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.

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.

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.