Travelling is an important part of both personal and professional life, distances can vary from person to person, but one important thing which is often neglected is oral health care. We can encounter dental emergency at any point of our life, but this becomes difficult to manage if you are travelling either out of state or out of country.
One should give proper importance to their dental health prior to going for any vacation or travelling, following are a few tips which prepares you to deal better with any dental emergency
- Routine check-up must be done prior to leaving and any kind of pending procedures like cavity filling or root canal treatment etc. should be treated.
- One should always keep a set of travelling oral hygiene products like toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and mouth rinse packed in a leak proof small bag and store it in your handbag at all times.
- Your attending dentist contact number must be available with you as this will help the attending dentist at emergency to communicate with your dentist about various details required to treat you properly.
- Avoid stacking up hard candies and sugary snacks for the trip, try to switch to fresh fruits and keep sipping water instead of soda or juices.
- Stops while travelling can be used not just to freshen up and eat but also to take care of your oral hygiene, brushing and flossing should not be skipped even travelling long distances.
There are times when even after taking the precautions one can end up in emergency, but what all emergencies can occur? Some of the popularly seen dental emergencies are-
- Dislodgement of Crown/restoration on a tooth
- Fracture of tooth
- Dislodgement of tooth outside the socket
Although the emergencies vary, but one thing which is common in management of all dental emergencies is visiting a dental surgeon as soon as possible to get it fixed.
Few tips to manage the dental emergencies on the go –
Dislodgement of crown
If possible locate the crown and keep it with you when you go to the dental office, it is likely that if the crown is not damaged and properly made the dentist there can fix it back after proper inspection and disinfection. One thing to take care when the crown is not present is to avoid chewing from the side where the crown was as the tooth might fracture due to absence of crown to protect it.
Sudden pain which often occur is due to dentinal sensitivity, various stimulus can cause this like cold/sweets etc., the first thing to do is to remove the stimulus i.e. stop eating/drinking that product which caused it, rinse your mouth with lukewarm saline/water. Other possible cause for pain other than sensitivity is acute irreversible pulpitis, the patient should immediately rush to the dentist, and application of ice pack to the area has shown temporary relief to patients till they reach the dental office. Do not place an aspirin on the tooth/gums as it can cause chemical burns on the area.
Fracture of tooth
If the fragment/tooth which is fractured can be found, wash it in water and keep it with you to the dentist, if any bleeding occur on gums, clean the area with an antiseptic solution and apply a little pressure to stop the bleeding. Tooth fragments can be reattached depending on the condition of the tooth which can be decided by the dentist.
Dislodgement of tooth out of the socket
Locate the tooth, wash it in water if it is dirty but do not scrub or rub the surface of the tooth, place the tooth in socket back if possible or store it in your saliva or milk and rush to a dentist, best prognosis is when the tooth is replanted within 30 minutes of dislodgement i.e. the sooner the better.
Emergencies can occur any time, educating yourself on how to manage them and staying calm while dealing with any kind of emergency will help you to withstand the situation with ease. Do not try to diagnose and treat yourself all alone, seek help of others and call emergency service if needed and rely on licensed dental practitioners for the treatment.
Dr MOUNICA MAGANTI
Dr Mounica graduated from NTR University, India in 2014. She is actively involved in volunteering for various health camps and practiced dentistry in India at a Dental Hospital. Currently she is working as a pre-dental assistant in Texas.