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.

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.

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.

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.

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.