Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Caring for your teeth and gums...Denver and Beyond

While Vacationing...Gum Disease could be your Unwanted Guest

As the days grow longer and Summer draws closer, thoughts may be turning towards summer vacation plans away from Denver. Whether your idea of the perfect summer vacation includes camping in the mountains, a beach-side cottage by the ocean or lake, or a cross-country trek visiting family and friends along the way -- know that gum disease risk factors are tagging along for the ride.

Gum disease just might be one of the sneakiest diseases taunting Americans worldwide. That’s because it starts in the background without any symptoms to warn you of it's arrival. The disease begins with plaque build up on the surface of your teeth that results in tiny pockets along the gum line.
These pockets then serve as the perfect habitat for the bacteria that causes gum disease. Perhaps the most amazing part is the speed in which this all takes place. Within a two week time span the bacteria in your mouth can more than double if you're neglecting your oral care.
As you prepare for that fun filled vacation, be sure to follow these tips to ensure your gums are just as healthy at the end of your trip as they were when you left:
  • Store your toothbrushes in travel containers that have holes for proper air circulation. This airflow will allow the brush to thoroughly dry and discourage the growth of bacteria.
  • Store toothbrushes separately to prevent the spread of bacteria from one brush to another
  • Thoroughly clean and disinfect the travel containers before and after your trip
  • Regularly disinfect your toothbrush while on vacation or at home by washing it in the dishwasher, storing it in the fridge or placing it in a cup of mouthwash
  • When traveling abroad brush with bottled water 
  • Keep your toothbrush 2-5 feet from the sink and toilet to avoid water contamination
  • Always pack extra oral care supplies in case you can’t readily purchase them
  • If you don’t have toothpaste, brush with water to remove food and bacteria. Brushing with water alone is better than not brushing at all.
  • If you forget your toothbrush and are unable to purchase a new one, wrap a washcloth around your fingertip and rub along teeth surfaces. Finish with  floss and rinse with mouthwash if available. 
  • Don’t share a toothbrush! Oral bacteria can be passed from one mouth to another via the brush.
There’s no excuse for letting your oral health decline while on vacation. Stay on top of your oral routine and monitor your mouth closely. If you notice signs of gum disease or any unusual changes you are unsure about contact your dental practitioner right away.

If you're dealing with or suspect gum disease, Dr. Versman and Dr. Heller, Periodontists in Aurora Colorado, treat gum disease patients in the Denver metro area. Call Periodontal Associates at 303-755-4500 or visit us on the web at

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