What to Do If a Tooth Falls Out

Posted by Dr. Soto Feb 28, 2019

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When a child loses a tooth, it’s a memorable and magical experience waiting for the tooth fairy to bestow some money. Unfortunately, losing a tooth as an adult can be quite the opposite experience. When a tooth falls out, it is called an avulsed tooth. It’s actually one of the more serious dental emergencies.

Unlike baby teeth, permanent teeth don’t grow back. Therefore, if your tooth can’t be fixed, your next step is to decide how to handle the new gap left from the missing tooth. Don’t fret! You can arm yourself ahead of time by learning what to do if a tooth falls out. But first let’s explore what leads to tooth loss and how to prevent it.

Reasons Why a Tooth Falls Out

For these reasons and more, it’s vital to take care of your teeth by regularly brushing and flossing, and getting a dental checkup every six months.

The most common causes of a tooth falling out are:

  • an accident or trauma to the face, teeth, or gums, such as from playing sports or being involved in a car accident
  • gum disease or oral cancer that can destabilize teeth
  • poor dental hygiene and bacteria causing tooth decay
  • tobacco usage

Losing a Tooth Is Common

More than 178 million people have lost at least one tooth as an adult, and these numbers are expected to grow. While you may be doing everything in your power to keep your teeth healthy and intact, it’s a very real possibility that you could lose a tooth at some point in your adult life. The key is to understand what you need to do if it happens to you.

Steps to Take If You Lose a Tooth

If your tooth falls out, and you’re able to find it, there’s a possibility that it could be reimplanted back into your gums. However, the time frame for reimplantation of your original tooth is small – only about an hour or so.

Therefore, you don’t want to delay calling your dentist. In order to increase your chances for successful reimplantation, it is important to preserve your tooth until you get to the dentist by following these steps:

  • When you find the tooth, be careful to pick it up by the crown (the part of your tooth that shows), not the root.
  • If you’re able to, put it back into your mouth, into the socket, facing in the correct direction. Hold the tooth in place using gauze or a clean piece of cloth.
  • If you have to rinse off the tooth before putting it in your mouth, use your own saliva or milk. Do not use soap and water, and do not scrub the tooth.
  • If you’re having trouble putting the tooth back in your mouth, store it in a glass of milk until you get to the dentist.

What to Expect at the Dentist’s Office

As mentioned earlier, it is very important to visit the dentist as soon as possible after you lose a tooth. When you arrive at the office, your dentist will inspect your gums, clean the affected area, and, if you still have the tooth, attempt to reimplant your tooth into your gum. When you lose a tooth, you run the risk of infection – therefore, it is important to be mindful of how your gums feel after your dental visit. If you notice they’re swollen or painful, let your dentist know immediately.

Why It’s Important to Replace a Tooth

If your tooth can’t be saved, there are other options available, such as implants, dentures, bridges, or crowns. It is essential that you get your missing tooth replaced, and it isn’t just for cosmetic purposes. Of course you want a beautiful smile without gaps. However, you need to replace the tooth to preserve your dental health. A gap in your teeth actually compromises the surrounding teeth and gums by making them more vulnerable to decay and gum disease.

Not replacing the tooth also raises your risk for bone loss due to inactivity. The benefits of replacing your missing tooth include helping you chew better, speak better, and have a better smile. Replacing your missing tooth with a dental implant can help make you feel more confident and ensure future dental health.

Compassionate Dental Care in Broward

If your tooth falls out, replacing the missing tooth is important for both medical and cosmetic reasons. Dr. Ernie Soto and his friendly, helpful staff are here to offer you the best in oral health care and implant dentistry.

To make an appointment, give us a call at (954) 368-6264 or request an appointment online. Let us help you get the beautiful and healthy smile you deserve.

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