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Madison Dentist Smile Blog

What to Do If You Lose a Tooth As an Adult

Tips to Prevent Permanent Tooth Loss

If you’ve had a permanent tooth fall out, follow these steps from Total Care Dental to prevent permanent damage to your mouth.

  • Recover your tooth - Do NOT grab the root. While it may be difficult, make sure to only handle the crown part of your lost tooth to avoid any additional damage.

  • Rinse the tooth - Use water, milk or a saline solution to clean off the tooth. If using saline, make sure it is sterile. Do not wipe or scrub the tooth, just gently rinse off the root and crown.

  • Reinsert your tooth into the empty socket - Putting your tooth back in may work and at the very least will keep the root protected. Hold the tooth in place by gently biting down on medical gauze or soft fabric. The pressure will keep your tooth from moving too much. Still see a dentist or doctor if you've successfully reinserted your tooth. 

  • Protect the tooth - If reinsertion doesn’t work, keep the tooth in a glass of milk or saline solution. Water will not preserve your tooth. If you don’t have any milk or saline solution, place the tooth in your mouth between your cheek and gums.

  • Go to a dentist or ER- The faster you get to a dentist, the better chance you have of restoring your tooth. In the event a dentist is unavailable, go to an emergency room. Bring your tooth with you so they may try reinsertion.

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What Happens if a Permanent Tooth Falls Out?

Losing a tooth as an adult can be an incredibly stressful experience. Your tooth can fall out from decay in the root or an accidental sports injury. 

A lost tooth isn’t just bad for your smile, it's bad for your oral health. An empty socket in the gums is at high risk for infection, and the teeth nearest to the gap may shift to “fill in.” Losing multiple teeth only increases the potential long-term damage to your mouth. Our team of dentists in Madison can help keep your teeth healthy and in their proper place.

Missing Adult Teeth

How to Protect Your Teeth

One of the most common ways adults lose teeth is through sports accidents. Tackling, tumbling, or roughhousing can lead to an accidental hit to the jaw. Always use a mouthguard while participating in contact sports. Teeth can also fall out as a result of trauma, from car accidents or even tripping on the ground.

If your tooth was not knocked out completely and feels “loose,” visit your dentist as soon as possible. An adult loose tooth may be a sign of root decay or infection. The sooner you have your dental problems assessed by our Madison dentists, the sooner your mouth can get back to normal. If possible, avoid eating during this time to keep your tooth from falling out or being swallowed.

Use healthy dental habits to prevent losing a tooth from decay. Brush twice daily, floss at least once a day and schedule regular checkups with Total Care Dental to prevent tooth loss. If your lost tooth is too damaged or reinsertion does not work, our restorative dental implants will bring back the smile you know and love and keep your mouth healthy. After restorative work is finished, you may want some cosmetic procedures to ensure your new smile looks great.

If your child loses an adult tooth, follow the same steps as above and bring them to a dentist right away. There is a greater chance for children’s mouths to recover completely if the tooth is reinserted correctly.

Get a free consultation for adult tooth loss

Have you lost a tooth and need dental assistance? Contact Total Care Dental in Madison.