December 6, 2018
It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling 50 miles or 500 miles, being any distance away from a dental office can be risky if you fear for your dental health. If a dental emergency happens, you might find it easy to panic because you’re in a foreign place and you don’t know where to turn. That’s why it’s important to stay prepared in events like these, whether they be broken or knocked-out teeth, toothaches or damaged restorations.
According to an emergency dentist, here’s what you should do next in the following situations.
Dislodged or Knocked-out Tooth
In the event that your tooth becomes dislodged but doesn’t completely come out, you’ll want to avoid chewing on that side of your mouth until you get to an emergency dentist in that area. If the tooth does completely come out, start by locating the tooth and picking it up by the crown. Avoid touching the root or removing any tissue that’s still attached. If the root has dirt or debris on it, gently rinse that portion. After it has been cleaned, attempt to place the tooth back into your socket to keep it preserved. If this is not possible, keep it inside a container of milk or saltwater and get to a dentist right away. The longer you wait, the less chance you have of reimplanting the tooth.
If tooth pain appears while you’re flying, wait until you get back on the ground. It’s typical for air to travel in between teeth or inside damaged portions, then expand. If the toothache does not go away after landing, rinse your mouth out and floss around the tooth to remove potential food debris. Take painkillers if the pain does not seem to go away. If the pain becomes unbearable, get to an emergency dentist.
Broken Teeth or Restoration
If you’ve broken a natural tooth, get to a dentist as soon as possible. Cracked teeth, especially cracks that extend below the gum line, are significant dental emergencies only a dentist can help. The same applies for crowns or fillings that have fallen out and broken into multiple pieces. If the crown or filling is still intact, rinse any debris off and reseat it using dental cement, denture adhesive or petroleum jelly until you get to a dentist.
The Best Defense is Prevention
While no one expects a dental emergency, there are ways to practice effective prevention. Before your next trip, it’s worth it to accomplish the following:
- Get a checkup performed by your dentist, especially if you have a prior history of tooth decay, gum disease or oral infections.
- Bring over-the-counter medications to treat pain should it appear. Make sure you have all the dental supplies you need to practice good oral care.
- Avoid chewing on hard foods that can easily cause a tooth to crack or chip. If you struggle with dental sensitivity, avoid acidic beverages to prevent irritating your tooth while traveling.
Do you need to plan for your next trip? Don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with a dentist and confirm your oral health is in good condition.
About the Author
Dr. Alex Martin earned his DDS degree from Creighton University in Omaha. He’s fully trained to perform emergency, restorative and preventive treatments, whether you’re coming back from a trip with a dental issue or trying to prevent one before you leave. To learn how his treatments can help you prepared, you can contact him through his website.
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