Thursday, January 31, 2013

ED and Gum Disease

Erectile Dysfunction and Gum Disease?
Do you have gum disease?
 Yes, you read the title right!  Erectile dysfunction and gum disease are linked!  Erectile dysfunction (ED) can involve the brain, hormones, emotions, nerves, muscles, blood vessels, and most importantly, periodontal disease. Dr. Ken Versman, Dr. Doug Heller, and Dr. Eric Beckman always warn their patients about the consequences of gum disease and this warning may send all men running to the bathroom to grab toothbrushes and floss.
According to a new study in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, men with erectile dysfunction  are three times more likely to have gum disease than men who do not have ED.  This statistic includes men worldwide, which means the Denver metro area is not exluded.
Turkish researchers studied 80 men with ED as well as 82 men without ED.  To exclude any other risk factors for gum disease all participants were nonsmokers and in the age range of 30 – 40 years old.  Despite the similarities, 53% of males with ED had chronic periodontitis while only 23% of those without the condition had periodontitis.
The researchers concluded, “We think that it will be of benefit to consider periodontal disease as a causative clinical condition of ED in such patients.”
These two conditions seem extremely dissimilar to most; however, Drs.Versman, Heller, and Beckman know there is one main similarity between gum disease and erectile dysfunction. Inflammation is the magic word!  Gum disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the gum tissue, ligaments, and bone around the teeth. As gum disease progresses bacteria are released in the mouth which is then carried through the blood vessels to the surrounding body.  These bacteria can damage blood vessels and impair blood flow to the penis which causes ED. 
Poor dental hygiene can be a cause for erectile dysfunction.  The numbers speak for this connection as over half over Americans have gum disease and 150 million men worldwide endure from ED.  There is good news as Periodontal Associates in Aurora has two lovely hygienists who specialize in treating patients with gum disease offering more thorough cleanings.  Periodontal Associates’ hygienists are an instrumental part in early detection of oral problems and the prevention of erectile dysfunction.
Dr. Faith Oguz from Inonu University in Malatya, Turkey stated, “Many studies have reported that [chronic periodontitis] may induce systemic vascular diseases, which have been linked with erection problems.”
Research studies have shown that there is a strong association between periodontal disease and other chronic conditions besides ED such as diabetes, heart disease, pregnancy complications and respiratory disease.
Faithful brushing and flossing can keep inflammation causing bacteria minimized, and regular visits to Periodontal Associates in Aurora allows Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman to detect and treat periodontitis. Dr. KenVersman, Dr. Doug Heller, and Dr. Eric Beckman are specialists and are best suited to treat those suffering from periodontal disease.  Unfortunately, according to recent research in the AAP’s journal Periodontology, most men are not taking advantage of dental services and women are twice as likely as men to get regular dental check-ups. We ask our Aurora patients to share this news with your friends and family to help encourage men to take dental health more seriously.
Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman do not want to scare or worry our male patients; however, Periodontal Associates wants to be sure to emphasize the importance of good oral hygiene to prevent and treat gum disease as well as other systemic diseases. Our Aurora, CO office offers professional services with primary focus on gum disease. For more information, please visit our website at Also, feel free to give us a call at (303) 755-4500 or click here to make an appointment. Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman serve all the surrounding Denver, Colorado areas with patients even traveling from out of state to see our specialists. We look forward to visiting with you and coordinating an individual treatment plan to fit your needs and health concerns.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Bad Breath

How to Prevent Bad Breath
Bad breath can be unpleasant and sometimes embarrassing.  The morning, onions, garlic, smoke, and gum disease are all variables that can cause bad breath either momentarily or habitually.  Drs. Versman, Heller & Beckman specialize in treating gum disease which is a huge contributing factor to bad breath, also known as halitosis; however, Periodontal Associates wants to share with you some more common and daily rituals that can help defend against sour oral odors.

An easy edible routine to defend against halitosis can be as simple as eating yogurt daily.  Why yogurt you may ask?  Yogurt contains live active cultures and they defend against foul odor causing compounds like hydrogen sulfide. Hydrogen sulfide, which smells like rotten eggs, is a product released by gum disease causing bacteria.  Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman suggest eating six ounces of yogurt a day to help fight this problem.  

Green tea is also proven to fight against bad breath.  Periodontal Associates offers a beverage bar in our Aurora office containing green tea as one of the options, and there is no mistake in that. This popular Chinese tea contains antioxidants that also help reduce the amount of bacteria. Not only does this super food help with olfactory offenses, but it can also help reduce the risk of tooth decay and some oral cancers.  

To continue with the theme of eating away bad breath, vegetables contain physical properties that help exfoliate teeth.  Dr. Ken Versman, Dr. Doug Heller, and Dr. Eric Beckman want to remind you that a toothbrush is more effective than scrubbing with veggies, but vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, carrots, and celery naturally remove debris and plaque that can lead to bacteria growth and smelly breath.   

Hydration is a big key in maintaining overall health, but swishing water can dilute the sugar, starch, and acid in the mouth.  This dilution helps reduce plaque, and again, Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman love to greet you with cold bottles of water from our beverage station.  

The next important step is flossing.  Periodontal Associates has trained hygienists who specialize in treating gum disease, and one of the most important questions they ask patients is if they are flossing regularly.  Flossing is a frequently forgotten routine, but it is critical to remember as flossing removes bacteria that cause decay.  When bacteria are left to linger in the mouth’s crevices, the gums are more likely to experience periodontal disease and thus, bad breath.  There is no excuse to skip flossing, and if you are in need, stop by our Aurora, CO office to pick some up.  

In between teeth is not the only place that needs a little TLC as the tongue is a central part of maintaining pleasant breath and a clean mouth.  The tongue contains bacteria that can contaminate teeth after brushing and flossing.  Tongues have over 500 different types of bacteria, and bad breath occurs when all of those bad bacteria, food particles, and other things sit on the back of the tongue.

All of the prior suggestions are great ways to help prevent and maintain a healthy mouth.  However, more than 75% of Americans suffer from gum disease, and there is only one way to care for periodontal disease and its consequence of bad breath.  Periodontists like Dr. Versman, Dr. Heller, and Dr. Beckman specialize in treating this silent disease. Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums and bone surrounding your teeth.  Some common signs are persistent bad breath caused by bacteria in the mouth, pus around the teeth and gums (sign that there is an infection present), red and puffy gums, and tenderness or discomfort caused by plaque, calculus, and bacteria irritating the gums and teeth. 

Do any of these signs of gum disease sound familiar? Please do not hesitate to contact Periodontal Associates in Aurora, CO today! We welcome patients from all surrounding Denver metro areas and even some from outside of Colorado.  Our doctors, Dr.Versman, Dr. Heller, and Dr. Beckman, are specially trained and skilled to fight periodontal disease as well as provide dental implants. Please call us at (303) 755-4500 or click here for an appointment.  For more information about Periodontal Associates, please visit our website at  We look forward to helping you with your questions, treating your gum disease, providing your dental implants, or simply curing your bad breath! 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Faux Braces

Are Braces the Next Big Fashion Trend?

Currently in Aurora, CO, teenagers and fashionistas are gawking over skinny jeans, beanies, tall boots, and gold watches.  However, in places like Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia, an unbelievable new fashion trend has emerged that is leaving Drs. Versman, Heller & Beckman and Periodontal Associates' staff worried. 
Asian teens are now buying fake braces as a status symbol sending every teen into a temper tantrum if they do not have them as well.  This is a shock to us here at Periodontal Associates as braces carry a bad stigma in the United States preventing awkward teenagers from opening their mouths in fear that a fellow classmate may see.
These fashion braces are making a killer profit as each set is $100.  Why are they spending the money on such accessories you may ask? Braces are a symbol of wealth as only those with money can afford such dental care on themselves or their children.  $100 may seem like a lot to spend on braces merely used for show, but they give the illusion to strangers that they belong to a higher social class.

Not only are braces considered cool, but these dental manipulators now come in cute and original designs.  Some of the more popular themes include Mickey Mouse or Hello Kitty.

These mock braces are not all fun and games, however.  Most braces are prepped and placed on teeth by an orthodontist, but these fashionable braces are applied by the kids wearing them. Fashionable braces can come loose, crack teeth, irritate the gums and cause mouth sores. Such consequences can lead the teenagers to spend more time and money on fixing their dental blunders.  Many teens had to find periodontists, like Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman, to fix their gums and/or replace broken teeth with dental implants. The faux head gear is also sometimes assembled from unsafe metals like lead as there is no regulation on this product, but even more severe are those fashionable braces can cause death.  Deaths of two teenagers have already been reported.  

The dental field should be left to professionals like our doctors, Ken Versman, Doug Heller & Eric Beckman, and to prevent further damage from the misuse of dental practices, the Thai government has banned the fake braces.  The production, sale, or import of these products can result in fines around $1,300 or even jail time of six months.

As ridiculous or humorous the idea of faux braces may be here in Denver, CO, it is important to not take medical or dental practices lightly.  Dental services, such as orthodontics, dental implants, teeth whitening, or treating gum disease, are something to be left to professionals who are able to skillfully and safely help a patient with their dental needs. 
Periodontal Associates is proud to say we are those professionals.  With our specialist doctors, Dr. Ken Versman, Dr. Doug Heller, and Dr. Eric Beckman, as well as our certified hygienists, Periodontal Associates is happy to provide the best dental services to our patients here in Aurora, CO.  Although we do not supply orthodontic care, we have close relationships with many orthodontists in the surrounding Denver area to refer you to.  Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman do help our patients with other dental needs such as: dental implants, gum disease, bone grafts, gum grafts, extractions, dentures, sinus lifts, and other needs.  Do you have a question about which doctors to see in Aurora for your orthodontic care or about what services Periodontal Associates provide? Please give us a call today at (303) 755-4500 or visit our website at  To schedule an appointment, you can call our Aurora office, or you can click here to schedule. We look forward to assisting you and providing you cosmetic dentistry to give you the smile you have always deserved.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Tooth Loss Causes

What Causes Tooth Loss?

Losing teeth is a common phenomenon.  Tooth loss can be natural and necessary, especially if you are among the ages of 6 to 12. However, many teenagers and adults reluctantly experience tooth loss due many different causes.  Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman want to take some time to discuss these reasons, and whatever your reason for missing one or multiple teeth, Periodontal Associates in Aurora, CO can find a dental implant solution that is right for you!

CONGENITAL ABSENCE Missing teeth does not always mean teeth have been removed; instead, some people are born without a particular tooth.  A nonexistent tooth at birth is called congenital absence.  The population frequency of this occurring is over 5 % (missing of wisdom teeth not included).  After wisdom teeth, second premolars and permanent upper second (lateral) incisors are the most commonly missing teeth due to congenital absence, and frequently the missing teeth are the permanent teeth.  This will be seen as the child ages and the baby, or primary, tooth falls out without a successor sprouting behind it.  Without a permanent tooth, the baby tooth can function for longer periods of time, but they primarily fall out due to dental disease or lack of root support.  Without a strong support system underlying the tooth, some function can be lost.  At this point, the baby teeth need to be removed.
Replacing a primary tooth with a dental implant is a specialty performed by our doctors: Dr. Ken Versman, Dr. Doug Heller, and Dr. Eric Beckman.  It is important to come to Periodontal Associates for this procedure as the site of a congenitally absent tooth could have a cyst-like structure in the jawbone called a tooth bud.  Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman specialized periodontists and are able to perform treatments in a soft and gentle manner suitable for kids.
TRAUMA For most people, primary and secondary teeth are developed normally.  However, often unfortunate events result in trauma that may take aware those teeth.  Trauma can cause the loss of teeth in many different ways.  Teeth can be ‘knocked out’ immediately due to injury from falling or sports.  In other cases and most frequently seen at our Periodontal Associates office in Aurora, teeth can go through a traumatic incident but not need extraction or fall out until months or even years later.  For example, a blow to the mouth can hit the tooth in such a manner that the root is fractured while the tooth is still implanted in the gum.  When the root of a tooth is fractured, infection can develop.  The body will then begin to break down the root surface.  Without a proper root, again the tooth will eventually fall out or would need extraction and implants.
Another form of trauma consists from mechanical movements while eating or sleeping.  Without knowing it, many may find themselves clenching or grinding their teeth, especially while sleeping. These habits, also called bruxing, can lead to cracking or fracturing teeth sever enough to result in extraction.  This is mostly caused by underlying stress.  Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman could diagnose this and help find a way to prevent further damage by use of a mouth guard.
DENTAL DISEASE Although Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman see many patients for dental implants after trauma, most patients visit Periodontal Associates due to periodontal (gum) disease.  Gum disease is an infection in the gums and the supporting structure responsible for holding a tooth in place. As gum disease progressed, the space between the gums and teeth increase which can lead to the tooth falling out. If the tooth does not fall out, the surrounding gum line can be so damaged that the tooth must be extracted.  Dental decay can lead to the same consequence.  Decay can lead to significant infection on the bone which affects the root of a tooth. Dr. Versman, Dr. Heller, and Dr. Beckman are specialist in periodontics and can offer treatment and prevention for gum disease while also providing dental implants if needed.
No matter the cause of missing teeth, Periodontal Associates can provide you with the best individualized treatment to build a beautiful and long lasting smile. Our Aurora, CO office offers one of the most experienced, caring and dedicated staff members to assist you with your individual needs.  We work closely with your dentist – a key member of our team – to combine our expertise and experience to formulate the best treatment plan for you.  Dr. KenVersman, Dr. Doug Heller, Dr. Eric Beckman keep themselves abreast of the latest advances in the prevention and treatment of periodontal disease and the placement of dental implants. Most people, regardless of age, are good candidates for dental implants. So do not hesitate, call our Aurora office today for your FREE DENTAL IMPLANT CONSULTATION at (303) 755-4500.  Also, please visit our website at to learn more about Periodontal Associates and what we stand for. If you have any questions you can call us or click here for questions and/or appointment.