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.

When You Need a Sleep Study | Manhattan Beach Dentist

snoring on oral healthThere is nothing worse than not getting a good night’s sleep. It’s time to see a doctor. More than likely, you will need a sleep study. But what should you expect? How does one analyze sleep?

A sleep study is done by your dental professional or some other sleep specialist, and can be done either in a sleep lab or in the comfort of your own home. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has a listing of accredited sleep centers and you can find them here.

You will be sleeping a good six hours while various test results are produced in order for the specialist to pinpoint any issues you may have. The test, or polysomnography, watches the sleeping patterns of your brain waves, eye and chin movements, heart rate, respiration, blood levels and leg movements. These test results produce a more concise diagnosis, the most important piece to this puzzle are your apnea-hyponea index, or AHI.

Your apnea is the amount of times you completely cease breathing for 10 seconds or longer. Your hypopnea is constricted breath for longer than 10 seconds. Combine the number of times you experience any of these within each hour of sleep.

If obstructive sleep apnea is your diagnosis, then you will need to discuss with your doctor possible treatment. Chances are it you will be fitted for a positive airway pressure, or PAP, device to help you sleep through the night because any blockages you may have will remain open with this device.

If you have questions or concerns regarding sleep studies, 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.

Help! I’m Scared of the Dentist | Manhattan Beach Dentist

ThinkstockPhotos-464323669If you ask anyone if they like the dentist, chances are they will say no. One can never be too sure what will happen when they see the dentist, and this causes a lot of fear as the dental appointment approaches. There is an official diagnosis for this fear – dental anxiety. So, you are not alone. And the solution to your fears is called sedation dentistry.

Sedation dentistry is an innovative field of dentistry that is extremely useful for those who fear the dentist, hate needles, have sensitive teeth, or are immune to the numbing effects of anesthesia. Although sedation dentistry may not be right for everyone, it should be considered to ease discomfort, and paranoia. Sedation dentistry isn’t dangerous or complicated. It uses medication to help patients relax during dental procedures. The levels of sedation used include:

Minimal sedation. You are awake but relaxed.

Moderate sedation. You may slur your words when speaking and not remember much of the procedure.

Deep sedation. You are on the edge of consciousness but can be awakened.

General anesthesia. You are completely unconscious. Both this version and deep sedation will require you to have a driver after the procedure is complete.

Integrating sedation dentistry in to your procedure is absolutely comfortable and safe. Patients agree that sedation dentistry was the best option for their procedure because it allows your dental professionals the ability to work without worrying your pain or discomfort will prevent them from achieving maximum results.

If you have questions or concerns regarding sedation dentistry, 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.

9 Essential Oils for Sleep Apnea | Manhattan Beach Dentist

sleep apneaIf you are suffering from sleep apnea, it is important that you seek medical advice. If it gets severe enough, it may need to be treated with airway pressure devices (CPAP) that help keep your airways open. More moderate forms of sleep apnea can be eased with lifestyle changes as simple as quitting smoking, limiting alcohol and losing weight.

It is also possible to treat your condition at home by using certain essential oils. A little-known treatment, but many essential oils are used effectively to deal with sleep complaints ranging from nervous insomnia to snoring. Certain essential oils have also been proven to relieve obstructive sleep apnea. Essential oils are safe and easy to use and the following oils have been used with a deal of success in treating sleep apnea as well as other sleep conditions.

Marjoram. Marjoram essential oil is a warm, comforting oil with sedative properties that help induce sleep and a popular home treatment for sleep conditions like sleep apnea. Rub a few drops of marjoram oil into the soles of the feet and the underside of your toes. Alternatively, it can be diffused near the bed while you sleep.

Lavender. It’s a classic scent used to relax. Try massaging a few drops of this gentle acting oil into your feet, neck and chest before bedtime to ensure a disruption free sleep. Lavender oil is very popular because of its diverse therapeutic abilities and many people have found that lavender oil can ease the disruptions caused by sleep apnea and snoring as well as helping people overcomes insomnia.

Peppermint. Not just a delicious flavor, peppermint will be ideal if your sleep apnea is caused by nasal congestion. Peppermint essential oil can help relieve the inflammation and irritation in the lining of your nasal passage. Massage a drop of peppermint oil under each nostril before bedtime or inhale the vapors from a facial steam bath. Alternatively, you can add a drop or two to a glass of water and gargle it each night before bed being very careful not to ingest any of the mixture.

Eucalyptus. Similar to peppermint, eucalyptus essential oil is an effective treatment for sleep apnea caused by congestion. Its anti-inflammatory properties will clear up mucus from the nose and throat leaving your airways clear for easier breathing through the night. Dilute the eucalyptus oil in a carrier oil and then dab a drop or two beneath each nostril before hitting the sack. It takes a little more effort but many people recommend steam inhalation as the most effective way to employ eucalyptus oil for sleep apnea.

Roman Chamomile. Roman chamomile aids relaxation and promotes sound sleep. It also treats problems with the central nervous system and can be especially useful for those suffering with central sleep apnea.

Thyme. Thyme essential oil is another natural remedy that comes highly recommended for sleep apnea and for snoring. It is extensively used to treat respiratory conditions and can help free up the blocked airways that may cause apnea. If applied topically, be sure to dilute it first in a suitable carrier oil. Alternatively, you can diffuse the oil near your bed as well.

Geranium. Geranium essential oil is widely used to promote calm and good sleep. Massaging a few drops of geranium oil into your chest, neck and feet before bed is an excellent remedy for sleep disruptions caused by sleep apnea. Be sure to dilute geranium oil before applying it topically.

Valerian. Valerian root has been used for centuries to calm the nerves. People with sleep apnea and other sleeping disorders can benefit from using this soothing essential oil before bed and during the night.

Lemon. Lemon oil was part of a researched oil mixture that helped reduce snoring. The mixture of Thyme, Lavender, Lemon and Peppermint reduced snoring up to 82%. While the research was done on snoring it may also be beneficial for sleep apnea as well.

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

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