Holiday Cavities

Holiday Cravings and Cavities

Happy Hanukah, Merry Christmas, and Happy Kwanzaa from your friends at Periodontal Associates – the dental implant team!  With the Holiday season among us and treats eaten, carols sung, parties thrown, and gifts given, Dr. Versman, Dr. Heller, and Dr. Beckman want to take a look a closer look about what that means.

The end of the year is often a time of over indulgence, and with the constant snacking on sweets, Americans run the risk of increasing cavities and weight gain.  One study suggests that the average American citizen gains 7-10lbs over the holiday season (Thanksgiving to New Year’s).  Now brace yourself, if we estimate that everyone in American gains 9lbs that means the nation would gain 3 BILLION POUNDS!

Don’t worry, there is hope as another study by Yanovsky in 2000 in the New England Journal of Medicine stated the average American gains less than 1 lb.  However, this weight is never lost in the upcoming year. Even so, that equates to a gain of almost 315 million pounds that are never lost!  Each kid eats about 6,000 calories on Christmas Day alone, and Dr. Versman, Dr. Heller, and Dr. Beckman fear this is mainly all in sweets.  No wonder The Biggest Loser is planned to air at the beginning on January.

Now let’s think about how this weight gain and the consumption of sweets affect your health, and most importantly, your oral health.  Dr. Versman, Dr. Heller, and Dr. Beckman wants everyone to enjoy themselves and celebrate over the holidays, but they wish to pass along some advice to make sure the next year is not negatively affected by these holiday traditions.

First thing first, sugar! Between the sugar cookies, egg nog, candy canes, and pumpkin pie, sugar can be found everywhere!  Christmas is the 3rd largest day for candy consumption after Halloween and Easter.  Each household spends and average of $94.04 on holiday candy and the nation spending $1.4 billion.  Americans use an average of 7lbs of sugar over the holidays in baked good, drinks, etc. There are 1.8 billion candy canes are made every year which is enough to travel from Arkansas to the North Pole and back 32 times!

Just writing those statistics almost gives Dr. Versman, Dr. Heller, and Dr. Beckman a heart attack.  Here at Periodontal Associates, our Denver and Aurora clients are not immune to the holiday sugar high, and we want to make sure you are taking care of your teeth and gums to help prevent cavities, gum disease, and the need for dental implants in 2013. Dr. Versman says, ‘You don’t have to brush your teeth, just the ones you want to keep.’

Yes, brushing is one of the best things you can do, along with flossing, on a regular basis. Dr. Heller often tells his patients that slowly snacking on sugar is worse than sugar itself as it continuously feeds bacteria in the mouth, and most people only brush once or twice a day.  Think about eating a breakfast cake at work around 9am then letting that sugar sit on your teeth for another 13 hours until brushing before bed!

Go ahead and make a New Year’s resolution with Periodontal Associates – The Dental Implant Team before the New Year begins.  Let us all brush often, floss regularly, graze less, and visit our great doctors (Ken Versman, Doug Heller, and Eric Beckman) along with our specially trained hygienists for bi-annual cleanings and check-ups.  By developing these great habits, Periodontal Associates can help treat and prevent periodontal disease (gum disease), fight bad breath, and give you a cosmetically beautiful smile with or without dental implants.

Periodontal Associates is located in Aurora, CO, but we happily serve patients in Denver,CO and all surrounding areas like Centennial, Parker, Lone Tree, Thornton, etc.  Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman are specialists in gum diseasedental implantsgum graftsbone grafts, sinus lifts, and other dental needs.  Please give us a call at (303) 755-4500 to schedule your dental implant consultation or hygiene cleaning today! To learn a little more about us, please visit our website or visit us on Facebook We look forward to getting to know you and helping you keep your New Year’s resolution for a healthier smile!

Coconuts Conquer Cavities

Coconut Oil Cracks Down on Cavities


Along the shorelines, among the most tropical regions, coconuts are being swept up to use for eating, drinking, skin care, and now for cavity prevention.  The Athlone Institute of Technology in Ireland discovered that coconut oil prevents the growth of decay on our pearly whites and could be used as an alternative to chemical additives in dental hygiene products.  Periodontal Associates does not want to see everyone in Denver, CO throwing out their toothpaste quite yet; however, this research does offer some great insight on future oral home care.

The researchers in this study tested this theory on multiple strains of bacteria called streptococcus, which is located in our mouth.  Both the raw coconut and coconut oils were used to determine which forms were more effective at bacteria growth prevention.  The oil, however, was treated with extra enzymes in order to simulate the coconut in the digested state.

The conclusion? The digested coconut, or the oil, was the more powerful of the two forms. The coconut oil inhibited the majority of the strains of the bacteria like streptococcus and candida albicans.  The first, Streptococcus, is a very common tooth decay causing bacteria while candida albicans is yeast that also results in an infection within the mouth called thrush.


“Incorporating enzyme-modified coconut oil into dental hygiene products would be an attractive alternative to chemical additives, particularly as it works at relatively low concentrations,” Brady, associate director of the Bioscience Research Institute at the Athlone Institute, said. “Also, with increasing antibiotic resistance, it is important that we turn our attention to new ways to combat microbial infection.”

Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman understand how important it is to find effective weapons in fighting bacteria and preventing decay as the number of individuals with decay are increasing daily, both children and adults.  Dental caries affect anywhere between 60% and 90% of children in industrialized countries, which means this is happening in the Denver metro area too.

Brady said he and his colleagues hope to further investigate which other bacteria and yeast the coconut oil might be effective against, as well as, exactly how the oil and other enzyme-modified foods interfere with the processes by which bacteria cause disease.

For now, Dr. Versman, Dr. Heller, and Dr. Beckman suggest routine cleanings, regular brushing and flossing at home, as well as avoiding sugary foods are the best bet to keep tooth decay at bay.  If you have any questions regarding the oral hygiene products you use, please call us at (303) 755-4500, click here for an appointment, or visit our website at  for more information.  Periodontal Associates serves patients all over the Denver, CO area, and would be happy to get you started or keep you on the right path for excellent dental health.