Are Mercury Fillings Dangerous? | Manhattan Beach Dentist

When we needed a filling in the past, we didn’t have much of a choice as far as options were concerned. Fillings have been traditionally made with amalgam, otherwise known as mercury fillings. While effective, the use of mercury fillings has raised concerns in recent years, due to the use and presence of mercury. Dentists have used this combination of metals to restore teeth and fill cavities for more than a hundred years and remains a popular choice because it is generally cheaper and more durable. But, is mercury considered dangerous?

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.

If you have questions or concerns regarding mercury fillings, contact Dr. Anthony Yamada, DDS at 310-546-2595 to schedule a consultation today, or visit www.anthonyyamadadds.com for additional information.

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Get a Good Night’s Sleep with a Night Guard | Manhattan Beach Dentist

There is nothing more than getting a restless sleep. Not only do you feel sluggish all day, but it can develop into a more serious issue – bruxism. Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is a dental condition that affects as many as 1 out of 10 adults and in rare cases, may also affect children and teenagers. Common symptoms of bruxism include neck pain, jaw pain, headache, and tooth pain.

The most common means of alleviating the pain that comes with bruxism is taking care of the teeth grinding itself, which usually happens while one is sleeping, by wearing a dental appliance known as a night guard. And while you’re at it, take a look at other ways you can improve the quality of sleep you get every night. Not only will you have more productive days, but you will improve your overall health.

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. This is a great time to remind you that during your initial consultation about bruxism, that you be honest with your dentist, especially when it comes to medication, so you can be told if it’s bad for you or be suggested an alternative.

If you have questions or concerns regarding mouth guards, 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 Possible to Relax at the Dentist | Manhattan Beach Dentist

It isn’t a far-fetched idea to say no one likes going to the dentist. While some may have a literal fear of the dentist chair, known as dental anxiety, others just dodge it because it may or may not end up being a painful visit. Luckily, there is some good news. The solution? 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.

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. So, if you find that you are dodging the dentist because you are worried about pain or nerves getting the best of you, talk to your dentist and let them know about your fears. They will be more than happy to make you feel comfortable and your mouth healthy.

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.

New Year, New Dental Habits | Manhattan Beach Dentist

When you were making your list of new year resolutions, did you include improving your dental health with your overall health changes? Chances are you didn’t, and this can become an issue. This is why it’s important to keep up with your dental health. But if you have any doubt you’re doing enough, take a moment to review your daily dental habits.

While we know a proper dental routine includes brushing, flossing and rinsing with mouthwash, a couple of these steps may be done in error, or completely missed altogether. If you are forgetting to do any of these steps, it’s time to rethink your habits. They are all important factors, but using mouthwash is more important than you think.

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. The brand or flavor is up to you, as long as they have the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance.

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. What better time than the new year?

If you have questions or concerns regarding your dental habits, 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.

Don’t Let the Holidays Stress You Out | Manhattan Beach Dentist

snoring on oral health

There are lots of health issues that can develop from being too 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? 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. 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 are great ways to reduce your stress levels, making stress no longer a health issue.

If you have questions or concerns regarding stress and dental health, 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.

Salty Water Can Improve Your Smile | Manhattan Beach Dentist

It may not be the best taste you’ve ever tried, but a warm saltwater rinse can be highly beneficial to your oral health. Sounds impossible, but there are many benefits to the method. The reason why salt water is effective as a mouth rinse is because it is more than just a disinfectant; it also helps in removing swelling of oral tissues. Here are just a handful of dental issues that can be aided by rinsing with this salty concoction:

Halitosis. Halitosis, or bad breath, is condition that happens to people for some underlying reasons. While poor oral hygiene is a cause, rinsing your mouth with salt water can prevent bacterial growth and infection, which often causes halitosis.

Gingivitis. Gingivitis is a typical condition characterized by swelling, inflammation and bleeding gums caused due to growth of bacteria that coats teeth naturally. Bacteria proliferation forms a sticky and whitish film, called plaque. Rinsing the mouth with salt water solution daily can help in soothing inflamed gums and wipes out bacteria.

Toothache. Toothaches are a common complication caused by several reasons. Bacteria are generally the main cause, but sometimes weak roots or open nerve endings are the culprits. Gargling regularly with salt water can offer some relief.

Sore throat. Sore throat from a cough is a common and seasonal condition. Salt water gargle can help in relieving soreness.

And now for the recipe – to make a saltwater solution for rinsing the mouth, mix 1 tsp of salt to 1 cup of warm water.

If you have questions or concerns regarding salt water rinses, 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.

Do You Chew Sugar-Free Gum? Manhattan Beach Dentist

Have you ever seen advertisements for sugar free gum that claim to help your teeth and wondered whether or not it actually works? Believe it or not, many of them are telling the truth, and one of the reasons why is a common sugar replacement called Xylitol. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol, a natural, sweet substance often used to sweeten foods without the caloric impact of sugar. While Xylitol is sweet, it doesn’t have the same impact on your body as sugar.

Where the normal bacteria on your mouth responsible for cavities (streptococcus mutans) feeds on sugar, it cannot feed on Xylitol – chewing sugar free gum containing Xylitol not only doesn’t feed bacteria, but it allows your body to wash away the sugar. Over time, fewer and fewer bacteria will live in the mouth, and less plaque will form.

The most common sources of Xylitol in sufficient quantities for dental impact is in gum and mint products. If Xylitol is listed as the first ingredient, it likely has enough to actually decrease decay-causing bacteria over time if chewed regularly. Research has shown that the use of Xylitol also helps repair damage to the enamel. Saliva in itself protects the mouth and teeth. Stimulated saliva in particular contains all the components needed to repair early cavities. The dental benefits of Xylitol can have a significant influence on your oral health.

Chewing gum a few times per day may take effort, it’s a great, cheap, simple way to keep your teeth clean, and help fight off cavities.

If you have questions or concerns regarding Xylitol, 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.

Essential Oils to Help You Sleep | Manhattan Beach Dentist

If you are suffering from sleep apnea, it is important that you seek medical advice. But did you know that you can also 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.

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.

Lavender. A classic scent used to relax, 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. Peppermint essential oil can help relieve the inflammation and irritation in the lining of your nasal passage.

Eucalyptus. Similar to peppermint, eucalyptus essential oil is an effective treatment for sleep apnea caused by congestion.

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

Thyme. Thyme essential oil is extensively used to treat respiratory conditions and can help free up the blocked airways that may cause apnea.

Geranium. Geranium essential oil is widely used to promote calm and good sleep. Be sure to dilute geranium oil before applying it topically.

Lemon. 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, 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.