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Like every other emergency, a dental emergency puts you in an uncomfortable situation that often requires emergency attention, made even worse when you are away from home without access to your normal dentist.

According to Altima Brockville Dental Center, how you handle such emergencies can have a massive effect on your dental health afterwards, so it’s important to know what to do and how to do it if things go south for your mouth! 

Regular dental checkups while at home, or scheduling one before you leave on a trip if you haven’t had one in a while, is always the best way to be practive about the health of your teeth, and catch potential issues before they might even arise.

But accidents do happen despite our best efforts and preparation, so here’s some info on common dental emergencies you may experience while traveling, and your best course of action. 

Common Dental Emergencies You May Experience While Traveling

What Is A Dental Emergency?

Woman teeth mouth RF

A dental emergency can simply be regarded as any dental complication that requires immediate attention; teeth, gums, or any surrounding tissues, and the complication is often accompanied by excruciating pain around the affected region.

The pain experienced is either orofacial (pain felt within the mouth, jaw, or face) or toothache (pain felt in the tooth or surrounding structures).

All dental emergencies require you to visit a professional dentist sooner or later, though there are often coping mechanisms you can use in the interim.


Toothache is the most typical dental emergency experienced on and off a trip. A severe toothache is an emergency because it often indicates a deeper problem and requires attention from a dentist as soon as possible.

Dull pain around your teeth or surrounding structures can also build up to another complication and should be handled accordingly.

Suppose you experience a toothache while on a flight; it could be due to the change in air pressure, mainly experienced by people with cavities and previously broken or crooked teeth.

In the absence of a professional dentist, try rinsing your teeth with warm salt water and gently apply a cold press to the affected area.

Broken or Cracked Tooth

This is another dental emergency that you may experience during your vacation, whether you’ve tripped on a cobblestone street in Paris, or fallen out of a tree in the jungles of the Amazon.

When this occurs you’ll need to find a local dentist nearby for more professional treatment. You can ask your hotel attendant for directions / a referral, or you can check online to find the closest professional dentist for an emergency appointment.

Dislodged or Knocked-Out Tooth

tooth fairy RF

A tooth loss requires immediate medical attention, whether you feel pain or not. Although this situation often breeds panic, you must keep a cool head and handle the emergency properly.

In some cases, the teeth can be replaced by the dentist, so it’s advised to find the knocked-out tooth and visit the nearest dentist or emergency room.

We recommend not leaving your dislodged tooth underneath your hotel pillow; the tooth fairy doesn’t make vacation visits, and if you leave stains on your bed sheets you may find yourself with a cleaning fee on checkout!

Denture Problem

A denture is a set of artificial teeth introduced to replace lost or damaged teeth. It is not uncommon to experience a fault in your denture, especially if you have not visited your dentist for denture maintenance in a while.

Suppose you find that your denture or any other restorative structure like filling needs repair; you should visit a dentist near you for an emergency fix. An emergency fix will help keep your denture in place till you can access your regular dentist for a repair.

A dental complication may be the least of your concerns while planning a trip, but you must make necessary preparations in case of an emergency.

Knowing the right actions to take in case of each dental emergency can also go a long way to help you prevent any permanent damage.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 100+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


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