Mouth injuries that are forceful enough to knock out a tooth may also damage other teeth or other structures in the mouth or face, such as the roof of the mouth, gums, lips, or cheeks. A permanent tooth can sometimes be put back into its socket (re-implanted). The best results occur if a dentist puts the tooth back in the socket within one hour. Chances of successful re-implantation are unlikely after two hours.
What to do if you knock out a tooth:
- Handle the tooth carefully. Try not to touch the root (the part of the tooth that was under the gum). It can be damaged easily.
- If the tooth is dirty, hold it by the upper part (the crown) and rinse it with milk. If you don’t have any milk, rinse it with warm water. Don’t wipe it off with a washcloth, shirt or other fabric. This could damage the tooth.
- Keep the tooth moist by placing it in a glass of milk. If you can’t do this, place the tooth in your mouth, between the check and gum. A young child may not be able to safely store the tooth in his or her mouth without swallowing it. Instead, have the child spit into a cup. Place the tooth in the cup with the saliva. If nothing else is available, place the tooth in a cup of water. The most important thing is to keep the tooth moist.
- When the tooth has been knocked out, the nerves, blood vessels and supporting tissues are damaged, too. The nerves and blood vessels cannot be repaired. This is why all knocked out teeth will need a root canal. However, the bone can reattach to the root of the tooth once it’s put back into place.
Call Urgent Dental Care at 314-423-0000 for an appointment.