Monday, February 18, 2013

Political Teeth

Mouth Full of Wood?

Happy President's Day!  President's Day is often a day for people to sleep in late, hang with friends, and enjoy one less day of work.  However, the origin and history of President's day is often forgotten, and Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman want to share with you the true meaning on this holiday as well as some fun dental facts about our beloved presidents.  

The beginning of President's Day started with George Washington's birthday becoming a federal holiday in 1879.  His birthday was celebrated on the actual day of February 22nd; however, on January 1, 1971, the federal holiday changed to the third Monday in February.  This date places it between February 15 and 21 so it never falls on Washington's actual birthday.  The change worked out well though as it was then renamed as "Presidents' Day" to honor the birthdays of both Washington and Lincoln. Lincoln's birthday is on February 12th so President's Day is a good middle ground to celebrate the birth of two of the most influential presidents in history.

Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman love to look back on history but specifically on dental history.  Not only is George Washington the reason for this extra day off work, but Washington has some interesting dental facts and misconceptions.

Washington's teeth has seemed to be a well discussed and misleading topic.  Many people are aware that Washington wore dentures.  In fact, during Washington's inauguration he only had 1 single real tooth.  George Washington could really have used Dr. Versman, Dr. Heller, and Dr. Beckman's help by providing some dental implants, but back then he did not have many options nor knowledge on proper oral hygiene.

It was also believed that Washington's dentures were made out of wood until researchers in Baltimore performed laser scans on a set of the dentures at the National Museum of Dentistry.  What were they made out of then?  The scan revealed gold, ivory, lead, human, and animal teeth as ingredients for these famous chomps.  The dentures also had springs and bolts to assist Washington with opening and closing.  During the times of Washington's life, these dentures were very high tech; however, dental implants have evolved greatly over time and Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman provide the highest quality and lifelong lasting dental implants to their Aurora patients (without wood, lead, or animal teeth).

Washington resorted to the use of dentures for multiple reasons.  At Periodontal Associates, our patients come to Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman for dental implants as the result of physical harm, gum disease, grinding, bone loss, or other factors.  In George Washington's case, he was an avid horseman which involved some physical accidents, and oral hygiene practices were not what they are today causing him to severe gum disease.

Many people, including other presidents, suffered the consequences from improper oral care.  For example, Ulysses S. Grant smoked 20 cigars a day!  Little did he know that this habit would ultimately cause his death due to oral and throat cancer.  Smoking is a habit that Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman strongly suggest their Aurora patients to stray from as  it results in not only cancers but severe gum disease. At Periodontal Associates we know that research has indicated that smoking and tobacco use is one of the most significant factors in the development and progression of gum disease. In addition to smokers experiencing a slower recovery and healing rate, smokers are far more likely to suffer from calculus (tartar) build up on teeth, deep pockets in the gingival tissue and significant bone loss.  If only Ulysses S. Grant was able to come to our office in Aurora, CO, think of the way we could help him! 

But on a lighter note, did you know that Ulysses S. Grant loved to play ding-dong ditch?  He would ring the doorbell at the White House and then run and hide.  I guess no matter our position or age, we are all still kids at heart.

Periodontal Associates honors George Washington and former presidents for their good influences on our country, and it is nostalgic for Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman to look back on not only America's history but the also the history of dental health and technology.  Luckily, Periodontal Associates contains specialists in providers of dental implants and treating gum disease without the uses of wood or ivory.  To learn more about the latest in dental implants and how to prevent periodontitis, please contact us at (303) 755-4500 or visit our website at We highly encourage you to call or click here to make an appointment to see Drs. Versman, Heller, or Beckman at our office in Aurora, CO, serving the Denver metro area.   We look forward to helping you have a smile worthy to be placed on the dollar bill!

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