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Your Tooth Is Knocked Out — Your Next Steps Matter

Accidents happen when you least expect them, and, unfortunately, you’re usually not prepared. When it comes to your teeth, an accident may mean the loss of a permanent tooth, which is devastating. However, there are steps you can take to help ensure you don’t lose that tooth for good.

At Nobel Dentistry in Los Angeles, California, our team has expertise in all kinds of dental care, including dental emergencies. Dr. Abraham Nobel is our skilled dentist who gives you the care you need when one of your permanent teeth is knocked out of your mouth.

Losing a tooth is a dental emergency

Losing a tooth is a common occurrence — one that isn’t just reserved for children. Unfortunately, when you lose a tooth as an adult, it’s considered a dental emergency. You need treatment quickly, or your tooth might not be salvageable.

Knocked out teeth are relatively common, especially when you play sports. Because your teeth are very important for chewing and your appearance, knowing what to do when you lose one can greatly improve the chances of saving your tooth. Read on for what to do if you happen to knock out your tooth.

Step 1: Locate your tooth

When you lose a tooth, the first step is to find it. Your tooth may be on the ground, or it could still be in your mouth. Make sure to pick your tooth up by the crown and not the root. Also, be very careful while handling your tooth.

Step 2: Clean off your tooth

If your tooth hits the ground, gently clean it with water. Make sure to hold your tooth by the crown, which is the part you chew with. Only use water to clean your tooth, no soap or other cleaners.

Use a small bowl of warm water to cleanse your tooth instead of putting it under the faucet. This could damage the very delicate roots. Once you clean your tooth off, don’t wrap it in anything.

If your mouth is bleeding where the tooth came out, rinse your mouth with warm water only.

Step 3: Try reinserting your tooth

Once you rinse your tooth off, it’s important to try to put it back into the socket it came out of. You want to do this gently, again by holding your tooth by its crown. Apply gentle pressure while pushing the tooth into the empty socket.

Once you have your tooth in its socket, carefully bite down on something like a piece of gauze to keep your tooth in place. If there’s not any gauze around, you can keep your tooth in place with your clean fingers.

Step 4: Moisture is key

Sometimes your tooth just won’t go back into its socket. Don’t try to force it, as this could damage the tooth. There are a couple of ways to keep moisture in the root of your tooth.

First, you could keep it in saliva, either in a cup or in your cheek. However, be very careful not to swallow your tooth. 

If you can’t use saliva or are afraid you’ll swallow your tooth, you can transport it in a small baggie of milk. Don’t use water, because the roots won’t survive long. 

If you happen to be lucky enough to have a tooth preservation kit, you may also place your tooth in that. Keeping your tooth moist in either saliva or milk helps prevent the roots from becoming too dry.

Step 5: Get emergency care

Time is of the essence when you’ve knocked out an adult tooth, so getting emergency care as soon as possible is very important. Dr. Nobel is an expert in emergency dental care, so don’t hesitate to call our office. We’ll try our best to get you in and fixed up as soon as possible.

Try to get to our office within about a half hour of the time your tooth came out. This allows our team time to hopefully save your tooth.

If for some reason you’re not able to make it to our office, don’t just let your tooth go. You may also go into the emergency department of a local hospital if you can’t get into an emergency dentist.

Don’t risk losing your permanent tooth for good. If you’ve suffered the loss of a tooth, call our office today or book an appointment online.

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