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.

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.

How to Choose Your Next Dental Professional | Manhattan Beach Dentist

494183909Whether you’re moving to a new town or just looking to improve your dental health, it is important to choose the right dental professional. Because, like snowflakes, no two dentists are the same. When you’re looking for the right dentist it is important to consider a lot of factors. Such factors may include state certification, your first visit, and referrals, but the most important factor is if the dentist has all that you need and require.

For many dental practices, or just businesses in general, a few bad reviews is not a good sign. In fact, it’s enough of a reason for them to lose a few clients. In worse cases, bad reviews may even cause some practices to close down.

With the internet and sites like Google+, Yelp, and even Foursquare, you, as a prospective client or patient, have access to resources to check if a particular dentist is worth your time and money. While reviews are not a totally accurate means of measuring quality of service, it still tells a lot about how a dentist and his or her clinic handles patients.

Dental practices that put an emphasis on their presence on social media and online are likely to have built a reputation, good or bad, that can easily be assessed as soon as you visit their page. To put simply, a reputable dental practice is likely to take better care of your teeth and gums, making reputation the most significant factor when looking for a dentist.

If you have questions or concerns regarding our dental qualifications, 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.

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.

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.

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.

How to Prevent Tooth Decay | Manhattan Beach, CA

oral hygiene

Tooth decay is one of the most common dental problems that dentists see among patients. This is the destruction of your tooth structure; tooth decay can affect both your tooth enamel and dentine. Tooth decay typically occurs when foods containing carbohydrates, such as bread, cereals, milk or candy, 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. There also a few other steps you can take to protect both your teeth and gums, which include the following:

  • 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.

As you can see, there are several simple ways that you can prevent tooth decay. One study even found that chewing gum that contains xylitol can temporarily slow the growth of the bacteria that causes tooth decay.

If you suspect that you may be suffering from tooth decay, contact Dr. Anthony Yamada, DDS at 310-546-2595 to schedule an appointment today. For additional information regarding tooth decay or oral health please visit www.anthonyyamadadds.com.

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