What to Do if You Lose a Tooth

No one wants to lose a tooth, but it can happen to anyone. If you do lose a tooth, it may be possible to reinstall the tooth, depending on your individual circumstances. Whatever happens next, it’s important to know what to do when this dental emergency strikes.

What Causes Loose Teeth?
Loose teeth can be caused by a variety of reasons. Some of the those reasons may even be unrelated to levels of personal oral care. The fact remains that with regular dentist visits, a loose tooth can be discovered and even saved with early detection. Here are some of the reasons for one or more loose teeth:

Alcoholism
Diabetes
Malnutrition
Medication side effects
Poor oral health habits
Smoking
Drug use
Genetics
Underlying disease such as cancer
Mouth trauma from accident
Suddenly biting down on something hard
Lack of professional dental care for an extended period of time

Head to the Dentist
The very first thing you should do is head to the dentist, or at least call your dentist to make an appointment. The earlier you can receive treatment for your lost tooth, the better.

Stop the Bleeding
A tooth that’s come out may lead to a gush of blood from the socket. Pack the socket with clean, dry cotton balls to absorb the blood. Replace the cotton balls often. Apply gentle pressure to the socket with your finger on top of the cotton balls. When you change the cotton balls, rinse your mouth with clean water (preferably distilled), and spit out the water. Try not to swallow the blood or the tainted water, as this can lead to stomach upset and vomiting.

Put the Tooth in a Cup of Milk
If you still have the tooth, drop it into a cup of milk. If you don’t have milk, use water. You can bring this to your dentist office with you. If the tooth can be put back in, this will help. It may also help the dentist to look at the forensic evidence to determine why the tooth fell out in the first place.

Avoid Medications
If you can bear it, avoid taking medications for pain before you visit the dentist. If you get an emergency visit and the dentist needs to sedate you, it’s best not to have any other medications in your bloodstream. For unbearable pain, try applying a heating pad or bag of ice to your chin or jaw.

Avoid Eating or Drinking
While you’re waiting for the dentist, avoid eating or drinking anything. With an open socket, anything you eat or drink can get into the socket and quickly cause secondary infection issues. The goal is to keep the socket as clean as possible until you can get professional dental help.

If you must drink water, and the area is tender, use a straw to direct the water past the socket and toward the back of your mouth.

There are many methods to repair or replace a lost tooth. Remain calm and listen to all the ways your dentist offers to fix your smile.

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