What is Bruxism?

Bruxism is a condition in which patients grind their teeth and clench their jaw excessively. This is a type of parafunctional activity and usually occurs when the patient is asleep. There are a number of causes of bruxism, many of which are easily treated.

At Johnson Dental in Wheat Ridge, we strive to provide our patients with the best oral care possible. While we can treat a number of oral health issues, it is wise to educate yourself with the knowledge and resources we provide in our blog. Before you call and make an appointment at our Wheat Ridge dental office, let us explain why bruxism is so harmful to your teeth and how we can treat the issue.

Causes of Bruxism

bruxism teeth grinding Wheat Ridge, COBruxism can be caused by stress or anxiety, but it is far more likely to be caused by an abnormal bite or missing teeth. If bruxism has been caused by a missing tooth, having it replaced with a dental implant may be able to correct the issue. If the root of the tooth is still intact, a dental crown or a dental bridge may be enough to treat your bruxism.

However, if stress or an anxiety disorder is the root of your bruxism problem, medication may be necessary. Sleep apnea, and other sleep disorders, can also be a cause of bruxism and can easily be corrected with a CPAP device.

Bruxism Damage

Occasional teeth grinding and jaw clenching rarely has any major effects. However, excessively doing so can have major repercussions on your teeth and jaw. Bruxism can cause teeth to become loose and can even cause them to fall out if treatment isn’t sought soon enough.

If your teeth become loose and fall out, your jaw bone will suffer and become weakened. Without teeth, your jaw bone has nothing to stimulate bone growth. In order to have your jaw bone strength and density restored, you’ll need to have a dental implant installed. Luckily, you can avoid the issues caused by bruxism with proper treatments.

Treatments for Bruxism

Since there are a number of causes of bruxism, there are multiple treatment options to correct the issue. Here are just a few of the treatment options available to sufferers of bruxism:
Teeth Realignment: If misaligned teeth are the cause of your bruxism, orthodontic braces or Invisalign may be required to realign your teeth.
Dental Guards: A clear cut way to put a stop to bruxism is to wear a dental guard, also known as an occlusal splint, to prevent your teeth from grinding together.
Medication: As mentioned before, if stress or anxiety is the cause of your bruxism you may need prescription medication to put a halt to the problem.

Contact Johnson Dental

If you are suffering from bruxism, or any other dental issue that needs to be corrected, we at Johnson Dental are here to help. You can contact our Wheat Ridge office here or give us a call at 303.422.8748 to schedule an appointment today!

The Dangers of Plaque and Tartar Build Up

shutterstock_144113623shutterstock_144113623Regardless of how well you brush your teeth and how often you floss, you will still have plaque build up on your teeth. If left undisturbed, this plaque will harden into calculus, also known as tartar. Tartar is much more difficult to remove than plaque and will require a visit to our Wheat Ridge dental office.

Good oral hygiene practices can help prevent plaque build up from hardening into tartar, but you should also visit Johnson Dental regularly for a dental checkup and professional teeth cleaning. Before you call and make your next appointment, let our knowledgeable staff fill you in on the dangers of plaque and tartar build up so you can better understand how important it is to keep your teeth clear of this biofilm.

The Formation of Plaque and Tartar

Plaque build up is natural part of life. As mentioned before, no matter how careful you are, you will always have some amount of plaque on your teeth. If dental plaque is left undisturbed, it can harden into tartar. Tartar, unlike plaque, cannot be removed by simply brushing or flossing. It will require a trip to our Wheat Ridge dental office in order to be removed.

Luckily, there are a number of ways you can try to prevent plaque and tartar build up. For example, you can find tartar controlling toothpaste with fluoride in it. Additionally, smoking can increase your risk for plaque and tartar build up, which is just another reason why you should quit as soon as possible. Starchy foods, like potato chips, can also raise your risk for plaque, and therefore, tartar build up.

Health Risks Associated with Plaque and Tartar

Plaque and tartar build up isn’t just unsightly, it can be dangerous as well. In fact, tartar can lead to an increased risk of a number of health concerns including:

  • Dental Cavities: Plaque and tartar build up are two of the most common causes of dental cavities.
  • Gum Disease: Tartar can build up beneath your gums, exposing them to harmful bacteria that can lead to several different forms of gum disease.
  • Inflammatory Diseases: Tartar build up can lead to a number of diseases that are directly linked to inflammation. Your chances of getting heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and even diabetes are greatly increased as a cause of plaque and tartar build up.

Luckily, avoiding tartar build up is pretty easy. Brushing your teeth thoroughly twice a day and flossing once a day can help remove plaque from your teeth before it hardens into tartar. You should also visit Johnson Dental regularly for a dental checkup and cleaning to remove any plaque and tartar that you might have missed while brushing.

Contact Johnson Dental Today!

Even patients who practice the best oral hygiene habits will have some amount of plaque and tartar build up. If you are in need of a dental cleaning or checkup, you can contact our Wheat Ridge dental office here or give us a call at 303.422.8748 to schedule an appointment today!

The Importance of Oral Cancer Screenings

Believe it or not, oral cancer rates have increased in the past 25 years. Despite tobacco use having dropped significantly, oral cancer screenings are still as important as ever. The survival rates of oral cancer have improved as well. The five-year survival rate is now up to 63% and should only increase as science and technology improves.

Despite the improvements made, oral cancer is still a serious medical condition. At Johnson Dental in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, we perform oral cancer screenings often for our patients. In fact, one of the reasons we recommend you visit our dental office for a checkup every 3 to six months is to check for oral cancer.

Before you call and make your next dental appointment, let our knowledgeable staff fill you in on the importance of oral cancer screenings.

Symptoms of Oral Cancer

When you stop by our Wheat Ridge dental office for an oral cancer screening, there are a number of issues we will look at. Swelling and lumps in the mouth could be cause for alarm. If we find abnormalities like this, your dentist will perform a biopsy. With this, we will be able to analyze the tissue sample for any abnormal cell growth, which could very well be oral cancer.

In addition to lumps and swelling in the mouth, there are a number of issues that you can notice on your own. Unexplained bleeding, for example, could be a warning sign of oral cancer and should be looked at by one of our dentists immediately. Additionally, mouth numbness, throat soreness, difficulty chewing, and weight loss could all be additional symptoms of oral cancer.

Causes of Oral Cancer

Now you know what to look for, but what causes oral cancer? There are a lot of factors that can increase your risk for oral cancer. For example, men are twice as likely to develop the disease than women. Some additional factors that increase your risk for oral cancer are:


  • Tobacco Use: Obviously, smoking and chewing tobacco are some of the most common causes of oral cancer. In fact, users of chewing tobacco are at 50 times the risk for the disease as non-users.
  • Excessive Alcohol Consumption: Alongside tobacco use is chronic alcohol consumption. This can increase your risk for oral cancer greatly.
  • Genetics: If your family has a history of cancer, then you are naturally at a higher risk for developing oral cancer. This is only increased if you use tobacco products.

Contact Johnson Dental Today!

As you can tell, oral cancer screenings are as important as ever. If you have noticed any of the symptoms listed above or you’re at a higher risk for developing the disease, we can perform an oral cancer screening for you today! You can contact our Wheat Ridge dental office here or call us at 303.422.8748 to schedule your appointment.

Common Causes of Bad Breath

At one point or another, we have all had to deal with the dreadful effects of bad breath. There are many causes of bad breath, medically known as halitosis, and while some of them are not serious, others can be cause for concern.

As your trusted western Denver dental office, we here at Johnson Dental strive to educate our patients whenever possible with meaningful dental advice. Since bad breath is a common problem that we have all had to face at some point in our lives, we thought we would explain the common causes of bad breath.

Poor Oral Hygiene

One of the most common reasons we develop bad breath is when we forget to brush and floss our teeth. Proper oral hygiene can make all the difference when it comes to our breath smelling pleasant. Brushing your tongue helps eliminate any further bad breath bacteria that is left behind.  The tongue harbors the majority of bad breath bacteria in the mouth, so don’t forget to give it some attention every day.

Of course, if you notice your breath during the day, there are other options to help treat the issue until you get home. Sugar-free gum, for example, is effective at eliminating bacteria and can even help strengthen the enamel on your teeth.

Food Factors

There are a number of foods that can cause our breath to smell bad. Some of them you may be familiar with and others could catch you by surprise. Regardless, you should always brush your teeth and rinse your mouth after every meal to prevent halitosis. Here are some of the foods that can cause bad breath:


  • Onions: Onions are a food that you would expect to cause your breath to stink. The sulfur compounds in onions can linger in your mouth, causing bad breath.
  • Garlic: Similar to onions, garlic has sulfur compounds that can linger in your mouth for hours after you’ve eaten. Be sure to brush your mouth after you have had even a little bit of garlic.
  • Coffee: Coffee breath can be an offensive odor. However, cutting sugar and cream out of your coffee diet can help lessen the stench associated with our favorite morning beverage.


While the occasional day of bad breath isn’t a huge problem and can be resolved by brushing your teeth, sometimes it can be a warning sign or something more serious. For example, persistent halitosis can be a symptom of liver failure. In fact, there are a number of health issues that can cause your breath to smell bad. Here are a few other systemic diseases that bad breath can be a warning sign of:

  • Kidney failure
  • Respiratory tract infections
  • Diabetes

If you suffer from chronic bad breath, we are here to help. You can contact our Wheat Ridge dental office here or call us at 303.422.8748 to schedule an appointment today!

Benefits of Professional Teeth Whitening

Virtually everyone wants a brighter, whiter smile. So much so that companies started releasing at home, do-it-yourself teeth whitening kits to improve the appearance of your teeth. Unfortunately, while these kits can be effective, they can also have a host of unintended results.

Because of the risk of potential damage, we recommend having your teeth professionally whitened by the experts here at Johnson Dental. We have provided the greater Denver, Colorado area with brighter, natural looking smiles for years. Learn about the benefits of having your teeth professionally whitened before calling our Wheat Ridge office.

Potential Damage and Store Bought Kits

While many do-it-yourself teeth whitening kits can prove beneficial and whiten your teeth effectively, they come with some concerning side effects. For example, some teeth whitening kits contain fruit-based acids which can prove to be quite damaging to the enamel on your teeth.

Additionally, at-home teeth whitening kits are prone to abuse and some patients develop an unhealthy obsession with keeping their teeth as white as possible. Over time, this can lead to your teeth becoming transparent rather than white. The initial results can vary as well, causing uneven whitening results on the teeth. Usually, this evens itself out in less than a week, however.

Benefits of Professional Whitening

Professional teeth whitenings present many benefits, especially when compared to do-it-yourself teeth whitening kits. Professional teeth whitening services, like the one we offer here at Johnson Dental, do not have the harmful side effects do-it-yourself kits present and are more effective at restoring the whiteness to your teeth. Here are some of the benefits of getting a professional teeth whitening:


  • Supervision: One the most important benefits of getting a professional teeth whitening is that it is dentist supervised. This will help prevent any damage to your teeth and leave you with longer lasting results.
  • Protection: What makes in-office teeth whitenings so safe is the added protection. Your dentist will apply a protective gel or guard to your gums to prevent any of the whitening product from irritating your gums.
  • Effectiveness: Since professional teeth whitening services are supervised by your dentist, they are able to be stronger and, therefore, more effective than do-it-yourself kits.


If you desire whiter teeth, we can help today. You can contact us here or call us at 303.422.8748 to schedule a teeth whitening appointment.

Your Guide to Toothpaste

It is common knowledge that brushing your teeth with toothpaste is essential to healthy oral habits. But toothpaste has changed a lot since Colgate sold the first tube of toothpaste in 1896. We now have a plethora of different toothpaste brands, flavors, and types of toothpaste for us to to choose from. But this was not always the case, especially before the tube of toothpaste era.

As Wheat Ridge, Colorado’s most trusted dentist, we seek to provide the greater Denver area with information to help keep their teeth healthy. Let us fill you in on everything there’s to know about toothpaste before you come in for your next dental check-up.

The History of Toothpaste

The desire to obtain whiter, healthier teeth is not a new concept. In fact, the ancient Greeks and Romans used tooth powder mixtures to help cleanse their teeth. These ancient toothpaste recipes were made of abrasives, like crushed bones or shells, which would scrape away plaque and help prevent dental decay.

As technology increased, toothpaste was brought into circulation and soon became available for general use in the 1800’s. Some of these toothpaste recipes from this time period called for abrasives, like burnt bread, chalk, and even crushed brick, to be mixed. These ingredients were soon phased out as more acceptable options became well known.

Starting in the late 1800’s, companies have been selling toothpaste in tubes, a trend that has lasted more than a century. Around this same time, fluoride began being added to toothpaste to decrease the chance of tooth decay. It would be another few decades before the chemical was added to the majority of water supplies in the United States, which has lead to a great decrease of dental cavities.

Types of Toothpaste

As mentioned above, advancements in medical science and technology have given way to many different varieties and types of toothpaste. Choosing the toothpaste that’s best for you can be difficult because of the countless options, but there are a few types of toothpaste and some essential ingredients you should make sure your toothpaste contains. A few of these ingredients and types of toothpaste are:


  • Fluoride: Despite being called one of the ten great public health achievements of the 20th century, there is still toothpaste on the market without this essential chemical.
  • Tartar Control: Everyone has a layer of bacteria on their teeth called plaque. If plaque is not removed correctly, then it will harden into tartar which is far more difficult to remove.
  • Sensitive Teeth Toothpaste: This is only really essential if your teeth are sensitive to hot or cold temperatures. This type of toothpaste usually contains potassium nitrate or sodium chloride that block pathways to the nerves in the teeth.


Regardless of your preferred toothpaste brand, we recommend you brush your teeth after every meal and floss once a day. However, since brushing and flossing are not enough on their own to keep your smile healthy, you should visit our Wheat Ridge, Colorado office often for dental cleanings and checkups. You can contact us here or call us at 303.422.8748 to schedule an appointment.

Benefits of Cosmetic Dentistry

Everyone desires a bright, beautiful smile full of white teeth, but this can be hard to attain. Even when you brush and floss daily and attend your dental cleanings and checkups, you still might be in need of one of our cosmetic dentistry services.

Accidents happen all the time, and even if you are incredibly careful, you could still be the victim of a dental accident. Luckily for you, here at Johnson Dental, we serve the greater Denver, Colorado area with our cosmetic dentistry services. In fact, we have been named 5280 Magazine’s Top Dentist for 8 years in a row! If you feel that you are in need of a cosmetic dentistry service, then look no further than our Wheat Ridge office.

When Cosmetic Dental Services are Needed

There are many different afflictions that require cosmetic dental services to correct the issue. Most commonly, patients who seek cosmetic dentistry services have chipped, cracked, discolored, or broken teeth that need to be repaired. However, some patients have developed crooked or crowded teeth and require a dental service to correct the issue.

Other times, patients just want to look their best and something as simple as a profession teeth whitening will suffice. Regardless of whether you are in need of cosmetic dentistry services to correct an oral health issue, or if you just want your teeth to be a shade lighter, we can help.

Types of Cosmetic Dental Services

There are many different services we offer here at Johnson Dental to help restore your teeth to their natural beauty. Some of the cosmetic dental services we offer are:


  • Teeth Whitening: One of the most popular forms of cosmetic dentistry is our teeth whitening service. Our professional teeth whitenings are safer than do-it-yourself kits found in grocery stores and are also more effective.
  • Dental Veneers: Dental veneers are a great way to restore the appearance of your top front teeth if they have been cracked or damaged. Additionally, veneers are stain resistant and mimic the appearance of natural teeth so no one will know you have veneers.
  • Dental Crowns: If you have a cracked, broken, or discolored tooth, we can replace it with a dental crown. Not only will dental crowns improve the appearance of your smile, but they will also restore functionality to the affected tooth.


If you are interested in any of the cosmetic dentistry service we offer here at Johnson Dental in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, you can contact us here or call us at 303.422.8748 to schedule an appointment today.

Everything You Need to Know About Toothaches

Everyone knows the pain and discomfort toothaches can cause, but did you know toothaches are often a warning sign of a more serious oral issue? In many cases, tooth pain can simply be a result of a cavity. Though cavities should be addressed promptly, that could be the least of your problems when a toothache arises. There are numerous causes of tooth pain, and many require immediate attention to prevent the problem from worsening.

If you’ve been experiencing dental pain, you should contact Johnson Dental in Wheat Ridge, CO. At our office, we know the importance of addressing toothaches as they arise. The dentists here at Johnson Dental care about their patients, and oral health is their first concern. Take a moment to learn more about tooth pain, what causes it, and how you can prevent it. We’re happy to fill you in!

Potential Causes of Toothaches

There’s a variety of potential causes of tooth pain, and some are much more serious than the next. It’s always important to consult with a dentist when tooth pain presents itself, as some causes could require immediate attention. Take a look at some common causes:

  • Chipped or cracked tooth
  • Tooth decay
  • Infected root of tooth (abscessed tooth)
  • Grinding teeth (bruxism)
  • Infected gums
  • Damaged filling

Common Symptoms to Look For

Though toothaches are often easily noticed, as they are painful and discomforting, many patients ignore the pain, thinking it could be temporary. However, any tooth pain should be concerning. If ignored, the cause of pain can worsen and require more invasive treatments to solve the problem. Below is a list of symptoms you should look for:

  • Constant throbbing pain
  • Tooth pain from applied pressure
  • Swollen and painful gums
  • Foul taste in mouth
  • Headache

As mentioned, every patient should contact Dr. Johnson when experiencing tooth pain, regardless of its severity. Toothaches can sometimes lead to tooth loss, not to mention costly treatments for other severe cases. Of course, there are plenty of ways you can help prevent toothaches from occurring.

How Tooth Pain Can Be Prevented

Most often, toothaches are caused by decay, which means they can usually be prevented. To prevent tooth pain, you should maintain a thorough oral hygiene routine, consisting of brushing twice a day (and even between meals) as well as flossing each day. To further protect your teeth, you can use fluoride toothpaste and, of course, visit Johnson Dental for dental checkups and professional cleanings twice a year. Here, Dr. Johnson can assess your mouth and ensure your teeth are in great health.
If you’ve experienced tooth pain, be sure to contact us today and schedule an appointment!

When is Gum Therapy Needed?

The number one cause of tooth loss in adults is the gum disease known as periodontitis. Usually, periodontitis begins as gingivitis and develops into periodontitis. The differences between these two gum diseases are important and treatment options depend on which gum disease a patient has been affected with.

As your premier dental office in the greater Denver, Colorado area, Johnson Dental can perform gum therapy if you have been afflicted with one of these gum diseases. Let us fill you in on the difference between gingivitis and periodontitis and how we can treat each of them at our Wheat Ridge, Colorado office.

Gingivitis vs. Periodontitis

While gingivitis and periodontitis are similar in the fact they are both gum diseases, the two are incredibly different. Gingivitis is the more common of the two gum diseases and requires less invasive treatment than periodontitis.

Gingivitis is the non-destructive form of gum disease. While gums become inflamed and can bleed easily when brushing or flossing, no permanent structural damage is done to the mouth or jaw. Treating gingivitis is much easier than it’s more destructive counterpart. At Johnson Dental, we can give you a professional teeth cleaning to remove all plaque and tartar build up.

While gingivitis is easy to prevent and treat, if left untreated it can develop into periodontitis. Periodontitis is much more difficult to treat than gingivitis because the disease has had time to become stronger. Periodontitis causes the gums to recede from your teeth, causing them to loosen. You may even lose teeth as a result of periodontitis.

Periodontitis does not develop without symptoms, however. Swollen or red gums can be a sign of either gingivitis or periodontitis but loose teeth is a sign of the latter. Additionally, if you constantly have bad breath or if your teeth don’t fit together like they once did, then you might have the more destructive form of gum disease.

Treating periodontitis is also much more invasive than treating gingivitis. While professional dental cleanings from Johnson Dental will treat gingivitis, much more is necessary to repair the damage done by periodontitis. Bone and tissue grafts may be required if your jaw bone or gums have been damaged to a great extent. Also, surgery may be required to remove the plaque and tartar build up from under the gums.

Preventing Gum Disease

It is a universal truth that preventing a disease is much easier, and less expensive, than treating it is. Luckily, preventing gum disease is easy. Here are some surefire ways to prevent gum disease:

  • Brush and floss daily
  • Get professional dental cleanings every 3-4 months from Johnson Dental
  • Avoid unhealthy lifestyle habits like smoking

If you are concerned that you have gum disease and require gum disease therapy, you can call our Wheat Ridge, Colorado office at 303.422.8748 or contact us here to schedule an appointment.

What are Dental Implants?

Not only can a missing tooth be an eyesore, but it can also affect the functionality of your mouth. Missing teeth can also cause the empty tooth sockets to become breeding grounds for bacteria that can cause adverse health effects. Dental implants can replace missing teeth and allow you to chew properly. If you are missing teeth or if you have a tooth that is excessively damaged, Johnson Dental will help restore your smile back to its former glory.

Advantages of Dental Implants

  • Durable- One of the major benefits of dental implants is their durability. Usually, dental implants can last between 10 and 15 years after they have been installed, however, in some cases dental implants have lasted decades without any problems.
  • Looks and Feels Natural- Additionally, dental implants look like natural teeth once the crown has been placed. The ability to chew is fully restored as well, allowing patients with dental implants to forget they were ever missing a tooth.
  • Prevents Bone Deterioration- Dental implants are made of a titanium alloy that allows the implant to bond to the jaw bone through a process called osseointegration. This helps prevent jaw bone deterioration and promotes bone cell growth.
  • Secure Dentures- In older patients who are missing multiple teeth, dental implants can work to secure dentures to the mouth without irritating the gums. Instead of securing a dental crown to the implant, a ball and socket device is installed that allows the dentures to snap right into place.

The Procedure

The first part of the dental implant procedure is removing any bits of tooth that might remain in the socket. Once the socket is clear of any debris, an incision is made over the crest of your jaw bone and a pilot hole is drilled where the implant will rest. Using a series of drill bits to prevent any damage to bone cells, the pilot hole is widened, the implant is placed and buried underneath the gums so the implant can bond to the jaw bone.

Once the osseointegration process is complete, usually between 3 and 6 months after the initial surgery, the implant will be uncovered and an abutment is placed on top of the implant. A dental crown is then placed on top of the abutment and the missing tooth is restored.

Dental implants can also be installed in seniors who are in need of dentures to provide a more secure fit. Using a ball and socket method, the dentures snap onto the dental implants with ease. Dental implant secured dentures rest above the gums so they are less irritated than with traditional dentures.

If you are missing a tooth and are in need of a dental implant or any of the other services we offer at Johnson Dental in Wheat Ridge, CO you can contact us here or call us at 303.422.8748 to schedule an appointment.