When you’re a child, there’s nothing unusual about a tooth becoming loose and falling out every now and then. Once you reach adulthood, however, all of your teeth should be permanently anchored in place for the rest of your life. Unfortunately, trauma, poor oral hygiene, and tooth decay can all cause adult teeth to come loose. This is an extremely serious dental emergency, and you need to act quickly if you want to protect your smile. The post below covers what you should do if you notice a loose tooth.
Who Should You Call for a Loose Permanent Tooth?
Your first thought may be to call an emergency room, but that will be less helpful than you might think. The doctors at emergency rooms don’t have the experience or equipment to re-implant lost or loose teeth. Instead, you should call an emergency dentist who has been trained to deal with this situation and can get you the care you need as quickly as possible.
What to Do Before Visiting Your Emergency Dentist
You should get to your dentist’s office as soon as possible once a tooth has become loose; it’s best to get there within an hour whenever possible. In the meantime, here are some steps you should take to keep your smile safe until your appointment:
- Do not touch the tooth at all. Any attempts to straighten it or push it back into place are likely to make things worse. Even if you think the tooth will have to be removed, don’t attempt to do so yourself, as this can be very painful.
- When you need to eat, stay away from any sticky, chewy, or hard foods. Also, only chew with the opposite side of your mouth so that you can avoid further harm to the tooth in question.
- Swish warm water around in your mouth to keep the area clean. Do not brush or floss the loose tooth.
How Will the Loose Tooth Be Treated?
Loose permanent teeth are commonly treated with a dental splint. The device is attached to adjacent teeth in order to hold the tooth in question in place so that the roots can reattach to the jawbone. Some loose teeth can’t be saved and will need to be removed altogether. Your dentist can recommend dental implants or another type of tooth replacement to fill in the gap based on your situation.
A loose permanent tooth is an urgent dental problem that needs to be dealt with as quickly as possible. Make sure you have your emergency dentist’s phone number on hand at all times so that you can get in touch with them right away should the worst happen to your smile.
About the Author
Dr. Darren Koch has over 17 years of dental experience. He earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree with honors in 2001 at the University of Buffalo. Today at his practice in Cary, he offers emergency care for patients with loose or knocked out teeth; he can take whatever steps are necessary to save the natural tooth or to replace it if the situation calls for it. To schedule a consultation, visit our website or call (919) 859-6633.