Johansen Dental Blog

Posts for tag: periodontal disease

July 25, 2018
Category: Oral Health

Gum DiseaseAt Johansen Dental, located in Chandler, AZ, Dr. Grant Johansen gives his patients the necessary information to help them maintain a healthy oral regimen, and prevent problems like gum (periodontal) disease from occuring.

More on Gum Disease

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is when a bacteria attack your gums and causes inflammation. It's a painful ordeal, so maintaining good oral hygiene is vital. If you don't, you may experience a variety of issues including:

  • Gum recession
  • Bone loss around your teeth
  • Tooth loss of teeth
  • Gingivitis
  • Periodontitis

Causes of Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is related to poor oral hygiene. When a person neglects to take care of their teeth, the rest of their mouth suffers.

Here are a few things that may lead to gum disease:

  • Not brushing your teeth twice a day
  • Skipping bi-annual doctor's appointments
  • Not Flossing at least once before bed
  • Skipping deep dental cleanings
  • Eating foods containing sugars that lead to plaque accumulation
  • Chewing tobacco and smoking

Periodontal Disease Symptoms

You may not know you have gum disease at an early stage if you're not visiting your dentist regularly, here are a few symptoms:

  • Receding gums
  • Redness or swelling of the gums
  • Periodontal abscess
  • Bleeding gums
  • Sensitivity
  • Bad breath

Periodontal Treatment

There are a few treatment options your doctor may provide you with, here are some:

  • Applying antimicrobial products to assist in the healing process of periodontal disease.
  • Periodontal surgery may be required depending on the severity of your gum disease
  • Manually removing plaque by scaling, root planning or debridement.

Your gums are just as important as any part of your dental/oral health. Improper care may lead to severe issues. If you have questions or concerns about gum disease or gum disease therapy, call Dr. Grant Johansen in Chandler, AZ.


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.”

May 31, 2017
Category: Oral Health

If you are concerned about gum disease, know what you should look out for!gum disease

While most people worry about keeping their teeth healthy, everyone should also spend some time ensuring that they give their gums the proper attention and care they need to prevent gum disease. Millions of Americans have gum disease, and it’s one of the leading causes of tooth loss. Dr. Kent Johansen and Dr. Grant Johansen are here to offer up the telltale signs and symptoms that you may have gingivitis or periodontal disease.

What is gingivitis?

Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease. If you have gingivitis, then you’ll be relieved to know that it can be reversed with the proper care. If you have gingivitis you may notice that your gums are red, puffy and more likely to bleed when brushing and flossing. At this stage, it’s unlikely that your gums are causing you any discomfort. Of course, these symptoms should not be ignored, so it’s important that you call us if you are noticing red, inflamed or bleeding gums.

Who is at risk for developing gingivitis?

While anyone can develop gum disease, those who don’t maintain good oral hygiene, those who have diabetes, are smokers, individuals that take certain medications, pregnant women, may be prone to gingivitis. Coming in every six months for routine care is a great way for our dentists to detect gum disease and treat it right away before there are complications.

What are the symptoms of gum disease?

If gingivitis isn’t caught early on, it will turn into periodontitis. When this happens, this condition cannot be reversed. At this point, you may notice that gums are more tender and sore. They may also recede, causing your teeth to appear longer. As they recede, infected pockets begin to form between the gums and the teeth. If this condition is left untreated, the pockets will get larger and bone and tooth loss may occur. If you notice irritated, sore or painful gums, this is a serious sign that you need to seek immediate dental care as soon as possible.

Are you experiencing any of the symptoms above? At the first signs of trouble, it’s important that you call Johansen Dental in Chandler, AZ, to schedule an appointment. The sooner gum disease is detected, the easier treatment will be.


Although your smile wouldn't be the same without them, there's more to your gums than their looks. Besides helping to hold your teeth in place, they're also an important protective barrier for their roots.

Unfortunately, gums aren't immune to disease, especially periodontal (gum) disease. This bacterial infection, triggered by built-up dental plaque on teeth due to insufficient oral hygiene, can cause the gum tissues to detach from teeth and shrink back (recede). This can make your teeth more sensitive to hot or cold foods and beverages, as well as put them at even greater risk for tooth decay.

To treat gum recession, our first priority is to stop any ongoing gum disease through aggressive plaque removal. Depending on severity, this could require clinical procedures like scaling or root planing to remove plaque and tartar (hardened plaque deposits) at or below the gum line. This is especially crucial for improving gum tissue healing and stimulating potential reattachment.

Revitalizing gum tissues this way naturally has a better chance of occurring if we're able to prevent recession before it reaches the roots. If that does happen and we have sufficient gum tissue attachment remaining, we may need to give the gum tissue a helping hand through gum grafting surgery. There are a number of techniques depending on the circumstances, but they all use either tissue from another location in the patient's mouth or prepared tissue from another human donor. This type of surgery requires great skill and expertise, not to mention an aesthetic sense, to achieve a result that's both functional and attractive.

Other than daily brushing and flossing, the most important thing you can do for gum health is to see us as soon as you notice any signs of gum problems like swelling, bleeding or tooth sensitivity. The sooner we can diagnose and begin treating the problem, the less likely any gum recession will have a long-term impact on your health.

If you would like more information on gum 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 “Gum Recession.”


After treating you for periodontal (gum) disease for some time, we may suggest you see a periodontist, a specialist in gum conditions and diseases. There are a number of reasons for a referral, including the specific type of gum disease you may have developed.

Here are 4 more reasons why seeing a periodontist might be advantageous at this stage in your dental care.

Advanced treatment. All dentists are skilled in basic treatment procedures for gum disease, particularly removing plaque and calculus (hardened plaque deposits) that cause and sustain infections. But if your disease has advanced deeper below the gum line and has resulted in infection-filled void pockets between teeth and gums or in gum recession (the tissues shrinking back from the teeth), you may need more advanced techniques and equipment provided by a periodontist.

Advanced Cleanings. Regular, twice-a-year office cleanings are part of every dental care program. But depending on the severity of your gum disease (and your own hygiene efforts) you may need more frequent and advanced cleanings to keep recurring infections at bay. A periodontist can provide this, as well as help you develop a daily hygiene plan that meets your needs.

Your general health. There are a number of systemic conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular disease or pregnancy that can affect gum health. Many of these issues are tied to tissue inflammation, a major component of chronic gum disease, as well as slower tissue healing. As specialists in the gums and their relationship with the rest of the body, a periodontist can develop a treatment approach that coordinates with these other health issues.

Future restoration preparation. One of our treatment goals with gum disease is to try to prolong the life of natural teeth for as long as possible. In reality, though, some or all of your teeth may have a shortened life expectancy. If a comprehensive dental restoration is in your future, a periodontist can help prepare your gums for the inevitable. They may also be able to repair or restore gum tissues that enhance the appearance of a restoration to create a more attractive smile.

If you would like more information on advanced treatment for periodontal disease, 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 “Referral to a Dental Specialist.”