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.

Go Green to Prevent Gum Disease

Green Tea for Pink Gums


Periodontal Associates is on a constant search to find the latest research on how to prevent and continue to treat gum disease, and the latest philosophy is leaving us thirsty for more.  Green Tea is a well-known beverage that has been used in the Asian cultures for thousands of years to promote health (and increasing in popularity here in Denver, CO), but did you know, Green Tea is linked to stimulating healthy gums and teeth?

The Journal of Periodontology just published a study that analyzed the periodontal health of 940 men, and researchers found that those who regularly drank green tea had superior periodontal health than subjects that consumed less green tea. None on hand?  If you are in Denver, CO then stop by to see Drs. Versman, Heller, or Beckman, and we will greet you with some!

“It has been long speculated that green tea possesses a host of health benefits,” said Dr. Yoshihiro Shimazaki, the author of the study, from Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan. “And since many people enjoy green tea on a regular basis, we were eager to investigate the impact of green tea consumption on periodontal health, especially considering the escalating emphasis on the connection between periodontal health and overall health.”

The study was conducted with male participants from the ages of 49-59 years. The extent of periodontal disease in each subject was compared by pocket depth, clinical attachment loss of gum tissue, and bleeding upon probing. Researchers noted that for every one cup of green tea consumed per day, there was a decrease in all three components which led to the conclusion that periodontal disease occurs less for those who drink green tea on a regular basis.

How does green tea help reduce periodontal disease?  Researchers believe the antioxidant, Catechin, in green tea is the cause of the reduction of gum disease symptoms.  Antioxidants are known for reducing inflammation everywhere in the body, gums too.  Since periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth, it makes sense how green tea can be beneficial.  Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman believes it is important to take every action possible to prevent gum disease as it continues to be connected to the development of other diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

We hope this information is helpful to you as Periodontal Associates is a big advocate for patient education. Please visit our website as it is a comprehensive information resource that includes self-assessment tools,visual guides, and shows how Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman treat gum disease. It is important to begin evaluating your symptoms and learn how to take action to treat it, other than just drinking plenty of green tea. If you have any signs of gum disease, please contact us right away so we can begin treatment immediately in the Denver metro area.

Alzheimer’s and Gum Disease

Don’t Forget to Brush

When someone close to you has Alzheimer’s disease, the last thing you may be worried about is if they are remembering their oral hygiene.  However, remembering to brush may be MORE important earlier in life before the onset of Alzheimer’s.  A new study reveals bacteria linked to gum disease travels to the brain of those with Alzheimer’s.  Dental hygiene and periodontal disease may play a role in the development of memory loss illnesses.  (Quick, it is not too late to come see Periodontal Associates in Aurora, CO for your cleaning.  Better late than never to see our gum specialists, Dr. Versman, Dr. Heller, and Dr. Beckman.)

“The results are very encouraging,” said Crean, the dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Central Lancashire in England.   The University was able to financially support the study between dementia and gum disease.  Brain tissues were analyzed from 10 Alzheimer’s patients and 10 patients of similar age with no signs of dementia or the disease. Within 10 samples of those with the disease, 4 samples showed signs of the bacterium known as Pophyromonas gingivalis.  However, no signs of gum disease bacteria were present in the non-memory impaired brain tissues.

The findings of this research support the idea that bacteria entering the mouth have access to enter the bloodstream, and once in the bloodstream, bacteria has access to just about any body part, including the brain.  As time progresses, the slow build up on this bacteria and the chemicals it releases may donate to the development of Alzheimer’s disease.  Crean insists, “We’ve shown an association, not causation.  It does nothing more than to prove that these bacteria do get to the brain.”  Entrance to the body’s main transportation center or blood stream is especially accessible in those with severe periodontal disease with deep pockets and bleeding gums.  Even those with healthy gum tissues allow blood stream access when chewing.  Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman are always stressing this importance to their patience about the mouth and body connection.

The association is close enough to keep Periodontal Associates’staff reaching for the floss, and Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman hope it does the same for you, too!  Brushing and flossing can allow bacteria to enter the bloodstream; however, the consistent habit of good oral hygiene cleans the teeth and gums to significantly lessen the number of bacteria. “The issue is to reduce the bacterial load that occupies our gum tissues, to reduce the bacterial assault if and when it happens,” Crean said.

Unsure how to keep bacteria at bay?  A good start is coming to see Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman.  Cleanings and exams are recommended every six months; however, for those patients with periodontal disease, we recommend seeing them every three months to clean out deep pockets and allow for better tissue reattachment.   Periodontal Associates is an office dedicated to not only dental implants but treating and preventing gum disease which ultimately protects patients from disease such as Alzheimer’s.

Please contact Periodontal Associates at (303) 755-4500 to learn more about the connection between periodontal disease and system diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and respiratory problems. Dr. Ken Versman, Dr. Doug Heller, and Dr. Eric Beckman are Denver’s high quality provider of gum disease treatment and dental implants.  If you or a loved one fear you may be dealing with periodontal disease and unsure who that will affect your future health, we encourage you to call or stop in to our Aurora office today!

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.

How Much Bacteria is in Your Mouth?

Bacteria can be found everywhere: on your hands, when you touch a doorknob, at a restaurant, in the bathroom, etc.  We sometimes get so caught up worrying about not touching things that carry bacteria that we forget that more than a large cup of bacteria can be found inside you!

More specifically, at any one time there can be up to 6 million bacteria found in your mouth; your mouth is a huge carries for bacteria.  GROSS!  The presence of bacteria in your mouth can cause bad breath and, more importantly, can eat away at your teeth causing cavities, dental infections, and gingivitis.  Even worse, some mouth bacteria can cause heart disease and kidney disease.

Here at Periodontal Associates, we stress the importance of controlling how much bacteria is in you mouth and not letting it get out of hand.  While we understand that bacteria can always be found in your mouth, and some bacteria is even good for you, it is important to maintain a strict hygiene regimen so that you don’t have painful and potentially costly dental issues.   Dr. Ken Versman, Dr. Douglas Heller, and Dr. Eric Beckman  can teach you the proper techniques so that you are knowledgeable.  In addition, it is important to schedule routine dental check-ups with your dentist so that any serious damage can be noticed and prevented.

Dr. Ken Versman, Dr. Douglas Heller, and Dr. Eric Beckman can help you keep your mouth healthy before bacteria does any serious harm.  To schedule your appointment, do not hesitate to call us at (303) 755-4500, clickhere for an appointment, or visit our website at

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.

Meet Dr. Kenneth Versman, Periodontist at Periodontal Associates – The Dental Implant Team

What made you want to become a dentist?
I have wanted to be a dentist since 5th grade. As time progressed during my high school and college years I felt it would be a great profession where I would have the chance to interact with people and help them with their oral health.

What made you want to specialize in periodontics?
I had a periodontal professor who gave me great encouragement to become a periodontist. It was my favorite course in dental school.

What’s your favorite part of being a Periodontist?
Helping people achieve oral health through complete evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment planning.

Are you originally from Colorado and what’s your favorite part about living here?
I grew up in Illinois. I love just about everything in Colorado… the people, weather, recreation, sports and culture offered in our community.

What do you think makes Periodontal Associates stand out from other Periodontal offices?
We have always been dedicated to taking care of people just as we would want to be healed. Our open communications allow us to not only help our patients, but to get to know them on a special level.