Mythbusters: Teeth Whitening Edition | Manhattan Beach Dentist

Have you noticed that your pearly whites have recently become duller than usual? If so, you’ve probably considered teeth whitening but may have been spooked by the several different myths and misconceptions. In reality, it’s a safe dental procedure. To help you decipher the myths from the truth, here is a list of myths surrounding teeth whitening:

Myth #1: Teeth whitening harms your tooth enamel.

Fact: Tooth bleaching works by opening the pores in your teeth and allowing the cleaning agent to get into the inner structure and clean it of the stains. Over time the pores in your teeth will close again.

Myth #2: If your teeth are sensitive, you should skip teeth whitening.

Fact: While you don’t have to, you may want to consider custom teeth whitening trays. Patients have more control with their sensitivity using custom teeth whitening trays.

Myth #3: Teeth whitening works for everyone.

Fact: It’s a fact that everyone’s teeth darken with age, not just from coffee and wine, the outer layer of white enamel wears over time, allowing the natural yellow color of dentin to show through. Many people aren’t ideal candidates for teeth whitening due to the natural color that becomes exposed.

Myth #4: You can whiten crowns and fillings.

Fact: Unfortunately, crowns, fillings and veneers cannot be whitened. If you do have to get a crown or veneer, many dentists suggest that you have your teeth whitened beforehand.

As you can see, teeth whitening is nothing to shy away from. Brightening your smile will improve the look of your smile, and that’s something to smile about.

If you have questions or concerns regarding teeth whitening, 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.

The Pros and Cons of Porcelain Veneers | Manhattan Beach Dentist

478243911There are several people that avoid smiling in public and even in general due to having a less than perfect smile. Thanks to the advances in cosmetic dentistry, there are quite a few treatments that can enhance your smile. One of the many options cosmetic dentistry offers are porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers are thin shells of porcelain that are placed over your natural teeth to conceal imperfections, making your smile completely rejuvenated. This dental procedure is considered quite popular when it comes to improving your smile, as the results are extremely natural looking.

Benefits of porcelain veneers:

  • No discoloration over time
  • Stain-resistant to classic stains
  • Color, shape and size are customizable
  • Extremely durable
  • Can last up to 20 years
  • Natural-looking appearance

Disadvantages of porcelain veneers:

  • Color cannot be changed once placed
  • Your natural tooth will be slightly altered
  • If broken, the whole veneer must be replaced
  • Veneers range around $1,000 per tooth

Porcelain veneers can correct a myriad of cosmetic dentistry problems, such as chipped, decayed, discolored or poorly shaped teeth, and can also be beneficial in situations where you have a slight gap, minor crowding or a mild misalignment. Unfortunately, if you have gum disease or severe tooth decay, you should have any dental problems treated beforehand to increase your chances of being an ideal candidate.

If you end up being a good candidate for porcelain veneers, let your cosmetic dentist know what your likes and dislikes are about your smile, and what you’d like to see in your new smile makeover.

If you have questions or concerns regarding veneers, 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.

Gum Disease: The Menace in Your Mouth | Manhattan Beach Dentist

The stages of gum diseaseYou just found out that you have gum disease. Bummer, right? Nearly 75 percent of people in the United States are right there with you. Though typically caused by not practicing proper oral hygiene, some cases are caused by certain medications, hormonal changes, etc.

Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is an inflammation of the gums caused primarily by the bacteria found in plaque. If the plaque isn’t removed by practicing proper oral hygiene, the bacteria can end up severely infecting a tooth enough to need extraction. There are three different stages of periodontal disease: gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis.

Gingivitis. This early stage of gum disease is mainly due to plaque buildup and can cause the gums to bleed. 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, making the condition worse.

Advanced Periodontitis. This is very final stage of gum disease where the bacterial infection has not only affected your teeth, but has also destroyed the fibers and bone supporting your teeth. This can lead to your teeth shifting or loosening, which affects your bite.

As mentioned before, bleeding and inflamed gums are some of the first signs of gum disease. Bad breath is also commonly associated with gum disease. If you notice any symptoms, visit your dentist as soon as possible.

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.

Avoid Extensive Dental Visits with Dental Bonding | Manhattan Beach Dentist

177406608Are you suffering from an embarrassing chip or discoloration on your tooth? Do you feel as though you don’t have time for a long dental visit? Don’t fret. Your dental fix is as easy as pie and as convenient as a single visit. How is it possible? With dental bonding.

There are many things that can lead to dental bonding. An active lifestyle, an accidental mishap, poor dental hygiene, even a bite into something hard can all cause our teeth to become damaged. But what does it entail to undergo dental bonding? You’ll be surprised how simple the procedure really is. Granted, there is a little advance preparation is needed for dental bonding. Anesthesia is often not necessary unless the bonding is being used to fill a decayed tooth. Your dentist will use a shade guide to select a composite resin color that will closely match the color of your tooth.

Dental bonding involves the direct application of a tooth-colored composite resin to repair any chip or crack. The composite resin used in dental bonding is secure, stable, and stain resistant. Individuals no longer have to worry about any tooth discoloration and secure in the fact that they will end up with a more attractive, natural smile. All in all, a typical dental bonding takes about 30 to 60 minutes per tooth, start to finish.

Avoid having to live with your embarrassing chip or crack – Set yourself up with a consultation to find out if dental bonding will allow you to achieve your ideal, bright smile.

If you have questions or concerns regarding dental bonding, 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.

Are You Brushing Correctly? | Manhattan Beach Dentist

oral hygieneMost people have heard that poor dental care is linked to other health maladies, according to the American Dental Association (ADA). And while you may brush regularly, you’re probably making one of these 6 mistakes.

Wrong time of day. Saliva production slows down when you snooze, spurring the bacteria in your mouth to multiply even faster. Brush twice a day (morning and bedtime) for at least 2 minutes, spending 30 seconds on each quadrant.

Wrong brush. Pick a soft bristle toothbrush that can dislodge any plaque stuck in crevices. Brushing with a medium or hard model — and using excessive pressure — may make sense but it can cause your gums to recede and expose the surface of teeth roots.

Wrong technique. Straight strokes won’t get the job done. Position the handle of your brush so the bristles point at a 30- to 45-degree angle. Rotate your wrist in a circular motion to effectively remove the plaque.

You miss spots. Food or debris can easily get stuck in the crevices between the carpet-like strands, known as papillae, on the surface of your tongue. Run that toothbrush over your tongue as well!

You don’t rinse. Spitting out your toothpaste doesn’t totally remove all the harmful stuff that you loosened while brushing. Adding an oral rinse to your routine is greatly beneficial to your oral health.

You don’t replace your brush. The ADA recommends buying a new brush every 3 or 4 months. Worn bristles won’t effectively remove plaque or bacteria.  If you’ve been sick, swap out your brush immediately.

If you have questions or concerns regarding proper dental care, 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.

Is Mouthwash Really Necessary? | Manhattan Beach Dentist

478243911Germs thrive in dark, moist places so our mouths are a constant breeding ground for bacteria that can lead to gum disease. Gingivitis, or the beginning stages of gum disease, can be reversed. It’s an infection that irritates the soft tissues around your teeth. Left untreated, gingivitis can lead to more serious periodontal diseases as it begins to affect the tissue and bones that support your teeth. The redness, swelling, bleeding and/or bad breath are all listed as symptoms we should watch out for, but they can be reversed with mouthwash.

Antimicrobial mouthwash is your leading line of defense when gum disease presents itself in your mouth. It not only helps cure up the gingivitis, but also prevents bleeding gums and inflammation by eliminating the bacteria in your mouth causing the irritation. There isn’t any particular brand that works better than others, but as long as they have the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance, they’ll work just fine.

If periodontal disease has been neglected for too long, your dentist may prescribe you a prescription-strength mouthwash. Its main ingredient is chlorhexidine gluconate, which kills the bacteria that promotes irritated gums but plaque formation.

When it comes to periodontal disease, the best thing you can do is stay on top of your oral health. Make sure you brush for 2 minutes with fluoride toothpaste and floss daily, change your toothbrush every few months, and see your dentist regularly. Taking care of your teeth doesn’t take work, just a conscious effort.

If you have questions or concerns regarding periodontal disease prevention, 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.

Why Stress Is Bad for Your Mouth | Manhattan Beach Dentist

166668743We all know the world is a tough place. Stress is definitely an issue as we roll through life. There are lots of health issues that can develop from being to stressed out, so if stress is an issue in your life, getting a grasp on how to relax is imperative. But did you know that the more stressed out you are, the more stress is placed on your oral health? It sounds irrelevant, but it’s true. Scientists have reviewed more than two dozen studies conducted between 1990 and 2006 to determine whether negative life events and psychological factors might contribute to an increased susceptibility to periodontal disease. And according to the results, 57 percent of the studies found a link between stress, distress, anxiety, depression, and loneliness to periodontal disease. What they’ve theorized is that the increased levels or cortisol produced during times of stress might be a contributing factor in lowering the body’s immunity.

Unfortunately, stress isn’t the only culprit in oral health issues. While we can’t always control how life works out, keeping up routines, like our dental routine is very important. As stress is a possible link to periodontal disease, here are some other factors that increase your risk for periodontal disease:

  • Tobacco smoking or chewing
  • Systemic diseases such as diabetes
  • Some types of medication such as steroids, some types of anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, some calcium channel blockers and oral contraceptives
  • Bridges that no longer fit properly
  • Crooked teeth
  • Fillings that have become defective
  • Pregnancy or use of oral contraceptives

So, what do you do if you live a high-stress lifestyle? Learn to find a time during the day to relax. Your method is your own; there isn’t one way to relax. Get a hobby, read a book, learn to meditate or find a new exercise routine. All of these are great ways to reduce your stress levels, making stress no longer a health issue.

If you have questions or concerns regarding periodontal 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.