While it is more common in kids, adults can suffer from knocked-out teeth too. Statistics show that more than 5 million teeth are knocked out every year by children and adults. Impact on the jaw from sports or fighting could knock your tooth out.
Some people believe that once your tooth gets knocked out, there is no saving it. However, we assure you that you can rescue your knocked-out tooth. You do not have to live with a gap in your mouth as long as you act quickly.
Keep scrolling to learn more about what to do and avoid if your tooth gets knocked out. But first, get to know why you must act fast if you or anyone around you loses a tooth suddenly.
Importance Of Timely Action After Losing A Tooth
Acting fast is a factor that will affect the survival of the tooth. If a surgeon manages to replace the tooth in five minutes after it’s knocked out, then the tooth has a good survival rate. The tooth will receive ample blood supply, and you should have no trouble with it.
The survival rate of the tooth decreases past five minutes, but you can still rescue the tooth. For up to 60 minutes, the tooth still has a good survival rate. Therefore, if you can rush to the emergency room, a surgeon will place it back in its socket.
The surgeon will implant the tooth back, then splinter it to the adjacent teeth to hold it in place. It will remain like this for two to eight weeks. Afterward, the surgeon will remove the splinter, and your tooth should be okay.
After 60 minutes, the tooth can barely survive. Therefore, make plans to rush to the emergency room so you can save your natural tooth. If you do not preserve the tooth well, you may need an artificial replacement.
The Dos And Don’ts Of Knocked Out Teeth
1. Pick up the tooth by the crown.
First thing, you need to locate the tooth. You need to take it with you to the emergency room. Once you find it, you need to be gentle when picking it up. And even more importantly, you need to pick it up or hold it by the crown.
The crown is the chewing surface of the tooth. The root is very sensitive, and you can easily damage it with mishandling. Therefore, only hold it by the crown. If you place it on a surface or the palm of your hand, place it crown-down to again avoid damaging the root.
However, it is not advisable to keep the tooth in the open. Keep reading to find out why.
2. Rinse the tooth with water
The tooth may land in mud, dirty water, or sand. When this happens, you should clean it before attempting the next step. To clean the tooth, hold it by the crown and rinse it with milk. If you do not have milk, you can use plain water.
Do not use soap or other chemicals on the tooth. They will damage the tooth and make it impossible to safely place back into the socket. Avoid wiping the tooth on any surface, such as your shirt or even a clean cloth. The wiping motion would damage the tooth.
Additionally, using anything other than clean water and milk could spread germs and bacteria to the sensitive parts of the tooth, making it unusable.
3. Keep the tooth moist.
Next, you have to keep the tooth moist. Exposure to the environment lessens the chances of survival. So once the tooth is clean, reposition it back in the socket to keep it moist. Bathing the tooth in saliva helps to keep it alive.
Once the tooth is in, bite on it with a clean cloth between the upper and lower tooth. Hold it in place until you get to the emergency room. Some teeth gently fall right back into place. However, if it does not, do not force the tooth back in the socket as it could damage the root.
If you can’t put it back in the socket, then put the tooth in a glass of milk and take it with you to the emergency room. Use room temperature milk, and ensure that the glass is clean. Alternatively, you can use a glass of clean water to store the tooth.
Avoid using tissue, wet wipes, or even a clean cloth. These will damage the tooth.
4. Don’t take any aspirin.
You will likely be bleeding but do not panic. If you can’t get the tooth in the socket, get a clean handkerchief and place it over the socket and bite down. Maintain the pressure, and it will stop the bleeding.
Additionally, you may feel some pain. If it gets unbearable, you can take over-the-counter painkillers to ease the pain. Just ensure that you do not take anything with aspirin. Aspirin will make the bleeding worse.
Finally, do not apply anything to the wound. Keep the wound as fresh as possible and free from contaminants. Do not rinse your mouth to avoid spreading germs and bacteria to the wound. Instead, keep your mouth shut to avoid bacteria exposure.
5. Don’t put baby teeth back in.
If your baby loses a tooth unexpectedly, it is best not to put it back into the socket. First, the baby cannot bite down and may swallow or choke on the tooth. Secondly, putting the tooth back may expose your baby to bacteria, leading to an infection.
Instead, store the tooth in milk and head to your pediatric dentist immediately for action. You can stop the bleeding by applying pressure on the socket with a clean cloth.
You have to get to the emergency room fast to improve the survival rate of your tooth. Ensure that you or the patient remains calm at all times. Panicking could elevate bleeding and cause anxiety that could lead to other accidents. Instead, stay calm, and get to the emergency room. When in doubt, call your dentist for advice.