The major holiday fear - toothache

Holiday-makers' worst fear as they head to the beach
Holiday-makers' worst fear as they head to the beach

After months of watching flight prices go up, getting beach body ready (or not) and going back and forth on where to stay, holiday season is finally upon us.

New research reveals that the top things holidaymakers in the South-East are most looking forward to about their holiday are: a chance for relaxation (67%); exploring a new place (50%) and the weather (52%).

However, a major concern is illness? It’s a phenomenon Dutch scientists have even named as ‘leisure sickness’, that moment when as soon as you down tools you get ill.

According to a new study commissioned by Orajel™, over a third (35%) of Brits in the South-East worry most about falling ill whilst away, citing this above losing their belongings (31%) and disappointing accommodation (33%).

More specifically, a toothache has been revealed as the biggest holiday nightmare.

Over half (51%) of the South-East said they thought a toothache would be a nightmare on holiday, followed by sunburn (30%) and insect bites (30%). In fact, more people in the South-East say they would risk going away on holiday with a cough/cold (60%) than they would if they had a toothache (30%).

When it comes to toothaches, it seems the default response to dealing with it is to pop a painkiller pill rather than get to the root of the problem too. 76% of the South-East who suffer from a toothache while on holiday take painkillers vs. 46% who would visit a dentist and just 25% would choose to apply a topical pain relieving gel.

Media medic and GP Dr Roger Henderson has these tips to ensure holiday illness doesn’t ruin your plans this summer:

- Planning ahead is always the key when it comes to safe and healthy travelling. Firstly, don’t leave it too late to have any vital travel immunisations – at least six weeks beforehand is what I recommend – and your doctor or practice nurse can advise you on what holiday jabs you may need.

- Take a basic first aid kit containing plasters, tweezers, safety pins and Tubigrip and if travelling to a developing country take your own UK medication to avoid using counterfeit products.

- Carry a good anti-histamine lotion and calamine lotion in case of insect bites, and remember to keep sun safe – keep out of the sun between 11 am and 3pm, wear a hat and sunglasses, and use a high factor water resistant sunscreen.

- To help prevent an upset stomach, remember to use bottled water for drinking and to brush your teeth, avoid ice in drinks and try to avoid eating unpasteurised milk and dairy products.

- A toothache can often spoil a well-earned holiday. Consider using a topical pain relieving gel that’s specifically designed to temporarily block the pain of toothache and allows you to continue enjoying your holiday, until you can see a dentist. When you’re taking pain relief products always read the information on the label carefully.

Dr Henderson says: “If you have been looking forward to a well-earned break then a toothache can ruin your plans or even prevent you travelling at all. It is caused by a number of things including tooth decay, a crack in a tooth, a filling that has become loose or broken. Since most toothaches are the result of tooth decay, following good oral hygiene practices can prevent them such as brushing your teeth regularly with fluoride-containing toothpaste, flossing once a day, and seeing your dentist twice a year for professional cleaning.”