Losing even one tooth can have a dramatic effect on the quality of your smile as well as your oral and general health. Whether you lose a tooth due to trauma from a sports injury, an accident, or as a result of tooth decay or gum disease, you have to act quickly to protect your smile and limit your risk of infection and bone loss.
At Scott Young, DDS, our dentists and periodontists offer a range of general dentistry and cosmetic dentistry services at our office in The Woodlands, Texas.
What should I do if I knock out a tooth?
Even when a tooth is knocked out completely, there’s still a chance our team can save it. If you still have the tooth, it’s important to keep it clean and protected and to get to our office right away (the American Association of Endodontists recommends within 30 minutes if possible).
Handle the tooth carefully, and take the following precautions to increase the chances of successfully reattaching the tooth:
- Pick up and handle the tooth from the crown end and don’t touch the root
- If necessary, gently rinse the tooth with clean tap water only
- Don’t rub the tooth or use soap or chemicals
- If possible, attempt to put the tooth back into the socket
If you can’t or don’t feel comfortable placing the tooth back into the socket, the next best thing is to keep it moist until you get to the dentist. Keep it in the side of your mouth or you can place the tooth in milk. Placing the tooth in water will damage the roots and lower the chances that it can be reattached successfully, so avoid using water other than to rinse off dirt or particles.
How can I avoid tooth loss?
Trauma and accidents are a common cause of tooth loss, but many people also lose teeth due to tooth decay and gum disease. The best way to avoid this type of tooth loss is to go to visit our office every six months for a check-up and dental cleaning and practice good oral hygiene at home.
If you notice that a tooth feels loose, try to keep it stable and call our office right away. If a tooth falls out while you’re eating, follow the same steps as above.
Even when a lost tooth can’t be saved, there are many options to fix your smile and improve your oral health, like dental crowns and implants.
For more information about what to do in a dental emergency and the dental restoration and tooth replacement options we offer at our office in The Woodlands, Texas, contact us today to schedule an appointment, or you can request an appointment online.