Dental Emergencies Don't Take Vacations

Posted on July 16, 2013 in General oral health

Feeling caught up in the momentVacations are supposed to be about relaxing, not panicking, but dental emergencies can crop up anywhere. These setbacks don't discriminate between office cubicles or sandy beaches. Here are 3 of the most common emergencies and what to do until you can get to a dentist.

Toothache. First, brush and floss gently, then rinse with warm water. It's possible that a food particle has gotten wedged somewhere and is causing discomfort. Still sore? Take an over-the-counter pain reliever. Do not use heat or place the pain reliever directly on your gums or tooth. Try to stick to fairly soft foods and get to a dentist to have the tooth examined as soon as you can.

Broken Tooth. If there's any bleeding, gauze and a bit of light pressure should stop it within about 10 minutes. If not, try a moist tea bag. If the injury is painful, over-the-counter pain relievers may help make you more comfortable, as well as avoiding hard foods. If jagged edges of your tooth are poking into your cheeks or gums, put dental wax over the sharp parts. The same advice applies for a broken filling or crown. If possible save the crown or filling to bring to the dentist. If you have denture adhesive on hand, you can use that to temporarily reattach the crown until you make it to your appointment.

Oral Injury and Bleeding. If you’ve injured your mouth and there is bleeding, rinse gently to find the blood's source. Then put pressure on that area or use the gauze/tea bag techniques mentioned for broken teeth, left, which should bring bleeding to a halt within 10 to 15 minutes. If you can't get the bleeding to stop, call a dentist. Head to the emergency room if a dentist is unavailable. Even if the bleeding stops, consider visiting a dentist to ensure you don't need stitches or haven't injured a tooth.

We hope you are now prepared for any dental emergency that is thrown your way this summer. Have fun on vacation!