Knocked Out Your Tooth? Take These Steps Immediately

Sep 01, 2023
Knocked Out Your Tooth? Take These Steps Immediately
Losing a tooth to a traumatic event can certainly be upsetting. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the tooth is gone forever. These steps can help save your tooth and increase the likelihood that it can be replanted in its socket.

Every year, millions of teeth get knocked out due to accidents and injuries. But even though having a tooth knocked out can certainly be upsetting, it doesn’t necessarily mean your tooth is gone for good. 

Often, a tooth can be replanted — placed back in its socket so your smile and bite are preserved. The key is knowing what to do in the moments after your tooth is knocked out to prevent damage that can interfere with restoration.

At DNTL StudioValay Desai, DDS, and Prashant Amin, DDS, offer emergency dental care for patients in Upland, California, including care for teeth that have been knocked out. If you lose a tooth to an accident or injury, here’s what you need to do to preserve your tooth and increase the chances it can be saved.

Handle the tooth gently

When handling a tooth that’s been knocked out, it’s vitally important to only touch the crown — the top part of the tooth that you normally see above the gum line. Touching the lower part of the tooth can cause contamination or damage to the extremely fragile root, preventing your tooth from being replanted.

Gently clean the tooth

Rinse your tooth very gently in clean water. Don’t use a strong stream and don’t scrub or brush the tooth — just gently rinse it to dislodge dirt and prevent damaging the roots.

Place it back in its socket if you can

Once the tooth is clean, try to place it back in its socket. This is your tooth’s natural environment, designed to support the tooth and its root. To hold your tooth in place, bite down very gently on a piece of gauze or clean cloth.

If you can’t place it in its socket, do this instead

If your gum is too sore or swollen or if there’s bleeding and you can’t place your tooth in the socket, you can place it between your cheek and gum or in a glass of milk. Don’t place your tooth in tap water, since some water may contain chemicals that can damage the tooth and make replanting difficult or impossible.

Seek treatment immediately

Replanting your tooth depends on rapid treatment, ideally within a half hour of your initial injury. However, a tooth can still be replanted after a half hour as long as you seek treatment right away. Call our office or head to the nearest emergency room.

Preventing future tooth accidents

There’s no way to 100% prevent accidents in the future, but there are things you can do to lower your risks. If you play sports, consider wearing a mouthguard to protect your teeth and jaws. 

Practice good oral hygiene at home. Avoid foods that can cause cavities, and have checkups every six months so tiny issues are fixed before they become bigger problems that could weaken your teeth.

If you have a dental emergency, we can help. Call 909-982-8893 right away or, for regular checkups and oral health care, book an appointment online at DNTL Studio today.