Ouch! Handling a Dental Emergency While On Vacation

Ouch! Handling a Dental Emergency While On Vacation

One of the best ways to avoid a dental emergency while on vacation is to make sure you’re up to date on your preventative care. With regular checkups, you and your dentist are able to avoid potential problems down the road.

Accidents do happen though and it’s important for you know what to do. Some of the most common dental emergencies are a broken tooth, lost crown, lost filling or lost tooth. While upsetting, by keeping emotions calm you’ll be able to care for your mouth and still enjoy your vacation.


Broken Tooth

If the tooth break results in a sharp edge you can cover it with a piece of Orthodontic Wax to keep from cutting your tongue or inside of your mouth. This inexpensive wax can be found at most drug stores or in the dental aisle at the grocery store.

If your tooth break is larger and goes into the gum you should rinse your mouth with warm salt water and call your dentist. Even if you’re out of town they can help you determine the next steps, including finding a dentist in the area to provide emergency service.


Lost Crowns and Fillings

When a filling cracks or falls out the tooth surface will probably be sensitive. Until you are able to visit your dentist a dab of tooth pain reliver gel or liquid will help alleviate discomfort. You should also avoid chewing on the surface of the damaged tooth until it can be repaired.

If your crown falls off and is unbroken you may be able to fit it back into your mouth. Before doing so, clean the inside of the crown by rinsing it in warm water and make sure there is no food or debris. After the inside is clean you can apply a temporary dental cement and place the crown back in your mouth. You will have to be careful and may want to avoid excessive chewing on the tooth until you can see your dentist. If you’ve lost the crown you should call your dentist so you can be advised of next steps.


Lost or Knocked Out Teeth

If a permanent or adult tooth is knocked out it’s important to keep it moist. If possible it should be placed back in the mouth into the tooth socket or between the cheek and gums. Another option is to keep the tooth in milk and head to the dentist right away.

If a baby tooth is lost due to an injury, you should keep it moist and call your dentist. Depending on the break, they will decide whether to implant it again. For both adults and children who’ve experienced mouth and tooth injury it’s important to receive care as quickly as possible, ideally within 1-2 hours.


If assistance is needed and you cannot reach your dentist, the American Dental Association website can help you locate help near you.  https://findadentist.ada.org/ A dentist in the area should be able to get you back to enjoying your vacation. A follow up visit with your regular dentist upon returning home will help ensure your mouth and teeth remain in good health.