Fighting the Power of Gum Disease | Manhattan Beach Dentist

gum diseaseNo one wants to know they have a disease. It really doesn’t matter what kind of disease it is, it’s something that is never good news to hear. Believe it or not, you are likely to get one in particular – gum disease. Approximately 75 percent of adults will have some form of gum disease within their lifetimes. It’s true. The problem is that many patients don’t even realize they are suffering from any type of gum disease until it has progressed into more of the worsening stages. In early stages, you may not even notice any changes at all. You may notice your gums swelling and bleeding more easily than before and ignore it. No one wants to hear things are going awry until they feel actual pain that can’t be ignored. Unfortunately, if bad enough, gum disease may eventually make you lose your teeth altogether.

Gum disease is a progressive disease in the mouth that affects the tissue surrounding your teeth. After a while, gum disease begins to deteriorate the support around your teeth, ultimately causing you to lose your teeth. And it all begins with plaque build-up in the teeth. Plaque is constantly accumulating in the teeth, but when it gets to an excessive level, it hardens, and bacteria begins forming. This causes the earliest stages of gum disease.

In order to fight gum disease, you must exhibit excellent dental hygiene habits such as sufficient brushing and flossing, as well as healthy eating, and non-surgical therapies that control the growth of harmful bacteria. Most importantly, keep your regular dental appointments. If your gum disease has progressed to a worse case, surgical procedures may be required to restore supportive tissues in the mouth.

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 and all surrounding areas.

Six Steps to Preventing Tooth Decay | Manhattan Beach Dentist

We all want a healthy smile, but if you don’t take care of your teeth with proper daily dental care, you may end up with a dental malady – tooth decay. Tooth decay typically occurs when foods containing carbohydrates, such as bread, cereals, milk or candy, are left on your teeth. And because we are very close to a spooky candy-infused holiday, now is a great time to brush up on our dental hygiene practices, so we continue to maintain a healthy smile:

Brush your teeth daily. It’s important to brush your teeth twice a day, for two minutes each session. This, accompanied with flossing and mouthwash, can go a long way in preventing loads of dental issues we all want to avoid.

Snack on healthy foods. It’s best to avoid eating sweets and carbs 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 and tooth decay prevention.

Ask about dental sealants. Applied by dentists, dental sealants are a plastic coating 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. Mouthwash is ideal for loosening food caught in our teeth.

Visit your dentist regularly. Visiting your dentist for routine checkups and professional teeth cleanings to remove plaque build-up, preventing tooth decay immensely.

Sugar-free gum. One study even found that chewing gum that contains xylitol can temporarily slow the growth of the bacteria that causes tooth decay.

If you have questions or concerns regarding tooth decay, 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.

When Your Breath Begins to Hum | Manhattan Beach Dentist

There is little more embarrassing than having someone offer a mint or tell you that you have bad breath. Lots of factors can play into this. A cup of coffee, a garlicky meal, and smoking can all lead to some bad breath. While there are many things that can factor into a stinky mouth, consistent bad breath could be the cause of something more, like gum disease.

Gum disease is caused by the buildup of plaque on teeth. Bacteria cause the formation of toxins to form, which irritate the gums. If gum disease continues untreated, it can damage the gums and jawbone.

Other causes of bad breath include poorly fitting dental appliances, yeast infections of the mouth, and cavities.

The medical condition dry mouth also can cause bad breath. Saliva is necessary to moisten the mouth, neutralize acids produced by plaque, and wash away dead cells that accumulate on the tongue, gums, and cheeks. If not removed, these cells decompose and can cause bad breath. Dry mouth may be a side effect of various medications, salivary gland problems, or continuous breathing through the mouth. There are other underlying diseases that may cause bad breath as well. If your dentist finds nothing wrong with your mouth, you will need to consult your physician. Bad breath can be reduced or prevented if you:

  • Practice good oral hygiene. Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to remove food debris and plaque.
  • See your dentist regularly – at least twice a year.
  • Stop smoking and chewing tobacco-based products.
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Keep a log of the foods you eat.

If you have questions or concerns regarding bad breath, 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.

 

When Eating Ice Cream Hurts | Manhattan Beach Dentist

Now that we are smack in the middle of the summer season, cold drinks and frozen confections are everywhere you look. And while they are quite refreshing in the heat, for many of us, enjoying these summertime treats can become painful. Unfortunately, you have developed sensitive teeth and it’s time to visit the dentist. After all, sensitive teeth can be an annoying affliction. No one wants those sharp jolts of pain when enjoying the delights of the season. But why are your teeth suddenly sensitive?

When you have sensitive teeth, certain things, like eating, drinking even brushing your teeth can react to the everyday activity. Teeth sensitivity is typically the result of enamel that has worn away and exposed the tooth roots. However, it can be caused by other things like a cavity, a chipped tooth or it can even be a side effect of whitening your teeth.

Depending you circumstances, your dentist may recommend the following to remedy your sensitive tooth/teeth:

  • Desensitizing toothpaste
  • Fluoride
  • Bonding
  • Root canal

Tooth sensitivity is treatable. In fact, you might find that using toothpaste specifically made for sensitive teeth helps. If your tooth/teeth sensitivity is extreme and persists no matter what you do, see your dentist for an evaluation. Other possible treatments could involve applying a fluoride gel to areas of the teeth where you have the most sensitivity, to strengthen your tooth enamel and reduce the sensations you feel.

If you’re concerned about sensitive teeth, start by visiting your dental professional. He can identify the cause of your tooth pain and get you on a treatment plan.

If you have questions or concerns regarding tooth sensitivity, 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.

Which Stage of Gum Disease Is Your Mouth in? | Manhattan Beach Dentist

The stages of gum diseaseGum disease, also commonly known as periodontal disease, is an inflammation of the gums and is caused primarily by the bacteria found in plaque. For those who don’t know, plaque is that colorless sticky film that constantly forms on your teeth. 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.

There are three different stages of periodontal disease: gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontists. Let’s take a deeper look into each of these three stages…

Gingivitis. The earliest stage of gum disease can be noticed due to inflamed gums, which is mainly due to plaque buildup. The infection can also cause the gums to bleed as well, which you may notice while you brush or floss your teeth. 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. This is the stage where the damage is typically irreversible. Your gums start to form pockets below the gum line, where food and plaque can get trapped, which in turn will make the condition worse. 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. The final stage of gum disease can be diagnosed when the bacterial infection has not only affected your teeth but has destroyed the fibers and bone supporting your teeth. This can lead to your teeth shifting or loosening, affecting your bite. If treatment cannot save your teeth, they will have to be removed.

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 and all surrounding areas.

Do You Have Bad Dental Habits? | Manhattan Beach Dentist

Most people have heard that poor dental care is linked to various health conditions. And while you may brush regularly, how you brush is just as important as brushing itself. Unfortunately, many of us have developed habits over the years that may be doing a disservice to our dental health in the future. Here are the common bad habits we have and the fixes for each:

When you brush. Your toothbrush should be the last thing your teeth touch at night and your morning method is equally important. Brush twice a day for at least 2 minutes, making sure you spend 30 seconds on each quadrant.

Using the wrong toothbrush. Pick a soft bristle toothbrush that can slip under your gum tissue and dislodge any plaque stuck there. Brushing with a medium or hard model—and using excessive pressure—can cause your gums to recede and expose the surface of your roots, or the bottom of your teeth.

Rinsing issues. 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.

Incorrect technique. Position the handle of your brush so the bristles point at a 30- to 45-degree angle when they touch your gum tissue. Rotate your wrist in a circular motion to effectively remove the plaque.

Toothbrush replacement. 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.

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 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 and all surrounding areas.

Is Toothpaste Really Necessary? | Manhattan Beach Dentist

We know the importance of looking after our teeth, which includes brushing them twice a day. Brushing, along with flossing and using mouthwash, will not only remove food debris and plaque but will also protect your teeth against tooth decay and gum disease, leaving your mouth happy and healthy. But have you ever wondered why we use toothpaste? Sure, it tastes good, but do we need it? To be fair, yes. 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.
  • It also 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, but contrary to what toothpaste commercials show, the amount of paste or gel needed on your brush for effective cleaning does not have to be a heaping amount. Simply squeeze a pea-sized dab of paste on the top half of your brush. Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and brush inside, outside and between your teeth, the paste should foam enough to cover all of your teeth. Children under age 6, however, should be given a very small dab of toothpaste on their brush. As to which flavor or type, this is up to you. But if it becomes overwhelming to choose from the hundreds of options, ask your dental professional.

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.

Why Do We Rinse? | Manhattan Beach Dentist

There are three basic steps when it comes to daily oral hygiene – brushing, flossing and rinsing. We all know why we brush and why we floss, but why it is that we rinse? Believe it or not, but there are a few benefits to rinsing your mouth with mouthwash.

Mouthwash can help keep your gums and teeth healthy—but only if you use them properly. Rinsing with mouthwash will loosen bits of food from your teeth, lessen bacteria in your mouth, temporarily reduce bad breath and leave a refreshing taste in your mouth. But Mouthwash can cut back the level of bacteria in your mouth. Of course, you still have to brush and floss your teeth regularly and combined will do a much better job of removing plaque and debris. Research shows that adding a rinse with mouthwash to your oral care routine can in fact improve the overall cleanliness of your mouth and help keep gum inflammation at bay. Just remember – 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.

Prevents plaque. Various mouthwashes help prevent the build-up of plaque but cannot reduce the plaque that already exists on your teeth.

Removes particles. Most people use mouthwash only after brushing, but beforehand can help loosen particles stuck between your teeth, making brushing more productive.

Stop cavities. Regular use of mouthwash before and after you brush and floss, you can reduce the chances of cavities forming if your mouthwash contains fluoride so be sure to check the label.

If you have questions or concerns regarding rinsing, 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.

When the Grind Is Making You Tired | Manhattan Beach Dentist

snoring on oral healthAre you sleeping well lately? Do you find yourself constantly waking up with a dull headache, tooth pain or a sore jaw? If so, 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 and in rare cases, may also affect children and teenagers. Common symptoms of bruxism include neck pain, jaw pain, headache, and tooth pain. And 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. Here are a few other treatment options:

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.

It’s important that you be honest with your dentist during your consultation, especially when it comes to medication, just in case there are issues so an alternative can be suggested.

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 and all surrounding areas.

When You Realize You Saw Logs | Manhattan Beach Dentist

snoring on oral healthWe all need a good night’s sleep. Without it, our bodies don’t function correctly, and will eventually take a toll, eventually leading to other health issues. Unfortunately, we don’t know that we snore. It is someone else that tells you, which means someone else’s sleep is being affected by your snoring. It’s time to get this looked at. There are many factors that cause snoring, such as:

  • The use of alcohol, sedatives and even tobacco can force your throat muscles to relax more than usual and promote the obstruction of the airways, which causes snoring.
  • Those with chronic nasal congestion may interfere with their air flow every time they breathe and cause snoring.
  • Some people with elongated uvulas or low, thick soft palates, large tonsils or adenoids naturally have narrower airways, and this can cause snoring. Also, those who are overweight and obese tend to have narrower airways as well, but this is because of the excess fat on the back of their throats. In both cases, the narrow airways affect the air flow when breathing, which then leads to snoring.
  • Pregnant women, those who have a long family history of snoring, those who are aged 40 and above, as well as males are more likely to develop snoring problems as well.

To put simply, snoring has a huge effect on our teeth, both directly and indirectly. If you feel that you and your family are already suffering too much because of your snoring, it may be time for a sleep study. They can present to you a number of medical treatment options to help you deal with your snoring problem.

If you have questions or concerns regarding snoring, 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.