18 Sep What to Do if Your Tooth Falls Out
When a tooth falls out or gets knocked out of your mouth, this is called, in dentist-speak, an avulsed tooth. It’s one of the most serious dental emergencies you might face for multiple reasons, primarily because permanent teeth don’t grow back like baby teeth do. If your tooth can’t be fixed, you’ll have to decide how to handle the new gap in your teeth.
While more than 178 million people have lost at least one tooth in adulthood, you don’t have to accept a lost tooth as inevitable. Here’s what you need to do if your tooth falls out.
What to Do
If your tooth falls out or is knocked out of your mouth, there’s a chance it can be re-implanted back into your gum. You need to see your emergency dentist in Phoenix or Mesa as soon as possible. The window for re-implantation is about an hour so you don’t want to delay in getting in to see the dentist.
Do these things to help preserve your tooth and increase your chances for a successful re-implantation.
- Find your tooth and pick it up by the crown, not the root.
- If possible, put it back in your mouth, directly into the socket. It may slip right in very easily, but make sure it’s facing the correct direction.
- Hold it in place with a cloth or piece of gauze.
- If you must rinse off your tooth, use your own saliva or milk. Water doesn’t help preserve your tooth very well.
- Do not clean your tooth with soap or scrub your tooth, even if it’s dirty. A quick rinse with milk or saliva is all you should need.
- If you can’t put your tooth back in your mouth, store it in milk until you can get to the dentist’s office.
Your dentist will inspect your gum, clean the area with water, and attempt to re-implant your tooth. The big risk isn’t that your tooth won’t go back in, although that’s a real concern, but that you may get an infection in your socket or gum. If after your emergency dentist visit your gums feel swollen or you don’t feel well in general, contact your dentist immediately.
Reasons Why Your Tooth Might Fall Out
Teeth fall out for multiple reasons, some you can avoid and some you can’t. Here are a few reasons it could happen.
Accident or activity that causes trauma to your face, gums, or teeth. Like mixed martial arts and boxing but don’t wear a mouthguard? Play football without a helmet? Got into a bad car accident? Any of these reasons and more could cause you to lose a tooth unexpectedly.
Poor dental hygiene. If bacteria gets into your gums, it can destabilize your tooth. If it feels like we say this a lot, it’s because it’s true. When you don’t take care of your teeth with good and regular brushing and flossing and at least two dental check-ups a year, you run multiple risks including having a tooth fall out.
Tooth decay. Tooth decay can occur because of poor dental care or because you don’t see a dentist when there are problems. Fillings and crowns can repair some damage before it’s too late, but once your tooth decays to a certain point, it either needs to be extracted or it’s going to fall out eventually.
Disease and oral cancer. Gum disease, because of how it impacts your gums, can lead to tooth loss. Oral cancer can also harm the structure of your teeth and bones leading to tooth loss, as well.
Regardless of the reason your tooth falls out or gets knocked out, treat it like the dental emergency that it is. Make sure you have an emergency dentist you can rely on in Mesa or Phoenix so you get the help you need as soon as possible. Handle your tooth with care and come into the office as soon as possible. Even if your tooth can’t be saved, we have other options to help you get your smile back.