My Blog

Posts for: February, 2017

By Jeffery J. Johnson & Jodi B. Johnson DDS
February 15, 2017
Category: Oral Health

It takes only a short time neglecting your oral hygiene before you begin to notice some unpleasant things with your gums: swelling, redness or even bleeding. These are all signs of gingivitis, a periodontal (gum) disease that arises from bacterial plaque, a thin biofilm that builds up on tooth surfaces when a person doesn't brush or floss.

Fortunately, early stages of gingivitis can be treated effectively with comprehensive plaque removal during one or more office visits. If, however, it's not dealt with early, it can develop into something much more serious: acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis (ANUG). This form does more than leave you with unattractive teeth and gums and terrible breath — it could eventually cause you to lose your teeth.

ANUG is also known as trench mouth, a common ailment among front line World War I soldiers without access to proper dental care and hygiene. It's most prevalent today among individuals who are under a great deal of stress, not sleeping or eating well and haven't cleaned or properly cared for their teeth for an extended period of time. Tobacco smokers also seem more susceptible than non-smokers to the disease, perhaps because smoke dries the mouth and changes the bacterial environment.

Unlike common gingivitis, ANUG can be quite painful. In effect, the gum tissues begin to die (necrotize), especially the triangular peaks between teeth known as papillae. Besides the other symptoms of gingivitis, the tissues may become yellowish.

ANUG can be treated effectively. The first step is to relieve the symptoms of pain and inflammation through medication. The focus then shifts to treating the underlying cause, bacterial plaque. Besides plaque removal common in any treatment for gum disease, we may also need to initiate antibiotic therapy. Metronidazole is a common antibiotic that's been demonstrated effective against the specific bacterial strain associated with ANUG. We might also combine this with an antibacterial mouth rinse containing chlorhexidine.

The final step belongs to you: to keep ANUG or any other gum disease from reoccurring, it's important for you to adopt a daily regimen of brushing and flossing, along with regular dental visits for thorough teeth cleaning and checkups. Taking this proactive approach will help ensure you won't suffer from this painful and unattractive form of gingivitis again.

If you would like more information on acute gingivitis, 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 “Painful Gums in Teens & Adults.”

By Jeffery J. Johnson & Jodi B. Johnson DDS
February 02, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

When a tooth has been damaged by decay or has been experienced trauma, it sometimes requires a dental crown. A crown is a custom-dental crownsmade covering that fits over an entire tooth until the gum line. Dr. Jeffery Johnson or Dr. Jody Johnson, your St. Louis, MO, dentists, can examine each patient and determine whether CEREC restorations are the answer for their damaged tooth.

What are CEREC Restorations?

With the help of CAD/CAM hi-tech equipment, CEREC restorations can be achieved in just one dental visit. Professional dental restorations can be made in just minutes. There is no need for two or three visits or a temporary crown that stays in place for weeks while a dental laboratory custom-makes your restoration. These restorations are convenient and successful as they are precise because of the use of advanced technology.

The CEREC Process

A dentist will first remove any decay present on the tooth and shape it so that it will fit perfectly with this new crown. The tooth is given a dusting of reflective powder and is then scanned to get digital pictures inside the patient’s mouth. The computer will then generate a 3D model of the teeth in just seconds.

While you wait, your new crown will be created using software that can mirror the image that was taken of your tooth. The ceramic material used also aims to match the shade of your teeth. Once your dentist determines the fit is right, any additional aesthetic changes are made. Lastly, the crown is bonded to the tooth.

What a St. Louis Dentist Can Do For Your Teeth

After a comprehensive dental examination, your dentists in St. Louis, MO, can determine whether or not CEREC same day crowns work for your oral health situation. In order to schedule an appointment today, call (314) 427-7400.