There are a number of ways a tooth may be knocked out of your mouth. You may get hit in the face while playing sports, may have fallen on your face or may have been involved in a car accident. Regardless of how and why your tooth fell out, it is important to act quickly following this. Taking the right steps can help increase the likelihood that your tooth can be reattached, which helps prevent the need for dental implants or other fake teeth. Here are a few tips to keep in mind if you have a tooth that has gotten knocked out.
Keep the Socket Area Moist
After you notice that a tooth has been knocked out, you should rinse your mouth out with water. This helps to remove any blood and bacteria that may be present. However, after you do this, you need to frequently take a sip of water or milk, to keep the area moist. Keeping the area moist will help prevent the roots and tissue from drying up and becoming damaged. Unfortunately, if the roots die or the surrounding tissues begin to die, it will be impossible to put the tooth back into place.
Place the Tooth Back in the Socket
In some instances, you can gently place the knocked out tooth back into the socket and the socket will still hold the tooth as long as you don't eat or move around too much. If you are able to do this, without pinching any roots that may be hanging from the socket or your tooth, it is recommended you do so. Placing the tooth back into the socket helps keep bacteria out of the area, helps the tissues hold their shape and helps prevent the roots from damage that can occur if they aren't covered. However, don't place the tooth back in the socket if your tooth doesn't sit naturally in place or you have to pinch the roots to get the tooth to stay. Additionally, keep in mind that you should always touch the tooth by its crown, rather than by the root. The crown is the visible part of a tooth when it's in the mouth. You can damage the nerves by holding the tooth at the root area.
If it Can't Be Kept in the Socket, Place the Tooth in Milk
If you are unable to get the tooth to reattach into the socket, you will want to place the tooth in a small cup, bag or other container filled with milk. Gently place the tooth in a container and fill the container up with enough milk to cover the tooth and the root system. Whole milk is the best option, but any milk you have on hand will work. Placing the tooth in a container filled with milk serves many purposes. First, it helps ensure you don't lose the tooth. Secondly, it keeps the tooth clean and free from bacteria that can work its way into the tooth if you were just to place it in your pocket or hold it. And lastly, the milk helps to keep the roots alive until a dentist can reattach the tooth.
Place a Cold Compress on Your Face
Once you have the tooth in place in your mouth or in a container with milk, you will want to place a cold compress or ice pack on your face, near the area where the tooth was knocked out. There is a possibility that swelling can occur after the tooth has fallen out. Unfortunately, this can make it harder to reattach your tooth, especially if the swelling extends to your gums and tissue surrounding the tooth. A cold compress can keep swelling at bay, helping to increase the chances of the tooth being reattached.
Get to an Emergency Dentist As Soon as Possible
The longer you wait, the more likely it is your tooth roots will die. If they die, they can't be reattached and you will need a dental implant or other dental prosthetic. As such, it is important to be seen by an emergency dentist as soon as possible. Most dentists would like to see you in their office within 30 minutes of the tooth falling out.
The above steps can help increase the likelihood that your knocked out tooth can be reattached. However, even if you follow all of these steps, there is always a chance that the tooth or roots can die and won't be able to be reattached. However, keeping the area moist, not damaging the roots and seeing a dentist quickly help to improve the odds that the tooth will survive. For more tips, contact a company like Rose City Dental Care.