what to do if a permanent tooth falls out

What to Do If a Permanent Tooth Falls Out

A knocked-out or loose permanent tooth is a dental emergency that requires fast action. When an adult tooth falls out, it doesn’t have a natural replacement. However, a lost tooth can often be restored as long as you preserve it carefully and act quickly. Lifetime Family Dental offers emergency dental care so you can receive swift treatment. To increase your chances of saving a tooth, continue reading to find out exactly what to do if a permanent tooth falls out. 

What Should You Do If a Permanent Tooth Falls Out?

1: Avoid Touching the Root

Quickly locate your tooth as soon as it falls out. When picking up the tooth, it’s important to hold it by the crown (the part of the tooth that pokes out of your gums when it’s in your mouth). Holding it by the root, which is normally buried in your jaw bone, can cause damage to the tooth. If there is too much damage, reattachment will not be possible. 

2: Gently Rinse the Tooth

After you have located and retrieved the tooth, carefully rinse it with water. Do not use any soap or scrub the tooth—all you need to do is run it under the water. Because the root of your tooth is very sensitive, being too rough with the tooth and using any type of cleaner can damage it. You should also avoid wrapping the tooth in any material, as your tooth must remain moist. 

3: Protect Your Tooth

Luckily, you have several options when it comes to keeping a lost permanent tooth hydrated. Here are the best ways to preserve a tooth that has fallen out:

  • Put it back in its socket immediately after rinsing.
  • Place it inside your mouth along the cheek
  • Keep it in milk
  • Use a tooth preservation kit

If you choose to place the tooth back in its original socket, do so gently and slowly. You can hold the tooth in place by placing medical gauze between your top and bottom teeth and biting down gently. No matter which method you use to preserve your tooth, you must get to a dentist right away for treatment. 

4: See a Dentist Immediately

Make sure to see your dentist within 30 minutes of the tooth falling out. Although saving a tooth is sometimes possible when more time has passed, the 30-minute window gives you the best chance of saving the tooth. Even if you could not find the tooth or you believe the tooth cannot be saved, you should still see your dentist immediately so they can treat the open socket. 

What Can Cause an Adult Tooth to Fall Out?

A tooth can become loose or fall out completely for a variety of reasons, including:

You can reduce your chances of losing an adult tooth by wearing a mouthguard when playing sports, avoiding tobacco, following a strong oral hygiene routine, and attending your regular dental appointments. 

What Happens If a Tooth Can’t Be Saved?

If you are unable to save the tooth, your dentist can replace it with an implant, bridge, crown, or denture, depending on your dental needs. Neglecting to replace a missing tooth puts your oral health at risk by making your mouth more vulnerable to tooth decay. It can also lead to bone loss and problems with speaking or chewing, so make sure to find treatment for a missing tooth as soon as possible.  

Emergency Dental Care in Gilbert

If your adult tooth is loose, has been knocked out, or fell out on its own, contact Lifetime Family Dental for emergency care. Our compassionate staff will provide the best treatment possible to restore your smile and keep your mouth healthy. Call 480-558-4331 today to schedule an emergency appointment. 

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (3/7/2022). Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels