It’s rarely expected, and always a stressful experience, but losing a tooth as an adult can go as smooth as possible with knowledge of what steps to take.
Some reasons a tooth might fall out could be due to decay of the root, or an accident / trauma. When a tooth falls out, it leaves a blank space known as an empty socket in the gums. This is a concern because there is a risk of infection, as well as the nearby teeth possibly attempting to move over to fill in the blank space.
In the case of a tooth falling out, follow the steps for the best way to prevent any permanent damage.
- Find the tooth. Once you do, do your absolute best to grab the tooth only by The crown area, and avoid all contact with the route if possible.
- Rinse the tooth off. Try to use milk or sterile saline solution to clean the tooth, if neither one is available, use water. Be sure to not scrub or wipe the tooth, just give it a basic rinse
- Place the tooth back into its empty socket. This will keep the route protected. After inserted, be sure to keep the tooth in place by inserting medical gauze or soft fabric and gently biting down. By doing this the pressure applied will keep the tooth from moving around. Even if it feels like the tooth is secure and successfully re-inserted, still see your dentist.
- If reinserting the tooth doesn’t work. Be sure to protect the tooth by placing it in a glass of milk or sterile saline solution. Note that unlike the rinsing step above, water will not preserve your tooth. If you don’t have any access to milk or the saline solution, put the tooth in your mouth secured between your cheek and gums.
- Get yourself to your dentist! Getting to this step promptly is important because the sooner you get to your dentist, the more chance you have of restoring your tooth.
There is preventative action you can take.
The most common means of adults losing a tooth is through sports related accidents. When participating in any of these events, always be sure to wear a mouthguard. Other means that teeth can be lost is through various trauma such as a car accident or even tripping or falling.
In the case that your tooth does not fall out completely, but still feels loose, get to your dentist as soon as you can. Even if there was no accident or trauma, a loose tooth could be caused by infection or route decay. The same concept applies here with “The sooner the better“ for successful treatment.
While it can be an overwhelming and stressful experience, following the listed steps will help set you up for much higher chances at a successful recovery.