What to do when you have a dental emergency while travelling

Preparing for a dental emergency while packing is the last thing you would think of even if you’re the most proactive person. A toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash and floss are all we think we need to form the perfect dental travelling kit. But what will you do if a nasty toothache pricks your brain or your dentures have a breakdown in the middle of tour?

Here’s what you can do

1. For a toothache - A throbbing toothache can be a real buzz kill to your mood on a holiday. It could occur if an unsettling food particle has set up camp in between teeth or due to weather change. In case of food particles, rinse your mouth with warm salt water to clear it out and in case of weather change, avoid consumption of any hot or cold liquids or food and try a painkiller suggested by a pharmacist or a medical professional. A gentle rub of olive oil or clove oil and holding an icepack against your cheek on the affected side are good temporary relievers until you consult the nearest dentist.

2. For broken dentures - If you’re under the assumption that since your teeth are not real, you won’t have many dental problems, you’re wrong. A denture, as solid and accommodating as it may seem can also crack when not well-fitted. Not only do dentures break during an accident but also instability of dentures on the gums can break them. Under these circumstances however, do not try to move around the denture to bring it back in its place, you’re only causing friction to the gums and inviting infections. In such a scenario, a nearby dentist is your only saving grace for a temporary fix until you go back to your regular dentist.

3. For a loose crown or filling - The armour for a rotten tooth is a crown and the soldier to a weak tooth is a filling. But what happens when a tooth is caught off guard with a dangling crown and filling? For a loose crown or filling, toothpaste or petroleum jelly can be used to attach it back carefully without rubbing the gums. Dental cement available at medical stores is also a good option as a temporary measure. But, if the crown or filling appears to be lost, be sure to cover the tooth with dental cement to protect it and stop it from growing into the space the crown was in. Outgrowing the crown could make it harder to fit a new replacement crown for the tooth.

4. For a knocked-out or dislodged tooth - Have you taken a punch for the team that cost you a tooth in a bar brawl? Have you fallen hard face first only to shake a tooth out of its spot? It’s a going to be a bloodbath either way and result in an injury that will send you straight to the emergency room. The dangers of a knocked-out tooth include losing it forever and a pricey procedure of replacement. But if it’s only half knocked out or dislodged, try to gently fit it back into place and numb the pain with an icepack against your cheek until you reach the dentists clinic. Our teeth have a short life span and in times like these the key to fixing your teeth is that it should be done within an hour of the incident.

It isn’t every day that we face dental problems, but when it happens on a vacation we must remember that dentists are everywhere. Moreover, always remember although some of the methods mentioned above will provide relief, it’s only short-term. And typically, DIY dental care doesn’t work in the long term,
here’s why. A recommended solution is to visit your dentist. 

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Last updated on 05 March, 2019.

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