Is Toothpaste Really Necessary? | Manhattan Beach Dentist

We know the importance of looking after our teeth, including brushing them twice a day. Brushing along with flossing will not only remove food debris and plaque but will also protect your teeth against tooth decay and gum disease. Toothpaste cleans the teeth, protects them, and keeps them looking healthy and attractive to look at as well. It also ensures that your breath is nice and fresh as well. But do we really need it?

Dentists recommend that you use toothpaste, especially fluoride toothpaste as this not only cleans your teeth but protects them as well. Brushing the teeth with toothpaste, flossing and using a mouthwash are all essential parts of a daily dental hygiene routine that will result in healthy and great looking teeth. Brushing with toothpaste is important for several reasons:

  • Toothpaste and a correct brushing action work to remove plaque, a sticky, harmful film of bacteria that grows on your teeth that causes cavities, gum disease and eventual tooth loss if not controlled.
  • Toothpaste contains fluoride, which makes the entire tooth structure more resistant to decay and promotes remineralization, which aids in repairing early decay before the damage can even be seen.
  • Special ingredients in toothpaste help to clean and polish the teeth and remove stains over time.
  • Toothpastes help freshen breath and leave your mouth with a clean feeling.

Contrary to what toothpaste commercials show, simply squeeze a pea-sized dab of paste on the top half of your brush. Children under age 6, however, should be given a very small, baby pea-sized dab of toothpaste on their brush. Whatever toothpaste you choose will be effective, but ask your dentist if they suggest one to clean your teeth and prevent tooth decay.

If you have questions or concerns regarding toothpaste, 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.

Sleep Soundly with a Night Guard | Manhattan Beach Dentist

snoring on oral healthIf 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. The most common means of alleviating the pain that comes with bruxism is taking care of the teeth grinding itself, which usually happens while sleeping, is by wearing a night guard.

Night guards are available at most pharmacies and can be bought without a prescription. To use, the appliance is boiled, left to cool for a few seconds and then worn for it to shape according to one’s own teeth. For a better-fitting, more durable, but more expensive night guard, buy one directly from your dentist.

Regardless of the type of night guard you’re wearing, the main function remains the same and it’s to prevent the damage done by the constant grinding of your teeth while you’re asleep. Beyond the added protection, wearing night guards also carry other benefits:

Lessen pain and discomfort. While the main purpose of wearing a night guard is to protect your teeth from further damage, these dental appliances can also make a huge difference for patients who complain about sore jaws, muscle fatigue and spasms, ear aches, neck pain and other types of pain commonly associated with bruxism.

Improved sleep patterns. Because of how night guards minimize common bruxism symptoms, they also help improve your once-disrupted sleeping patterns. The mouth guard helps improve the position of your jaws to make it easier for your muscle to relax and avoid that stress-filled sleep that you’ve become accustomed to.

If you have questions or concerns regarding night 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 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.

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.

MythBusters: Sleep Apnea Edition | Manhattan Beach Dentist

In the last few years, the amount of information about sleep apnea that’s been available to the public has increased significantly. According to the National Sleep Foundation, doctors, researchers, and sleep centers have made great advances in raising awareness about the symptoms and causes of sleep apnea. Despite this, there are still many myths and misconceptions when it comes to this sleep disorder, and many Americans are unaware of the real risk sleep apnea poses. To help clear up some things, here is a list of the most common myths about sleep apnea.

Myth #1: Everyone that snores has sleep apnea.

Fact: While snoring can be a sign of sleep apnea, it doesn’t mean that everyone who snores has this sleep disorder. People who suffer from sleep apnea pause their breathing while they’re asleep, sometimes even hundreds of times every night. This can impact their overall health by disrupting their sleep cycle and decreasing their sleep. There is also research that has shown that untreated sleep apnea can result in many serious health problems, such as heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke.

Myth #2: Only older people get sleep apnea.

Fact: Sleep apnea can actually 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: Only obese or overweight people get sleep apnea.

Fact: As fatty tissues in the throat increase due to increased weight, they can collapse and block the airway when one relaxes during sleep. However, even a well-conditioned athlete with a muscular neck can have this same issue.

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 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.