Practical Tips to Handle Dental Emergencies While Travelling

A dental emergency can happen anywhere at any time. But the problem is a lot scarier and stressful if you’re travelling.

Fortunately, there are ways to get temporary relief or even save your tooth until you find an emergency dentist.

When you start travelling again for pleasure or business, these tips may come in handy to handle any dental emergencies.

How to Handle Dental Emergencies While Travelling

An unexpected toothache, broken tooth or lost crown can ruin your travel plans. Read on to find out how to handle a dental emergency while travelling.

When You’ll Need Emergency Dental Care

  • Loss of a filling or crown
  • Unexpected, unusual or excruciating gum pain
  • Chipped or fractured teeth
  • Teeth falling out
  • Swelling in gums or mouth
  • Any other tooth-related problem


How to Cope with Emergency Dental Problems

Here’s how to respond to various types of dental problems.

  1. Toothache

A severe toothache requires immediate attention, especially when you’re far from home and don’t have a dentist nearby.

Take an over-the-counter pain and inflammation reliever, like ibuprofen. If you’re unable to find ibuprofen, acetaminophen is a good alternative. Additionally, be sure to rinse your mouth with warm salt water. Salt has natural healing properties that help destroy the bacteria in your mouth that causes pain. Gently floss to remove debris from between your teeth that could be contributing to your pain.

2. Lost Dental Filling

Imagine biting down on a hard piece of food and feeling your filling crack or fall out. Scary, isn’t it?

First, don’t panic. Instead, assess the damage before looking for ways to fix it. Does the tooth hurt or the hole left behind feel jagged? If it does, rinse your mouth with lukewarm water to remove food debris. Then, stick a glob of sugarless gum where the filling was or apply over-the-counter dental cement for temporary relief.

Make sure you consult your dentist as soon as you return home.

3. Broken/Cracked/Knocked Out Tooth

In case of broken or cracked teeth, rinse your mouth (including any broken pieces) with warm water. If the broken tooth is bleeding, apply a piece of gauze to the area for about 10 minutes, or until the bleeding stops. Apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth to reduce any swelling and pain.

If a permanent tooth has been knocked out, collect it (and any fragments) in case it can be reimplanted. Handle it carefully as any damage can prevent reimplantation.  Do not touch the tooth root; touch the crown instead. Rinse it in a bowl of lukewarm water for at least 10 seconds to remove dirt and any other foreign particles. Place the tooth back in the socket and bite on a gauze pad in order to hold it in place. If you’re unable to reinsert the tooth, store it in a container of milk, salt water, or saline solution. Visit a dentist as soon as possible to reattach the tooth.

4. Swollen Jaw

A swollen jaw can be caused by many reasons, including a traumatic injury to your mouth, infected lymph nodes, or a tooth abscess.

If you have swelling near your mouth that might be because of a tooth, it needs immediate attention. Find a dentist if you can. Try a walk-in clinic or consult a doctor to give you an antibiotic to control any infection. See a dentist at the earliest to prevent complications.

Tips to Prepare for a Dental Emergency Before Travelling

To mitigate potential damage from a dental emergency while travelling, prepare before leaving. Here’s how.


  • Get travel insurance with dental coverage.
  • Pack a few dental care essentials. These include:
  1. Clove oil (a natural pain reliever that you can apply on a sore tooth)
  2. Over-the-counter medicines for pain relief
  3. Dental wax (to reduce pain caused by broken or bent orthodontic wire), and
  4. Oral hygiene products, like floss and mouthwash.


  • If you have an existing gum or dental issue, make sure you book an appointment with your dentist before your trip. This will decrease your odds of having an undiagnosed problem while you’re away.
  • Avoid hard candies and other foods that might damage any dental fillings or crowns.
  • Research emergency dental and medical facilities in the city you’re planning to visit and keep their contact details handy.

No one wants a toothache or lost filling to jeopardize their travel plans, especially in a new city. Thankfully, you can tackle dental travel emergencies (temporarily at least) with these useful tips. Once you return home, be sure to follow up with your dentist to avoid permanent dental issues.

This entry was posted in Dentistry on Dusk on December 27, 2020.

Dental Clinic Brampton

(Chinguacousy Rd. / Dusk Dr.)
55 Dusk Drive (Unit #2)
Brampton, Ontario, L6Y 5Z6

Phone: 905-453-7777