Should We Have Mercury Fillings in Our Mouths? | Manhattan Beach Dentist

Fillings made with amalgam, otherwise known as mercury fillings, are commonly used to fill cavities. They consist of a combination of metals, including silver, tin and copper, but the 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.

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. 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 mercury fillings, 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 and all surrounding areas.

Enjoy the Holiday Season! | Manhattan Beach Dentist

As we enjoy our holiday season with family and friends, it is important to take the time to look after ourselves as well. We can all get overwhelmed by the hectic schedule and zillions of events we are expected to attend, it is easy to let our health slip by, especially when it comes to our dental health. But the holiday season means excess – more fat, sugar and alcoholic delights. While these are all generally things that make us happier, lots of times the guilt trip hits us after the holidays are. And if we aren’t looking after our smiles, all of the fat, sugar and alcohol will also have done some damage to your teeth. With that, here are some things you should keep in mind to keep your holiday guilt-free:

Avoid the graze. One of the most common issues we all have during the holidays is our need to be constantly eating something. We can’t help it, though right? There are treats EVERYWHERE. With that, you should be aware of the food throughout the day and try to pace yourself. It will save you the guilt, decay, and unnecessary calories.

Overindulge. While we are talking about keeping it together this Christmas, overindulging for ONE day won’t kill you. There is so much temptation around this time of year, and it’s bad enough to indulge and then feel guilty. So, don’t. Give yourself a day out of the week to eat what you want. Enjoy the time with your family and friends. Just make sure to brush, floss, and clean when you’re done. Happy holidays!

If you have questions or concerns regarding holiday dental tips, 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 and all surrounding areas.

Gum Disease Prevention the DIY Way | Manhattan Beach Dentist

No one wants to hear they have gum disease, but many times we have no idea how we got it. After all, we are on top of our dental game every day. But what we fail to recognize is that our daily lifestyle habits could be the main cause of our periodontal disease. Things like drinking coffee can make our mouths more susceptible to it. Let’s take a look at how we can help prevent gum disease from getting worse, and more painful, while we wait for your next dental appointment:

Daily 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. Drinking coffee dehydrates our mouths, preventing saliva production and saliva is our natural defense against harmful bacteria.

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 your coffee intake and stress helps your oral health because your immune system is less compromised when you’re relaxed. DIY tip: Using water infused with salt draws out infection in your swollen gums.

If you have questions or concerns regarding gum 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 and all surrounding areas.

Don’t Stress – It’s Bad for Your Smile | Manhattan Beach Dentist

snoring on oral healthFor most of us, the holidays are an extremely stressful time of year. Between the holiday parties, gift shopping and melee that is being in public during this time of year, the holidays can be a nightmare for some.

We know that stress can cause lots of other health issues, but did you know that stress can also cause problems with your smile? It’s true – as much as we hate to admit we are becoming overwhelmed, if we don’t take the time to decompress, it can also lead to a trip to the dentist. How is that for added stress?

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, or gum, disease. It has been revealed that the more stressed out you are, the more stress is placed on your oral health. According to the results, 57 percent of the studies found a link between stress, distress, anxiety, depression, and loneliness to periodontal disease. Increased levels or cortisol, which is produced during times of stress, might be a contributing factor in lowering the body’s immunity.

No one wants to develop gum disease, but unfortunately the chances of you developing some type of gum disease in your lifetime is likely. Here are some other factors that increase your risk for periodontal disease:

  • Tobacco products
  • Systemic diseases, such as diabetes
  • Medication such as steroids, anti-epilepsy or cancer therapy drugs, calcium channel blockers and oral contraceptives
  • Ill-fitting bridges
  • Crooked teeth
  • Defective fillings
  • Pregnancy

If you have questions or concerns regarding Stress-related dental 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 and all surrounding areas.

The Best and the Worst Halloween Treats | Manhattan Beach Dentist

We are on the cusp of Halloween, the day your smile dreads all year long. Not only is the main component candy, but it tends to lead to an overconsumption of these sweet confections. This Halloween, take a more active role in your dental health by limiting some of the more harmful sweets from your celebrations. Keeping your teeth clean and healthy will ensure a safe and happy Halloween.

The Worst:

  • Chewy/sticky sweets, such as gummy candies, taffy, and even dried fruit can be difficult for children and adults to resist, and even more difficult to remove from teeth as they get stuck in the crevices of your teeth.
  • Sour candies are highly acidic and can break down tooth enamel quickly. The good news: Saliva slowly helps to restore the natural balance of the acid in the mouth. Wait 30 minutes to brush so you aren’t brushing the acid onto more tooth surfaces and increasing the risk of enamel erosion.
  • Sugary snacks, including candy corn, cookies and cakes all contain high amounts of sugar, which can cause tooth decay.

The Best:

  • Sugar-free lollipops and hard candies stimulate saliva, which can help prevent dry mouth and cavity-causing bacteria from sticking to your teeth and causing issues.
  • Sugar-free gum can actually prevent cavities as it not only dislodges food particles from between the teeth but also increases saliva—which works to neutralize the acids of the mouth and prevent tooth decay.
  • Dark chocolate and its antioxidants, according to some studies, can be good for the heart and may even lower blood pressure.

If you have questions or concerns regarding Halloween candies, 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 and all surrounding areas.

Move It or Lose It | Manhattan Beach Dentist

Let’s face it – we aren’t exactly the greatest at keeping our teeth a top priority. And then something happens and we’re off to the dentist to find out what procedure is going to fix our dental mistakes. The goal of most dental procedures is to save teeth because procedures like filling cavities are meant to remove decay without damaging the tooth. Root canals are used to remove infected nerves within a tooth while sparing the tooth. Dental crowns strengthen the tooth even after significant parts of the tooth have been removed. Unfortunately, when a tooth can’t be saved, your dentist will recommend a procedure known as a tooth extraction.

The most common reason for an extraction is a broken tooth, 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, so an extraction is necessary. Extra teeth, like wisdom teeth, are also candidates in order 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 properly aligned. In surgical extraction, a dentist or oral surgeon will make an incision to reach the tooth, then break the tooth into pieces in order to remove it.

If you have questions or concerns regarding dental 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 and all surrounding areas.

Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones…and Teeth | Manhattan Beach Dentist

Accidents happen. There is nothing we can do about it. And many times, these accidents can lead to a broken tooth. It’s time to make an emergency trip to the dentist. But what do you do while you are waiting? Here are some simple tips to help while you wait for your appointment.

Start by rinsing your mouth with salt water to remove any remaining tooth pieces and help sterilize the mouth. If the tooth is painful, consider taking acetaminophen to reduce the pain. Until you can visit a dentist, try to eat only soft foods, and avoid biting down on that part of your mouth.

If the chip is minor, the dentist may use composite resin or bonding material to strengthen the broken area, polish down the sharp edges, and ensure that the tooth will be safe for eating. If a large area of the tooth has broken off, or if the break is due to decay, the dentist may recommend replacing the remaining tooth surface with a crown.

It is very difficult to determine if the tooth root is jeopardized without a proper dental exam.  Even if you believe the crack is minor, be sure to have a dentist inspect the tooth to ensure that the root is not damaged. Ignoring a cracked tooth can allow the tooth pulp (the soft interior of the tooth containing nerves and blood that keep the tooth alive) to become infected, which is not only painful, but can also threaten your overall health long term.

If you have questions or concerns regarding emergency 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 and all surrounding areas.

Improve Your Self with Good Dental Hygiene | Manhattan Beach Dentist

You may think that good dental hygiene only affects your smile, but it really affects your overall health. After all, it is easy for bacteria to enter our bodies via our mouth since it is used for so many of our daily activities, like eating and speaking. Unfortunately, if we aren’t careful, poor dental hygiene can lead to periodontal, or gum, disease. Periodontal disease affects a large array of individuals and can prove to be very uncomfortable and/or painful if left untreated. In honor of National Self Improvement Month, 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 because bacteria that sit on your teeth after long periods of time create havoc on your gums. Make sure to brush at least two minutes.

Flossing. Clean the spaces between your teeth brushing cannot reach with floss. 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. Rinsing your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash will help destroy bacteria left over by the prior two forms of cleaning. Before or after brushing doesn’t matter – the choice is yours.

Relaxation. Now, if you find yourself in pain due to 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.

Saltwater solution. Using water infused with salt draws out infection in your swollen gums. Do this a couple times a day until your dental appointment.

If you have questions or concerns regarding gum 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 and all surrounding areas.

Time for the Dentist. You Have Gum Disease | Manhattan Beach Dentist

It may seem like gum disease is a serious issue – and it is – but it is also preventable and treatable. In fact, 50% of Americans will have some degree of gum disease at some point in their lives. While it may not make you feel better about you developing the issue, but it should be a relief to know it doesn’t have to be a permanent condition.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a single reason one will come to develop periodontal, or gum disease. It can be 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

Not only is periodontal disease treatable, but if caught early enough, you may not have to deal with further issues, like tooth loss. How is it treated? Here are the three main aspects to treating periodontal disease:

Prompt treatment. Because gum disease can progress into worse, noticing any of the above symptoms are encouraged to see a dental professional to 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 dental hygiene. Consistent 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 to your dentist will ensure that your periodontal health is maintained to avoid any dental problems.

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.

Dr. Anthony Yamada proudly serves Manhattan Beach and all surrounding areas.

It’s Doing More Harm than Good | Manhattan Beach Dentist

Most people have heard that poor dental care is linked to heart disease, as well other health maladies, according to the American Dental Association (ADA). And while you may brush regularly, chances are you’re making at least one of these 6 mistakes. Here are the fixes for each.

You don’t brush at the right time of day. Your toothbrush should be the last thing your teeth touch at night. Snacking before you sleep significantly raises your risk for cavities. Saliva production slows down when you snooze, spurring the bacteria in your mouth to multiply even faster.

You use the wrong brush. Choose a soft bristle toothbrush that can slip under your gum tissue and dislodge any plaque stuck there, increasing your risk of developing gum disease.

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 follow the wrong technique. Position your brush’s bristles at a 30- to 45-degree angle and brush in a circular motion to effectively remove the plaque.

You don’t replace your brush. The ADA recommends buying a new brush every 3 or 4 months. If you’ve been sick, swap out your brush immediately. Residual bacteria and viruses from an illness can cling to the brush.

You ignore the rest of your mouth. Food or debris can easily get stuck in the crevices between the carpet-like strands, known as papillae, on the surface of your tongue.

If you have questions or concerns regarding your dental hygiene 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.