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.

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.

When Your Dentist Can’t Save Your Tooth | Manhattan Beach Dentist

ThinkstockPhotos-185147513The goal of most dental procedures is to save teeth. Brushing, flossing, and cleaning helps prevent decay. Procedures like filling cavities are meant to remove decay without damaging the tooth. Root canals are used to remove infected nerves within a tooth, but spare the tooth itself. Dental crowns are a method to strengthen the tooth even after significant parts of the tooth have been removed. Despite these advanced procedures designed to save teeth, some teeth simply cannot be saved. When teeth must be removed, your dentist will recommend a tooth extraction.

The most common reason that an extraction may be necessary is if the tooth is broken, or if the tooth is severely damaged by tooth decay. In some cases, severe periodontal disease may cause the supporting tissue to be unable to sustain the tooth, and may necessitate tooth removal as well. Extra teeth – such as wisdom teeth – may need to be removed to prevent crowding.

When extraction is necessary, there are two typical methods: simple extraction and surgical extraction. Simple extraction is typically used on teeth that are visible and properly aligned – dental forceps are used to grasp and rock the tooth back and forth until it can be pulled from its socket. Surgical extraction is often required for teeth that are not visible, or are not properly aligned. In surgical extraction, a dentist or oral surgeon will make an incision to reach the tooth, and may need to break the tooth into pieces in order to remove it from the mouth.

If you have questions or concerns regarding tooth extractions, 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.

It’s Important to Get a Good Night’s Sleep | Manhattan Beach Dentist

sedation dentistryIt is always important to get a good night’s sleep in order to keep our health on the right track. Not only does it strengthen our immune system, but it also helps with memory loss, high blood pressure, heart disease and your weight. But as we get older it seems like finding the time to get that good night’s sleep seems impossible. Funny thing is, there are plenty of simple ways to change your lifestyle to account for the sleep you need.

Before bed:

Get some exercise. Physical activity is going to wear your body down so it is prepared to relax when you are.

Take a hot shower. A shower or bath relaxes your muscles, making it easier to sleep.

Avoid food, sugary drinks and alcohol. It is a good idea to limit these for the hours you are fully awake. Each has aspects that will not only make it difficult to fall asleep, but they can also disturb your REM sleep once you finally get there.

At bedtime:

Give yourself a bedtime. You are never too old to have a designated time to get to sleep. Keeping a schedule will not only give you an end of day, but it will also keep your body clock in check.

Become a bookworm. Sleeping with the TV on, or being in some other loud environment, leaves you susceptible to waking up throughout the night. Instead, bring a book and read yourself to sleep. You’re never too old for a good bedtime story.

If you have questions or concerns regarding sleep issues, 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.