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.

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.

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.