A toothache or dental trauma can occur at any time. You can be on a business trip, vacation, or newly relocated to a new area. You have options, but if you are in unfamiliar territory, you might not have a local family dentist to call for treatment; however, you might want to call your dentist at home to see if they can provide a referral (or some advice) for you in your present location.
First of all, know what constitutes an emergency … if something has been bothering you for several days, it likely does not require immediate attention. There are several things you can do depending on the severity of your condition:
Toothache: Don’t assume the worst … try flossing the area; rinse with warm salt water. You might just be dealing with food debris caught between teeth. Take an over the counter analgesic. If pain continues or worsens, professional help should be sought.
Lost filling or crown: If you can save it, you can replace it using dental wax or dental cement as a temporary measure until a more permanent solution can be reached. Never use any type of glue as it can be a health hazard.
Swollen jaw: If swelling has occurred from a bump or trauma, an ice pack can help. But you could be dealing with infection, so a quick response is recommended.
Cut or puncture: Regions of the mouth can bleed profusely; you know your body better than anyone. If it looks or feels serious, do not hesitate to get immediate help. If you are in a strange city, a visit to the hospital emergency room is your best option.
As in most cases, being prepared is important. Whether you are on business, vacation, or even just on the go in your own home town, if you have been diligent about the care you provide for your oral health you will be aware of a loose crown, signs of gingivitis, or changes in your mouth that could signal trouble ahead.
Daily brushing and flossing coupled with regular visits with our family dentist every six months are important to maintain great dental health. But a dental emergency can occur for anyone … become familiar with your surroundings and have a plan.