There’s never a good time to experience a dental emergency, but if it happens while you’re overseas, a difficult situation can be even more stressful. You may never expect it to happen to you, but 1 in 6 Americans suffers a dental emergency every year. There’s no worse time for one to occur than when you’re away from home. Don’t panic! Here’s how to handle a dental emergency while you’re traveling.
Managing Common Dental Emergencies
Dental emergencies can occur with no warning and take many forms. Here is what you should do if you experience a:
- Toothache: Take an over-the-counter pain reliever and eat soft foods. Sleep with your pillow elevated to prevent blood from pooling in your head, which can cause a throbbing sensation.
- Chipped or Broken Tooth: Rinse your mouth with salt water to remove any debris. Bite on a piece of gauze if you’re experiencing any bleeding. Avoid chewing with your tooth until after it has been repaired. Take an OTC pain reliever to manage any discomfort.
- Lost Crown: Don’t use any OTC dental repair kits to bond a crown back in place because bacteria can get trapped underneath it. This can cause a small issue to turn into a big problem quickly. Instead, use a small dab of toothpaste to hold your crown in place temporarily.
- Broken Denture: Never repair dentures using glue or adhesives because they can contain toxic chemicals or cause allergic reactions. Not to mention, they don’t hold up well in moist environments. It’s best to stop using your denture right away to avoid causing additional damage or injuring your soft tissues.
- Knocked-Out Tooth: Hold your tooth by the crown and rinse it with cool water. Do not scrub it, use cleaners, or dry it. Reinsert it back into the socket. If you’re not successful, place it in a saline solution or a cup of milk.
Find an Emergency Dentist
Time is of the utmost importance. You can’t wait until you get back home to see a dentist or you might lose your tooth. Instead, look for an emergency dentist near you. They’ll assess your situation to provide the appropriate treatment to stop your pain and save your smile.
If you can’t find an emergency dentist, head to the closest hospital. Although emergency rooms can’t treat dental problems, they can’t prescribe antibiotics and pain relievers. You’ll still need to see a dentist soon, even if your discomfort goes away.
Whether you’re overseas for work or leisure, a dental emergency doesn’t have to ruin your day.
About Dr. A. Gary Goodman
Dr. Goodman earned his dental degree from the University of Maryland School of Dentistry and has regularly pursued continuing education to provide up-to-date services. He has experience in the most complex aspects of dental care, including restorative dentistry, emergency dentistry, and dental implants. Request an appointment online or call (410) 849-6247.