What To Do If You Lose a Tooth

September 29, 2021
Woman Holding Lost Tooth

You did all the right things. You grew up brushing your teeth two times every day for two minutes each time. You saw your dentist twice a year for a routine exam and cleaning. Sure, you may have had one or two cavities, but you had good oral health overall. As an adult, your dental routine has started to wane, and you can’t remember the last time you saw a dentist. Now you are facing a situation that is traumatic and unexpected as an adult, tooth loss.

A Common Incident with a Common Culprit

Adult tooth loss affects approximately 178 million Americans before the age of 65. In fact, 30% of Americans have no natural teeth left by the time they turn 74! A subtle yet common culprit is to blame.

Tooth decay is one of the most common causes of tooth loss, second to Periodontitis in adults. While subtle at first, tooth decay quickly spreads to the gums and neighboring teeth, eventually causing tooth loss and gum disease. Unfortunately, while nearly all adults will suffer from tooth decay at some point in their lives, 20% will not seek dental treatment.

Prevention is essential when dealing with tooth decay. The American Dental Association recommends visiting a dentist 1-2 times every year for an exam, cleaning, and x-rays. These exams allow dentists to detect subtle signs of tooth decay and gum disease before an average person and are also your best chance at stopping tooth loss due to tooth decay.

So, You Lost a Tooth. Now What?

While tooth decay is the most common cause of tooth loss, you may be the unfortunate victim of mouth or dental trauma. When you lose a tooth in either circumstance, it is vital to follow these tips to avoid artificial implants:

  • Grab it by the crown. When tooth loss occurs, it is essential to pick up the tooth by the crown and not the root. Damage to the root will affect the ability of the dentist to reattach it to the gumline.
  • Gentle rinse. Your tooth may have fallen out onto the ground, dirt, or in a substance that could cause further damage to the tooth. To help avoid this before you get to a dentist, you can gently rinse the tooth off in the water. Do not wash the tooth with any chemicals.
  • Keep it moist. Teeth become very brittle when not in your mouth. If you can, hold the tooth in your cheek if you are going to your dentist right away. If not, placing your tooth in a small container of milk will keep your tooth in good shape for reattachment.
  • Call the dentist. As soon as your tooth falls out, you should be calling your dentist. If you don’t have one, please get in touch with our office, and we can get you in for an emergency appointment.

Visit Woodmen Dental Group

Losing a tooth in adulthood can be traumatic. Please remember that the best way to prevent tooth loss is regular dental visits, routine oral care at home, and higher stadium seats during baseball or hockey games.

If you need to establish dental care, any of our excellent providers would be honored to have you as a patient. Please schedule your appointment and let us help you care for your oral health.