How To Get Your Teeth Travel-Ready
Dr. Michael Tischler Takes a Bite Out of Dental Emergencies this Summer
When you're browsing through travel Web sites, dental care probably isn't the first thing on your mind. It will be, though, if you end up with tooth pain that keeps you from enjoying the vacation you spent all that time and money arranging. A painful toothache or other dental emergency far from home and your regular dentist can be a traveler’s nightmare.
“Dental problems can ruin a vacation fast,” says Dr. Michael Tischler, listed as one of America's Top Dentists by the Consumer Research Council and co-founder of Tischler Dental in Woodstock, New York. “Any dental emergency like an injury to the teeth or gums can be potentially serious and should not be ignored. Ignoring a dental problem can increase the risk of permanent damage as well as the need for more extensive and expensive treatment later on.” Fortunately, Dr. Tischler says there are a number of things you can do to make sure that doesn't happen.
Know Before You Go. Before you leave, get a routine check-up and have your teeth cleaned. If you're planning on flying within a few days after a dentist appointment, let your dentist know so they don't perform any procedures that could make your teeth sensitive to air pressure changes.
Toothaches. Toothaches can range from a distressing inconvenience to an intense, miserable experience. Severe, emergency dental pain may be as unrelenting as kidney stones or even labor contractions. Fortunately, the chance of an unforeseen dental crisis can usually be prevented by early detection and treatment of dental disease. When dental disaster does strike, (and it always seems to be at the most inopportune time) knowing how to alleviate the pain is invaluable information everyone can use.
A toothache is any pain or soreness within or around a tooth, indicating inflammation and possible infection. Generally, a toothache occurs if tooth decay is very close to or has penetrated the pulp chamber that contains nerves and tiny blood vessels. Ideally, it’s best to undergo dental treatment at once.
According to Dr. Tischler, first, thoroughly rinse your mouth with warm water. Use dental floss to remove any lodged food. If your mouth is swollen, apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth or cheek. There are many over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers to cure toothaches that you can choose from. Most common are paracetamol, aspirin, and acetaminophen. If you feel that a small swelling has occurred, you may take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) for their inflammatory components, like ibuprofen, (Advil, Aleve) and mefenamic acid. However, those with a history of ulcers as well as pregnant women need a doctor's recommendation before taking NSAID and aspirin. “Rubbing aspirin on your gums to numb an aching tooth isn't a good idea. In fact, it'll do more harm than good,” says Dr. Tischler. He adds, “Aspirin contains salicylic acid, which can burn and damage gum tissue. For general pain relief, it's a better idea to simply swallow the aspirin. Or stop by a pharmacy for pain-relieving gels like Anbesol or Orajel.”
Other home remedies for a toothache include rinsing your mouth with salt water or dabbing some clove oil directly on the bad tooth. Clove oil has bacteria-slaying properties, along with a remarkable numbing effect. “We've used clove oil in dentistry for years,” says Dr. Tischler. “Years ago, we would dab clove oil over a tooth before putting a filling in it, but now we have better ways of decreasing the sensitivity.”
For another home remedy, there is numbing power in cooled peppermint tea. Swish, and then swallow if you like the flavor. “People can try putting some ice on the area, but the temperature of the ice could send them over the edge,” cautions Dr. Tischler. “Most challenging are toothaches that stem from inside a tooth,” he adds. But in cases where a lost filling or a broken tooth is causing the pain, "caulking" the sore tooth with softened chewing gum can ease the pain - covering the sensitive area until it can be repaired.
Chipped or Broken Teeth. Save any pieces. Rinse the mouth using warm water; rinse any broken pieces. If there's 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, cheek, or lip near the broken/chipped tooth to keep any swelling down and relieve pain.
Canker Sores. Dr. Tischler also receives frequent complaints about canker sores. He suggests that people with frequent canker sores check to see if their toothpaste contains sodium lauryl sulfate, or SLS. SLS is a foaming agent that in some studies has been linked to the development of canker sores. “Toothpaste that doesn't contain SLS usually makes a big deal about it by saying 'SLS free' on its label,” says Dr. Tischler.
An additional remedy for both canker sores and gum pain is tea tree oil. Tea tree oil should be applied directly to the infected site and can even be purchased in mouthwash form to soothe inflammation. Another preventive measure for canker sores is to avoid eating chips and other jagged foods that can cause tiny cuts and scrapes, which can be an entryway for a virus to set up shop in your mouth. Besides that, stay away from foods that trigger canker sores. Potential troublemakers include whole wheat, rye, barley, shellfish, pineapple, chocolate and tomatoes, as well as salty or citrus fruits.
Gum Problems: Bleeding, Swollen, and Sore Gums. According to the World Health Organization, reports showed that 85% of adults in the U.S. have a type of gum disease and most are not aware of it. Various symptoms of gum disease include: swollen, red, tender, bleeding or receding gums; sensitive teeth; obvious plaque, tartar or calculus; persistent bad breath; spaces developing between teeth; or loose or mobile teeth. Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is another common symptom. Dr. Tischler says, “These symptoms occur because the body’s immune system is responding to an infection caused by bacteria in the gums. People usually ignore the symptoms or don’t take them too seriously, since they probably cannot see the infected regions of the gums.”
Ginseng can be used to alleviate the pain associated with irritated gum tissue. A ginseng tonic can be directly applied to the gum to promote circulation and speed healing. An additional home remedy suggestion is to use a wet tea bag for tooth or gum pain. Tea contains astringent tannins, which have the power to shrink swollen tissue and stop bleeding.
How to Handle a Knocked Out a Tooth? Shake off debris (rinsing or scrubbing could remove important periodontal ligament), place it in a container of milk or back in its socket and try to reach the dentist within 30 minutes. “Unfortunately, not all teeth can be saved,” advises Dr. Tischler. “Alternative methods, such as the Prettau Zirconia Implant Bridge, may need to be considered.”
About Tischler Dental
Since 1971, Tischler Dental has been located in Woodstock, New York. To better fulfill our practice philosophy, we opened a new 10,000 square foot dental treatment center situated on nine scenic acres in the Hudson Valley with views of the majestic Catskill Mountains. Our state-of-the-art facility has 12 dental treatment rooms, each with large windows to capture our beautiful surroundings. Included in these treatment rooms is a surgical suite consisting of two surgical areas that will allow dental implant, bone grafting, periodontal surgery, sedation, and other surgical procedures to be performed in a separate area. We have one of the only dedicated implant surgical suites with its own CT machine in the Hudson Valley. This is the commitment Michael has to implant dentistry. Our dental practice serves Ulster County, Dutchess County, and the greater Hudson Valley area.
About Michael Tischler, DDS
Michael Tischler, DDS and Maurice Tischler, DDS have been listed as one of America's Top Dentists by the Consumer Research Council. This accomplishment is based on their experience, training and membership in professional organizations. Dr. Michael Tischler is an internationally recognized leader in the dental field for his achievements in educating his colleagues through many lectures and over 30 published articles on the topic of dental implants and bone grafting and cosmetic dentistry. Reconstruction of his patient’s mouth and tooth replacement with dental implants. Dental Implants and cosmetics are Michael's true passion. He is appreciative that he can provide this service to his patients and that he truly enjoys planning and performing these miracles of dentistry. He has placed and restored thousands of dental implants with the highest success rate and has received numerous awards for his skill as an implant and cosmetic dentist.
Michael received a Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree from the Georgetown University School of Dentistry in Washington, D.C., before joining Tischler Dental in 1989. Dr. Tischler brings dental implant, bone grafting and gum surgery experience to the dental practice, in addition to prosthetic and cosmetic makeover dental procedures. Dr. Tischler lectures throughout the country to his colleagues and has had many articles published on the principles of implant dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, and bone grafting in major dental journals. He is listed as a dental expert on Dental XP, the internationally recognized leading website for online education. As one of the nation's leading implant and cosmetic dentists, his lecture schedule is vigorous. Dr. Tischler has been listed by "Dentistry Today," the nation's leading clinical news magazines for dentists, as a leader in continuing education since 2003 and is also on The CE Editorial Board for this widely read dental journal. He is also on the Editorial Advisory Board for The Journal of Implant and Advanced Clinical Dentistry. Dr. Tischler is also The Former Director of Implant Education for DaVinci Dental Studios in West Hills, CA. DaVinci is one of the most renowned dental labs in the country. Michael was also previously the Director Of Implant Education for the prestigious Nash Institute in Charlotte NC. Michael has been faculty for the UMDNJ Jersey Dental School AAID Maxi Course.
The is a guest article.