The Dos And Don'ts After Losing An Adult Tooth

Severe mouth trauma or injury--such as a blow to the mouth, a sports injury, or even a fall--can lead to the loss of an adult tooth. When this occurs, it's important to act quickly if you want to have any chance of saving your tooth. Otherwise, you may have no choice but to get a dental implant or bridge to restore the appearance of your mouth. By knowing what to do and what not to do upon losing a tooth, you'll be better prepared in the event that it happens to you.

DO Try to Save the Tooth

As soon as you make the realization that you've lost your tooth, do your best to locate it. However, don't spend more than a few minutes trying to do so, as you'll want to seek emergency dental care promptly as well. If you're able to locate the tooth, be sure to pick it up by the crown and not the root; you want to preserve as much of the fleshy material on the root of the root as possible, as this tissue is needed for successful replacement of the tooth.

DO Put the Tooth in the Socket

If you're able to find the tooth, assess it for dirt or other bacteria. If you're worried about what it may have fallen onto, give the tooth a gentle rinse with a saline solution, some milk, or even your own saliva. Then, if possible, try gently inserting the tooth back into its socket. This sounds unpleasant, but it could help the chances of saving your tooth. Hold the tooth in place with a clean washcloth until you're able to get to the emergency dentist. If you can't get the tooth into the socket, don't force it; simply place the tooth in a saline solution and bring it with you to the dentist's office.

DON'T Scrub or Brush the Tooth

Finally, even if your tooth fell onto the ground or another unsanitary place, you'll need to avoid scrubbing it or brushing it harshly. If you attempt to scrub the tooth clean, you'll end up brushing away vital tissue that could otherwise be used to help save your tooth. If you can't find an emergency dentist in your area, you should also be aware that you can go to your local hospital's emergency room and they may be able to assist you until a dentist is available.