Some people may lose a tooth while playing a high-contact sport or during a high-energy activity, while others could lose teeth due to fractures sustained while eating, or severe decay. Regardless of how it happens, losing a tooth is quite confronting for most people. It’s valuable to know what to do in this situation before you can get professional help from your dentist.
1. Contact your emergency dentist
The first thing you should do if you lose a tooth is contact your dental clinic for an emergency dental appointment. At your dentist, they will work to accommodate emergency dental appointments as required, During your appointment, dentists will examine your mouth and assess the damage and the most pressing first steps to ensure a good outcome. They can then provide advice on the best options moving forward to repair your smile.
2. Find your tooth
It’s important to locate your tooth, for multiple reasons, including to ensure you don’t accidentally swallow or choke on it. Always pick the tooth up by the crown (not the root) to avoid further damage to it. In some circumstances, your dental practitioner might be able to reattach the tooth that has fallen out, so it’s worthwhile taking care of it. If your tooth is dirty, you can rinse it gently to remove dirt, in tap water or milk for a few seconds. If it is an adult tooth, you can insert the tooth into its position and hold it gently in place. Otherwise, aim to store it in a container with a small quantity of saliva or milk. Don’t forget to take the tooth with you to your dentist.
3. Reduce bleeding
If there’s bleeding after the tooth has fallen out, you may be able to apply gentle pressure to the area to reduce the amount of blood. You should avoid swallowing the blood as this may cause you to feel sick. We recommend discussing this with your dentist to see what they recommend.
4. Treat your pain
If you’ve suffered a knock or hit to the face, you may be in some pain. Standard pain medication and anti-inflammatory medicines can help to reduce this. Applying a cold compress to the outside of your face around the pain area might assist too.
5. Don’t eat or drink
You should avoid eating or drinking before your emergency dental appointment. This will help to protect your tooth socket and reduce the chances of further damage.
Protecting your teeth and preventing tooth loses
Ideally, you won’t have to worry about what to do if you lose a tooth, because hopefully you won’t lose any at all! There are several ways you can prevent tooth loss. Wearing a mouthguard when participating in high contact sports is one of the best ways to protect your teeth. Good oral hygiene (brushing your teeth twice per day and flossing at least once per day) will make a difference too.