What To Do For A Dental Emergency While Traveling

When it comes to traveling, most of us agree we prefer to be well prepared. Yet, no matter how prepared one is for traveling, unfortunate situations still arise.

Lost luggage while traveling seems to be at the top of vacation nightmares, but a dental emergency is also a big concern. A painful toothache, a chipped tooth, or an area of inflamed gum tissue can threaten to ruin anyone’s vacation. Thankfully, there are things your dentist can be looking for before vacation to prevent these situations. There are also a handful of helpful tips should you find yourself in a real dental emergency while traveling.

What Symptoms Are You Experiencing?

When it comes to seeking help, treatment often depends on the symptoms present or the problem. Are you in pain? If you are, you will likely have more urgency for seeking out care. The three problems listed below are the most common dental emergencies that are faced while traveling. Knowing how to respond to each situation can help you understand how to best respond while traveling.


Toothaches seem to make themselves known when we fly. The change in air pressure while flying can be felt in a tooth that has a crack or chip. A cracked or chipped tooth allows air into the center of the tooth, and this can be felt as pain as the air pressure in the cabin expands.

Hopefully, you notice the pressure decrease again when back on the ground, but if it doesn’t go away when you land, rinse your mouth and use floss to dislodge anything that might be stuck in your teeth. You can take painkillers to help with the pain. If the ache still lingers, you’ll want to see a dentist while traveling.

Broken Or Cracked Tooth

A broken, cracked, or chipped tooth on vacation requires immediate attention. You can swish water to rinse out your mouth and add a cold compress to help reduce any swelling, but it would be best to find a dentist to evaluate your tooth.

Dislodged Tooth

Should a tooth be knocked out entirely, follow these steps:

  • Hold the tooth by the crown. Avoid touching the root of the tooth.
  • Rinse the tooth if it is dirty, but avoid wrapping the tooth in a cloth.
  • Hold the tooth in the socket if possible. If this is not possible, place the tooth in a cup of milk and seek out a dentist immediately. Timing is everything in this situation. The likelihood of saving a dislodged tooth decreases after 30 minutes.

Where To Go In Times Of Dental Emergency?

The chances are that if you are traveling in a well-populated area, there are dentists in your area. If your emergency happens during regular business hours, Google local dentists to check if they can see you for evaluation. Most dentists have emergency times built into their schedule, and even if they can’t see you, they can probably direct you to the best place in the area for getting the help you need.

If you are in a less populated area or it’s after hours, you may have to visit an urgent care center or an emergency center.

Tips For Traveling Prepared

Go In For A Checkup:

Staying up to date on your dental health is the best way to avoid a dental emergency. Do you have a dental treatment that is needed and has not yet been done? Talk to your dentist about what should be completed before you travel.

Travel Prepared:

It can be a good idea to have a pain-killer such as ibuprofen along with you when you travel. Hopefully, you won’t need any on your trip, but it’s best to be prepared if pain strikes.

Mind Your Diet:

If you have been experiencing sensitivity, avoid hot or cold foods that seem to aggravate the sensitivity. Also, avoid chewing hard candies or foods that can lead to chipped or cracked teeth.

Experiencing a dental emergency can be a scary experience. Keeping up on routine dental care and taking care of any dental treatment needs before traveling can be helpful, and knowing what to do should a disaster strike. Do you have a trip coming up? Schedule an appointment with your dentist soon!

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