Painful Tooth While On Holiday Vacation? Dos And Don’ts While Awaiting Your Visit Your Dentist

Nothing can destroy a nice holiday vacation more than experiencing an injury while away, and that includes a tooth injury. Unfortunately, you cannot send your body an "away for the holidays" message when you leave for vacation to tell it to stay healthy while you are away! If you are on vacation and experiencing tooth pain due to a lost filling, a cracked tooth, or a bad cavity that has worsened, then you may need a dentist, such as those at Airport Road Dental Associates, to perform a root canal procedure. The first thing you should do is visit a local emergency dentist who may be able provide you a temporary tooth repair or medications you can begin taking before you are back home and can visit your regular dentist. Read on to learn you can and should not do while waiting to see your regular dentist at home for a proper root canal treatment. 

Don't: Try Any Type of "DIY Dentistry"

Dental professionals in the UK are reporting that "DIY dentistry" attempts are getting out of hand. Not only is DIY dentistry ineffective, but it is also very dangerous. While  you would likely never resort to the crazy DIY dental tactics others have, such as extracting their own teeth with pliers and using a nail file to "smooth out" a chip in a tooth, there is one DIY dentistry technique many people are using too much in the United States: DIY temporary tooth filling kits. 

The reason many people may think that these kits are safe may be due to the fact that some dentists do provide temporary fillings to patients in some situations. However, placing a temporary filling in your own tooth, especially one that has a deep cavity and is in need of a root canal, is very unsafe. 

Why? Even if you wash your hands and brush your teeth thoroughly before placing the temporary filling in your tooth, bacteria that is always present in an unsterile environment can easily get trapped under the filling mixture. This trapped bacteria can cause a tooth that was once only painful due to having an exposed nerve develop a bad infection. As white blood cells rush to the area of infection to attempt to heal it, the filling will also trap them in. 

When the white blood cells have no where else to go, they will find another path to travel and spread the infection to your jaw bone or create an abscess on the gum above the infected tooth. 

To stay safe, the only dental care you should provide yourself at home is your daily brushing and flossing and any other home treatments your dentist prescribes. 

Do: Take OTC Pain Medications and Try Safe Home Pain Remedies if Needed

Many people driven to try DIY dentistry are simply in so much pain they may not weigh the hazards of the remedies against the pain relief they may provide. However, there are many ways to relieve tooth pain while awaiting a root canal that are effective and safe. If you rarely take OTC pain medications, then you may be surprised at how much tooth pain relief you get from a simple tablet of acetaminophen or naproxen sodium. Never take more than the maximum daily dosage listed on the package and, if you take any prescription medications, be sure there are no drug interactions before you take them. 

If OTC pain medications don't provide enough pain relief or if you simply like to opt for natural health remedies when possible, then there are a few safe ones that can help relieve tooth pain while you await your root canal treatment at home. If your tooth is extremely painful, then that is a sign that it may be infected. When a tooth is infected and white blood cells rush to it to try to heal it, the build-up of cells can place a lot of pressure on the tooth nerve, which causes that throbbing pain. 

One home remedy that helps "draw out" the white blood cells to relieve pressure being put on the tooth nerve involves simply holding a wet black tea bag against the gum tissue in front of the painful tooth. You may need to be patient when doing this, because it typically takes about 30 minutes for the tea bag to "perform its trick." It is believed that the astringent tannins in the tea are what make this home remedy so useful. Typically, once the tea bag does its job, the white blood cells it draws out of your tooth will surface and you will need to rinse them out of your mouth. 

If you developed sudden tooth pain while on holiday vacation, then visit a local emergency dentist for immediate treatment. He or she may be able to fix your problem altogether or provide you with a temporary treatment that helps you feel better until you can visit your regular dentist at home for a root canal. However, do not be tempted to perform any DIY dentistry if the emergency treatment cannot relieve all of your pain, but instead take OTC pain medications or try a safe, natural home remedy.