.0 ppm and thus became the first city to implement community water fluoridation. By 1992, more than 60 percent of the U.S. population served by public water systems had access to water fluoridated at approximately 1.0 ppm, the optimal level to prevent tooth decay. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers fluoridation of water one of the greatest achievements in public health in the 20th century.

5. Can fluoridated water cause cancer?

The possible relationship between fluoridated water and cancer has been debated at length. The debate resurfaced in 1990 when a study by the National Toxicology Program, part of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, showed an increased number of osteosarcomas (bone tumors) in male rats given water high in fluoride for 2 years. However, other studies in humans and in animals have not shown an association between fluoridated water and cancer. In a February 1991 Public Health Service (PHS) report, the agency said it found no evidence of an association between fluoride and cancer in humans. The report, based on a review of more than 50 human epidemiological (population) studies produced over the past 40 years, concluded that optimal fluoridation of drinking water “does not pose a detectable cancer risk to humans” as evidenced by extensive human epidemiological data reported to date. In one of the studies reviewed for the PHS report, scientists at the National Cancer Institute evaluated the relationship between the fluoridation of drinking water and the number of deaths due to cancer in the United States during a 36-year period, and the relationship between water fluoridation and number of new cases of cancer during a 15-year period. After examining more than 2.2 million cancer death records and 125,000 cancer case records in counties using fluoridated water, the researchers found no indication of increased cancer risk associated with fluoridated drinking water. In 1993, the Subcommittee on Health Effects of Ingested Fluoride of the National Research Council, part of the National Academy of Sciences, conducted an extensive literature review concerning the association between fluoridated drinking water and increased cancer risk. The review included data from more than 50 human epidemiological studies and six animal studies. The Subcommittee concluded that none of the data demonstrated an association between fluoridated drinking water and cancer. A 1999 report by the CDC supported these findings. The report concluded that studies to date have produced “no credible evidence” of an association between fluoridated drinking water and an increased risk for cancer.

6. Where can people find additional information on fluoridated water?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) site has information on standards for a fluoridated water supplies in the United States. Visit  and search for “fluoridation.”

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Web site has more information about drinking water and health. It includes information about drinking water quality and standards. This Web site is located at on the Internet.

7. Key Points

  • Fluoride prevents and can even reverse tooth decay (see Question 3).
  • More than 60 percent of the U.S. population on public water supply systems has access to water fluoridated at approximately 1 part fluoride per million parts water—the optimal level for preventing tooth decay (see Question 4).
  • Many studies, in both humans and animals, have shown no association between fluoridated water and risk for cancer (see Question 5).

Dry Mouth (Xerostomia) : Symptoms, Causes, Tips

Dry MouthWhat do I need to know about dry mouth?

Dry mouth is the feeling that there is not enough saliva in the mouth. Everyone has a dry mouth once in a while — if they are nervous, upset or under stress. But if you have a dry mouth all or most of the time, it can be uncomfortable and can lead to serious health problems. It can also be a sign of certain diseases and conditions. The technical term for dry mouth is xerostomia. Dry mouth can cause difficulties in tasting, chewing, swallowing, and speaking, can increase your chance of developing dental decay and other infections in the mouth, can be caused by certain medications or medical treatments. Dry mouth is not a normal part of aging. So if you think you have dry mouth, see your dentist or physician–there are things you can do to get relief.

Symptoms include:

  • a sticky, dry feeling in the mouth
  • trouble chewing, swallowing, tasting, or speaking
  • a burning feeling in the mouth
  • a dry feeling in the throat
  • cracked lips
  • a dry, rough tongue
  • mouth sores
  • an infection in the mouth

Why is saliva so important?

Saliva does more than keep the mouth wet.

  • It helps digest food
  • It protects teeth from decay
  • It prevents infection by controlling bacteria and fungi in the mouth
  • It makes it possible for you to chew and swallow

Without enough saliva you can develop tooth decay or other infections in the mouth. You also might not get the nutrients you need if you cannot chew and swallow certain foods. Some people feel they have a dry mouth even if their salivary glands are working correctly. People with certain disorders, like Alzheimer’s disease or those who have suffered a stroke, may not be able to feel wetness in their mouth and may think their mouth is dry even though it is not.

What causes dry mouth?

People get dry mouth when the glands in the mouth that make saliva are not working properly. Because of this, there might not be enough saliva to keep your mouth wet. There are several reasons why these glands (called salivary glands) might not work right.

  • Side effects of some medicines. More than 400 medicines can cause the salivary glands to make less saliva. Medicines for high blood pressure and depression often cause dry mouth.
  • Disease. Some diseases affect the salivary glands. Sjögren’s Syndrome, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease can all cause dry mouth.
  • Radiation therapy. The salivary glands can be damaged if they are exposed to radiation during cancer treatment.
  • Chemotherapy. Drugs used to treat cancer can make saliva thicker, causing the mouth to feel dry.
  • Nerve damage. Injury to the head or neck can damage the nerves that tell salivary glands to make saliva.

What can be done about dry mouth?

Dry mouth treatment will depend on what is causing the problem. If you think you have dry mouth, see your dentist or physician. He or she can try to determine what is causing your dry mouth.

  • If your dry mouth is caused by medicine, your physician might change your medicine or adjust the dosage.
  • If your salivary glands are not working right but can still produce some saliva, your physician or dentist might give you a medicine that helps the glands work better.
  • Your physician or dentist might suggest that you use artificial saliva to keep your mouth wet.

What can I do?

  • Sip water or sugarless drinks often.
  • Avoid drinks with caffeine, such as coffee, tea, and some sodas. Caffeine can dry out the mouth.
  • Sip water or a sugarless drink during meals. This will make chewing and swallowing easier. It may also improve the taste of food.
  • Chew sugarless gum or suck on sugarless hard candy to stimulate saliva flow; citrus, cinnamon or mint-flavored candies are good choices.
  • Don’t use tobacco or alcohol. They dry out the mouth.
  • Be aware that spicy or salty foods may cause pain in a dry mouth.
  • Use a humidifier at night.

Tips for keeping your teeth healthy

Remember, if you have dry mouth, you need to be extra careful to keep your teeth healthy. Make sure you:

  • Gently brush your teeth at least twice a day.
  • Floss your teeth every day.
  • Use toothpaste with fluoride in it. Most toothpastes sold at grocery and drug stores have fluoride in them.
  • Avoid sticky, sugary foods. If you do eat them, brush immediately afterwards.

Visit your dentist in ny midtown for a check-up at least twice a year. Your dentist might give you a special fluoride solution that you can rinse with to help keep your teeth healthy. We provide General Dentistry and Cosmetic Dentistry, Bleaching/Whitening, Orthodontics, Implants, and Reconstructive Dentistry with Cosmetic Dentists and Specialists all in our spacious and new mid-town Manhattan office.

Dr. Daniell Mishaan, D.M.D.

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

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