With all that’s been said, what should you do if you’ve just lost a tooth? As in it’s just been knocked straight out of your mouth?
Well it has just been declared a dental emergency, and it’s definitely not something you want to ignore. If you do not get help ASAP, it may become impossible to salvage the tooth, and the socket may become infected.
By taking immediate action and following the simple steps list below, you have the best chances of saving both the tooth and socket.
Mission Objectives 1-5: Save Lost Tooth
1. First things first, don’t panic. I know, there’s blood rushing out, it’s everywhere! But we need you to remain calm, because you have to find your missing tooth.
2. Once you find the tooth, make sure to pick it up by the crown (the top part) and not the bottom half (the root) that’s covered in flesh and gum. If the tooth appears dirty, your first instinct is probably to wash it with water, but that’s the last thing you should do. If possible, try and rinse it using a sterile saline solution, milk or saliva. Avoid scrubbing or touching the root as you may end up removing vital tissue.
3. This is going to sound counterintuitive, but try putting the tooth back into its socket and hold it in place with some gauze or a clean washcloth until you get to your dentist. If the tooth won’t stay in place, put it in a glass of milk or sterile saline solution. Avoid putting the tooth in water as it does not preserve the tooth as well as milk, which can make it harder to reimplant.
4. SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION IMMEDIATELY! Get to a dentist as soon as possible. If there are no emergency dentists available, go to the hospital.
5. In the meantime, apply a cold compress to the injured area to help alleviate pain and reduce swelling.
What if I swallowed my tooth?
If you’ve swallowed a tooth or fragment of a tooth, providing it isn’t jagged or excessively sharp, it isn’t likely to cause you any problems. However, if you do have concerns, or start showing any of the symptoms listed under “what if my child swallows a tooth” please seek medical attention as soon as possible.
What if my child knocks out a baby tooth?
Unlike an adult tooth, baby teeth can’t be and don’t need to be replaced. Why? Because their second set of teeth will soon arrive, so there is no need to locate the missing tooth. Rather, comfort your kiddo and help them rinse their mouth out with some salt stirred in lukewarm water. Call your dentist right away and inform them of the situation.
What if my child swallows a tooth?
Again, don’t panic. Apart from not getting any coin from the tooth fairy, it’s not harmful to your child. Don’t try to get them to regurgitate the tooth as this will only put unnecessary stress on them and they are already upset as it is. It’s best to wait for it to pass or see your doctor if the tooth has not passed in the next few days. However, if your child begins to exhibit any of the following symptoms, we advise seeking medical attention immediately:
– Trouble swallowing
– Recurring vomiting
– Abdominal pain
– Neck or chest pain
– Blood present in vomit or stool
What if my tooth was cracked but wasn’t knocked out?
Thankfully, there are many treatments for a cracked tooth and it’ll depend on the severity of the crack — where the crack is located, the size, the symptoms you’re experiencing, and whether said crack extends into the gum line. If a cracked tooth is left untreated it can become infected and result in more expensive dental treatments, even loss of tooth. We recommend speaking with your dentist as soon as possible.
What if my tooth was chipped but wasn’t knocked out?
If you’ve chipped or broken a tooth, collect the fragments just like in the steps listed above and call your dentist immediately and ask for an emergency consultation. To alleviate the pain, consider taking OTC pain relievers and a cold compress until you are able to see your dentist.
What if my tooth was loosened but wasn’t knocked out?
Consider yourself lucky! Even though the accident only loosened your tooth, it’s still recommended to contact your dentist and book in a check-up.
The tooth can be splinted back in place and that can help save the tooth. Your dentist will help be able to provide information on whether that tooth will die or fall out later, or if it will remain strong and healthy.