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.

Mercury Fillings May Not Be the Healthiest Alternative | Manhattan Beach Dentist

494183909Fillings made with amalgam, otherwise known as mercury fillings, are commonly used to fill cavities. While effective, the use of mercury fillings has raised concerns in recent years, mainly due to the use and presence of mercury. So, we have to ask ourselves, are amalgam fillings the right choice for me? Let’s take a look…

Mercury fillings consist of a combination of metals, including silver, tin and copper. Small amounts of palladium, indium and zinc can also be used. Mercury allows the filling material to be soft enough to mix and press into the teeth. The compound hardens quickly and is durable enough to withstand the constant pressure of daily activities, such as biting and chewing, making it ideal replacement material.

Dentists have used this combination of metals to restore teeth and fill cavities for more than a hundred years. While it no longer is the only material available, as tooth-colored materials have also become a popular alternative, mercury fillings remain a popular choice because it is generally cheaper and more durable. Now that we have a brief history, let’s understand why they would be given a bad image.

The United States Food and Drug Administration has stated that there’s no reason to limit the use of mercury, and have come to the conclusion that the fillings are safe for both adults, as well as children above the age of 6. There are groups, however, that believe that this conclusion should be reconsidered and reevaluated. The main reason for concern with mercury fillings is the effect of mercury in the human body. At higher levels of exposure, mercury has been proven to cause anxiety, irritability, memory loss, headaches and even fatigue.

In recent years, it’s been shown that as the mercury filling wears, which happens over time, very small amounts of mercury in the form of vapor are slowly released into the human body. Just how much this affects the human body, if it does at all, is debatable and there are experts that conclude that the amount of mercury released is very low to pose any threat. Still, there has yet to be any conclusion as to whether or not mercury fillings are truly safe.

Thankfully, there are alternatives. It’s also good to know that if you already have mercury fillings in your teeth, you don’t have to worry about having them removed. Doing so can cause do more harm than good and may even release more mercury. You only need to worry about having them removed when the teeth are already worn out, broken or if there’s decay present beneath the filling.

For other alternatives, you can choose from a wide variety of materials, such as composite resin, porcelain and gold. There are also dental amalgams that contain both iridium and mercury, as well as high-copper dental amalgams, both of which contain much less mercury compared to conventional dental amalgams or mercury fillings.

If you have questions or concerns regarding filling options, 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.

 

Everything You Need to Know About Periodontal Disease | Manhattan Beach Dentist

The stages of gum diseasePeriodontal disease affects a large array of individuals. This type of oral condition can prove to be very uncomfortable and at times painful when left untreated. Periodontal Disease is caused by many factors including poor oral health, tooth decay, and bacteria and plaque formation. The most common symptoms of periodontal disease consist of:

  • Gums that frequently bleed
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Receding gums

It’s painful. And sometimes a dental appointment isn’t readily available. So, what do you do to ease the pain? Here are some at-home remedies that may be used to ease some of the pain:

Regular brushing. Brushing your teeth on a regular basis is one of the biggest lines of defense against periodontal disease in the first place. Bacteria that sit on your teeth after long periods of time create havoc on your gums.

Flossing. Floss regularly to clean the spaces between your teeth in which brushing cannot reach. If you don’t remove plaque buildup found between your teeth, it hardens into something known as tartar, which requires a more extensive form of cleaning.

Rinsing. After brushing and flossing, rinse your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash that helps destroy bacteria left over by the prior two forms of cleaning.

If you find your mouth to be in pain due to the swelling of the gums, try a lifestyle change. Reducing stress helps your oral health because your immune system is less compromised when you’re relaxed. For immediate care, try a sea salt solution. Using water infused with salt draws out infection in your swollen gums.

But there will be times when at-home treatments just will not work. These are the times we need to seek out professional help. Dr. Yamada emphasizes the importance of treating periodontal disease in order to prevent dental problems such as permanent tooth loss. And here are the 3 main aspects to treating periodontal disease:

Prompt Treatment. Dr. Yamada will evaluate your periodontal health and determine what treatment option is ideal for your specific condition. Depending on the severity of your condition, a variety of procedures are used to treat periodontal disease.

Proper Home Care. Proper oral health care is essential in treating and preventing periodontal disease. This includes thoroughly brushing teeth after every meal, flossing after every meal, and using mouth rinse to kill of bacteria and remove plaque.

Regular Dental Visits. Routine visits with Dr. Yamada will ensure that your periodontal health is maintained to avoid any dental problems.

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.

Periodontal Disease: Cause and Risk Factors

gum disease

What if I were to tell you that nearly 75 percent of people over the age of 35 in the U.S. have some form of periodontal disease. Although periodontal disease has be largely published over the years, people still aren’t taking proper care of their teeth. So what’s the bottom line? If you want to keep your pearly whites intact your entire life, you should start practicing proper oral hygiene daily.

What causes periodontal disease?

Of course, the main cause of periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is the bacteria that’s found in plaque. Plaque is that sticky, colorless film that is constantly forming on your teeth. Practicing proper oral hygiene often scrapes away food debris and plaque and prevents it from building up. However, if you aren’t taking proper care of your teeth, the plaque will build up and infect both your teeth and gums, causing gingivitis. Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease and your gums usually start to bleed when you brush or floss.

What are the risk factors?

As I mentioned above, gum disease is oftentimes caused by poor oral hygiene, however there are many other risk factors. While some of these risk factors are completely avoidable, others are not. Some risk factors include the following:

  • Genetics
  • Aging
  • Smoking/Tobacco Products
  • Poor Nutrition
  • Obesity
  • Stress
  • Alcohol Abuse
  • Certain Medications

How can I prevent periodontal disease?

The key to preventing periodontal disease is to practice proper oral hygiene, every single day. An ideal oral care 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, it won’t clean your mouth as effectively or reach the areas where dental plaque tends to buildup, such as the gum lines.

Also, 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.

To prevent periodontal disease and stay on top of your oral health, contact Dr. Anthony Yamada DDS at 310-546-2595 to schedule a checkup today. Or visit www.anthonyyamadadds.com for additional information regarding periodontal disease.

The Dangers of Having Mercury Fillings

ThinkstockPhotos-464323669Fillings made with amalgam, otherwise known as mercury fillings, are commonly used to fill cavities. While effective, the use of mercury fillings has raised concerns in recent years, mainly due to the use and presence of mercury.

What is a Mercury Filling?

Technically, mercury fillings consist of a combination of metals, including silver, tin, copper and of course, mercury. Small amounts of palladium, indium and zinc are also used, but not always.

Of this combination of materials, it is the mercury that, when mixed with alloy powder, allows the filling material to be soft enough to mix and press into the teeth. At the same time, however, the compound hardens quickly and is durable enough to withstand the constant pressure of daily activities, such as biting and chewing.

Dentists have used this combination of metals to restore teeth and fill cavities for more than a hundred years.

While it no longer is the only material available, as tooth-colored materials have also become a popular alternative, mercury fillings remain a popular choice because it is generally cheaper and more durable.

Why Is It Dangerous?

Because of how it’s been in use for more than a hundred years, mercury fillings have been used in patients far more times than any other material. However, in recent years, the safety of the use of mercury has been questioned.

The United States Food and Drug Administration has stated that there’s no reason to limit the use of mercury, and have come to the conclusion that the fillings are safe for both adults, as well as children above the age of 6.

There are groups, however, that believe that this conclusion should be reconsidered and reevaluated.

The main reason for concern with mercury fillings is the effect of mercury in the human body.

While we all are exposed to little amounts of mercury every day, very low levels aren’t really enough to warrant concern. However, at higher levels, mercury has been proven to cause anxiety, irritability, memory loss, headaches and even fatigue.

In recent years, it’s been shown that as the mercury filling wears, which happens over time, very small amounts of mercury in the form of vapor are slowly released into the human body.

Just how much this affects the human body, if it does at all, is debatable and there are experts that conclude that the amount of mercury released is very low to pose any threat.

Still, there has yet to be any conclusion as to whether or not mercury fillings are truly safe.

The Alternatives to Mercury Fillings

First things first, if you already have mercury fillings in your teeth, you don’t have to worry about having them removed. Doing so can cause do more harm than good and may even release more mercury. You only need to worry about having them removed when the teeth are already worn out, broken or if there’s decay present beneath the filling.

For other alternatives, you can choose from a wide variety of materials, such as composite resin, porcelain and gold. There are also dental amalgams that contain both iridium and mercury, as well as high-copper dental amalgams, both of which contain much less mercury compared to conventional dental amalgams or mercury fillings.

Be sure to talk to your dentist about your concerns regarding the use of dental amalgam, as well as whether the alternatives to mercury fillings would be right for your particular case.

If you’re seeking a dental professional to solve a dental problem, contact Dr. Anthony Yamada DDS at 310-546-2595. Visit www.anthonyyamadadds.com to learn about the additional services offered by Dr. Anthony Yamada DDS.