How To: Handle a Dental Emergency While on Summer Vacation

June 29, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — smilesforlifeteam @ 7:04 pm
Woman experiencing tooth sensitivity while on vacation

When dreaming of your vacation, you probably thought of sleeping in, taking in the sites, and catching up on some much-needed R&R. Struggling with a cracked tooth, loose restoration, or gum inflammation, however, likely was NOT on the list of to-dos. In fact, even a minor dental injury can be stressful to handle while you’re away from home. Don’t worry – here are some helpful tips on what to do next from an emergency dentist.

What to Do If You Experience a Dental Injury on Vacation

The first step is to assess the damage. For example, if you’re struggling with a minor toothache, then flossing between your teeth, rinsing with a mixture of salt and warm water, and taking over-the-counter pain medication can keep discomfort at bay until you return home. If your dental injury requires immediate treatment, however, like a knocked-out tooth or loose restoration, then it’s worth reaching out to a local dentist. If you’re staying at a hotel with a concierge, they may be able to provide you with a recommendation. Otherwise, you can Google “dentist near me” and research nearby practices.

If All Else Fails, Visit an Emergency Room

If you’re in a foreign country, it’s after-hours, or you are struggling with potentially life-threatening symptoms (i.e., the inability to breathe, difficulty swallowing, a fractured jaw), then you should head to the nearest ER right away. Although they may not have a dentist on-staff, they can ease your discomfort and provide you with the medical attention you require. Remember, your oral health directly impacts your overall health, so you don’t want to put off any type of oral pain for too long. Vacations can be postponed; taking care of your health cannot.

How to Help Avoid Dental Injuries in the Future

If you haven’t left for your vacation yet or you’re simply wondering how you can minimize your chances of experiencing a dental injury on your next trip, then there are a few best practices you should keep in mind, including:

  • Scheduling a checkup with your dentist before you leave town.
  • Packing all of your oral hygiene tools, including an over-the-counter pain reliever.
  • Maintaining your dental care routine before, during, and after your vacation.
  • Avoiding unhealthy habits, like smoking and using your teeth as tools.
  • Keeping your intake of foods and drinks with added sugar to a minimum.

Dental emergencies can throw a wrench in your plans, especially if you’re on vacation. Fortunately, the above information can help you get the treatment you need as quickly as possible. That way, you can get back to enjoying your time off!

About the Author

In his 30+ years of experience, Dr. James T. Gray has had the opportunity to help patients with a wide range of dental needs, from routine preventive care to last-minute emergency dentistry. Since the latter tends to be a more stressful experience, he goes the extra mile to provide compassionate, personalized, and comfortable care. If you want to learn more about how to prevent a dental emergency or you’d like to schedule an appointment, don’t hesitate to visit his website or call (817) 460-4131.