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Dr. Billings and Dr. Levy quite possibly saved my life.

You don’t hear that often about a dentist, but his attention to detail, meticulous examination and in-office testing led to uncovering a severely deviated septum that needed prompt surgical intervention. I’m forever grateful for him and his entire staff.

Dr. Billings noticed that I checked yes to a few items on his questionnaire. When he began asking about my fatigue, sluggish feeling, etc. I blamed it on the kids and being a parent of two young boys. After his dental exam, he insisted that there could be more to my symptoms. After a chat, we decided to do an in-office Facial CT scan. It’s been 4 years since I had one, so I agreed. Everything was promptly scheduled, and their text reminders kept me on schedule.

I did the CT scan, and Dr. Billings pointed out my severely deviated septum and recommended I get a prompt ENT evaluation. I brought a printout of the CT to my next appointment, and I ended up having sinus surgery 3 weeks later.

Immediately after surgery, I knew something was different. After healing, I was sleeping better, breathing better and, sure enough, less sluggish and not reaching for my 3pm coffee. All from going to the dentist.

My teeth look great, too!

Dr. Billings has opened my eyes to understand that dentists are part of the entire medical team, and when using their training to the fullest, they can change lives.

– Arden Ballard

My TMJ treatment has improved my overall health and well-being

Having been diagnosed with sleep apnea in 2003, I was fitted for a head-gear breathing apparatus to alleviate the condition. After struggling with discomfort and lack of sleep, I discontinued use of the device. During a visit to my cardiologist in 2017, I was ordered to take another sleep test which revealed that the condition had reached a dangerous level and that it must be addressed immediately. I shared with Dr. G. Johnson my concerns from the past and he informed me that a new mouth piece for this sleep disorder was available and referred me to Dr. Terry Billings, DDS.

I contacted Dr. Billings and during my first appointment with him, after a series of tests, he determined that I had another condition, TMJ, which would have to be treated before addressing the sleep disorder. He explained to me that I would have to wear mouthpieces, one by day and one by night, for twelve weeks to correct this issue. My instant reaction was that as a Catholic priest serving as the rector of the St. Louis Cathedral, I often celebrate televised Masses during which a mouthpiece would certainly be a deterrent. Dr. Billings patiently and understandingly explained that I really had no option but assured me that he would be able to make weekly adjustments to the mouthpieces that would help with these concerns.

Now as I approach the final weeks of this treatment, I am pleased to share that I have been most satisfied with the care and attention of both Dr. Billings and his staff. The level of professionalism and proficiency which I have experienced in the weekly office visits have made a challenging issue bearable. It is amazing to me what the treatment of the TMJ has done for my overall health and well-being and as I now await the mouthpiece to address my sleep disorder I am most grateful to Dr. Billings for his diagnosis and excellent treatment during this period of preparation for it.

Very Rev. Philip G. Landry
St. Louis Cathedral

Combination of our TMJ therapy and sleep apnea treatment

“So today we’re here with Zachary who is a combination of our TMJ therapy and sleep apnea patients. Tell us about your experience with what got you in to do a sleep study.”

“I couldn’t open my mouth and I knew that something was up. So I made a phone call to come in and they did like the little measurement and obviously it wasn’t what it was supposed to be. So, at first, I took some steroids and you know it went away and I was fine. And then a couple of weeks later it came back and I was, like, something must really be up. So I came back in to do a sleep test. So I did a sleep test and come to find out I had sleep apnea and TMJ as well. So I had to get these two appliances and after weeks of daily treatment I was able to recover. Now, I wake up feeling like a million bucks.”

“So you got full range of motion now and all your pain your shoulder pain and back pain and hip pain is all gone.”

Thank goodness for Doctor Billings

“This morning we are with Miss Jerry and Miss Jerry was one of our both pain and sleep patients. She was a patient of the practice long before we recognize her need for treatment of pain and sleep. Miss Jerry? Tell us how we how we found out about you having sleep apnea?”

“Dr Billings, you noticed that I had some grinding of the teeth. You asked me some questions about pain I was having jaw pain, ear pain, neck pain and head pain. You did ask me how I was sleeping. I’ve told you I was not sleeping well did not feel refreshed and was awakening constantly during the night.”

“It was something that was covered by my health insurance after Dr. Bilings worked with my insurance company to have that approved as a medical need. Thank goodness for Doctor Billings.”

Another happy and pain-free patient!!

“Erica is a another combination sleep apnea patient and TMJ inflammatory patients. Erica was able to get rid of a lot of the pain coming from headaches, jaw pain and back pain. After treatment at Dr. Billings Dentistry, Erica now has her life back. So again Billings Family Dentistry is happy to be part of Erica’s therapy and recovery.”

Kids’ Snoring Linked to Hyperactivity

Kids’ Abnormal Breathing During Sleep Linked to Increased Risk for Behavioral Difficulties

Risk of Problems Later in Childhood Can Double with Snoring and Apnea

March 5, 2012 — (BRONX, NY) — A study of more than 11,000 children followed for over six years has found that young children with sleep-disordered breathing are prone to developing behavioral difficulties such as hyperactivity and aggressiveness, as well as emotional symptoms and difficulty with peer relationships, according to researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. Their study, the largest and most comprehensive of its kind, published online today in the journal Pediatrics.

“This is the strongest evidence to date that snoring, mouth breathing, and apnea [abnormally long pauses in breathing during sleep] can have serious behavioral and social-emotional consequences for children,” said study leader Karen Bonuck, Ph.D., professor of family and social medicine and of obstetrics & gynecology and women’s health at Einstein. “Parents and pediatricians alike should be paying closer attention to sleep-disordered breathing in young children, perhaps as early as the first year of life.”

Sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) is a general term for breathing difficulties that occur during sleep. Its hallmarks are snoring (which is usually accompanied by mouth breathing) and sleep apnea. SDB reportedly peaks from two to six years of age, but also occurs in younger children. About 1 in 10 children snore regularly and 2 to 4 percent have sleep apnea, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology–Health and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS). Common causes of SDB are enlarged tonsils or adenoids.

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Saliva: What’s the Purpose?

As a NYC Cosmetic Dentist, I get asked about saliva quite a bit (often when I have instruments in someone’s mouth and they start to drool.)

So let’s answer the common questions: What is saliva? Where does it come from? What’s in it? What is it used for? What are we still learning about it?

What is saliva, and where does it come from?

Call it what you want — spit, spittle, drool, etc — saliva is one of the most common (and obvious) bodily fluids. It’s the watery substance that’s prevalent in everyone’s mouth, and is produced by three pairs of major salivary glands (and many, many minor glands).

These three major glands are located on the inside of each cheek, on the bottom of the mouth, and under the jaw, towards the front of the mouth. The rest of the minor glands are all over the rest of the mouth (the palate, the tongue, your lips, etc.)

These glands work together to produce saliva all day, every day (although production of saliva dramatically falls during sleep. Hey, that’s why your mouth is so dry when waking up!) In general terms, most healthy humans will produce somewhere between one and two quarts of saliva a day.

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8 Mistakes You’re Probably Making When You Brush Your Teeth

It’s not exactly a newsflash that one of the most important reasons to brush your teeth is to fight off cavities (not to mention prevent bad breath). But what if the way you brush your teeth actually makes you more susceptible to cavities, tooth decay and gum disease? Scary.

Turns out, there are a host of common mistakes that many of us make morning and night that can damage teeth and turn a healthy smile upside-down. Find out what you’re doing wrong — and how to break these bad habits for better teeth.

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How Lack of Sleep Effects Weight Gain

We know from studies that lack of sleep is causally connected to many physical problems. One of the common symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea is being overweight. So then, how do sleep disorders contribute to weight gain?

Ghrelin: the Hunger Hormone

Lack of sleep increases ghrelin, and decreases leptin, both effects producing increased hunger and obesity. Leptin is the “anti-hunger” hormone. When the circadian rhythm is interrupted by exposure to light at night, gherlin is released. Ghrelin is known as the “hunger hormone” It is produced in the gastrointestinal tract and functions as a neurotransmitter. The receptor for ghrelin is found on the same cells in the brain as the receptor for leptin, the satiety hormone that has opposite effects from ghrelin.

An inverse relationship between the hours of sleep and blood concentrations of ghrelin exists; as the hours of sleep increase, ghrelin levels trend lower and obesity is less likely. Short sleep duration is associated with high levels of ghrelin and obesity.
When the stomach is empty, ghrelin is secreted. When we eat something the stomach is stretched and ghrelin secretion stops. Ghrelin acts to increase hunger and to increase gastric acid secretion and gastrointestinal motility to prepare the body for food intake.

What else does Ghrelin effect?
Beyond regulating hunger, ghrelin also plays a significant role in other systemic functions. Ghrelin influences body composition, it stimulates the release of growth hormone and regulaties the distribution and rate of use of energy.

This is just another convincing reason to get adequate healthy sleep. Light is the circadian rhythm disrupter. Avoid light disturbances during sleep: have no lights in the bed room, pull the shades down to block any outside light, wear an eye mask.

counting-sheep. a
Zarouna S, Wozniak G, Papachristou
Stalo Zarouna, Psychology Department, University of Cyprus, Nicosia 1678, Cyprus.
Gahete MD, Córdoba-Chacón J, Salvatori R, Castaño JP, Kineman RD, Luque RM.
Department of Cell Biology, Physiology and Immunology, University of Cordoba, Instituto Maimónides de Investigación Biomédica de Córdoba (IMIBIC), and CIBER Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición, 14004 Córdoba, Spain.

Dental screening that could save your life

We all know about the importance of sleep, and we know we should be getting more of it. When we wake up exhausted, drag ourselves to work or hit that afternoon slump, we blame ourselves: “Should have gotten more sleep last night.”

But instead of “Did I get eight hours?” we should be asking ourselves, “How well did I sleep?” We tolerate feeling exhausted during the day, but it’s actually not normal to feel tired or sleepy when you wake up.

You can’t ask yourself how well you’re sleeping without considering sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a condition that affects an estimated one in 15 Americans but often goes undetected.

Most people who suffer from sleep apnea don’t know it — they often seek out a diagnosis only if their partner can’t sleep through the snoring. Since sleep apnea ranges from mild to severe, lots of cases of sleep apnea aren’t noticed by sleeping partners, and people live their whole lives undiagnosed.

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Drinks Destroy Teeth

Sugar and Acidity or pH of common drinks
Please note: Battery acid is listed below only for purposes of comparison, and should never be confused for any reason as a beverage.
The pH scale measures the acidity or alkalinity of a solution with pure water in the middle at neutral pH 7. The lower the pH, the stronger the acid.

Drink or Substance (12 oz. serving)    Acid pH              Tsp. Sugar
Water                                                              7.0 (neutral)           0
Milk                                                                6.7                     1
Barq’s Root Beer                                          4                        11
Minute Maid® Orange Juice                  3.8                     9
Propel® Fitness Water                             3.4                     1
Red Bull® Energy Drink                          3.3                     10
Sprite®                                                          3.3                     10
Mountain Dew                                            3.3                     12
Diet Coke                                                      3.1                     0
Sierra Mist                                                   3.1                     10
Full Throttle Energy Drink                      3                        11
Diet Pepsi                                                     3                         0
Gatorade®                                                   2.9                     5
Sunkist® Orange Soda                            2.9                      13
Dr. Pepper                                                   2.9                      10
Vault™ Energy Soda                                2.9                      12
Mountain Dew AMP                             1 2.8                     11
SoBe Energy Citrus                                   2.6                     12
Minute Maid® Lemonade                     2.6                      10
Pepsi                                                             2.5                     11
Diet Schweppes Tonic Water                2.5                      0
Coca-Cola Classic2                                  2.4                      10
Battery Acid                                                 3                        1 0


1 Now called AMP Energy.
2 In some geographical areas U.S. and Canada known simply as “Coca-Cola.”
3 Battery Acid is NOT a drink.
Test by Dr. John Ruby, University of Alabama, Birmingham School of Dentistry, 2007
Minnesota Dental Association: Sip All Day, Get Decay.

Courtesy of  http://drinksdestroyteeth.org/the-unsweetened-truth/

Cold Sores

Cold sores are small, painful, fluid-filled blisters or sores that appear on the lips, mouth, or nose that are caused by a virus. The sores can be painful and usually last a few days. Unlike most viral infections, the cold sore virus is not completely eliminated by the body defenses. For this reason, cold sores often recur.

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Can Sinuses Affect Your Teeth?

By: Thomas P. Connelly, D.D.S.

I once had this patient who had chronic/repeated pain in his upper teeth (basically the premolars and molars on his upper right side). He had been to two different dentists, who did an exam and took X-rays, but really couldn’t find anything wrong with the teeth. But he still had pain. This went on for a year or two.

So one day, he ended up in my chair. And like the dentists before, I took some X-rays, but couldn’t find anything wrong with the teeth themselves. In fact, they were in spectacular shape. So I asked him if there were any other issues he may be experiencing — headaches, jaw pain, etc? He said no — he felt fine, except for the teeth hurting, and the pressure…

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The Different Types of Dental Floss

Entry by Thomas P. Connelly, D.D.S.

As a NYC Cosmetic Dentist, I get asked a lot about dental floss, and which type is the “best.” I have a pretty standard answer for that question, and it goes like this: “Whatever type you will actually use daily.” That’s easily the most important aspect of floss — whether or not it’s actually used.

To begin, let’s quickly go over that “what and why” of flossing: Flossing is running a piece of floss (which resembles thread or string) between your teeth. It cleans away plaque that your toothbrush will miss, and is a very essential part of good oral health. In fact, if you only brush and do not floss, you’re only really doing half the job. So flossing daily is something everyone should do.

Ok, now we know you should be flossing. So you go to the store and look to buy some, and realize that hey, there are a lot of different “types.” Which one should I buy? I’ll go over that in a second, but I do want to preface this with an expanded explanation of my previous answer — the best floss out there is floss that gets used. Floss does you no good sitting in the cabinet — it actually has to be used, and in my opinion, there is no “better” type of floss. Using two different types of floss will not give you two different results. Now, two different types of floss may or may not be as comfortable as each other to use, or may or may not taste as good, etc. So THAT could be a determining factor in you using them. But again, any floss that gets used is good floss. This opinion of mine is shared by most other dentists and the ADA as well, which states “It’s not what type of floss you use, but how and when you use it. If you have a preferred type of floss, you may be more likely to use it.”

So that said, let’s take a look at the different “types” of floss.


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