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Dental Emergencies – Tips from Dr. Weiss

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Everyone has had a toothache at some point in their lives, but what do you do when you are in a remote area, traveling in a developing country, or on a back-country expedition?  Below are some tips from AMK’s Founder, Dr. Eric A. Weiss about what to do when you find yourself with a dental emergency far from the nearest dentist…..

Excerpt from A Comprehensive Guide to Wilderness & Travel Medicine, by Dr. Eric A. Weiss.


A Comprehensive Guide to Wilderness and Travel Medicine




The common toothache is caused by inflammation of the dental pulp and is often associated with a cavity. The pain may be severe and intermittent and is made worse by hot or cold foods or liquids.


1) If the offending cavity can be localized, a piece of cotton soaked with a topical anti-inflammatory agent such as eugenol (oil of cloves) can first be applied.

2) Place a temporary filling material, such as Cavit® or zinc-oxide and eugenol cement, into the cavity or lost filling site to protect the nerve.


Quick relief of dental pain and bleeding.  Bleeding and pain from the mouth can often be relieved by placing a moistened tea bag onto the bleeding site or into the socket that is bleeding.

Altitude Illness – Tips From Dr. Weiss including “When to Worry”

Monday, May 24th, 2010

Excerpt from A Comprehensive Guide to Wilderness and Travel Medicine, by Dr. Eric A. Weiss.


A Comprehensive Guide to Wilderness and Travel Medicine

ALTITUDE ILLNESS  (Mountain Sickness)
It is rare to experience altitude sickness below 6,000 feet.  Moderate altitude is between 8,000 and 12,000 feet (2,400 and 3,600 meters), High altitude is between 12,000 and 18,000 feet (3,600 and 5,400 meters), and extreme altitude is over 18,000 feet (5,400 meters).  High altitude illness is a direct result of reduces barometric pressure and concentration of oxygen in the air at high elevations.  Lower pressure make the air less dense, so your body gets fewer oxygen
molecules with every breath.
Graded ascent is the best and safest method of preventing altitude illness.  Avoid abrupt ascent to sleeping altitudes greater than 10,000 feet (3,000 meters), and average no more than 1,000 feet (300 meters) of elevation gain per day above 10,000 feet.  Day trips to a higher altitude, with a return to lower altitudes for sleep, will aid acclimatization.  Eat foods that are high in carbohydrates and low in fat, and stay well hydrated.