Losing an adult tooth isn’t like losing teeth when you’re a child. Instead of the excitement and anticipation of getting a visit from the tooth fairy, you’re filled with shock and horror because you’ve just lost a tooth that isn’t going to grow back. There won’t be any crisp dollar bills under your pillow this time around. If you’ve just lost an adult tooth and you’re trying to figure out how to respond, keep reading to learn how to handle the situation. Rest assured that if you take the proper steps, everything will work out just fine.
Providing Immediate First Aid
The first rule of thumb when you have lost an adult tooth is the quicker you get to the dentist after it falls out, the better off you’ll be in the long run. You might be confused about whether you should go to a dental office or an emergency room. Unless the loss of your tooth is coupled with another injury that warrants medical attention, you should go to an emergency dentist because an ER doctor won’t be able to help you with a dental emergency.
There are a few things you must remember when you lose a tooth that can make a big difference in the outcome. First, make sure you find the tooth that fell out. When you handle it, be sure not to touch the bottom (the root). You want to handle your tooth with extra care and caution. If it’s dirty and you need to rinse it off, use your own saliva or milk and make sure it doesn’t come into contact with anything else, especially soap or other chemicals.
The next step is to put the tooth back in your mouth where it belongs. It might seem odd, but it’s the best practice. You’ll need to drop the tooth right back into its socket. Your body is amazing in that it knows something is missing and by putting the tooth back in the socket, you are preparing to have it implanted again permanently by your dentist. If for some reason you are unable to get the tooth back in the socket before you head to an emergency dentist, you can store it in a small container using milk for preservation. You might be tempted to use water, but milk is much better at preserving teeth.
The reason why getting to the dentist immediately is imperative is because your tooth should be re-implanted within the hour if you want to increase your chances of success. You should not consume any foods or beverages in the midst of this crises, which you won’t have time to do anyhow. It’s best to rinse your mouth with warm or saline water to minimize the pain and stop any bleeding.
Re-implanting or Replacing Your Tooth
By the time you get to the dental office, you’ll feel some relief because you’ll have an expert there to help you figure out what’s best based on the condition of the tooth and how long it’s been outside of your mouth. Given the short amount of time in which you have to re-implant the tooth, the dentist will act quickly. If the tooth can’t be re-implanted, there are other options for restoring your smile and protecting the long-term health of your teeth.
Your dentist might recommend a dental bridge, dental implant or partial denture. There are many different factors that will need to be considered to make the best decision. The dentist will ascertain why you lost the tooth so that any underlying issues can be addressed. What’s wonderful about visiting a dentist is you have someone that will identify the best possible solution.
Why Adult Teeth Fall Out
Statistics show that millions of people across the United States have lost at least one adult tooth for a variety of reasons. While it sounds alarming, you have to keep in mind that sometimes the missing tooth was located in the back of the mouth. Although that’s still a problem that should be addressed immediately, it’s not as visually alarming as a missing front tooth. Quite frankly, any permanent tooth that falls out should be handled with urgency to mitigate the damage and prevent long-term problems.
Some of the common reasons why teeth fall out include poor oral hygiene (tooth decay), aging, gum disease, oral cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and lack of professional dental care, including x-rays that can pinpoint issues early on to prevent the lost of teeth.
There are some instances when a person is injured while playing sports and they end up missing teeth. It’s even possible to fall down and get up with a missing tooth. If these scenarios weren’t true, they would be comical. Actually, most patients are able to laugh about the situation, but usually after their smile has been restored. There’s nothing better than feeling confident again after experiencing a dental emergency.