Gum Disease Prevention

A preventive care program is set up with the help of your dentist and hygienist. The coordination of the patient, dentist, and dental staff will help in preserving the patient’s oral health by preventing the onset, progress, and recurrence of dental diseases and conditions.

Preventing dental problems like gum disease starts at home with good oral hygiene practices and a well-balanced diet. It is continued at Periodontal Associates with the help of our Aurora and Littleton gum disease prevention experts that encourage, restore, and maintain your oral health.

Prevention care must also include regular dental exams, cleanings, and X-rays . There are also Sealants and fluoride that are great tools in preventive care that will help protect the teeth.

Did You Know?

It only takes 24 hours for plaque to harden into calculus (tartar) if it isn’t removed from your teeth with adequate brushing and flossing. Daily home cleaning helps control plaque formation, but cannot remove calculus. At Periodontal Associates, we rely on our dental hygiene cleanings to chip away the calculus several times per year.

Plaque and Tartar Formation

Everyone has bacteria in their mouth and there isn’t anything that can be done to eliminate them. Bacteria are an important part of the entire gastrointestinal system and help with digestion and the immune system. Bacteria produce a sticky film that helps them attach to teeth and this is called plaque. If plaque is not removed with brushing or flossing, then it can harden into calculus. It is hardened by minerals in patients’ saliva and some people have more minerals than others, which can explain individual differences in calculus formation. Calculus also forms quicker in areas near a saliva gland duct, which include the tongue-side of the lower front teeth and cheek-side of the upper back molars. Calculus acts like a house where bacteria can continue to grow but cannot be removed with brushing or flossing and the immune system cannot attack the bacteria. Calculus needs to be removed with dental instruments that break it apart and smooth the tooth surface to slow the re-growth of new plaque and calculus. This is normally accomplished during dental hygiene visits with your dental hygienist. If this bacteria is not removed regularly, then the bacterial infection will release toxins that cause the supporting bone and gums to be broken-down.

Why Do I Need to Go More Often for Cleanings?

Some patients are at higher risk for gum disease than others and thus need more exams and cleanings each year. As described above, some people have more minerals in their saliva, which can account for increased calculus formation. This by itself doesn’t necessarily mean that patients need more cleanings but it means that bacteria cannot be removed as readily as the general population.

The main reason for increased number of dental cleanings per year is because patients respond differently to this bacterial infection. There were studies done on untreated dental populations and ~20% had an increased risk of periodontal breakdown compared to their counterparts. Most people only need dental cleanings every 6 months (twice per year) to remove the calculus and prevent the supporting bone loss and recession. Those that are at higher risk for breakdown will typically need alternating cleanings and exams between their general dentist and periodontist every 3 months (four per year). The Aurora and Littleton gum disease prevention experts at Periodontal Associates compare this to patients who had a heart attack, and who see their cardiologist in addition to seeing their general physician. Both do exams but the cardiologist will focus on the health of the heart because this patient shows greater risk of cardiac issues. The goal is to catch problems earlier so there can be less invasive procedures or medications done to slow the disease.

In addition to your periodontal cleaning and evaluation, your appointment will usually include:

Examination of diagnostic x-rays (radiographs)
Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss.X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions.
Examination of existing restorations
Check current fillings, crowns, etc.
Examination of tooth decay
Check all tooth surfaces for decay.
Oral cancer screening
Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, cheek tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
Oral hygiene recommendations
Review and recommend oral hygiene aids as needed. (Electric toothbrushes, special periodontal brushes, fluorides, rinses, etc.)
Teeth polishing
Remove stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during tooth brushing and scaling.

A Guide for Periodontal Pockets

A periodontal probe is a ruler we use to measure how deep the fold or pocket between the gums and tooth extend. The deeper the pocket, the less cleanable it is and the more supporting bone has been lost.

1-3mm pockets – These are ideal and can be maintained with good oral hygiene and hygiene visits.

4-5mm pockets – Brushing and flossing cannot normally remove all the plaque or calculus in these pockets and so they may need to be numbed to adequately clean them (this cleaning is referred to as a “deep cleaning”, “root treatment therapy”, or “scaling and root planing”)

5mm pockets – There is usually bone loss or excessive gum tissue associated with these sites. These will typically require a regenerative procedure (laser periodontal therapy or bone grafting) or the gum tissue may need to be reduced for improved access for home care.

Gum Disease Prevention: Products and Techniques to Use

Soft bristled brush
Interproximal brush (“proxy brush”)
Floss and super-floss
Waterpik or irrigation device
The Periodontal Associates team treats periodontal disease in Littleton and Aurora, Colorado, also serving Denver and beyond. If you experience any of the signs or symptoms of gum disease, we invite you to call or email us to request an appointment.

Gum Disease Prevention in Littleton and Aurora, CO

For more information about preventing gum disease, please contact the team at Periodontal Associates today. You can request an appointment by email or by calling (303) 755-4500 today.
The Periodontal Associates team treats periodontal disease in Littleton and Aurora, Colorado, also serving Denver and beyond. If you experience any of the signs or symptoms of gum disease, we invite you to call or email us to request an appointment.

Your Dental Health Starts Here. Request an Appointment.

Or call — 303-755-4500

  • Valerie FarrarValerie Farrar

    I've had the best experience with this office. I have had some terrible experiences in the pass with different places. They made me feel comfortable and I couldn't have a better team to tend to all my dental needs. They take the time to really care by reaching out to check on you, and getting your emergency taken care asap even during a pandemic.

  • Hollie KarrHollie Karr

    Warm and very friendly environment. They take so much time to explain things and treat you as if you were one of their family members having a procedure done. Michelle the dental hygienist, Liz the technician, as well as Stephanie, Dr Beckman’s assistant go above and beyond to make you feel like you’re they’re only patient! Dr. Beckman and his team’s demeanor make you feel at ease and relaxed. Dr. Beckman always has a calm, patient, and very caring demeanor which very clearly trickles down to his staff! Thank you for all you do!

  • Brigitte AdesBrigitte Ades

    Love the teamwork here! Talk about having fun while going to the dentist, yes it is true. You can have fun and get great work done. Whenever I need anything done the team from Periodontal Associates is there. I am thrilled to leave a review for this group of dentist. They are simply amazing

  • Silke SancaktarSilke Sancaktar

    I needed an implant on one of my rear molars, and Dr. Thousand and his team did the implant work at the Aurora office. I had to do the procedure with minimal sedation due to the fact that I had to drive myself back to work after the procedure. Despite this, there was minimal pain and discomfort, and everyone did an incredible job. He's very good about telling you what he's doing and is very detail-oriented. He is never dismissive and always takes time to answer questions.

    After everything healed up I went to my regular dentist to have the crown installed. After the crown placement I had a terrible headache and toothache for a week before my regular dentist would see me again to adjust the crown. However, even after she made some adjustments I was still in pain the next day.

    I didn’t know what else to do so I reached back out to Dr. Thousand for help even though he wasn’t responsible for the crown. Knowing that I was in acute pain they were able to get me in the same day at the Littleton office. Turns out there were some major defects on the crown that my dentist had overlooked that contributed to the acute pain, and would have likely resulted in infection down the road. Dr. Thousand spent almost an hour working with me and modifying the crown for temporary use so that I could have it placed back over the implant while a new crown is made.

    He didn’t need to do this since this wasn’t a mistake attributable to his office, but he and his team went above and beyond, and didn’t even charge me for the work. I had been in so much pain I could barely focus, and so this help meant so much to me because I could now function again. This was at the end of their day so I’m sure it meant a later day for everyone, but I can’t thank you all enough for giving me that relief. We’ll certainly be coming here for future dental issues, and referring Dr. Thousand and his team to friends.

  • Jean PonderJean Ponder

    Professional, knowledgeable, friendly, on time visits. Superb work from the office team to Dr Heller & Erin. Thank You

  • Melissa H.Melissa H.

    Let's be honest here - there is nothing fun about having gum surgery. However, the staff and Dr. Heller were as good as it gets with regard to my treatment....

  • Bridget B.Bridget B.

    Wow, from the moment I walked in I felt welcome. Super nice people and caring. I am a chicken and do not like dentist anything. Doctor Heller explained...

  • Sara KluhsmanSara Kluhsman

    Dr. Thousand is pure genius! He fixed a failing implant & placed a new 1 as well. I will never go anywhere else. That man preforms miracles!

  • Karen Pelling LevineKaren Pelling Levine

    Dr. Doug Heller is one of three of the doctors that make up the driving force in my efforts to save my teeth and my overall health. What started out as one broken tooth led to the possibility of my losing all of my teeth to gum disease. Panicked, I reached for a second opinion and found Dr. Heller, along with my regular Dentist & Orthodontist. I am now the proud owner of only 5 implants, as opposed to full upper and lower implants OR full dentures. Though dental procedures are hardly fun, Dr. Heller and his staff have made it a smooth process, from financial to face-changing....I couldn't be happier. 😁 You be the judge. My profile pic, there on the left, is a fine example of their handiwork.
    Double Bonus: Doorbell just rang. Beautiful plant has just arrived to cheer me in my recovery....Thank you, Dr. Heller and your wonderful Staff!

  • Jerome GilmerJerome Gilmer

    I was sent to Dr. Beckman on a referral from my dentist because of a slightly loose tooth. Dr. Beckman evaluated the situation and recommended a gum graft and bite adjustment. It is now six weeks since the procedure, and while the recovery was not painless, it was pretty much exactly as he said it would be. Upon evaluation earlier this week it was clear that the procedure was successful.

    Dr. Beckman and the staff were very nice, supportive and professional and I would highly recommend this practice to anyone needing this kind of help.

  • Tori Horton HamillTori Horton Hamill

    Dr Beckman performed a gum graft. I was nervous, but he explained everything clearly and thoroughly. The staff were very accommodating when I had to reschedule and they keep the schedule flowing on time so I was not sitting and waiting beyond the appointment time. The only downside was having to ask multiple times about the cost and what my calculated out of pocket would be. Would definitely recommend.

  • Ashley SingletaryAshley Singletary

    5 stars! Dr. Beckman and the entire office staff provide superior customer service and care. I recently had a gum graft performed and from the very first meeting I felt at ease. Dr. Beckman took his time explaining the procedure and patiently answered any questions I had. On the day of the procedure they go the extra mile to make sure you are comfortable- they use top of the line medical treatment for an effective procedure and speedy recovery. The team was very supportive and available through the entire process and even calls to check on you post procedure. I highly recommend Dr. Beckman and his team!

  • Doris BinderDoris Binder

    I needed to get some implants and Dr. Heller was recommended. Thankfully, he was absolutely wonderful. I wasn't sure what to expect, but he explained everything that needed be done and the procedure began. Now it's not an over night process, but the weeks after each step was a piece of cake. I am so happy with my implants. I had to have a tooth pulled a few weeks ago, and I don't know how he does it, but I had zero pain, no complications and I needed no pain Meds. The staff is so friendly and I highly recommend them.

  • Kenneth McCallKenneth McCall
  • Jan BernsteinJan Bernstein

    Dr. Beckman and the staff couldn't have been nicer or more professional. I highly recommend the practice to anyone in need of a periodontist.

  • Chelsy LaForceChelsy LaForce

    Dr. Heller and the rest of the team is absolutely amazing. They are super helpful through the entire process and I knew I was in great hands. Thank you so much!

  • Terry Lavitt SeiverTerry Lavitt Seiver
  • Aprille Tripler MooreAprille Tripler Moore

    Dr. Beckman and the entire staff at Periodontal Associates are amazing! Dr. Beckman performed a gum graft procedure on me and to my surprise and relief I felt no pain. Not during the procedure or post op. The entire experience from consult through my last follow up appointment was topnotch.

  • Terry SandahlTerry Sandahl

    I have been a patient of first Dr. Versman and then Dr. Heller for over 20 years. This is an amazing periodontal group! I feel so comfortable having them take care of my needs~and there have been many! Dr. Heller is so easy going and I never feel like whatever he does will fail. They have a great support staff too! All their assistants are competent and friendly, and my hygienist Michelle is the best! Love these guys and wouldn't think of going anywhere else!

  • Holly DeLuise BodineHolly DeLuise Bodine

    I have some complicated dental issues but Dr. Heller and his team have handled them very well, and as painlessly as is possible. Dr. Heller explains things very thoroughly!

We Are Colorado’s Premier Provider of Dental Implants & Periodontics


Mon - Fri: 7:00 am – 4:00 pm
Sat, Sun: Closed


26 W Dry Creek Circle

Littleton, CO 80120


Mon - Fri: 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Sat, Sun: Closed