Every year in the U.S., more than five million teeth are knocked out in children and adults.* The reasons these accidents happen are numerous and widely varied, but the rule is the same: act fast. The quicker you take action with the right steps, the greater the possibility your tooth can be saved. If you or a family member knocks out a tooth, try to visit our office within 30 minutes.
In the mean time, be sure to follow these steps:
- Pick up the tooth by the top or chewing surface, not the root.
- Gently rinse the tooth, but do not scrub or remove any tissue attached to it. Do not use soap and do not dry the tooth.
- If possible, reposition the tooth in the socket and hold it in place with your fingers or by gently biting down on it.
- If the tooth cannot be repositioned in the socket, place it in a small cup of milk. If no milk is available, place the tooth in your mouth next to your cheek. The tooth must stay moist at all times, but avoid storing it in regular tap water.
*SOURCE: American Association of Endodontists
Fractured or Broken Teeth
There are many causes of chipped, cracked or broken teeth, including falling, biting down on something hard, impact to the face or mouth, and even dental conditions such as cavities that cause the tooth to lose strength. Many times, there is no pain when a small chip or break occurs, but large breaks can be painful and cause extreme sensitivity when the tooth is exposed to hot or cold food or drinks.
Both of these conditions require dental care to prevent further damage. Visit our office as soon as possible so we can assess the type of damage and determine if there is a related dental problem that needs treatment. If your tooth is broken and there is bleeding, follow these steps prior to your visit:
- Rinse with warm water.
- Apply pressure with gauze until the bleeding stops.
- Apply ice or a cold pack to reduce swelling on any affected cheek or lip areas.