A Healthy Mouth Leads to a Happy Heart!

Do you know anyone that suffers from heart disease? Have you ever lost a dear friend or family member to this killer?

This month we are creating awareness about heart disease. It is very near and dear to our hearts. Why you might ask?! Well, it has been scientifically proven that there is a direct link between oral health and the heart. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, more than 200 million Americans suffer from some degree of inflammation of the gums. Over the past decade, researchers have published studies that link the bacteria involved in periodontal disease to cardiovascular disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have connected oral infections to heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and low birth weight babies.

How can my mouth affect my heart?

Our mouths are filled with bacteria, and this bacteria forms plaque. If the plaque and bacteria are not removed through brushing, flossing, and regular hygiene appointments at the dentist, it hardens into tartar on the surface of the teeth and even under the gum tissue. If gum inflammation is not treated early, it can advance to an even more severe infection.

Bacteria are released in the bloodstream through chewing and brushing and flossing your teeth. The same species of bacteria that causes gum disease has been discovered in the plaque in arteries in the heart.

Studies have shown that the same bacteria that cause gum disease are also responsible for causing plaque build-up in the carotid arteries, which increases the chance of a heart attack or stroke. Ongoing research is being conducted to get a better understanding of the link between oral health and heart disease better.

By preventing oral diseases, you’re also minimizing the risk of having a heart attack.

What can I do to limit my risk of gum disease and cardiovascular problems?

  • Brush and floss your teeth at least twice per day
  • Visit your dentist for the prescribed hygiene appointments
  • Be sure to have regular exams with your doctor

Call us today to find out if you are at risk for gum disease and heart disease!

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Oral Disease and Health Connection

Poor gum health is increasingly being linked to many health conditions including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, respiratory diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, low birth-weight babies, etc.

As early as 1921 we suspected the link between oral infections and other systemic diseases. Dr. Albert C. Fones, known as the father of dental hygiene, found numerous school children suffered from oral infections that kept them from attending school. He also noted the relationship between infectious diseases to oral infections.

Frequent oral health exams and maintenance cleanings with your hygienist can diagnose, prevent, and treat oral conditions, decreasing the chances of major infections that can negatively affect your life.

Every individual’s body handles bacteria differently. Many factors such as age, stress, smoking, lowered immunity, poor oral hygiene, and genetics can require more frequent dental care to maintain overall health.

Call us today to schedule an appointment with Dana, our dental hygienist, to find the ideal oral maintenance schedule to keep your body healthy!

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Dentures and Your Dental Exam

I received a great question from a patient.  She wondered how often she should go to the dentist because she has dentures.  She was under the impression that because she had dentures, she didn’t need to come in for regular exams.  It is extremely important, however, that denture patients continue to see their dentist for the following reasons:

  • Oral cancer screenings
  • Making sure your dentures fit correctly
  • Check bone levels with panoramic x-ray
  • Clean and repair your denture
  • Provides an opportunity for you to discuss any concerns with your dentist

Dentures do not have to be unattractive or uncomfortable.  From traditional dentures to those anchored by implants, we can help you determine the best course of treatment, how you would like them to look and how quickly you can have a comfortable, attractive smile.

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Dr. Johnson recommends twice yearly visits for denture wearers in order to give you the care you deserve.  As always, we are accepting new patients and would be honored to be of service to you and your family.  Please call anytime with questions or to schedule an appointment.  303-422-8748 Or follow this link to contact us via our website. 

You can find more information about senior dental health on our blog.

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Welcome Dana, RDH to Johnson Dental

Please join us in welcoming Dana Smith to Johnson Dental! 

Dana is a Registered Dental Hygienist and has been a hygienist for 13 years.  She lives in Arvada with her husband, Kyle, who is a Denver Police Officer.  They enjoy outdoor activities together.

She is passionate about dentistry, taking amazing care of patients and preventative health care.  She realizes many patients have sensitive teeth and takes precautions to make sure that your visit is a comfortable one.  She is available to answer your questions and help you make great decisions about your health.

On her first day, I took her skills for a test drive and had my teeth cleaned.  She is thorough, yet gentle.  She is easy to talk to and puts the patient at ease.  We have received rave reviews so far.  We can’t wait for you to meet her!

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Please join us in welcoming Dana to our office!  We feel fortunate to have found such a talented and well-rounded member for our team.  Call to set up your appointment.  We offer a dental warranty for those patients who have restorative work like crowns and fillings as long as you maintain your recommended hygiene appointments. 303-422-8748

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Update From Johnson Dental

Dr. Johnson was recently in the UK teaching dentists about occlusion (how your teeth come together) and TMJ (the jaw).  The weekend, hands-on course went well and Dr. Johnson said the dentists in the UK were eager to learn the material.  Of course, there was a little time for sightseeing, as well.

Dr. Ted Johnson in Scotland Dr. Johnson’s wife, Debbie and his daughter, Katy, traveled with him.

Ted Johnson in Scotland

Debbie and Katy at Stonehenge.

Dr. Ted Johnson at Stonehenge

Congratulations to Dr. Johnson for being invited to the UK year after year to share his expertise with our British friends.  He is internationally recognized as an expert in TMJ and occlusion.  You are in great hands when you visit our office.  To schedule an appointment, please call 303-422-8748.

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Senior Dental Care

Colgate has this article about senior dental care:


Our senior patients are treated like VIPs!  Our goal is to enrich their lives by keeping them pain free and able to eat nutritious foods for many, many years to come.  We also do smile makeovers for seniors who decide they don’t like the look of their teeth.

If you are a senior or know one who deserves a beautiful, comfortable smile, give us a call for more information!  303-422-8748

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Inflammation and the SAD Diet

Inflammation and the SAD (Standard American Diet)

What is Inflammation?

Inflammation is characterized by redness and swelling.  Normally, inflammation occurs as a natural response from the immune system as a reaction to trauma or infection.  This is acute inflammation.  However, chronic inflammation occurs in humans for a variety of reasons:

  • Diet
  • Stress
  • Lack of Exercise
  • Genetics
  • Exposure to toxins (such as second hand smoke or medications)

 What are the Consequences of Chronic Inflammation?

  • Fluid Retention
  • Weight Gain
  • Heart Conditions
  • Many Types of Cancer
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Lupus
  • Parkinson’s

 What Within the SAD (Standard American Diet) Causes Inflammation?

  • Harmful Oils, Sugars and Artificial Sweeteners
  • Trans Fats (Margarine, Shortening, Lard)
  • Animal Protein (not fish)-Use as a flavoring instead of a “Main feature” of your meal (Ref: Forks over Knives)
  • Fried Foods-These items speak for themselves
  • White Sugar or Processed Sugar-Use fruit as your go to for sweet cravings instead
  • Synthetic Sweeteners-Can cause serious health conditions up to and including brain cancer in rats (Harvard Medical School)
  • Food Additives and Chemicals-Including MSG, benzoates and sulfites
  • Dairy Products-Can contain antibiotics and growth hormones
  • Wheat-Can be highly processed and genetically modified
  • Gluten—Many are developing or experiencing sensitivities
  • Alcohol-High in sugar and a burden to the liver
  • Processed, Packaged or Prepared foods-often contain high amounts of chemicals or sodium
  • Sodium—Especially table salt. 

 What Can I Eat to Combat Inflammation?

  • Foods Containing Omega 3s-Hemp or flax seeds, walnuts, fish (mackerel, trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna, salmon, scallops) tofu.
  • An abundance of fruit and vegetables of all colors
  • Get your carbohydrates from fruits, vegetables, legumes and beans
  • Eat as much fresh food as possible
  • Get plenty of fiber from your fruits and vegetables, especially berries!
  • Regularly eat ginger, cinnamon and turmeric
  • Drink plenty of water

Dental Nutrition

 How Else Can I Avoid Inflammation?

  • Exercise-at least 30 minutes of moderate cardio five to six times a week
  • Yoga
  • Drink enough water
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Avoid toxins-Like second hand smoke
  • Get enough vitamin D (take a 15 minute sun bath each day!)

 My Dentist Said My Gums Are Inflamed

  • Inflammation in your gums signifies infection
  • You may require more frequent dental cleanings such as 3-4 months
  • Gum disease has been linked to heart disease, Alzheimer’s, stroke, low birth weight babies and can exacerbate existing conditions such as diabetes

Sources: Harvard Medical School HEALTHbeat, Dr. Weil’s Anti-Inflammatory Diet, The Mayo Clinic, Forks Over Knives

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Five MORE Reasons to Have Your Teeth Cleaned (Every 3-4 Months)

If you did not see our last blog, you can find it here: 5 Reasons

As promised, I have 5 more reasons to have your teeth cleaned every 3-4 months….

6. Early Detection of Cracks and Decay Saves you Time and Money.

No one likes the dreaded call saying something was found on their X-Rays, but early detection can save you thousands of dollars and hours of your valuable time.

7. Clean Teeth are Attractive and Give You Confidence.

Wheat Ridge Dentist Smiles


Dirty teeth collect debris and debris collects stares.  Have you ever been mortified to find a chunk of spinach between your two front teeth after a long conversation with your boss or a prospective date?  While regular cleanings can’t prevent all broccoli particles from settling in for a day long ride, having tartar-free teeth definitely helps!


8. Gum Disease Contributes to Cardiovascular Disease Such as Heart Attacks and Strokes.

For years now, doctors have linked gum disease to cardiovascualr illness.  It is believed that infections in the gums cause inflammation that complicates existing conditions.  While the cause and effect realtionship is still being researched, a realtionship exists.  For more information, follow this link: http://www.perio.org/consumer/heart_disease

9. A Link Between Gum Disease and Osteoporosis Exists

Research shows a relationship between periodontal disease and osteoporosis.  Osteoporosis is a risk factor for bone loss in the jaw, which leads to tooth loss.  Though other risk factors can contribute, research is pointing to a systemic relationship. 

10. Alzheimers

Tooth loss before age 35 has been linked to Alzheimers.  Although the relationship is clear, the  reason is not yet completely understood.  Gum disease is the second most common illness in North America and is the leading cause of tooth loss.

We are located in the Denver Metro Area and we are currently accepting new, health conscious patients looking for individualized care designed especially for your unique needs.

Ready to scehdule?  Call 303-422-8748 or contact us here.

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Five Good Reasons To Have Your Teeth Cleaned (Every 3-4 Months)

 I am mortified when I hear people say things like, “I have not been to the dentist in a year.”  If you only knew what was happening in your mouth, you absolutely would never miss another dental cleaning.  So, put on your seat belts, I’m going to throw down some truths.  Pay special attention to number five.  It’s all about biofilm and super gross! 

I also hear numerous rumbling about this “every six months” myth.  I have worked in a dental office for nearly ten years and I am going to tell you my observation.  Every six months is fine for about 5%-10% of adults.  For the other 90%, they are suffering from chronic infection.

Just because you may fall into the 90% category does not make you a bad person.  In my opinion, this is normal for adults because that is where most of us fall.  I’m an every two months girl myself and I proudly have amazing oral hygiene habits, but I just can’t do it alone.

You should also know that we are not here to judge.  We are here for the sole purpose of supporting your health and partnering with you.  We ENJOY helping you to achieve your health goals and are available to talk about anything that you need or even just what you might WANT for your smile.

Ok, here we go.

1. We offer an oral cancer exam.

Oral cancerOral cancer is a terrible disease.  It can cause the need for drastic surgeries up to and including partial removal of the jaw.  Like any form of cancer, your survival rate goes way up with early detection.  The risk factors of oral cancer are: tobacco and alcohol use.  People who use both alcohol and tobacco are six times more likely than people who use one or the other, but not both.



2. We detect and sterilize infection.

If your gums bleed when you floss or brush, you have an infection.  No matter what you have heard, blood in your mouth is not in any way normal.  I have heard this statement a thousand times:

“I brush twice a day and I don’t floss, but I have never had a cavity.  My dentist says I’m doing great.  When I have my teeth cleaned, the hygienist digs in there and causes my gums to bleed.”

Where do I start?  First, we never set out to cause pain.  If you have pain during a hygiene visit, you should let us know so we can make you comfortable.  Being comfortable will make you more likely to follow through with your recommended treatment.  Secondly, normal mouths do not bleed.  Even if it had been happening your whole life, that does not mean it is normal.  If your arm started bleeding, would you think that was normal?  Thirdly, it’s not just about cavities.  With fluoride treatments and today’s technology in toothbrushes, cavities are not as common as they once were.  Gum disease is a definite path to tooth loss.  Infection causes loss in bone.  Bone is the anchor that holds the tooth in place.  As the bone deteriorates from infection, the tooth has nothing to hold onto and becomes mobile and falls out.

3. Avoid Bad Breath

Have you ever been out to dinner and your waiter has smelly breath?  Yuck.  It’s not onion breath that I’m talking about.  It’s the smell of infection. The bummer about it is that most people do not notice the smell in themselves.  Get fresh!

4. Keep Them White and Pretty

Your smile is your calling card.  It sounds totally cliche, but people judge you immediately and one of the first things they see is your smile–or lack of smile, in some cases.  What does your smile say about you?  Regular hygiene appointments can remove plaque, which can become stained, so that your teeth look shiny and healthy.  Not white enough?  We offer affordable whitening, if that is something you’re interested in.

5. Remove Biofilm and Calculus

What is biofilm, you ask?  Oh, do allow me to share: It is the colonizing bacteria that forms in your mouth and sticks to the tooth’s surface.  It is the same bacteria found in feces.  The tooth is the only part of the human body that does not have a shedding mechanism.  This allows numerous organisms to adhere to the tooth’s surface for long periods of time.  It is soft at first, but then after 1-10 days, it hardens and becomes calculus.  Then it is necessary to remove it with the proper dental tools.  Sometimes you can feel it with your tongue.  Anytime your tooth’s surface is not smooth, calculus is a likely culprit.

Five more reasons in the next blog…

In the meantime, if you’re grossed out and want to get rid of that biofilm, give us a call 303-422-8748.

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Women and Their Dental Needs

Questions I Have Been Asked by Women in Our Practice:

Q. I brush and floss every day, why are my gums suddenly bleeding?

A. Well, it could be a number of things and a full exam can help determine the cause.  Some possibilites are that your body is experiencing hormonal changes, either in line with your monthly cycle or because of pregnancy or menopause. Women have hormonal changes that can cause bleeding and gum disease.  If the bleeding persists, it can be a sign that your bite may be off or something more serious may be happening. 

Dentistry and Women

Q. I never had gum disease, then I got pregnant and now I feel like my gums are puffy and sore.

A. Pregnancy can cause what’s called, “pregnancy gingivitis.”  This is a condition caused when the hormone balance in your body suddenly changes and levels of progesterone increase.  It can make it easier for certain types of bacteria to grow and can make your gums more sensitive.  Symptoms can range from gums that hurt, burn or bleed a little to severe swelling and infection.  Morning sickness can also contribute to dental problems during pregnancy because of the acid coming in contact with the teeth.  Maintaining your oral health is so important during pregnancy  because you are brushing for two! 

pregnancy and dentistry

Q. I have heard that gum disease can cause problems with my baby.  Is that true?

A. Yes, it is true that gum disease can cause premature and low-birth weight babies.  Women with chronic gum disease were four to seven times more likely to deliver prematurely (before week 37 weeks) and underweight babies than mothers with healthy gums.  Mothers with the most severe gum disease delivered earliest at 32 weeks.

Q. My gums are burning and bleeding.  I’m in my 50s and I have never had this problem before.  What’s wrong with me?

A. Chances are that you could be experiencing changes in your oral health due to the hormone fluctuations that happen during perimenopause and menopause.  You could experience bloody gums, burning sensations, dry mouth, recession, changes in taste and infection.  Sometimes it is necessary for you to be seen more frequently by your dEdit/Replaceentist or hygienist.  They can monitor the changes in your mouth from one exam to the next.  Because of your body chemistry changes, your dentist or hygienist may recommend more frequent cleanings to keep your teeth healthy and to prevent gum disease.

menopause and dentistry

Q. I saw a warning on TV about my osteoporosis medication causing bone loss in my jaw.  Can that really happen?

A. The overwhelming majority of cases of osteonecrosis (loss of bone) are from osteoporosis medication (bisphosphonates) that were administered intraveniously.  However, cases occur when the medication is taken orally, as well.  This bone loss can cause complications for implant placement, as well as the healing of dental surgeries.  Please tell your dentist if you are currently taking bisphosphonates so that you and your dentist can make the best decisions regarding your oral health.

These questions illustrate just a few of the complications that women experience in dentistry.  Dr. Johnson is available if you have one of these concerns, as well as any not listed here.  We offer oral exams and measurements to help you keep track of your dental health and how it changes over the years.  We also understand that you might enjoy a little extra care because we have heard through the grapevine that the dentist is not everybody’s favorite place.  To increase your enjoyment of your time here, we offer paraffin wax for your hands, scented towels, warm pillows and iPods with soothing music to make your visit feel more like a trip to the spa.  We hope we can move up at least a few notches on your list of favorite places.

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Johnson Dental Denver, Contact
Ted C. Johnson D.M.D.
Katie Johnson D.D.S.
4855 Ward Road, Suite 700
Wheat Ridge, CO 80033