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.

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.

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.

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.

Are Your at Risk for Gum Disease? | Manhattan Beach Dentist

The stages of gum disease

This may seem like a staggering statistic, but nearly 75 percent of people over the age of 35 in the U.S. have some form of periodontal disease, or gum disease, in their lives. So, what’s the bottom line?

The main cause of gum disease is the bacteria that’s found in plaque. Plaque is that sticky, colorless film that is constantly forming on your teeth. Practicing proper oral hygiene often scrapes away food debris and plaque and prevents it from building up. If you aren’t taking proper care of your teeth, the plaque will build up and infect both your teeth and gums, causing gingivitis. Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease. The first symptoms? Your gums usually start to bleed when you brush or floss.

As I mentioned above, gum disease is oftentimes caused by poor oral hygiene, however there are many other risk factors. While some of these risk factors are completely avoidable, others are not. Some risk factors include the following:

  • Genetics
  • Aging
  • Smoking/Tobacco Products
  • Poor Nutrition
  • Obesity
  • Stress
  • Alcohol Abuse
  • Certain Medications

The key to preventing periodontal disease is to practice proper oral hygiene, every single day. An ideal oral care routine should involve you brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each session, flossing at least once and using an antimicrobial mouthwash. Also, be sure that you’re producing enough saliva by drinking enough water, chewing on sugarless gum or snacking on healthy snacks loaded with fiber. Saliva is your mouth’s natural cleanser that helps wash away leftover food debris or loosen plaque from your teeth and gums.

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.

Sometimes You Don’t Have a Mint Handy | Manhattan Beach Dentist

Let’s face it – bad breath is one thing we never want to have. Unfortunately, we don’t always know we have it until someone happens to offer a mint. It’s nothing to be ashamed of – we all have it at some point. So many of our favorite foods are infused with some strong flavors. It’s only natural that our breath gets affected. But if you find that you have chronic bad breath, it may be another issue entirely. It could be a warning sign of gum disease, cavities or another dental issue.

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:

  • Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to remove food debris and plaque
  • See your dentist at least twice a year
  • Stop smoking and chewing tobacco-based products
  • Drink lots of water
  • Keep a log of the foods you eat

In most cases, your dentist can treat the cause of bad breath. If your dentist determines that your mouth is healthy and the odor is not of oral origin, you may be referred to your family doctor or a specialist for further diagnosis.

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.

Do You Have Sleep Apnea? | Manhattan Beach Dentist

We all want a good night’s sleep, but for many, it isn’t as easy as it is for others. Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder where you have one or more pauses when breathing or shallow breaths while you’re asleep. The pauses in breathing can last from a few seconds to minutes and can occur thirty times or more an hour. While this occurs, your diaphragm and chest muscles are working hard to try to open your obstructed airway and pull oxygen into your lungs. Sleep apnea can be dangerous due to the decrease in oxygen flow to your vital organs and can cause irregular heart rhythms.

This sleep disorder can be quite difficult to diagnose on your own, considering the most noticeable symptoms occur while you’re asleep. The signs or symptoms they may notice include the pauses while snoring, followed by a gasping or choking noise. Some of the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea that you may notice include trouble concentrating or daytime sleepiness. Additional signs and symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Headaches when you wake up
  • Trouble keeping focused
  • Feeling depressed, irritable or having mood swings
  • Waking up frequently to go to the restroom
  • Dry mouth or sore throat when you wake up

According to research, sleep apnea is more common in men than in women. In order to properly diagnosed sleep apnea, your doctors will have to perform a physical exam and take your medical and sleep history. Your doctor may also want to speak with your family member or the people you live with about your sleep habits.

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.

Diet Habits that Are Ruining Your Teeth | Manhattan Beach Dentist

The choices in food we make can affect our oral health. That should come as no surprise. And dental visits aren’t exactly at the top of your list of things you look forward to – the poking and scraping of routine cleanings. But that’s nothing compared to the pain of more invasive procedures, like fillings and root canals.

So, wouldn’t it be nice to seriously lower your chances of needing dental work with some strategic eating? There are plenty of foods that people should be avoiding if they want to keep their teeth in good shape. What foods does even your dentist avoid? Here are some of the common culprits:

Hard candy. Chewing on them can break or crack teeth, fillings, and sealants.

Ice. Just like hard candy, munching on ice is an easy way crack or break teeth.

Wine. The acidity in wine makes teeth more susceptible to stains, and white wine is generally more acidic.

PB&J. The high sugar content of all three ingredients means that as soon as you bite in, enamel-eroding bacteria go on a feeding frenzy.

Chewy candy. Any chewy sweets have a chance to damage dental work you’ve had done while creating cavities in your teeth’s crevices.

Dried fruit. Unfortunately, dried fruit is packed with a dense dose of sugar and non-soluble cellulose fiber, which can bind and trap those sugars around the tooth to the same extent as saltwater taffy.

Keep your smile healthy with proper oral care and diet. Make sure to brush for two minutes twice a day, floss and rinse. Maintaining your daily hygiene routines will only help make those dental checkups a breeze.

If you have questions or concerns regarding diet choices, 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.