How to Handle a Dental Emergency While Travelling

How to Handle a Dental Emergency While Travelling

A dental problem is considered a dental emergency if it requires immediate treatment to save a tooth, alleviate pain, and stop bleeding. This also applies to life-threatening dental infections.

If you are suffering from any of these, your first move should be to call your dentist to receive prompt and proper emergency dental care. But what if you encounter such problems while travelling?

Read further to learn how to manage common dental emergencies while you’re away from home, and some great tips to prepare for it.

8 Common Dental Emergencies and How to Handle Each

1. Toothache

Experiencing a toothache while flying is common because of the imbalances in air pressure. Such a toothache typically goes away once you have landed. However, if the toothache persists, this will require care, regardless of how mild or severe the pain can be.

Here’s how to relieve tooth pain while you’re on a trip.

Step 1: Take a pain reliever. Ideally, you should bring or buy pain relievers prescribed by your doctor or dentist to ensure that they will not counteract any other medication you are taking or affect existing medical conditions. Ibuprofen, for instance, can help reduce pain and inflammation.

Step 2: Properly brush and floss your teeth. Food debris can get stuck under your gums, causing a lot of irritation.

Step 3: Apply a cold or warm compress. Sipping a cold or hot beverage can also sometimes help.

Step 4: If the pain persists, head to the nearest emergency dental clinic. Otherwise, you need to visit your dentist as soon as you arrive home to determine and treat its cause before it becomes worse.

2. Knocked-out tooth

A knocked-out tooth necessitates urgent attention. By implementing the right steps once your tooth has been knocked-out, there is a huge chance that your tooth can be preserved and reinserted by an emergency dentist.

Step 1: Pick up the tooth by the crown or the top area. Avoid touching its root.

Step 2: Rinse the tooth gently with saliva or milk (not tap water), but don’t scrub or remove anything attached to it. Then, place it in a washcloth or towel before putting it in a clean container. But if you are brave enough, you can place your tooth back into its socket after you have rinsed it by holding it gently in place while biting down.

Step 3: Call a dentist. It is crucial for you see the dentist as fast as you can to save the knocked-out tooth. Waiting for too long will lower the chances of successful re-implantation.

3. Cracked, chipped or fractured tooth

A chipped tooth that is not painful is not a dental emergency. Be cautious when eating, however, to avoid chipping it more. But if it is accompanied by pain, you need to go call a dentist.

On the other hand, a fractured and cracked tooth is considered a dental emergency as this suggests that there is damage inside and outside the affected tooth. The tooth may not be saved if there are severe fractures. After calling an emergency dentist, follow these steps.

Step 1: Rinse your mouth with warm water.

Step 2: Apply a cold compress to the affected area if the fracture is a result of a facial trauma. This will help reduce the swelling.

Step 3: Take a prescribed pain reliever, but not aspirin, to alleviate pain. Don’t forget to read the directions before taking it.

4. Loose tooth

Once you notice that your tooth has become loose, call a dentist immediately. But in the meantime, you must try to put back the tooth in its socket with your finger. Bite down to prevent the tooth from moving, but you should not apply too much pressure.

5. Lost filling

If you suddenly lose a filling while eating during your trip, don’t panic! Instead, take the following steps.

Step 1: Remove any food debris by swishing your mouth with warm water. If this doesn’t work, brush the area gently.

Step 2: Go to the nearest pharmacy and buy a temporary dental filling material. Then, carefully follow the directions. If you can’t buy such, you can use a piece of chewed sugarless gum as an alternative.

Step 3: Call a dentist or visit the nearest emergency dental clinic.

6. Abscessed tooth

A dental abscess is a dental emergency because this can result in a life-threatening condition. This involves the presence of a pocket of pus in your tooth, leading to an infection that can spread into its surrounding tissues and your jaw. This may cause tooth sensitivity, tender lymph nodes, facial swelling, a persistent toothache, and fever.

See an emergency dentist right away or attend an emergency department if a dentist is not available.

7. Broken dentures

Dental emergencies also involve your false teeth. If your dentures suddenly became loose or broken, don’t try to fix them by yourself. You need to find an emergency dentist nearby who is qualified to do minor adjustments or repairs.

8. Tissue injury

Lacerations, puncture wounds, and tears in your cheeks, lips, tongue or mouth are considered a dental emergency. These tissue injuries, when left unaddressed, can lead to severe complications, especially when there is persistent bleeding.

Use warm water to clean the area. Also, use gauze to put pressure on the wound, and get to an emergency dental clinic as soon as you can.

Preparing for a Dental Emergency

Prevention is better than a cure, so avoid dental emergencies in the first place by seeking regular, routine examinations of your mouth and maintaining a high standard of oral health and hygiene.

If you are visiting Melbourne, 247 Dental is your best solution. Our on-call dentists will be more than willing to assist you. Just give us a call to schedule an appointment with our after hours dentist.

 

Dr. Michael Letham is the owner and dentist at 24/7 Dental and Bayside Smiles. He graduated from Sydney University in 2000 with Honours, receiving the R Morse Withycombe Prize for Proficiency in Clinical Periodontics (gum treatment). Striving to provide a modern, holistic approach to dental care that is tailored to each individual's requirements, Mike's focus is on being thorough and meticulous whilst being caring and compassionate.