Traveling to a foreign country has a lot of amazing perks. New foods, different customs, and in the case of Costa Rica, great weather.
Unfortunately, sometimes accidents can happen. Maybe you broke a tooth while whitewater rafting. And sometimes a problem you’ve been ignoring, like that toothache, becomes a problem you can no longer ignore. You need to seek out help.
But how do you know which is a dental emergency and what you can wait on until you return home? Keep reading to learn when you should look for emergency dental care in Costa Rica.
Your Tooth is Loose
When you were a kid, a loose tooth meant money from the tooth fairy. As an adult, a loose tooth means a visit to receive emergency dental care. Loose teeth are not good for adults.
A loose tooth can mean a tooth injury. In most cases, a loose tooth due to an injury is extremely painful. A dentist will check for nerve and jaw damage.
A loose tooth can also mean it’s a sign of an infection. To properly diagnose what type of infection you have, you’ll need to visit a dentist. Often, a toothache will accompany the infection.
Get your tooth treated before infection spreads and to prevent any teeth from having to be extracted.
Your Tooth Was Cracked or Knocked Out
If you suffer an injury where your teeth were cracked or knocked out, it’s time to receive emergency dental care immediately. In fact, if you knock out a tooth, aim to see the dentist within 30 minutes of the accident.
For a knocked out tooth, handle it as little as possible. Do NOT handle it by its roots. See if you can put your tooth back in its socket. You can bite down on a moistened gauze or wet tea bag to help.
If it won’t stay, rinse the tooth clean. Then place it in a container of milk or your own saliva until you see the dentist. Apply a cold, wet compress to help with any bleeding.
Your Gums are Bleeding and They Ache
Normally, bleeding gums are signs of early gum disease or gingivitis. If it’s small amounts of bleeding or only on occasion, you’re fine to wait until you get back from Costa Rica.
However, if the bleeding is excessive, recurring, or leaves your gums aching, those are warning signs you shouldn’t ignore. Instead, visit an emergency dental care facility. These are the only set of teeth you get during your lifetime, so take care of them.
There’s an Abscess
An abscessed tooth is an extremely painful infection. It usually begins at the root of your tooth. Usually, an abscessed tooth is caused by a cavity left untreated or in cases of severe gum disease.
However, an abscessed tooth can also be caused by any sort of trauma to your mouth. Even a chipped tooth can cause an abscess.
Either way, it’s serious and you need to receive emergency dental care. If you have a fever, a foul taste in your mouth, are noticing pus or have swollen glands, go see a dentist immediately.
Often, some sort of surgery is necessary to drain and treat your infection.
Your Pain is Too Severe to Handle on Your Own
If you’re experiencing small amounts of pain, usually it’s okay to take an over-the-counter drug like Tylenol to handle it. However, if the pain becomes too severe for even the Tylenol to work well, don’t try to handle it on your own.
Instead, schedule a visit to receive emergency dental care. Severe pain can be an indication of an infection or other problems. Don’t wait, dental problems can affect other areas of your health.
Your Jaw is Swollen
If any part of your mouth or jaw becomes swollen, it can indicate there’s a serious sign of infection. One such infection is a salivary gland infection. Left untreated, pus and an abscess can form, creating more complications.
If you notice a swollen jaw, a bad taste in your mouth, trouble breathing or swallowing, and have a fever, contact an emergency dental care center.
Sores in Your Mouth aren’t Healing
Canker sores are painful and seem to last forever. They also seem to form exactly in the worst place in your mouth. But within 1-3 weeks, they also disappear.
While there are a few reasons why canker sores form in your mouth, they should heal fairly quickly. Unfortunately, as they heal, they tend to grow larger before they start to disappear.
If you have canker sores or other sores in your mouth that have been there for awhile and aren’t healing, it’s a sign something else is going on. You should seek out emergency dental care.
If Your Mouth Tastes like Metal You Need Emergency Dental Care
While metal fillings aren’t given anymore, they used to be commonplace. If your mouth begins to taste like metal, it could be a sign that your metal filling has become cracked or loose.
Seek emergency dental care if you do taste metal. You’re more prone to infections and cavities and even a possible root canal. Rather than put yourself in a deeper hole, see a dentist and have them give you a new filling.
How to Find a Great Dentist in Costa Rica
When you’re traveling, it’s more difficult to find great healthcare. You’re not close to your home and you have fewer people you can ask for a referral.
That doesn’t mean you can’t find great dental care here in Costa Rica. If you’re staying in a hotel, ask them for a recommendation.
Do a Google search. Check out their website to see if it’s professional looking. Look to see if there are testimonials on their page.
Make sure they can handle emergencies and are open when you need them. Call them up and explain the situation to them. If you don’t speak Spanish, find a dentist who speaks your language.
We cater to an international clientele who come to Costa Rica to enjoy our beautiful surroundings. They come to receive dental care from us because we’re the best.
Contact us to learn about the benefits that come with receiving your dental care with us.