The thrill and excitement are undeniable and irresistible. The prospect of venturing to foreign places and making discoveries or learning new things can be quite stimulating. Even so, travel does not come without its pitfalls. There is a lot you must plan for and take into account. Your health is chief among them.
When you are at home, you benefit from access to your primary doctor and familiar hospitals in case of emergencies. Furthermore, and perhaps more crucially, your dentist is within reach. Dental health is just as important as your general health. So, if something goes wrong with your teeth, it can put a damper on your holiday, at least. The worst-case scenario would have you cutting your trip short altogether.
So what dental emergencies can occur while you are away, and how do you deal with them if they do?
Types of emergencies
Unfortunately, there is a fair number of things that can happen to your teeth while you are travelling, including:
A broken tooth.
Pain in the jaw.
A knocked-out tooth.
Dislodged crown or filling.
Each of these occurrences can be mild or severe in its own right, although the presence of an abscess is quite a dire situation, no matter the size. The best way to manage them is by having an idea of what to do in the first place.
How to handle a dental emergency
First, you must identify the severity of the situation. In some cases, a few timely but straightforward actions may be enough to buy you enough time to get back home and see your dentist. However, if you determine that it is beyond your ability to find a temporary fix, do not hesitate to go to a professional. Alternatively, a trip to the nearest emergency room may be in order, especially when dealing with an abscess.
For less critical situations, or in case you cannot gain access to a dentist, keep these actions in mind:
- For chipped or broken teeth, rinse out your mouth using some warm water. If there is any bleeding, apply gauze or some cotton wool to the area. Next, wrap some ice in cloth or find a cold compress which you will place on the site closest to the affected tooth. This step will help to reduce any swelling or pain that occurs.
- Many people can testify to the fact that having a toothache is no laughing matter. It can be uncomfortable and irritating. Toothaches are also a sign that something is amiss, including tooth decay. If you get one, use a cold compress on the outer area. Stay away from painkillers as they are likely to cause some burns upon contact with the gums. If you notice some swelling or the pain becomes debilitating, you must seek emergency care.
- If you are dealing with a knocked-out tooth, you can try to coax it back into place as long as it is less than one hour since it was pushed out of place. Once you do so, refrain from trying to push it in to avoid damaging the root. If the insertion is unsuccessful, put the tooth in a cup of very lightly salted water or milk and go to a dentist as soon as you can.
- A broken crown or filling is less than ideal since it is already a repair mechanism. Nevertheless, suppose it happens. You may try sticking a small piece of sugar-free gum into the cavity and nothing more. Do not attempt any further repair. If you have the piece that has broken off, place it in a bag and take it with you when you make your way to see a professional.
- Broken braces can hamper the progress made in your orthodontic restoration efforts. If you are faced with broken braces, you can attempt to move the wires into another position to ease discomfort. Alternatively, in case you are unable to, take some cotton or gauze and use it to cover the end.
- An abscess is an infection that occurs around the root or between the teeth and gums. It should be seen immediately upon detection to avoid allowing its spread to other teeth and the rest of your body. An abscess looks like a swollen spot resembling a pimple and is painful to the touch. You can rinse out your mouth with water and ice the area until you get to the dentist’s office.
All these tips are temporary remedies that may buy you enough time to get to a dentist for urgent care. Nonetheless, the superior option is always prevention and preparation, most of which occurs before you leave home.
To begin, it is always a good idea to have some insurance cover when travelling. So do your research while planning and find an appropriate policy just to be on the safe side. Moreover, consider taking note of the best dental clinics located close to where you plan to stay. Next, it is a good idea to watch what you eat and how you do it. That is the best way to avoid breaking or chipping a tooth. Thirdly, ensure that you have a good oral hygiene routine and that you always keep up with it.
Finally, the most important part of prevention is making regular visits to your dentist. It is recommended that you make an appointment every six months. Additionally, scheduling a check-up by your Parramatta dentist to go travelling will be highly beneficial.