Eating Disorders and your Teeth

Eating Disorders and your Teeth

It is currently estimated that 10 million Americans are affected today by an eating disorder such as bulimia, anorexia, and binge eating.  The consequences from such destructive eating habits range wildly and are dangerous to one’s health.  One of the first symptoms of pain and discomfort are felt from the damage done to teeth and gums.  A dentist, such as Dr. Ken Versman, Dr. Doug Heller, and Dr. Eric Beckman, can be the first to detect these harmful changes and help someone dealing with an eating disorder make the first steps towards improving their health. Periodontal Associates wants to help you identify some leading eating disorders and how such habits can lead to gum disease and/or the need for dental implants.
Bulimia involves alternating periods of overeating (or binge eating) followed by purging.  The fluctuation of high calories followed by expulsion is traumatic to the digestive system which includes the mouth.  Purging the high fat and sugar contents of a binge can be done by self-induced vomiting, diuretics, and/or the abuse of laxatives.  The most common solution for most is vomiting, and by doing so, the contents of food along with the acidic stomach hrejuices are then exposed to the sensitive tissues in the gums and teeth.  Studies have found that up to 89% of bulimic patients show signs of tooth erosion, according to the National Eating Disorders Association.  Although Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman can do many things to transform a smile, replacing enamel on teeth is not a possibility.
Anorexia involves restricting food and caloric intake in order to maintain a thin body image.  This can also include the same habits as bulimia with binge eating and purging; however, persons with anorexia often starve themselves.  In fact, anorexia is the highest psychiatric disorder resulting in death.
The negative side effects caused by both of these eating habits are destructive and obvious on teeth.  With deprivation or purging, the body is robbed of adequate amounts of minerals, vitamins, proteins, and other nutrients necessary for good health.  The weaker the body, the weaker the immune system and organ function.  Periodontal disease (gum disease) is then harder for the body to fight off.  The acid from the stomach breaks down any healthy gum tissues leading to gum loss, bone loss, and eventually the loss of teeth.  Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman unfortunately have many patients that needed dental implants as a result of the acidic oral environment and lack of nourishment.  Research studies have  also shown that there is also a strong association between periodontal disease and other chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, pregnancy complications and respiratory disease.  With an already suppressed immune system, such conditions can be detrimental.
Salivary glands can become swollen and xerostomia (or dry mouth) can occur.  Lesions on soft tissues may begin to appear and gums will often begin to bleed.  The teeth may become more translucent as poor diet and a high acidic environment erodes the enamel.  Enamel is irreplaceable and results in sensitivity to hot or cold.  As enamel fades away, the teeth can then become more brittle which can result in future cracks and breaks.  When a tooth becomes so fragile and painful, a visit to Periodontal Associates in Aurora is needed as the tooth may need to be extracted and replaced with a dental implant.
Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman, or your dentist, can be the first to spot these dangerous symptoms.  In order to help persons dealing with such eating disorders smile again and keep their teeth strong and beautiful, Periodontal Associates wants to share some thoughts on how to treat the oral health problems resulting in these dietary habits.
– Patients who purge or vomit should never brush their teeth immediately after vomiting.  Instead, rinse with baking soda to contrast again the high acidity from stomach juices
– Patients should be counseled on their daily oral and overall hygiene routine.
– Patients should have an oral exam to assess current damages done and future treatment needs to help fight gum disease, sensitivity, or replace severely diminished teeth with dental implants.
– Patients should be set up on a frequent recall or hygiene schedule at offices such as Periodontal Associates.
If you are concerned about a friend or family member or you are seeking more information regarding eating disorders and health concerns, Dr. Versman, Dr. Heller, and Dr. Beckman urge you to contact the National Eating Disorder Association.  If you have suffered from a disorder in the past, please visit Periodontal Associates in Aurora, CO to maintain bi-annual exams and hygiene appointments. To schedule your next cleaning, please call us at (303) 755-4500.

Parents are linked to the number of cavities in their kids’ teeth

Mom’s Emotions Affect Kid’s Dental Health

Periodontal Associates wants everyone to know that gum disease and poor dental health can occur for many reasons.  Dr. Versman, Heller & Beckman suggest you talk to them about your home dental care to make sure you are doing everything you can to prevent gingivitis, cavities, and the need for dental implants.  With that being said, let’s take some time to discuss a new research determining factors in the number of cavities in children.

Researchers at the Case Western Reserve University, US recently released a study that links a mother’s emotional stability and educational background during her kid’s younger years to her child’s dental health at age 14.  The case was structure by interviewing candidates at the ages of three, eight, and finally 14 years old to determine what elements shaped their current oral health and number of cavities.

Suchitra Nelson, lead investigator on the study, had a team examine the teeth of the 224 adolescent participants in a longitudinal study that also followed very low birth weight vs. normal birth weight children. Factors like the number of decayed, filled, or missing permanent teeth and the level of dental plaque were used to determine the quality of oral health.  Case Western Dental School states that these are all direct symptoms of poor hygiene maintenance and Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman agree.

Even the mothers, or care givers, were interviewed to reveal their knowledge about preventative treatments like sealants, mouthwash, sugar drinks, access to dental care, and the frequency of visitations to a dentist.  The data revealed that even with access to dental insurance, fluoride treatments, and sealants as young children, it did not always prevent cavities by the age of 14, said Nelson.

Researchers were then able to conclude that the mothers and their overall emotional health, education level, and knowledge when children were at ages 3 and 8 were responsible for increased numbers of cavities when their children reached the age of 14.

Nelson stated, “We can’t ignore the environments of these children.  It isn’t enough to tell children to brush and floss; they need more — and particularly from their caregivers.”

The researchers also found that mothers with more education beyond high school, with healthy emotional states, and knowledge about eating right had children with healthier teeth.

If you are concerned about your knowledge and how to protect your family, continue to follow our blogs or schedule an appointment at Periodontal Associates to meet with one of our doctors: Dr. Versman, Dr. Heller, or Dr.Beckman.  You can schedule by calling us at (303) 755-4500, visiting our website at www.periodontalhealth.com, or clicking here.  Our patients come from all over Colorado but we primarily serve the Denver metro area as we are located in Aurora, CO.

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.

What Are Dental Implants

What Are Dental Implants?

 

Yes, that’s right, Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman are Denver’s specialists in dental implants, and if you are reading this, then you are in the right place.  But what are dental implants, who needs them, and how are they placed?

What are implants?

Dental implants are prosthetic replacements for missing teeth.  A natural tooth is comprised of a crown and a root.  The crown is the large and white section of the tooth that is visible when a mouth is open.  The root is underneath the gums as it extends to the jawbone and provides support.  Dental implants mimic this same structure.  The implant replaces the root in which a crown is placed.

Dental implants are made of three parts.  The first is the implant itself which is inserted to the bone.  The second is the abutment.  The abutment is the piece that connects the implant to the crown.  Which bring me to the third part, the crown itself.  Most of the implants are made of titanium as it is durable and compatible to fuse with bone.

Do you need dental implants?

First thing first, if you are questioning the need for dental implants, be sure to make an appointment to consult with Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman, and they will be sure comprise a personalized treatment plan.  Dental implants are great for those who have a single missing tooth, several missing teeth, or need a full replacement set.  Dental implants are great replacements for dentures or bridges.  Implants are strong and durable to help you eat normally.  They also have the look and feel of natural teeth.  So, yes it’s true, you can get your beautiful smile back.  If you do not believe, look at these testimonials from our Denver patients. 

 How are they placed?

The word ‘implant’ can make the procedure sound complicated and intimidating, but most implant surgeries are performed safely within a dentist’s office, like here at Periodontal Associates.  Dental implants are placed during a simple outpatient procedure.  For some procedures, forms of patient sedation may be used, such as nitrous oxide.  Every treatment is different depending on the situation, preferences, or patient, but all are safe and with a high percent of success rate. (Especially if your doctor is Dr. Versman, Dr. Heller, or Dr. Beckman).

Now that you have learned about dental implants, you may have realized that there is a way to improve your quality of life, and it is not difficult. Even if you have lost just one tooth – whether it is a new situation or something you have lived with for years – chances are you have never become fully accustomed to losing such a vital part of yourself.

Drs. Versman and Heller were one of the first U.S. dentists to study directly with the inventors of today’s implants. They have educated dentists, periodontists and dental students about dental implants and implant procedures for many years, and have lectured on the subject in the Denver/Aurora, Colorado area, nationally and internationally! At Periodontal AssociatesThe Dental Implant Team, we are the market leader and we are driving the development of new dental implant standards and protocols. We wish to share this exciting information with you and answer all of your questions.

For an improved quality of life please call us at 303-755-4500 or schedule a free consultation today!

Dog Kisses May Promote Gum Disease

Puppy Smooches and Gum Disease

 

Hello to all dog lovers!  Periodontal Associates knows how special pets can be to their owners as they provide love and affection, and for some hugging and kissing your furry ones are normal ways to show love.  However, Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman would encourage their patients to be careful about their affections as smooching up to pets could increase the risks of gum disease.

Exchanging kisses or allowing a pet to lick an owner’s mouth could allow pets to pass along gum disease. Dogs’ mouths contain various forms and great numbers of bacteria that are easily transferred through saliva.

This alarming warning became relevant after researchers in Japan examined the dental health of dog owners.  These researchers found bacteria, normally only in dogs, present in 16 percent of owners’ mouths.  Based on questionnaires, most of these 16 percent had a close relationship with their animals.

And if you really love your furry friend, you should know that bacteria can also be passed from owner to pet, too! Researchers also found ten different human gum disease related bacteria in their pets.  Many pets suffer from periodontitis; so yes, dogs need regular hygiene cleanings too!

Infectivity can occur from a one-time occurrence or with frequent interaction. Obviously, the more regular the contact the higher the chances are for cross-contamination, but the likelihood of bacteria exchange can decrease if dental hygiene habits for man and his best friend is maintained well.

Dr. Paul Maza from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University told America’s Fox News, ‘Many of the different types of bacteria in dogs and cats are the same type of bacteria as in humans. If owners practice oral hygiene on their pets, such as brushing their teeth, a pet’s mouth can actually be even cleaner than a human mouth.’

Periodontal Associates wants you to make yourself and your furry friend a priority when it comes to good oral hygiene.  It is a good habit to brush, floss, and use mouthwash on a daily basis for humans and brushing your pet’s teeth often.

Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman only take care of owners here in our Aurora, CO office, but most veterinary clinics can do thorough cleanings.  Also, just like you can pick up brushes and supplies at the store, many pet stores offer at home care products for your pup.

Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman do not discourage love towards animals, but they do ask everyone to take caution with certain types of contact.  Especially if you are at higher risk for gum disease, like dealing with old age, diabetes, or pregnancy, it is even more important to keep kissing to a minimum.

For more information about how to symptoms of gum disease, risks, and treatments, please come in to visit with Drs. Versman, Heller, Beckman and our hygiene team.  You can click here for an appointment or simply give us a call at (303) 755-4500.  We look forward to helping you and your gums stay strong, healthy, and pink!

How To Prevent 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 contactPeriodontal 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 www.periodontalhealth.com.  We look forward to helping you with your questions, treating your gum disease, providing your dental implants, or simply curing your bad breath!

Getting Wise About Wisdom Teeth

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There are approximately 10,000,000 wisdom teeth removed each year.  Why is that?
During times of hunting and gathering, jaw bones were long and narrow. In the present day, our jaws have transformed to be both shorter and wider.  It is believed that the jaws found in our ancestors were better suited to grind and decompose hard food items.  In today’s world, we heavily rely on agriculture and farming which creates a softer diet.  Over time, the jaw has conformed to the physical needs of a new diet.
This theory was researched when Von Cramon-Taubadel studied skull specimens from 11 populations around the world.  Five of the groups lived off hunting and gathering while the remaining six groups relied on a farming lifestyle.  It is through this quest of understanding evolution that supported the interactions between culture, farming, and the effects on our evolving anatomy.
Our modern day noggins are now crowded, leading to the misalignment of our teeth, and often the need to remove wisdom teeth. Since jaws of modern societies are now shorter, they “are not big enough to accommodate the size of our teeth,” Von Cramon-Taubadel said.  Periodontal Associates is not surprised that there are an estimated 5 million Americans with braces trying to straighten, align teeth, and fight against the natural progression of crowding.
Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman have to, at times, extract teeth due to this crowding, but a more prominent problem treated at Periodontal Associates caused by orthodontics is gum recession.  When teeth are moved too quickly, the gums can retract and gum grafts are needed to prevent sensitivity and tooth loss.
If you are fighting gum disease or an un-even, painful smile, Dr. Ken Versman, Dr. Doug Heller, and Dr. Eric Beckman can help you.  You can’t fight evolution, so click here to schedule an exam or call (303) 755-4500 to answer all your questions. Remember, gum disease is a sneaky disease as often people do not realize they have it until it reaches a severe state.  At that point, it can result in tooth loss, bone loss, and the need for dental implants.  Don’t let gum disease sneak up on you.  Visit Periodontal Associates in Aurora 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 www.periodontalhealth.com.

What is Tooth Sensitivity?

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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.