How to Manage Dental Emergencies While Traveling

How to Manage Dental Emergencies While Traveling

May 01, 2023

Dental emergencies are conditions that require immediate attention from a dental professional. These emergencies can occur for various reasons, including trauma, infection, or severe pain. Unfortunately, you cannot dictate when and where an oral emergency occurs. Therefore, it helps to have tips and measures on what to do if you have a dental emergency while traveling and at home.

What Causes Dental Emergencies While on Vacation?

Some common causes of dental emergencies while on vacation:

  • Trauma or injury: Accidents or injuries can happen during vacation activities such as sports, swimming, or hiking, leading to broken or knocked-out teeth and other dental injuries.
  • Delayed or missed dental appointments: If you have a pre-existing dental problem that you have been putting off or couldn’t attend due to vacation, it could worsen and require emergency dental care away from home.
  • Changes in diet: When traveling, your diet may change, and you may consume more sugary or acidic foods and drinks, which can lead to dental decay, cavities, and tooth sensitivity.
  • Climate changes: Changes in temperature or humidity can cause changes in the body’s response to dental issues, leading to toothaches or gum infections.
  • Poor dental hygiene: Being away from home can sometimes lead to a slip in dental hygiene, and if left unaddressed, it can cause dental problems that require emergency dentistry in Glastonbury, CT.

Common Dental Emergencies When on Vacation

The most common dental emergencies that may occur when on vacation:

  • Toothache – is one of the most common dental emergencies. It can be due to various factors, such as tooth decay, gum disease, or a cracked tooth. A toothache can be very uncomfortable and painful and may require immediate attention from a dentist.
  • Broken or chipped teeth – can be caused by biting on hard food, getting hit in the mouth, or falling. It can cause pain and sensitivity, making it difficult to eat or drink.
  • A knocked-out tooth – can be a result of an accident or injury. Sometimes, if you visit us at Steven F. Hinchey, DMD, we can replant the knocked-out tooth in good time.
  • Lost filling or crown – it can expose the sensitive parts of your tooth, causing pain and sensitivity. It’s important to get the filling or crown replaced as soon as possible to avoid further damage.
  • Abscessed tooth – a painful condition caused by a bacterial infection. It can cause swelling, fever, and difficulty chewing.
  • Jaw pain – can be caused by factors such as tooth decay, gum disease, or a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).

What To Do About Dental Emergencies When on Vacation

Dental emergencies can be very uncomfortable and painful, especially when you’re on vacation and far from your regular dentist. However, there are steps you can take to manage dental emergencies while on vacation until you can get professional help. Here are some tips on what to do about dental emergencies before finding a dentist in a foreign country:

  • Call your dental insurance provider to find out if they have a network of dentists or dental clinics in the nearby your area you’re visiting. They may be able to recommend a reputable dentist who can help you.
  • Search online for dentists or dental clinics in the area you’re visiting. You can check reviews from other patients to find a reputable one. You can also use dental directories, such as the American Dental Association’s directory of dentists.
  • Take pain relievers – over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen can help to reduce mild to moderate pain and swelling.
  • Rinse with warm salt water – rinsing with warm salt water can help to relieve pain and reduce inflammation in cases of toothache or abscess.
  • Use a dental first aid for Travelers – ideally, before you leave for your trip, pack a dental emergency kit that includes pain relievers, dental floss, cotton balls, and a small salt container. It can help you manage minor dental problems until you can get professional help.


Always take care of your teeth and maintain good oral hygiene while on vacation to avoid dental emergencies. Also, be mindful of your activities and ensure you have protective gear to prevent dental injuries. If you experience any dental pain or discomfort, seek medical attention immediately.

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