Wearing a Night Guard Is a Good Idea | Manhattan Beach Dentist

We all need a good night’s sleep if we want to keep our bodies running at optimum levels. But for many of us, these nights are few and far between because we’re grinding our teeth as we sleep and wake up with a dull headache or a sore jaw. 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 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. Night guards are available at most pharmacies and can be bought without a prescription, or you can visit your dentist for a custom one.

In addition to a better, more sound sleep, night guards have other benefits:

Lesser pain and discomfort when you wake up. While the main purpose of wearing a night guard is to protect your teeth from further damage, these dental appliances can also make a huge difference for patients who complain about sore jaws, muscle fatigue and spasms, earaches, neck pain and other types of pain commonly associated with bruxism.

Improved sleep patterns. Because of how night guards minimize common bruxism symptoms, they also help improve your once-disrupted sleeping patterns. The mouth guard helps improve the position of your jaws to make it easier for your muscle to relax and helping you avoid that stress-filled sleep that you’ve come to get used to because of bruxism.

If you have questions or concerns regarding night guards, 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 Effects of Snoring on Your Smile | Manhattan Beach Dentist

It’s unfortunate for some but everyone knows what snoring is and almost everyone has either experienced snoring or has been kept awake from someone snoring. Most people just dismiss it as a normal part of sleeping because it’s just so common. But snoring is quite harmful and more importantly, affects your teeth and oral health.

While we may have snored at one point or another, the severity of snoring usually varies from person to person. It can go from being a mild nuisance and disturbance to a symptom of something more serious, like sleep apnea. But what exactly is causing us to snore in the first place? Here are some common factors that can cause you to snore:

Bad habits. The use of alcohol, sedatives and even tobacco. Any one of these products can force your throat muscles to relax more than usual and promote the obstruction of the airways, which causes snoring.

Nasal problems. Those with chronic nasal congestion may interfere with their air flow every time they breathe and cause snoring.

Anatomical conditions. Some people with elongated uvulas or low, thick, soft palates, large tonsils or adenoids naturally have narrower airways, and this can cause snoring. Those who are overweight and obese do too, but this is because of the excess fat on the back of their throats.

Pregnancy. Pregnant women, those who have a long family history of snoring, those who are aged 40 and above, as well as males are more likely to develop snoring problems as well.

Dry mouth. Our teeth need saliva for protection and because snoring causes your mouth to dry out, leading to a variety of oral health problems.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

Do You Have Bad Dental Habits? | Manhattan Beach Dentist

Most people have heard that poor dental care is linked to various health conditions. And while you may brush regularly, how you brush is just as important as brushing itself. Unfortunately, many of us have developed habits over the years that may be doing a disservice to our dental health in the future. Here are the common bad habits we have and the fixes for each:

When you brush. Your toothbrush should be the last thing your teeth touch at night and your morning method is equally important. Brush twice a day for at least 2 minutes, making sure you spend 30 seconds on each quadrant.

Using the wrong toothbrush. Pick a soft bristle toothbrush that can slip under your gum tissue and dislodge any plaque stuck there. Brushing with a medium or hard model—and using excessive pressure—can cause your gums to recede and expose the surface of your roots, or the bottom of your teeth.

Rinsing issues. Spitting out your toothpaste doesn’t totally remove all the harmful stuff that you loosened while brushing. Adding an oral rinse to your routine is greatly beneficial to your oral health.

Incorrect technique. Position the handle of your brush so the bristles point at a 30- to 45-degree angle when they touch your gum tissue. Rotate your wrist in a circular motion to effectively remove the plaque.

Toothbrush replacement. The ADA recommends buying a new brush every 3 or 4 months. Worn bristles won’t effectively remove plaque or bacteria. If you’ve been sick, swap out your brush immediately.

You ignore the rest of your mouth. Food or debris can easily get stuck in the crevices between the carpet-like strands, known as papillae, on the surface of your tongue.

If you have questions or concerns regarding dental hygiene, 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, which includes brushing them twice a day. Brushing, along with flossing and using mouthwash, will not only remove food debris and plaque but will also protect your teeth against tooth decay and gum disease, leaving your mouth happy and healthy. But have you ever wondered why we use toothpaste? Sure, it tastes good, but do we need it? To be fair, yes. 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.
  • It also 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, but contrary to what toothpaste commercials show, the amount of paste or gel needed on your brush for effective cleaning does not have to be a heaping amount. Simply squeeze a pea-sized dab of paste on the top half of your brush. Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and brush inside, outside and between your teeth, the paste should foam enough to cover all of your teeth. Children under age 6, however, should be given a very small dab of toothpaste on their brush. As to which flavor or type, this is up to you. But if it becomes overwhelming to choose from the hundreds of options, ask your dental professional.

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.

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 You Realize You Saw Logs | Manhattan Beach Dentist

snoring on oral healthWe all need a good night’s sleep. Without it, our bodies don’t function correctly, and will eventually take a toll, eventually leading to other health issues. Unfortunately, we don’t know that we snore. It is someone else that tells you, which means someone else’s sleep is being affected by your snoring. It’s time to get this looked at. There are many factors that cause snoring, such as:

  • The use of alcohol, sedatives and even tobacco can force your throat muscles to relax more than usual and promote the obstruction of the airways, which causes snoring.
  • Those with chronic nasal congestion may interfere with their air flow every time they breathe and cause snoring.
  • Some people with elongated uvulas or low, thick soft palates, large tonsils or adenoids naturally have narrower airways, and this can cause snoring. Also, those who are overweight and obese tend to have narrower airways as well, but this is because of the excess fat on the back of their throats. In both cases, the narrow airways affect the air flow when breathing, which then leads to snoring.
  • Pregnant women, those who have a long family history of snoring, those who are aged 40 and above, as well as males are more likely to develop snoring problems as well.

To put simply, snoring has a huge effect on our teeth, both directly and indirectly. If you feel that you and your family are already suffering too much because of your snoring, it may be time for a sleep study. They can present to you a number of medical treatment options to help you deal with your snoring problem.

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.