Are Your at Risk for Gum Disease? | Manhattan Beach Dentist

The stages of gum disease

This may seem like a staggering statistic, but nearly 75 percent of people over the age of 35 in the U.S. have some form of periodontal disease, or gum disease, in their lives. So, what’s the bottom line?

The main cause of gum disease is the bacteria that’s found in plaque. Plaque is that sticky, colorless film that is constantly forming on your teeth. Practicing proper oral hygiene often scrapes away food debris and plaque and prevents it from building up. If you aren’t taking proper care of your teeth, the plaque will build up and infect both your teeth and gums, causing gingivitis. Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease. The first symptoms? Your gums usually start to bleed when you brush or floss.

As I mentioned above, gum disease is oftentimes caused by poor oral hygiene, however there are many other risk factors. While some of these risk factors are completely avoidable, others are not. Some risk factors include the following:

  • Genetics
  • Aging
  • Smoking/Tobacco Products
  • Poor Nutrition
  • Obesity
  • Stress
  • Alcohol Abuse
  • Certain Medications

The key to preventing periodontal disease is to practice proper oral hygiene, every single day. An ideal oral care routine should involve you brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each session, flossing at least once and using an antimicrobial mouthwash. Also, be sure that you’re producing enough saliva by drinking enough water, chewing on sugarless gum or snacking on healthy snacks loaded with fiber. Saliva is your mouth’s natural cleanser that helps wash away leftover food debris or loosen plaque from your teeth and gums.

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 Sleep Apnea? | Manhattan Beach Dentist

We all want a good night’s sleep, but for many, it isn’t as easy as it is for others. Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder where you have one or more pauses when breathing or shallow breaths while you’re asleep. The pauses in breathing can last from a few seconds to minutes and can occur thirty times or more an hour. While this occurs, your diaphragm and chest muscles are working hard to try to open your obstructed airway and pull oxygen into your lungs. Sleep apnea can be dangerous due to the decrease in oxygen flow to your vital organs and can cause irregular heart rhythms.

This sleep disorder can be quite difficult to diagnose on your own, considering the most noticeable symptoms occur while you’re asleep. The signs or symptoms they may notice include the pauses while snoring, followed by a gasping or choking noise. Some of the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea that you may notice include trouble concentrating or daytime sleepiness. Additional signs and symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Headaches when you wake up
  • Trouble keeping focused
  • Feeling depressed, irritable or having mood swings
  • Waking up frequently to go to the restroom
  • Dry mouth or sore throat when you wake up

According to research, sleep apnea is more common in men than in women. In order to properly diagnosed sleep apnea, your doctors will have to perform a physical exam and take your medical and sleep history. Your doctor may also want to speak with your family member or the people you live with about your sleep habits.

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.

Will Veneers Fix My Smile? | Manhattan Beach Dentist

There are several people that avoid smiling in public and even in general due to having a less than perfect smile. For some people with less than perfect smiles, smiling can be a downright painful experience, both emotionally and physically.

However, thanks to the advances in cosmetic dentistry, there are treatments that can enhance your smile. One of the many options cosmetic dentistry offers are porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers are thin shells of porcelain that are placed over your natural teeth to conceal imperfections. This dental procedure is considered quite popular when it comes to improving your smile, as the results are extremely natural looking.

Benefits of porcelain veneers:

  • No discoloration over time
  • Color, shape and size are customizable
  • Durability
  • Can last up to 20 years or a lifetime
  • Dramatic and fast results

Disadvantages of porcelain veneers:

  • Color cannot be changed once placed
  • Natural tooth will be slightly altered
  • If porcelain veneers break, the whole veneer must be replaced
  • Porcelain veneers can be pricey

If you have dental problems such as chipped, decayed, discolored or poorly shaped teeth, you may be an ideal candidate for porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers can also be beneficial in situations where you have a slight gap, as well as minor crowding or a mild misalignment.

Unfortunately, if you have gum disease, severe tooth decay or cracked teeth, you will be an unlikely candidate for porcelain veneers. You should have any dental problems treated beforehand to increase your chances of being an ideal candidate.

If you have questions or concerns regarding veneers, 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.

Diet Habits that Are Ruining Your Teeth | Manhattan Beach Dentist

The choices in food we make can affect our oral health. That should come as no surprise. And dental visits aren’t exactly at the top of your list of things you look forward to – the poking and scraping of routine cleanings. But that’s nothing compared to the pain of more invasive procedures, like fillings and root canals.

So, wouldn’t it be nice to seriously lower your chances of needing dental work with some strategic eating? There are plenty of foods that people should be avoiding if they want to keep their teeth in good shape. What foods does even your dentist avoid? Here are some of the common culprits:

Hard candy. Chewing on them can break or crack teeth, fillings, and sealants.

Ice. Just like hard candy, munching on ice is an easy way crack or break teeth.

Wine. The acidity in wine makes teeth more susceptible to stains, and white wine is generally more acidic.

PB&J. The high sugar content of all three ingredients means that as soon as you bite in, enamel-eroding bacteria go on a feeding frenzy.

Chewy candy. Any chewy sweets have a chance to damage dental work you’ve had done while creating cavities in your teeth’s crevices.

Dried fruit. Unfortunately, dried fruit is packed with a dense dose of sugar and non-soluble cellulose fiber, which can bind and trap those sugars around the tooth to the same extent as saltwater taffy.

Keep your smile healthy with proper oral care and diet. Make sure to brush for two minutes twice a day, floss and rinse. Maintaining your daily hygiene routines will only help make those dental checkups a breeze.

If you have questions or concerns regarding diet choices, 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, 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.

Good Night, Sweet Dreams | Manhattan Beach Dentist

There is nothing worse than waking up your alarm after a night of restless sleep. You’re cranky, and the day never plays out to be a good one. That is why it’s always important to get a good night’s sleep, not only for your temperament, but your health. Not only does sleep strengthen our immune system, but it also helps with memory loss, high blood pressure, heart disease and your weight. But as we get older, getting a good night’s sleep seems impossible. Here are a few simple lifestyle tips that can work wonders:

Get some exercise. Physical activity is going to wear your body down, so it is prepared to relax when you are.

Take a hot shower. A shower or bath relaxes your muscles, making it easier to sleep.

Avoid food, sugary drinks and alcohol. It is a good idea to limit these for the hours you are fully awake. Each has aspects that will not only make it difficult to fall asleep, but they can also disturb your REM sleep once you finally get there.

Give yourself a bedtime. You are never too old to have a designated time to get to sleep. Keeping a schedule will not only give you an end of day, but it will also keep your body clock in check.

Become a bookworm. Sleeping with the TV on, or being in some other loud environment, leaves you susceptible to waking up throughout the night. Instead, bring a book and read yourself to sleep. You’re never too old for a good bedtime story.

If you have questions or concerns regarding sleep 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.

Why Your Dentist’s Reputation Is Important to Consider | Manhattan Beach Dentist

When looking for a dentist, there are a lot of aspects to consider – state dental board certification, how you felt during your first visit, referrals from friends and family, and of course, if the dentist has all that you need and require. And yes, these are important, but reputation remains the key that ties everything else together.

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. You’ll find which dental practices in your area offer the best possible dental care services and ones have been put in the negative light more than a few times. 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.

Engaged and communicative dental practices often garner a lot of praise and generally get more clients as a result. After all, why not? They talk to their patients, both existing and those who are just interested. They also are likely to engage with them and even post photos of before-and-after treatments. Some may even go as far as to take snapshots with their patients, further boosting their image as approachable professionals.

A dentist that takes care of their reputation puts a premium on proper dental care. While these dental practices usually come at a slightly higher price, you do get a lot more than what you paid for.

If you have questions or concerns regarding choosing your dentist, 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.

Bruxism: What You Need to Know | Manhattan Beach Dentist

We all need a sound night’s sleep. When we don’t, we are cranky and unpleasant to be around, but more than that, it can be an issue that can cause issues in the future if not addressed. If 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.

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. The easiest solution? A nightguard. Not only will wearing a nightguard while you sleep alleviate the pains you feel when you wake up, but it will help relax your jaw muscles to give you a more solid sleep pattern.

If you feel that the nightguard isn’t making enough of a difference, there are other alternative treatment options that you can inquire to your dentist about, such as:

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.

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.

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.

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.