By Joel E. Johnson, DMD, PA
October 16, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures

What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease, gum disease, is the inflammation of soft oral tissue surrounding teeth. The first stage is called gingivitis where gums periodontal diseasebecome swollen, red, and maybe bleed. More advanced stages called periodontitis. It's important to see your dentist in Columbia, SC, immediately so that he can spot and treat it before gingivitis develops into periodontitis.

What are periodontal disease symptoms?
When bacteria builds up on teeth, they begin to produce acid that causes teeth breaking down. This eventually causes cavities and may lead to tooth loss in extreme cases. When plaque builds up on teeth, it turns into hard tartar which causes inflammation of gums. Here are a few symptoms:

  • red
  • swollen
  • painful
  • bleeding gums
  • bad breath

What are some gum disease complications?
There are several complications when gum disease is left untreated. Here are a few:

  • tooth loss
  • bone loss
  • gum abscess

What is the cause of periodontal disease?

When it comes down to it, you need to make sure you take care of your dental hygiene. Make sure you brush your teeth daily. Hold your brush at a 40-degree angle and brush in a circular motion on your teeth surface and around the gums. Also, make sure you floss at least once before bed. This will remove food particles between your teeth and prevent tooth decay.

Other important and vital preventative measures include using fluoride-containing products like mouthwash and toothpaste; getting fluoride treatment from your dentist; and professional dental cleanings that remove plaque and tartar.

In addition to preventative care, it's best to stop smoking, chewing tobacco, and drinking alcohol. You should also make better dietary choices. Eat fruits and vegetables as opposed to candies and sodas.

Periodontal disease can lead to serious issues and proper dental care is a must. If you have any questions or concerns about the health of your teeth, make sure you contact your Columbia, SC, dentist today!

By Joel E. Johnson, DMD, PA
October 15, 2019
Category: Oral Health
Tags: vitamins  

Vitamins play a key role in your body’s health, including your teeth and gums. A vitamin-deficient diet is an invitation to all sorts of disease.

But what are vitamins? Although they differ individually in what effect they have on the body, they’re all organic compounds found in foods, especially fruits and vegetables. Each in a different way helps with bodily processes.

Vitamin C, for example, helps the body repair tissue. Without it, tissue breaks down easier, as British sailors discovered centuries ago on long sea voyages. Deprived of vitamin C in their diets they soon encountered health issues like bleeding gums. Eating limes — chock full of vitamin C—helped to clear up such problems (and also why they were called “limeys”).

Scientists have discovered thirteen vitamins, four of which—A, D, E and K—are soluble (dissolvable) in fat; the body stores these in the liver and fat tissue where they issue out into the body slowly. The rest—C and eight types of B vitamin—are soluble in water. Unlike the fat-soluble vitamins, these are used quickly and any remaining are excreted from the body.

When it comes to teeth, gums and the mouth, a rich assortment of vitamins helps maintain good oral health. For the teeth especially, vitamin D plays a critical role—it helps the body absorb the mineral calcium necessary for strong bones and teeth. You’ll find this vitamin plentiful in dairy products, but also fatty fish like salmon and tuna.

While vitamins occur naturally in foods, they can be manufactured in the form of dietary supplements. Unfortunately, the world of dietary supplements is a murky one, ungoverned by the restrictions and clinical trials that drugs undergo before they go to market. And, it’s big business: vitamin supplements are promoted as “insurance” for good health.

But while some people have conditions that may require a vitamin supplement, research has shown that most of us can effectively get our vitamins through a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables. So, do your teeth and gums (as well as the rest of your body) a favor—eat your fruits and veggies. Along with daily brushing and flossing, getting enough vitamins can go a long way toward keeping your mouth healthy and disease-free.

If you would like more information on nutrition and dental health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Vitamins & Dietary Supplements: What Every Consumer Should Know.”

By Joel E. Johnson, DMD, PA
October 05, 2019
Category: Oral Health
Tags: celebrity smiles   retainer  

Some moviegoers have been known to crunch popcorn, bite their fingers or grab their neighbor’s hands during the intense scenes of a thriller. But for one fan, the on-screen action in the new superhero film Black Panther led to a different reaction.

Sophia Robb, an 18-year-old Californian, had to make an emergency visit to the orthodontic office because she snapped the steel wire on her retainer while watching a battle scene featuring her Hollywood crush, Michael B. Jordan. Her jaw-clenching mishap went viral and even prompted an unexpected reply from the actor himself!

Meanwhile, Sophia got her retainer fixed pronto—which was exactly the right thing to do. The retention phase is a very important part of orthodontic treatment: If you don’t wear a retainer, the beautiful new smile you’re enjoying could become crooked again. That’s because if the teeth are not held in their new positions, they will naturally begin to drift back into their former locations—and you may have to start treatment all over again…

While it’s much more common to lose a removable retainer than to damage one, it is possible for even sturdy retainers to wear out or break. This includes traditional plastic-and-wire types (also called Hawley retainers), clear plastic retainers that are molded to fit your teeth (sometimes called Essix retainers), and bonded retainers: the kind that consists of a wire that’s permanently attached to the back side of your teeth. So whichever kind you use, do what Sophia did if you feel that anything is amiss—have it looked at right away!

When Black Panther co-star Michael B. Jordan heard about the retainer mishap, he sent a message to the teen: “Since I feel partly responsible for breaking your retainers let me know if I can replace them.” His young fan was grateful for the offer—but even more thrilled to have a celebrity twitter follower.

If you have questions about orthodontic retainers, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Importance of Orthodontic Retainers” and “Bonded Retainers.”

By Joel E. Johnson, DMD, PA
September 25, 2019
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: dental implant  

Compared to other dental restorations—a few of which have been around for over a century—implants are a relatively recent development. But even though it's just now entering its fourth decade, recent advances have catapulted implant therapy well beyond where it began.

That's due mainly to digital technology. Two examples of this, computed tomography (CT) and 3-D printing, are increasing the accuracy and efficiency of implant placement.

Properly placing an implant is one of the most important elements in achieving a natural and attractive result. But finding the best location is often difficult due to a lack of suitable bone volume, the patient's bite or the proximity of anatomical structures like nerves and blood vessels. CT imaging, especially Cone Beam CT scanners (CBCT), is helping to make implant placement planning easier.

Unlike the static, two-dimensional views of standard x-rays, CBCT takes hundreds of images and digitally blends them together to create a virtual 3-D model of the patient's jaw and face. Dentists can view this highly detailed model on a computer monitor from various vantage points and better identify possible obstructions. With better information about what "lies beneath," they can more accurately pinpoint the best implant site.

Creating the ideal plan is one thing—successfully implementing it is another. Dentists often create a surgical guide that helps them drill in precisely the right positions during surgery. The guide, which resembles a mouthguard, fits over the gums and contains marker locations for drilling.

Many dentists are now using 3-D printing to create these surgical guides. A 3-D printer turns a digital model of the guide based on measurements of the patient's mouth and proposed implant locations into an actual physical object "printed out" layer by layer of special polymer material. The end product can be more precise than guides created by other means.

These and other technological developments are helping implant therapy rise to a new level of success. With the resulting increase in accuracy, efficiency and less treatment time, tomorrow's implant patients will be the ultimate beneficiaries.

If you would like more information on restoring missing teeth with dental implants, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “How Technology Aids Dental Implant Therapy.”

By Joel E. Johnson, DMD, PA
September 24, 2019
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Root Canal Therapy  

Did you know there's more to a tooth than hard enamel? Yes, inside each tooth lies nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue, and all are prone to infection and inflammation. Dr. Joel Johnson, your dentist in Columbia, treats many patients who experience the pain and sensitivity damaged pulp causes. He offers root canal therapy to save and strengthen those teeth. What are the signs you may need a root canal?

You and your sick tooth

Come to your dentist's office in Columbia if you detect symptoms such as:

  • Throbbing pain
  • Sensitivity to sugar and temperature
  • Obvious decay
  • Drainage which smells and tastes bad
  • Bad breath which does not go away
  • Discolored, cracked or chipped tooth enamel
  • Darkened gum tissue surrounding a tooth
  • Pimples or sores on the gums
  • A missing filling or tooth fracture

Upon examination and X-rays, Dr. Johnson may recommend a root canal treatment. Also known as endodontic therapy, this restorative dental service removes inflamed and infected dental pulp from the central chamber and each root canal. (There can be up to four in a large tooth.)

Dr. Johnson cleans and seals the tooth with putty called gutta-percha and then places a temporary cap over it. After the tooth heals, you return to the office for installation of a permanent porcelain crown created by ED4 digital design technology.

Benefits of root canal therapy

The American Association of Endodontists says the biggest advantage of root canal therapy is that you get to keep your tooth. Extraction should always be a last resort. However, there are other benefits, too, such as:

  • Pain relief
  • Healing of harmful infection
  • Restoration with a lifelike and durable porcelain crown

Contact us

If you experience some of the symptoms we've outlined, please contact the office team at Dr. Joel Johnson's office in Columbia, SC. Expert gentle and precise care of your ailing tooth and a wonderful result. Call (803) 788-2555 for an appointment.

This website includes materials that are protected by copyright, or other proprietary rights. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use, as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners.

Columbia, SC Dentist
Joel E Johnson, DMD, PA
9 Office Park Ct.
Columbia, SC 29223
(803) 788-2555
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