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.

Why Do We Rinse? | Manhattan Beach Dentist

There are three basic steps when it comes to daily oral hygiene – brushing, flossing and rinsing. We all know why we brush and why we floss, but why it is that we rinse? Believe it or not, but there are a few benefits to rinsing your mouth with mouthwash.

Mouthwash can help keep your gums and teeth healthy—but only if you use them properly. Rinsing with mouthwash will loosen bits of food from your teeth, lessen bacteria in your mouth, temporarily reduce bad breath and leave a refreshing taste in your mouth. But Mouthwash can cut back the level of bacteria in your mouth. Of course, you still have to brush and floss your teeth regularly and combined will do a much better job of removing plaque and debris. Research shows that adding a rinse with mouthwash to your oral care routine can in fact improve the overall cleanliness of your mouth and help keep gum inflammation at bay. Just remember – most mouthwashes are at their most effective when in contact with your mouth tissues for 30 seconds per use.

Freshens breath. First and most obviously, mouthwash temporarily reduces bad breath. Mouthwash kills bacteria associated with causing bad breath leaving you with minty fresh breath.

Prevents plaque. Various mouthwashes help prevent the build-up of plaque but cannot reduce the plaque that already exists on your teeth.

Removes particles. Most people use mouthwash only after brushing, but beforehand can help loosen particles stuck between your teeth, making brushing more productive.

Stop cavities. Regular use of mouthwash before and after you brush and floss, you can reduce the chances of cavities forming if your mouthwash contains fluoride so be sure to check the label.

If you have questions or concerns regarding rinsing, 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.

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.

Avoid Gum Disease in the New Year | Manhattan Beach Dentist

Now that we have begun our 2020, we all have had health on our minds. But when you think about improving your health, do you think about your dental health? You should. Because most of our overall health issues have been affected by our oral health. After all, our mouths are used for so much – it is important to keep it healthy by practicing good dental health.

Did you know that most adults will have some type of gum disease in their lifetime? But don’t worry – there are ways to prevent it at home – by practicing good oral health, regular dental checkups and a change in your diet. Here are some recommendations and why you should work them into your diets:

  • Eat foods rich in vitamin C, like grapefruit, oranges, and tangerines. One study found that people who ate less than the RDA for vitamin C were one and a half times more likely to develop gingivitis.
  • Choose high-quality, organic, hormone- and antibiotic-free “grass-fed” meats.
  • Increase your omega-3 essential fatty acids by selecting high-quality wild-caught salmon, minimal-mercury albacore tuna, fish oil, avocados, and sprouted walnuts.
  • Eat raw, organic vegetables.
  • Add high-quality fiber to your diet, such as ground flax seed.
  • Add healthy saturated fats to your diet, such as organic virgin coconut oil.
  • Choose sprouted, whole-grain products.
  • Add nutrient-dense and unprocessed foods such as sprouted nuts and seeds to your diet.
  • Eat limited fruits and fruit juices.
  • Choose organic, cage-free eggs.
  • Choose dairy items that have live, active cultures (probiotics), such as yogurt and kefir. It has been shown that regular consumption of yogurt can eliminate bad breath.
  • Drink purified water throughout the day.

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 Gum Disease? | Manhattan Beach Dentist

The stages of gum disease

Do you have gum disease? Are you sure? Many patients can be suffering from the early stages of gum disease and not even know it. Are you still sure? Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth. It is a major cause of tooth loss in adults and often goes unnoticed.

Don’t worry – it isn’t the end of the world. Many Americans suffer from some form of gum disease, or gingivitis and its most common cause is straightforward: poor oral hygiene.

Gum disease 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

Unfortunately, you can have gum disease and not even know it. Keeping a proper daily dental routine is intricate to keeping your mouth free from harmful bacteria. This is also why it is so important to keep your dental appointments regular – so that your dentist can make sure to keep your mouth clean and healthy. Only a dentist or a periodontist can recognize and determine the progression of gum disease.

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.

How to Celebrate with Zero Dental Guilt | Manhattan Beach Dentist

Being smack dab in the holiday season is a wonderful time of year. Not only do we get to spend time with our family and friends, but there is so much delicious food around to delight in! So much so that many times we forget to maintain our dental hygiene routine because we are elbow deep in holiday treats.

We aren’t going to stop you. In fact, we are going to be joining you in lots of it. But we need to make sure you keep some things in mind while you are celebrating. Because it may be fantastic at the time, we don’t want to have regrets once the holidays are over and we visit the dentist. So, enjoy yourself this holiday season – just make sure your smile doesn’t suffer. It’s a time to smile and be merry!

Avoid grazing. One of the most common issues we all have during the holidays is our need to be constantly eating something. Grazing is just so good to do as we are catching up with family and friends. And let’s be fair, there are treats EVERYWHERE. Be aware of the food you snack on throughout the day and try to pace yourself. It will save you the guilt, decay, and unnecessary calories.

It’s okay to overindulge. While we are talking about keeping it together this holiday season, 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. Just make sure to brush, floss, and clean when you’re done.

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.

Protect Your Teeth with Xylitol | Manhattan Beach Dentist

Many patients like to take the extra steps to maintain good oral health and hygiene. After all, this is the age of the selfie, and a selfie just isn’t right without a bright, healthy smile. But we are smack dab in the midst of the holiday season, and we are surrounded by sugary delights. So, in order to keep these smiles bright and helping to satisfy a sweet tooth, we turn to sugar-free gum containing xylitol.

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol, a natural, sweet substance often used to sweeten foods without the caloric impact of sugar. 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. Over time, fewer and fewer bacteria will live in the mouth, and less plaque will form.

Xylitol has been approved as safe by the US FDA and World Health Organization but should be taken in moderation. While common in foods such as gum and mints, it’s also available over the internet directly – care should be taken, as too much xylitol can be difficult for your body to digest and can have fiber-like laxative properties. So, pop in a stick of gum a couple times a day to maintain that smile you love to show off, keep your teeth clean, and help fight off cavities.

Research has shown that the use of xylitol also helps repair damage to the enamel while stimulating saliva. Saliva in itself protects the mouth and teeth and is stimulated saliva in particular contains all the components needed to repair early cavities.

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.

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.

Tooth Decay Prevention | Manhattan Beach Dentist

Tooth decay is one of the most common dental problems that dentists see among patients and can affect both your tooth enamel and dentine. Tooth decay typically occurs when foods containing carbohydrates, such as bread, cereals, milk or candy, are left on your teeth. Because we are on the brink of this spooky candy-infused holiday, it is important 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 two times a day, for two minutes each session. This, accompanied with flossing, can go a long way in preventing tooth decay, cavities and gum disease.

Snack on healthy foods. It’s best to avoid eating sweets 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.

Visit your dentist regularly. Visiting your dentist for routine checkups and professional teeth cleanings will help prevent tooth decay immensely. Professional cleanings are performed by dentists to remove plaque build-up that can lead to tooth decay.

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.