Dr. Dan Holtzclaw is a native Texan, raised in Humble and Midland, Texas. After attending Texas A&M University, he graduated with honors from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and was commissioned as an officer in the United States Navy.
While in the Navy, Dr. Holtzclaw attained the rank of Lieutenant Commander during 12 years of service at duty stations all over the world. During this time, Dr. Holtzclaw completed a one-year General Practice Residency (GPR) at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Virginia and an additional 3-year residency in Periodontics at the National Naval Medical Center (“The President’s Hospital”) in Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. Holtzclaw was awarded nearly a dozen prestigious service medals and finished his naval career as the Periodontist for the world famous US Navy Blue Angels flight demonstration team.
Dr. Holtzclaw is the most highly published dentist in Austin with over 40 peer reviewed journal articles and textbook chapters in print. He is a highly sought educator by many dental surgery companies and has provided over 100 lectures worldwide. Dr. Holtzclaw has been named a Leader in Continuing Dental Education by Dentistry Today Magazine for 8 consecutive years (2007-2014). Less than 1% of dentists nationwide have received this honor. Dr. Holtzclaw is also the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Implant & Advanced Clinical Dentistry, one of the world’s largest and most prestigious dental journals.
Your gums exist to protect the roots of your teeth from harmful bacteria. Healthy gums and bone anchor your teeth firmly in place to support chewing and provide a youthful, vibrant appearance. If your teeth and gums are not kept healthy, chronic bacterial infections called gingivitis and periodontitis (gum disease) can develop. By age 45, more than 50% of people have some form of gum disease. If left untreated, gum disease progressively deteriorates the gums and bone supporting your teeth, possibly leading to tooth loss.
Although gum disease affects more than half of the adult population, those affected often do not know they have the disease because it is usually a painless process. This means that you may have gum disease and not even know it! So, how do you know if you have gum disease? Early gum disease is called Gingivitis. It begins when bacteria in the saliva forms plaque around the teeth which causes the gums to become inflamed. Plaque and its toxic by-products irritate the gums, making them red, tender, and more apt to bleed.
In many people, gingivitis may progress to periodontitis over time. When periodontitis occurs, the gums lose their attachment to the teeth allowing bacteria to further penetrate the tissue. As the body attempts to get rid of these bacteria and their toxic by-products, it begins to destroy bone. This bone loss may cause the gums to recede giving the appearance of long, unsightly teeth. In advanced cases, bone loss may lead to loosening of the teeth and eventually, tooth loss.
Using a small instrument to gently measure the gums around the teeth, Dr. Holtzclaw can more accurately diagnose the presence and progression of any periodontal disease that you may have. Dr. Holtzclaw is board certified by the American Board of Periodontology and has published more scientific articles on the treatment of gum disease than all other dentists in Austin combined!
Symptoms of periodontal disease include the following:
If you think that you may have gum disease, call Dr. Holtzclaw and his expert team at Austin Dental Implant Center to schedule an evaluation appointment.
Did you know that gum disease (periodontitis) can negatively affect the health of the rest of your body? Dozens of studies have shown that periodontitis is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, pregnancy complications, respiratory disease, and diabetes.
Dr. Holtzclaw is an expert on this subject as he was awarded the Excellence in Research Award from the International College of Dentists for his research on the link between Periodontitis and Preeclampsia (a severe and life threatening complication of pregnancy). Dr. Holtzclaw was also selected by the American Academy of Periodontology to present his research at their annual meeting in Washington DC.
Several theories exist to explain the link between gum disease and other health issues. Gum disease is caused by bacteria. When left unchecked, this bacteria causes deep pockets between your teeth and gums. You may notice red, sore, or bleeding gums when this happens. The large amount of bacteria causing gum disease enters the blood stream and travels to other parts of the body. Harmful bacteria from the mouth has been found in the heart, brain, lungs, and even placenta of pregnant women. These particular bacteria are not normally found in these locations under healthy conditions. As your body tries to get rid of this foreign bacteria, the potential for other health problems such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, respiratory disease, and pregnancy complications increases.
Your body is a contained system. What affects one part of the body often affects other parts of the body as well. Improved oral health contributes to improved health in the rest of your body. Dr. Holtzclaw can assist you in getting your oral health back on track. To schedule a consultation for evaluation of your oral health, please contact Dr. Holtzclaw and his expert team at Austin Dental Implant Center.
Everyone knows that there is an association between tobacco use and lung disease, cancer, and heart disease. However, did you know that tobacco use also increases your risk of gum disease? Current studies show that smokers are up to 6 times more likely to develop gum disease than non-smokers. Additionally, when smokers do develop gum disease, gum destruction is more aggressive and they have up to 50% more bone loss than non-smokers.
Why is this so? Multiple studies show that smoking contributes to gum disease for a number of reasons. Firstly, smoking negatively affects the body’s natural defenses against bacteria. This causes smokers to have significantly increased levels of harmful oral bacteria responsible for gum disease in comparison to non-smokers. As the body attempts to rid itself of the increased levels of these harmful bacteria, it destroys the gum and bone that support teeth.
When smokers are treated for gum disease, they do not tend to respond as well as non-smokers. This is because smoking negatively affects many of the body’s healing mechanisms. Does this mean that smokers should avoid treatment for gum disease? Absolutely not! Smokers can still benefit from treatment for gum disease, especially with the help of a Periodontist. In fact, there are certain medications available to Periodontists which can improve smokers’ response to treatment.
One of the worst things about smoking and gum disease is that many smokers may not even know that they have a problem with their gums! Because smoking sometimes negatively affects blood flow in the gums, smokers tend to bleed less from their gums even when affected by gum disease. Because there is usually no pain and a lack of bleeding gums, smokers may not realize they have a problem with their gums until significant symptoms such as loose teeth develop.
If you are a smoker with gum disease, gum recession, or in need of dental implants to replace missing teeth, please contact Dr. Holtzclaw and his expert team at Austin Dental Implant Center to schedule a consultation appointment to discuss your options for treatment.