Preventive Dentistry in La Mesa

Traditionally, preventive dentistry includes all procedures that help ward off dental decay, gum disease, oral cancer, and other oral health problems. This includes daily brushing and flossing, as well as six-month checkups and dental cleanings.

At a patient examination, Dr. Johnson does an oral cancer screening exam. Oral cancer is a condition that claims over 7500 American lives each year. He also checks for gum disease, which affects about 80% of the population and is the leading reason for tooth loss. A thorough head, neck, and TMJ exam is performed during checkups, and Dr. Johnson inspects each tooth for structural integrity and health.

Additionally, Dr. Johnson offers other preventive treatments, such as athletic mouth guards to prevent oral injury during sports; night guards to protect teeth from damage caused by clenching and grinding teeth; oral appliances to correct TMJ dysfunction; oral appliances for obstructive sleep apnea patients; and fluoride trays to strengthen teeth against decay in patients with dry mouth, xerostomia.

Oral Cancer

Oral cancer kills more people nationwide than either cervical or skin (melanoma) cancer, and only half of patients diagnosed will survive more than five years. One American dies every hour from oral cancer. The most common risk factors are tobacco use, frequent high quantity alcohol consumption, constant sunlight exposure, habitual cheek or lip biting, or poorly fitting dentures. Although most oral cancers are found in people who use tobacco and/or drink alcohol excessively, 25 percent of oral cancers occur in people who have no risk factors at all. Recent medical studies indicate the human papillomavirus disease (HPV) can be linked with oral cancer.

During a regular dental checkup, Dr. Johnson will examine your entire mouth to insure there are no symptoms of oral cancer. Two dental visits per year are recommended however, if you notice any unusual changes in your mouth please call our office to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. For more information about oral cancer, support groups, or treatments, visit

Sleep Apnea & Snoring

Obstructive sleep apnea , a condition in which breathing stops for periods of 10 seconds or longer, can interrupt a restful nights' sleep. It can contribute to exhaustion, focus, irritability and can place stress on the heart.

Non-Surgical Sleep Apnea Therapies

Sleep studies can determine whether you suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Several non-surgical therapies may alleviate the problem. A commonly used device is the nasal mask (CPAP) which delivers air to keep nasal passages open during sleep. Often as effective and more comfortable, patients may now wear dental appliances that reposition the mandible (lower jawbone) forward opening the throat while sleeping. With his many years of extensive training in specialized dentistry, Dr. Johnson has perfected a non-surgical dental appliance that his patients are raving about! The quality of life has greatly improved! In certain cases this customized device can be more effective than surgery for many sleep apnea patients.

To learn more about non-surgical appliances for sleep apnea, click here.

TMJ Disorder

Stress or an improper bite can cause the jaw joints to dysfunction, creating pain. In fact, the temporomandibular joint is highly sensitive to overall physical, emotional, and psychological stress. The resulting TMJ disorder, or TMD, can create a variety of mild to severe symptoms, from jaw clicking and minor discomfort to sharp pain in the areas of the temple, ear, neck, and shoulders.

Dr. Johnson evaluates patients for TMJ dysfunction at their regular dental exam. If a problem is detected, the goals are to arrest it, protect teeth from further damage, and to correct the underlying bite misalignment. Therapy may involve fitting the patient with a physiologic bite appliance, suggesting ways to alleviate stress, and recommending symptomatic relief.

Our La Mesa, CA dental office, conveniently located near the Sharp-Grossmont Medical Center, has been proud to serve the Greater San Diego community over the past twenty years. The office is located in the Grossmont Medical Center on the ground level floor of building #1. Free patient parking is adjacent to the office, as well as, easy freeway access.

Call our La Mesa dental practice today for your consultation with Dr. Peter F. Johnson.