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.

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.

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.

 

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.

Getting to Know Your Dental Implants | Manhattan Beach Dentist

Dental ImplantsI think Billy Crystal said it best. Dental implants are “simply marvelous”. These artificial tooth roots are very durable and are known to last for a very long time. They also look very natural and won’t affect your speech or chewing. Sure, you may have heard that dental implants are costly, but look at the advantages before you make your final decision. Below are several interesting facts about dental implants that you probably do not know:

Dental implants are considered as the most successful tooth replacement solution.

Not just because they’re durable and they last long, but because the numbers actually back up such claims. Dental implants can last for as long as a patient lives and are known to have an estimated 98% success rate.

Dental implants cannot get cavities.

As much as dental implants share the same look and function as natural teeth, they are not made out of the same materials. Because of this, dental implants cannot decay like natural teeth and are fully protected from cavities.

Dental implant surgery is generally painless. 

The implants are placed using local anesthesia but ensures that the patient experiences nothing more than just mild vibrations all throughout the procedure.

Dental implants help strengthen your jawbone.

The titanium used is a biologically compatible material that’s fused to your jawbone and makes it stronger than ever before.

Dental implants can last forever. 

Proper dental care is necessary, but dental implant procedures have the highest success rates among tooth replacement treatments, dental implants have become the optimal choice for replacing missing teeth.

If you have questions or concerns regarding dental implants, 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.

Nodding off at the Dentist | Manhattan Beach Dentist

Sedation dentistry is an innovative field of dentistry that is extremely useful for those who fear the dentist, hate needles, have highly sensitive teeth, or are immune to the numbing effects of anesthesia. Although sedation dentistry may not be right for everyone, patients who are undergoing periodontal treatment are encouraged to consider sedation dentistry to ease discomfort, and paranoia.

Sedation dentistry uses medication to help patients relax during dental procedures. Sometimes referred to as sleep dentistry, though the assumption isn’t entirely accurate. Patients are usually awake with the exception of those who are under general anesthesia. It is important to realize that there are many forms of sedation, and the treatment option is based on your particular needs. Levels of sedation include:

Minimal sedation. You are awake but relaxed.

Moderate sedation (formerly called “conscious sedation”). This option will generally come in the form of nitrous oxide, or laughing gas. You may slur your words when speaking and not remember much of the procedure.

Deep sedation. Make sure you have a ride home afterwards, because you are on the edge of consciousness but can still be awakened.

General anesthesia. Similar to deep sedation, you are completely unconscious but won’t feel a thing.

Integrating sedation dentistry into your procedure will make it both comfortable and safe. Patients agree that sedation dentistry was the best option for their procedure because it allows the dental team to work thoroughly for maximum results. If you are interested in a way to make your dental experience a smooth one, Talk to your dental professional about treatment options.

If you have questions or concerns regarding sedation 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.

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.