The Effects of Snoring on Your Smile | Manhattan Beach Dentist

It’s unfortunate for some but everyone knows what snoring is and almost everyone has either experienced snoring or has been kept awake from someone snoring. Most people just dismiss it as a normal part of sleeping because it’s just so common. But snoring is quite harmful and more importantly, affects your teeth and oral health.

While we may have snored at one point or another, the severity of snoring usually varies from person to person. It can go from being a mild nuisance and disturbance to a symptom of something more serious, like sleep apnea. But what exactly is causing us to snore in the first place? Here are some common factors that can cause you to snore:

Bad habits. The use of alcohol, sedatives and even tobacco. Any one of these products can force your throat muscles to relax more than usual and promote the obstruction of the airways, which causes snoring.

Nasal problems. Those with chronic nasal congestion may interfere with their air flow every time they breathe and cause snoring.

Anatomical conditions. Some people with elongated uvulas or low, thick, soft palates, large tonsils or adenoids naturally have narrower airways, and this can cause snoring. Those who are overweight and obese do too, but this is because of the excess fat on the back of their throats.

Pregnancy. 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.

Dry mouth. Our teeth need saliva for protection and because snoring causes your mouth to dry out, leading to a variety of oral health problems.

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.

Preparing Your Gums for a New Year | Manhattan Beach Dentist

gum diseaseAs we prepare for a new year, it is important to take inventory about how our health is and any changes that could be remedied over the next year. This should also include our oral health. Because as much as we hate to think about it, many of us can be suffering from the early stages of gum disease and not even know it. Gum disease often goes unnoticed, especially amongst those dental dodgers, and can lead to major mouth problems if left untreated.

Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth. It is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. It can progress without obvious signs, even in the late stages of the disease. Although the symptoms of periodontal disease often are subtle, the condition can present some warning signs. Certain symptoms may point to some form of the disease. Plaque is the primary cause of gum disease. However, other factors can contribute to periodontal disease. The symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Gums that bleed during and after tooth brushing
  • Red, swollen, or tender gums
  • Persistent bad breath or bad taste in the mouth
  • Receding gums
  • Formation of deep pockets between teeth and gums
  • Loose or shifting teeth
  • Changes in the way teeth fit together upon biting down, or in the fit of partial dentures

This is why a proactive daily oral care routine and regular dental visits are imperative. Most gum disease is treatable with regular professional cleanings, brushing, and flossing. Using a mouthwash twice daily can even reverse early gum disease. Treating it early, before the bacteria spread to the bone beneath the teeth, greatly improves your chance of recovery without tooth loss or surgery.

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.

Holiday Dental Tips for Snack Habits | Manhattan Beach Dentist

Well, here we are – the holiday season is upon us and we are making the final preparations for this very different holiday season. And while it may not look like our typical season, there are plenty of things that will remain the same. Namely, the foods. We may not have the calendar of social events, but we do find ourselves in a period of excess. That means more fat, sugar and alcohol. While these are all generally things that make up happier, the end result is usually more of a guilt trip down memory lane of all of the foods you shouldn’t have eaten. Not only because of your waistline, but because of the damage it’s done to your smile. We are definitely going to need to make a dental appointment in the new year. But in the meantime, there are things you can do to keep your holiday guilt-free:

Snack grazing. One of the most common issues lots of us are having is our need to be constantly eating something. We can’t help it though, right? It’s the holiday season – there are treats EVERYWHERE. With that, you should be aware of the food you eat throughout the day and try to pace yourself. It will save you the guilt, tooth decay, and unnecessary calories.

Overindulging yourself. Yes, we are talking about keeping it under control this Christmas, overindulging for ONE day won’t kill you. There is so much temptation around this time of year, it’s easy to succumb to the temptation. So, don’t. But keep a happy balance with foods that are also good for you. This way, you aren’t going to feel bad later. Just make sure to brush, floss, and clean when you’re done!

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

Tools to Brighten Your Smile | Manhattan Beach Dentist

Many patients want a brighter smile but do not know how to obtain brighter teeth or even how to go about it. With all of the option available, how do we know which is the best choice? Let’s discuss…

The most basic form of teeth whitening is available as toothpaste – toothpaste, whether it’s labeled as whitening or not – typically contains small abrasive components that gently polish the surface of your teeth, removing discoloration caused by surface staining. Other over the counter whitening products typically contain a bleaching agent – such as hydrogen peroxide – to lighten the color of your teeth by chemically bleaching them.

Bleaching is a common and popular chemical process used to whiten teeth. Some people get their teeth bleached to make stains disappear, while other just want a whiter shade. Bleaching can be performed by your dentist in the office or, under dental supervision, at home. Many patients enjoy bleaching at home because it is more convenient.

Your dentist, however, can typically offer two different whitening options. The first is take-home tray based, using chemicals stronger than over-the-counter trays, but working on the same basic principle. Oftentimes dentist provided trays are custom molded to the patient’s teeth, providing a smooth, comfortable fit suitable for wearing for multiple hours each day, even overnight. Dentists can often perform whitening in the office, using light and heat activated bleaching chemicals. Because the procedure is supervised by a dentist, much stronger chemicals can be used, and much more dramatic results can be seen almost immediately.

No matter which method you choose, the results will not be permanent, but your dentist can advise you on the proper procedure for repeating the whitening process at regular intervals.

If you have questions or concerns regarding teeth whitening procedures, 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.

After the Last Bite of Pumpkin Pie | Manhattan Beach Dentist

Here we are, on the brink of the holiday season. A time for family, food and feeling thankful – yes, Thanksgiving is the first of the many holidays represented during this season. But after you finish overindulging in all of the delectable foods offered during this day of thanks, it may be a good time to give thanks to your teeth. After all, you couldn’t have done devoured all of that food without your mouth. Shouldn’t you thank them as well? One way you can do that is to pop a stick of sugar-free gum in your mouth after dessert. And when you choose, opt for one with Xylitol.

Xylitol is a naturally occurring alcohol found in most plant material, including many fruits and vegetables. First, Xylitol starves the bacteria in your mouth of food. Where the normal bacteria on your mouth responsible for cavities feeds on sugar, it cannot feed on Xylitol, allowing your body to wash away the sugar. Over time, fewer and fewer bacteria will live in the mouth, and less plaque will form.

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.

While 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. So, enjoy this thankful day with your loved ones. Just remember – your smile loves you too.

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 and all surrounding areas.

Your Guide to Halloween Candy | Manhattan Beach Dentist

It may not be the typical Halloween, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t typical Halloween candy. We need to take a moment to think about our dental health. Sure, not the first thought we have during this spooky season, but the bacteria hiding in your mouth can’t wait until you get home with your candy haul and overindulging your sweet tooth will result in a poor dental checkup. To prevent this from happening, let’s take a look at the effects various sweets have on your teeth. This may help when deciding which Halloween treat to choose:

Chocolate. Good news – it’s the best bet for health, especially if it’s dark chocolate. Not only does it have a health benefit, but chocolate is easier to clean off your teeth than other candy options, making it the one you’ll want to reach for.

Gummy candy. Many of these are made with fruit juice, but because of the stickiness, gummy treats are tough on your molars. Limit these, especially with dental work. Sticky candy can also pull off braces and other dental treatments.

Hard candy. Be particularly careful when enjoying these treats. Not only can they stick to dental appliances you may have in your mouth, but they can also chip a tooth if you aren’t careful. Try not to bite into these candies as you suck on them.

Sour candy. Your children are going to be particularly drawn to this type of sweet, but these have to be the worst culprit in your sack of treats. Not only can the sour coating dissolve the outer coating of your teeth, but if they are sticky as well, they can wreak havoc on those pearly whites.

If you have questions or concerns regarding Halloween candy, 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.

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.

Coffee, Tea and Your Teeth | Manhattan Beach Dentist

For some, it’s a daily ritual – for others, it’s a warm relief on a chilly day. And now that we are beginning to get a taste of Autumn, it’s time to discuss the warm tasty beverages known as coffee and tea. On the average, Americans drink 400 million cups of coffee a year, and 300 servings of tea a year. And while it varies on the person, that is a lot of teeth staining! Because no matter how diligent we are with our dental hygiene, over time coffee and tea will begin to stain your teeth.

Within various plants contain tannins and these tannins are what will begin to tinge your teeth after time. The darker the tea or coffee, the quicker it will start to darken your teeth’s enamel. So, if you are worried about teeth stains, try to stay away from black tea and dark coffees. Just adding a bit of milk or drinking through a straw are quick easy ways to stave off the stains, but there is no need to worry – there are plenty of ways that staining can be remedied.

If you don’t have an excessive stain problem, just using a tooth whitening toothpaste can work wonders on subtle staining. It’s something you can use daily to help keep your tooth enamel bright. If you have a more noticeable problem, you may want to invest in an over-the-counter option, like whitening strips or trays. These are all great ways to keep your teeth as white as possible until you can get a professional cleaning/whitening treatment the next time you are in the dentist’s chair.

If you have questions or concerns regarding teeth whitening, 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

snoring on oral healthWe all have a vague knowledge of what sleep disorders are and the signs and symptoms that are associated with each. In the last few years, the amount of information about sleep apnea that’s been available to the public has increased significantly. Nonetheless, there are still many myths and misconceptions when it comes to this sleep disorder, so here are a few of the common myths exposed:

Snoring. While snoring can be a sign of sleep apnea, it isn’t a telltale sign as there are many patients who don’t snore. People who suffer from sleep apnea pause their breathing while they’re asleep, sometimes even hundreds of times every night, disrupting their sleep cycle and decreasing their sleep.

The elderly. Sleep apnea can actually affect people of all ages, including children. While it may be more common in people over 40 years of age, sleep apnea can affect all ages, even 5. There are some physical attributes that can increase your risk of devolving this sleep disorder, such as being overweight or being male.

Obesity. As fatty tissues 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.

Not dangerous. Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that takes a toll on all who suffer from it because it robs people of a good night’s sleep and the health benefits that sleep provides, leaving them drowsy and lethargic during the day. 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.

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.