What to Do If You Lose a Tooth (As an Adult)
Tips to Prevent Permanent Tooth Loss
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 - Sometimes the simplest solutions work*. 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.
Protect the tooth - If reinsertion doesn’t work, place the tooth in a glass of milk or saline solution. Water will not work for preserving your tooth as you go to a dentist or doctor. 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 your tooth being restored. In the event a dentist is unavailable, go to an emergency room. Bring your tooth with you so they may try reinsertion.
*If you successfully reinserted your tooth, you should still go to a dentist or doctor.
Dealing with a Lost Tooth with Madison Dentists
Losing a tooth as an adult can be an incredibly stressful experience. There are many ways your tooth can fall out, from decay in the root to an accidental injury in sports. If you’ve had a permanent tooth fall out, follow the above steps from Total Care Dental to prevent permanent damage to your mouth.
A lost tooth isn’t just bad for your smile; it is 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 Madison dentists has many more tips to keep your teeth healthy and in their proper place.
How to Protect Your Teeth
One of the most common ways teeth are lost in adults is through sports accidents. Tackling, tumbling, or roughhousing can lead to an accidental hit to the jaw. Always use a mouth guard 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. A loose tooth as an adult 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 and being swallowed.
Use healthy dental habits to prevent a tooth falling out from decay. Make sure to brush twice daily and floss at least once a day while getting regular checkups with Total Care Dental to prevent tooth loss from disease. 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. Even better, it’ll 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.