Treat Em’ Right: October Is National Dental Hygiene Month | Manhattan Beach Dentist

Tooth decay is one of the most common dental problems that dentists see among patients. Tooth decay typically occurs when foods containing carbohydrates are left on your teeth. The good news is that tooth decay is preventable. Practicing proper oral hygiene and visiting your dentist for regular checkups can help aid in preventing tooth decay. In honor of National Dental Hygiene Month, here are a few steps you can take to protect both your teeth and gums:

Brush your teeth daily. It’s important to brush your teeth two times a day, for two minutes each session. This accompanied with flossing can go a long way in preventing tooth decay, cavities and gum disease.

Snack on healthy foods. It’s best to avoid eating sweets that may potentially alter your blood sugar and damage your health. Try eating more healthy snacks that contain healthy proteins and fats that will aid in a healthy body, this in turn can prevent tooth decay.

Ask about dental sealants. This is a method that is performed by dentists. Dental sealants are a plastic coating that’s applied to the back molars to protect them from tooth decay.

Rinse with fluoride. Rinse your mouth out daily with mouthwash that contains fluoride. Some mouthwashes even have antiseptic ingredients that can help kill bacteria that causes plaque.

Visit your dentist regularly. Visiting your dentist for routine checkups and professional teeth cleanings will help prevent tooth decay immensely. Professional cleanings are performed by dentists to remove plaque build-up that can lead to tooth decay.

If you have questions or concerns regarding dental hygiene, contact Dr. Anthony Yamada DDS at 310-546-2595 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.anthonyyamadadds.com for additional information.

Proudly serving Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, El Segundo, Redondo Beach, Torrance and all surrounding areas.

Gum Disease: Is It Preventable? | Manhattan Beach Dentist

479328903What if I told you that nearly 75 percent of Americans over the age of 35 have some form of periodontal disease? Does it make you rethink how well you are taking care of your own? But, don’t worry – all hope is not lost. If you want to keep your pearly whites intact your entire life, you should start practicing proper oral hygiene daily.

The key to preventing periodontal disease is to practice proper oral hygiene, every single day. An ideal dental hygiene routine should involve you brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each session and flossing at least once day. Using an antimicrobial mouthwash can also aid in preventing gum disease. If you notice your toothbrush has become frayed, toss it. When your toothbrush becomes old or frayed (generally after three months), it won’t clean your mouth as effectively or reach the areas where dental plaque tends to buildup, such as the gum lines.

Another tip is to be sure that you’re producing enough saliva. Saliva is your mouth’s natural cleanser that helps wash away leftover food debris or loosen plaque from your teeth and gums. There are many ways to ensure that you are producing enough saliva, such as drinking enough water, chewing on sugarless gum or snacking on healthy snacks loaded with fiber. According to one study, eating a healthy diet that contains food high in nutrients can increase your immune system, which in turn can prevent gum disease, and even increase the chances of reversing it.

If you have questions or concerns regarding gum disease, contact Dr. Anthony Yamada DDS at 310-546-2595 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.anthonyyamadadds.com for additional information.

Proudly serving Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, El Segundo, Redondo Beach, Torrance and all surrounding areas.

The Three Stages of Gum Disease | Manhattan Beach Dentist

gum diseaseDid you know that nearly 75 percent of people in the United States have some form of gum disease? It’s true. And while people typically get gum disease from not practicing proper oral hygiene, in some cases, it can be caused by certain medications, hormonal changes, etc. But what exactly is gum disease?

Gum disease, also commonly known as periodontal disease, is an inflammation of the gums and is caused primarily by the bacteria found in plaque. If the plaque isn’t removed by practicing proper oral hygiene, the bacteria can end up infection your gums, teeth and eventually, your gum tissue and bone that supports your teeth. Let’s take a look at the three different stages of periodontal disease:

Gingivitis. The earliest stage of gum disease can be noticed due to inflamed gums caused by plaque buildup. Gingivitis is the only stage of gum disease that is reversible, but only through dental care and by practicing proper oral hygiene at home.

Periodontitis. Typically irreversible, your gums start to form pockets below the gum line, where food and plaque can get trapped. With the help of professional cleanings and improved oral hygiene at home, you can help prevent further damage to your teeth and gums.

Advanced periodontitis. This final stage of gum disease has not only affected your teeth, but has actually destroyed the fibers and bone supporting your teeth. If treatment cannot save your teeth, they will have to be removed by your dentist.

If you have questions or concerns regarding gum disease, contact Dr. Anthony Yamada DDS at 310-546-2595 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.anthonyyamadadds.com for additional information.

Proudly serving Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, El Segundo, Redondo Beach, Torrance and all surrounding areas.

You Can Self-Diagnose Sleep Apnea – Here Are Some Signs | Manhattan Beach Dentist

166668743Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder where you have one or more pauses when breathing or shallow breaths while you’re asleep. The pauses in breathing can last from a few seconds to minutes, and can occur 30 times or more an hour. While this occurs, your diaphragm and chest muscles are working hard to try to open your obstructed airway and pull oxygen into your lungs. Sleep apnea can be dangerous due to the decrease in oxygen flow to your vital organs and can cause irregular heart rhythms.

Because sleeping is when your apnea is noticeable, it is difficult to self-diagnose sleep apnea. In fact, your spouse or sleep partner will be first to typically notice the signs and symptoms because they will be the one around to notice behaviors while you sleep. The signs or symptoms they may notice include the pauses while snoring, followed by a gasping or choking noise. Additional signs and symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Headaches when you wake up
  • Trouble keeping focused
  • Feeling depressed, irritable or having mood swings
  • Waking up frequently to go to the restroom
  • Dry mouth or sore throat when you wake up

According to research, sleep apnea is more common in men than in women. In order to properly diagnosed sleep apnea, your doctors will have to perform a physical exam and take your medical and sleep history. Your doctor may also want to speak with your family member or the people you live with about your sleep habits.

If you have questions or concerns regarding sleep apnea, contact Dr. Anthony Yamada DDS at 310-546-2595 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.anthonyyamadadds.com for additional information.

Proudly serving Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, El Segundo, Redondo Beach, Torrance and all surrounding areas.

There May Be Help for Your Bruxism | Manhattan Beach Dentist

sleep apnea

If you find yourself constantly waking up with a dull headache, tooth pain or a sore jaw, you may want to go to your dentist to see if you’re suffering from bruxism. Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is a dental condition that affects as many as 1 out of 10 adults. Common symptoms of bruxism include neck pain, jaw pain, headache, and tooth pain. Because it generally happens while we sleep, the most common means of alleviating the pain that comes with bruxism is by wearing a dental appliance known as a night guard. If you feel that the night guard isn’t making enough of a difference, there are other alternative treatment options that you can inquire to your dentist about, such as:

Teeth straightening. Maloclussions, or teeth that are out of alignment causing an overbite or underbite has been known to contribute to bruxism. Wearing braces can help in such cases.

Proper stress management. Bruxism is also likely to be caused by anxiety, so you may want to try out certain methods of relaxation such as meditation. Professional counselling, in severe cases, may also be necessary and useful.

Dietary changes. Stimulants, such as caffeine, have been known to cause teeth grinding, so your dentist might recommend avoiding such beverages. You may also be asked to stay off antidepressants, as they may make bruxism symptoms worse.

While wearing night guards have been proven to help with bruxism, it’s wise to ask for help from a licensed dental professional.

If you have questions or concerns regarding bruxism, contact Dr. Anthony Yamada DDS at 310-546-2595 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.anthonyyamadadds.com for additional information.

Proudly serving Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, El Segundo, Redondo Beach, Torrance and all surrounding areas.

Before You Drink that Cup of Coffee | Manhattan Beach Dentist

young beautiful woman drink coffee

There is a reason there is a Starbucks on every corner. People rely on it as the pick-me-up of choice to get them through the day. So much so, coffee statistics show that an average amount of 3.1 cups of coffees is consumed by an individual every day in the United States. 50 percent of the population, which equals out to about 150 million Americans drink espresso, cappuccino, latte, or iced/ cold coffees. With coffee being such a prominent figure in our daily lives, it’s stressful to learn that coffee is actually incredibly bad for your teeth. How can this tasty jolt of energy do so much damage? The reason being that coffee contains enough acids to permanently damage teeth. Here are a couple other reasons as to why coffee is bad for your teeth:

  • Acids in coffee directly attack your tooth enamel. This leaves teeth vulnerable to cavities, as well as cracked and broken teeth.
  • Acids and bad bacteria feed off each other. Bacteria left in your mouth love to feed off the acids found in coffee. They multiply rapidly and become responsible for cavities, gum disease, and bad breath.
  • Coffee stains teeth. While this is no surprise, coffee is the leading contributor to stained or yellow teeth.

It isn’t necessary to completely give up on coffee. But it is necessary to keep it in moderation. And order a cup of water alongside that cup o’ joe. Rinsing your mouth will help prevent staining between dental cleanings.

If you have questions or concerns regarding the effects of coffee on your teeth, contact Dr. Anthony Yamada DDS at 310-546-2595 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.anthonyyamadadds.com for additional information.

Proudly serving Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, El Segundo, Redondo Beach, Torrance and all surrounding areas.

Fact or Fiction: Sleep Apnea Edition | Manhattan Beach Dentist

sleep apneaWhen it comes to sleep disorders, it’s safe to say we don’t know much. Recently, more information regarding conditions, like sleep apnea, has been available. According to National Sleep Foundation, doctors, researchers, and sleep centers have made great advances in raising awareness about sleep apnea. Despite this, there are still misconceptions – here is a list of the most common myths about sleep apnea:

Myth #1: Snoring equals sleep apnea.

Fact: While snoring can be a sign of sleep apnea, it doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone who snores has it. People who suffer from sleep apnea pause their breathing while they’re asleep, impacting their overall health by disrupting their sleep cycle and decreasing their sleep.

Myth #2: Sleep apnea only inflicts the elderly.

Fact: Sleep apnea can affect people of all ages, including children. There are some physical attributes that can increase your risk of devolving this sleep disorder, such as being overweight or being male.

Myth #3: If you have sleep apnea, you’re probably obese.

Fact: As stated above, being overweight can increase the likelihood of developing sleep apnea, due to the fatty tissue in the throat, which can collapse and block the airway when one relaxes during sleep.

Myth #4: There’s no danger in having sleep apnea.

Fact: People may think sleep apnea is just snoring, but it’s a sleep disorder that takes a toll on the health benefits that sleep provides. Untreated sleep apnea can result in many serious health problems, such as heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke.

If you have questions or concerns regarding sleep apnea, contact Dr. Anthony Yamada DDS at 310-546-2595 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.anthonyyamadadds.com for additional information.

Proudly serving Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, El Segundo, Redondo Beach, Torrance and all surrounding areas.

Swish, Swish: Ways Mouthwash Is Good for You | Manhattan Beach Dentist

skd284147sdcWe know having a good dental hygiene routine is important to keeping our mouths healthy. The better we treat it, the better our dental check-ups become. Brush, floss, rinse – it’s all very basic. But do you know why mouthwash is so beneficial to our dental health?

Mouthwash can cut back the level of bacteria in your mouth. Research shows that adding mouthwash to your oral care routine can in fact improve the overall cleanliness of your mouth and help keep gum inflammation at bay. But gargling and rinsing for a few seconds doesn’t quite cut it.  Most mouthwashes are at their most effective when in contact with your mouth tissues for 30 seconds per use.

Freshens breath. First and most obviously, mouthwash temporarily reduces bad breath. Mouthwash kills bacteria associated with causing bad breath leaving you with minty fresh breath. Who doesn’t love minty fresh breath?

Prevents plaque build-up. Various mouthwashes help prevent plaque build-up on your gums, in-between teeth, and on the surface of your teeth, but it cannot reduce the plaque that already exists on your teeth.

Removes particles. This may seem out of order, but if you rinse BEFORE brushing, you can rinse out loose particles in your mouth to make brushing and flossing more effective.

Stop cavities. Regular use of mouthwash before and after you brush and floss, you can reduce the chances of cavities forming. Mouthwashes that contain fluoride can prevent cavities and strengthen your enamel. Check the label.

If you have questions or concerns regarding mouthwash, contact Dr. Anthony Yamada DDS at 310-546-2595 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.anthonyyamadadds.com for additional information.

Proudly serving Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, El Segundo, Redondo Beach, Torrance and all surrounding areas.

Munch Your Way to Whiter Teeth | Manhattan Beach Dentist

girl eating appleBrightening your smile is easy. There are so many ways to do it – in-office whitening, at-home treatments, like whitening toothpaste. But did you know you can eat your way to whiter teeth? It’s true! Certain types of food can cause stains and discoloration in teeth, but there are some that do the opposite. Want whiter teeth naturally? Start by adding these to your next grocery list.

Cauliflower. Cauliflower requires you to chew a lot and the more chew, the more saliva you produce. Saliva is the mouth’s natural cleanser to help keep teeth bright and shiny.

Apples. Apples are hard, crunchy and tasty to boot. It’s that crunchy part that makes apples so beneficial for your teeth as chewing on them helps scrub away all the stains on your teeth. Also contributing is a high concentration of malic acid, an ingredient in many toothpastes. If apples aren’t a favorite, try strawberries. They have malic acid too.

Cheese, yogurt and milk. Dairy products contain lactic acid and calcium, both of which strengthen and whiten your teeth.

Pineapple. Pineapple is the only food that contains bromelain naturally, a powerful cleansing compound proven effective in stain-removing when used in toothpastes.

Broccoli. Nature’s toothbrush, munching on crisp, raw broccoli benefits not only scrubs your teeth but the iron found in broccoli helps provide an added wall of protection for your teeth against harmful bacteria.

Paired with regular trips to the dentist and proper oral care at home, munching on these goodies will surely keep your teeth feeling and looking healthy.

If you have questions or concerns regarding teeth whitenings, contact Dr. Anthony Yamada DDS at 310-546-2595 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.anthonyyamadadds.com for additional information.

Proudly serving Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, El Segundo, Redondo Beach, Torrance and all surrounding areas.

How to Choose Your Next Dental Professional | Manhattan Beach Dentist

494183909Whether you’re moving to a new town or just looking to improve your dental health, it is important to choose the right dental professional. Because, like snowflakes, no two dentists are the same. When you’re looking for the right dentist it is important to consider a lot of factors. Such factors may include state certification, your first visit, and referrals, but the most important factor is if the dentist has all that you need and require.

For many dental practices, or just businesses in general, a few bad reviews is not a good sign. In fact, it’s enough of a reason for them to lose a few clients. In worse cases, bad reviews may even cause some practices to close down.

With the internet and sites like Google+, Yelp, and even Foursquare, you, as a prospective client or patient, have access to resources to check if a particular dentist is worth your time and money. While reviews are not a totally accurate means of measuring quality of service, it still tells a lot about how a dentist and his or her clinic handles patients.

Dental practices that put an emphasis on their presence on social media and online are likely to have built a reputation, good or bad, that can easily be assessed as soon as you visit their page. To put simply, a reputable dental practice is likely to take better care of your teeth and gums, making reputation the most significant factor when looking for a dentist.

If you have questions or concerns regarding our dental qualifications, contact Dr. Anthony Yamada DDS at 310-546-2595 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.anthonyyamadadds.com for additional information.

Proudly serving Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, El Segundo, Redondo Beach, Torrance and all surrounding areas.