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.

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.

Why Veneers? | Manhattan Beach Dentist

If you have less than perfect teeth, like your teeth are either discolored, chipped or misshapen or all of the three, veneers are a great way to give you a smile that you won’t be ashamed of flashing to anyone you come across.

A dental veneer is composed of thin custom-made shells of either porcelain or composite resin that’s fit over teeth. They are a cosmetic dental product that’s used to mask tooth imperfections, all the while giving teeth a natural and attractive tooth. There are two types of materials commonly used in dental veneers – composite resin and porcelain. Of the two, porcelain veneers are considered better, namely because of the following reasons:

Durability. Although very thin and brittle, porcelain veneers are actually very strong and durable once they’re bonded to the teeth. They can last for decades if they’re taken care of properly and avoiding chewing or cracking hard objects, such as ice, bottle caps and so on.

Appearance. The translucent properties of porcelain allow porcelain veneers to look as natural as possible.

Stain-resistant. Porcelain, as a material, is an impervious ceramic and is also quite smooth. Also, the material will not pick up permanent stains from highly pigmented drinks and food, cigarettes, tobacco, coffee and so on.

Although a very effective means of improving the appearance of one’s teeth, porcelain veneers aren’t perfect. For starters, the process of removing a tiny bit of tooth enamel to make space for porcelain veneers is irreversible. Also, once cemented, the color can no longer be changed, which means you’ll have to constantly take care of your teeth so that your natural teeth don’t stain too much and make the veneers stand out.

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.

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.

Are Mercury Fillings Dangerous? | Manhattan Beach Dentist

Technically, mercury fillings consist of a combination of metals, including silver, tin, copper and of course, mercury. Small amounts of palladium, indium and zinc are also used, but not always. Of this combination of materials, it is the mercury that, when mixed with alloy powder, allows the filling material to be soft enough to mix and press into the teeth. At the same time, however, the compound hardens quickly and is durable enough to withstand the constant pressure of daily activities, such as biting and chewing.

Because of how it’s been in use for more than a hundred years, mercury fillings have been used in patients far more times than any other material. However, in recent years, the safety of the use of mercury has been questioned. The United States Food and Drug Administration has stated that there’s no reason to limit the use of mercury and have come to the conclusion that the fillings are safe for both adults, as well as children above the age of 6.

So, if you already have mercury fillings in your teeth, you don’t have to worry about having them removed. Doing so can cause do more harm than good and may even release more mercury. You only need to worry about having them removed when the teeth are already worn out, broken or if there’s decay present beneath the filling.

For other alternatives, you can choose from a wide variety of materials, such as composite resin, porcelain and gold. Be sure to talk to your dentist about your concerns regarding the use of dental amalgam, as well as whether the alternatives to mercury fillings would be right for your particular case.

If you have questions or concerns regarding mercury fillings, 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.

Hidden Treasures: Tooth-Colored Fillings | Manhattan Beach Dentist

Are you tired of traditional metal fillings making your teeth look dated? Amalgam fillings, or metallic fillings, have been around for years and have been used by dentists to complete many cosmetic procedures. Metal fillings are most commonly used to fill holes left by cavities. While using this procedure is indeed very effective, there are a multitude of controversies surrounding the safety and appearance of them.

Many patients are suffering from the same dilemma and feel like there is nothing they can do, however, thanks to the advanced technology utilized by Dr. Yamada you can achieve your dream smile with tooth colored fillings. Dr. Yamada encourages patients to receive tooth colored fillings by listing the following advantages:

  • Eliminates unnatural, metal fillings
  • Diminishes discoloration caused by metal fillings
  • Prevents tooth decay and gum diseases
  • Strengthen your teeth
  • They are undetectable and match the exact shade of your teeth

Modern dentistry is now using more tooth-like materials (composite resins and porcelains) that are both safe and predictable. The most important feature, for many people, is that they look and react more like natural teeth. In the past, teeth were filled with a mixture—or amalgam—of different metals. Today that is changing as more natural-looking and metal-free fillings are becoming the preferred approach.

If you don’t want to go the traditional route, ask your dentist about tooth colored fillings! Tooth colored fillings, or resin, are made out of a much safer material than amalgam fillings. Along with that, tooth colored fillings are safer, not to mention enhance the cosmetic appearance of teeth due to their natural tooth like color!

If you have questions or concerns regarding tooth-colored fillings, 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 Dos and Don’ts of Halloween Candy | Manhattan Beach Dentist

We’ve made it – it’s the spookiest night of the year. Halloween may be a favorite amongst us kids, but it isn’t very fun for your dentist. Unfortunately, it’s inevitable – it’s candy time! And on this night, it is important to keep in mind that candy isn’t great for our teeth, so keep things in moderation. And afterwards, giving your teeth a quick brushing will only help keep your smile healthy.

But not all candy is the same. There are definitely good candies and bad candies. Here is a quick breakdown of the best and worst. And in order to brighten what could be a sad article, we’ll start with the worst so there is hope at the end of the tunnel:

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.

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.

Sugary snacks, including candy corn, cookies, and cake, all contain high amounts of sugar, which can cause tooth decay.

And now, the treats that won’t damage your smile as quickly:

Sugar-free lollipops and hard candies stimulate saliva, which can help prevent dry mouth.

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 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.