Dads, Be Brave!


Want your kids to be friendly and fear free at the dentist? It is up to you, Dads!  A new study reveals that parent’s attitude towards oral health and dental visits predict how their children will react in the same situations.  It is a good thing Dr. Doug Heller is a periodontist, his two kids will have some bright oral health futures.

The University of Madrid conducted a study comparing the views of children versus their parents when it comes to visiting dental offices like Periodontal Associates. Participants included 183 children between the ages of 7 and 12.  Forty-three experimental studies from across six continents were also included in this review.

The majority of studies confirmed a relationship between parental and child dental fear. This relationship is most evident in children aged 8 and under.  The study then concluded that, yes, there is an association between parental and child dental fear.  This is good to know as many people have anxiety and negative thoughts about dental work, and if we know where it begins, then Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman and others can put a stop to the fear.

América Lara Sacido, one of the authors of the study, said that “along with the presence of emotional transmission of dentist fear amongst family members, we have identified the relevant role that fathers play in transmission of this phobia in comparison to the mother.”

More so than mothers, fathers sway their children in how to react to the dentist.  In fact, the reaction from their dad will often over shadow the mother’s regardless if it is negative or positive.

 “Although the results should be interpreted with due caution, children seem to mainly pay attention to the emotional reactions of the fathers when deciding if situations at the dentist are potentially stressful,” said Lara Sacido.

1c170-dadTo help this cycle, Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman strongly suggest finding a steady, primary dental provider that the entire family can bond with and trust like Periodontal Associates.  Then, both parents should be active in the children’s dental appointments to assure they will be in good hands. Anxiety is a strong consequence of trips to the dentist office; however, as the industry advances routine dental procedures are becoming more and more comfortable.

 “Through the positive emotional contagion route in the family, the right attitude can be achieved in the child so that attending the dentist is not a problem.”

Need a dentist to trust? Call Periodontal Associates today as Dr. Versman, Dr.Heller, and Dr. Beckman are the best doctors in Denver! We provide dental implantsgum grafts, bone grafts, treat gum disease, and even provide regular hygiene cleaning appointments. Our patients travel from all over Denver, CO to see our specialists here in Aurora,CO, and some of our patients have even been with us for over 35 years!  We can be reached by call (303) 755-4500 or by clicking this link.  Visit our website for more information about common dental practices and more about Periodontal Associates.

Whiten Teeth Naturally

Look in the Kitchen for Whiter Teeth

Periodontal Associates strives to give you a life changing smile by helping you understanding how to properly care for your teeth.  However, instead of focusing on what not to do, we want to share some helpful hints that may promote a sparkling smile.  It is no surprise that there are plenty of food and drink products out there that will stain your teeth. Some of those stainers are red wine, coffee, tea, or even soft drinks. However, there may be foods that can help reverse that damage and may brighten your smile. Here are a few foods to choose from:

  1. ‘Say Cheese’: Cheese is a product that contains lactic acid.  Lactic acid is believed to help prevent teeth from building decay.  Hard cheeses, like cheddar or parmesan, are better for this than soft cheeses, like goat and feta.


  1. You have a ‘berry’ nice smile: Strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries galore! You may think, how these could brighten your smile when they stain your clothes and get seeds stuck in your teeth, but these also contain acidic juices to brighten your grin.  The acid in berries is called malic acid.  These are best used when eaten and left in and around the teeth for 5 minutes followed by a regular brushing. If you are patient, you may see the effects after a couple of months.


  1. Chomp on the crunch: Strive for crunchy foods, especially fruits and vegetables with this texture.  Not only do some of these raw foods contain more acids, these foods are slightly abrasive.  The benefits of this are to keep the teeth clean and the enamel strong.  Look for foods like carrots, celery, and pears.


  1.  Bobbing for apples: An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right?  Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman are not suggesting that bi-annual visits are allowed to be postponed, but eating right may prevent or postpone the need for serious dental work. Apples are great as they provide acid and a slightly rough texture, but they also help to increase saliva production.  By doing that, apples can fight off cavity producing bacteria.


  1. Sour foods for a sweet smile:  Lemons often make people frown and pucker, but if you can get through the taste, the acidity with lemon juice mixed with salt or baking soda can help whiten your smile.  The caution with this suggestion is that you do not want to over use it as it can cause some sensitivity.

As great as it sounds to whiten teeth inexpensively, naturally, and quickly, we would suggest discussing your home care with them before you get started.  Periodontal Associates can help create an individual plan to best help your health and aesthetic needs.

We are happy to schedule a free dental implant consultation or appointments for any other dental needs like cleanings.  We are located in Aurora, CO, but our clients come from near and far all over Colorado to see our specialists. Please click to schedule an appointment or call us at (303) 755-4500.

5 Reasons to See your Dental Hygienist

5 Reasons to See your Dental Hygienist


Everyone knows it is important to see your dental hygienist at least twice a year or, for some with more severe periodontal disease, every three months.  However, many people tend to put oral hygiene on the back burner, leaving their hygienists lonely and worried.  There are many reasons maintaining good oral hygiene is important, and Drs.Versman, Heller, and Beckman want to review a handful.


  1. Detect Cancer:   Oral Cancer is a growing concern among Americans, including our Denver patients.  In 2010, about 5.1 billion dollars were spent on cancer research with growing figures each year.  This large budget shows the great concern to cure cancers like oral cancer.  Dr. Versman, Dr. Heller, and Dr. Beckman urge our patients in Aurora to stop in for their cleanings to detect cancer sooner and to treat and cure more easily.  At each dental cleaning our hygienist and doctors examine each patient for not only dental caries, gum disease, and other dental defects, but also for sign/symptoms of cancer.  The opportunity to save our patients’ life with a routine cancer screening is never missed.


  1.  Prevent and/or treat Periodontal Disease:  Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is caused by a build of tartar around the teeth.  As tartar and plaque congregate, teeth, gums, and bone become damaged.  Signs of gum disease are bleeding, swelling, and redness.  Dr. Ken Versman, Dr. Doug Heller, and Dr. Eric Beckman are specialists in treating gum disease, and a big treatment for this disease is consistent and more frequent hygiene cleanings to clear away tartar and allow the gums to reattach to the teeth.  Although regular hygiene maintenance at home is suggested, home care is not sufficient enough to cure gum disease.  Periodontal disease is the #1 reason for tooth loss and the need for dental implants, but our hygienists at Periodontal Associates are the best way to help prevent the need for implants or help keep implants from failing.


  1.  Prevent bad breath:   Are you afraid of social events because you cannot get your breath under control? Regular hygiene appointments are your answer, not gum or breath spray!  Chronic bad breath is caused by dehydration and bacteria in your mouth.  About 85% of those who suffer from unpleasant mouth odors are victims of dental problems and inadequate oral hygiene. Don’t let this be you!  Michelle and Carolyn not only help our Aurora patients stay healthy, but they clean deeper to clear away stubborn bacteria that are causing your halitosis (bad breath).


  1. Live longer:  Research studies have shown that there is a strong association between periodontal disease and other chronic conditions such as diabetes,heart diseasepregnancy complications and respiratory disease.  Bacteria in the gums have an easy route to the blood stream.  The blood stream is then able to transfer these harmful substances to main organs in the body.   Halting the progression of periodontal disease and maintaining excellent standards of oral hygiene will not only reduce the risk of gum disease and bone loss, but also reduce the chances of developing other serious illnesses.


  1.  Use dental insurance benefits:  So after reading all of these GREAT and lifesaving reasons to see Periodontal Associates for your next and probably over-due cleaning, it is great news to know that dental insurance will pay for it! Many of those who are insured waste away their benefits at the end of every year, as many patients do not come in for their twice a year cleanings.  Missing the opportunity to have your teeth professionally cleaned is then a waste of money.  So be nice to your smile and bank account.  Come see Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman to enjoy fresh breath, healthy gums, and use your covered cleanings now to avoid more costly dental treatment in the future.


Do yourself a favor and save your life and pocketbook by scheduling your hygiene appointment right now with Michelle or Carolyn at Periodontal Associates.   Our patients around the Denver metro area enjoy the benefits of regular hygiene cleanings every 3-6 months depending on the level of periodontitis.  If you have any more questions or concerns, do not hesitate to call us at (303) 755-4500, click here for an appointment, or visit our website at

Link Between Middle-Aged Men and Gum Disease

There are a lot of risk-factors when it comes to getting gum disease.  Some can be genetic and some can be situational (smoking, bad oral health, etc).  When considering some of the causes, according to a new study, age and gender are a part of the list of influences.

More specifically, it could be possible that middle-aged men could be at a higher risk to have gum disease.  They found a higher rate of gum disease with men 45 to 65, who were not active and mostly worked sitting throughout the day, than their younger, more active counterparts.  To be exact, “lazy” middle-aged men are 40% more likely to develop problems with their gum health.

If you think you might have gum disease, check out these 7 signs.  If you have any of the above symptoms, call Dr. Versman, Dr. Heller, and Dr. Beckman as soon as possible at 303-755-4500 to schedule an appointment or use our easy online contact form.

Remember, the earlier you treat periodontal disease, the easier it is to control.

What is Tooth Sensitivity?


Have you ever taken a bite of something very cold or a sip of something very hot and recoiled in pain? Do you ever wince with discomfort when brushing or flossing? If you answered yes to any of those questions you may have what’s commonly known as “sensitive teeth”. Around 40 million adults in the United States experience tooth sensitivity, according to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD).

Why do my teeth feel sensitive?

The inside of your tooth is made up of a material called dentin. This dentin contains microscopic tubules filed with nerve endings. A hard outer layer of enamel protects the crown portion of the tooth, while a layer of cementum protects the root. When this dentin becomes hypersensitive it usually means that it’s lost its protective covering of enamel or cementum, and the nerve endings are left exposed to hot, cold, and acidic foods.

What dental issues cause this?

A bevy of things can cause the enamel and cementum to be worn down, including:

  • Brushing too hard or aggressively, or using a hard bristle toothbrush.
  • Tooth erosion from acidic foods or beverages.
  • Gum Recession
  • And Grinding your teeth

Periodontal disease- an infection of the gums and bones supporting the teeth-may also be to blame. If left untreated, gum tissues can separate from the teeth and form pockets that can house a plethora of bacteria. This can continue until the bone and other supporting structures are destroyed, exposing the root surfaces of the teeth.

How do I treat my sensitive teeth?

Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman of Periodontal Associates in the Denver and Aurora, CO area recommend that at the point of Periodontal Disease, you should immediately schedule an appointment with your periodontist to take measures to combat it. If not, you could suffer from many other complications that could arise. However, if your teeth are just experiencing sensitivity, other measures may be:

  • Desensitizing toothpaste
  • A fluoride gel or special desensitizing agents
  • A filling, crown, inlay, or bonding, depending on the cause of sensitivity.

If gum tissue has been lost, Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman say they might recommend a surgical gum graft to cover the root and reduce sensitivity. In severe cases of sensitivity that can’t be treated by other means, your periodontist might recommend a root canal to eliminate the issue.