It can be a scary thing if a tooth gets knocked out due to a sudden injury or accident. Our teeth are important not just for functional purposes, but for our overall confidence. A tooth falling out can jeopardize both very quickly.
Injuries to the mouth that knock a tooth out can also cause damage to the surrounding teeth or structures in the mouth and face. Gums, lips, cheeks, and the jawline can all be affected by a mouth injury, so it’s imperative to address a knocked-out tooth as a health emergency.
Thankfully, there are ways to save your tooth and get your smile back in shape. The most important thing is to act quickly! The sooner you can take action and address the missing tooth, the better.
What should you do if your tooth is knocked out?
- Find the tooth immediately: It goes without saying that it would be impossible to save the tooth if you don’t locate it! If you can find the tooth, and it is still intact, handle it with care. Never touch the root of the tooth! Pick it up from the top (the chewing portion) of the tooth to ensure no further damage is done.
- Rinse the tooth of any dirt or blood: Be careful not to scrub the tooth or use any soaps or chemicals. Gently hold the top of the tooth under lightly running water to wash away anything that may have been crusted on to the tooth during the accident.
- Reinsert the tooth into the socket: If possible, have the person who lost the tooth hold it in the socket where it originally was. Gently handle the crown of the tooth and position it in the socket, careful not to put too much pressure on the damaged gums. Either gently bite down to hold the tooth in place or keep your finger on it with minimal pressure.
- Keep the tooth damp: Keeping the tooth moist is vital to maintaining tooth health. If the tooth is unable to be kept in the socket — which would keep it naturally damp from your saliva — you can submerge it in milk. Do not use regular tap water to submerge the tooth! Root surface cells are not able to tolerate harsh tap water for extended periods, and it could further damage the tooth.
- See a dentist within 30 minutes of the injury: While it is possible to reattach the tooth beyond the 30 minute timeframe, the sooner you see your dentist, the better your chances of saving the tooth.
If you follow these steps in the case of a mouth injury, you will have much higher odds of saving your tooth and preventing subsequent health issues. CNS Dental offers emergency dental services for situations just like these. If you have a sudden dental emergency, contact us as soon as possible!