Did you hit your face and the tooth completely fell out? Well, it could be an avulsed tooth and you will need immediate treatment to cure it.
This is because the tooth completely dislodges from the socket.
Thus, its other name is a knocked-out tooth.
Hence, it is a dental emergency that you can only restore if you get immediate treatment.
One way to do that is by reinserting the tooth yourself.
However, your safest option is to go to the dentist’s right away.
This article discusses what you can do if you have an avulsed tooth.
Keep reading below to know more.
Knocking a tooth completely is not easy.
Hence, it needs a huge amount of force.
You will not simply knock out a tooth when you hit a door.
However, that can lead to a chipped tooth.
Knocking it completely out of the socket requires a certain amount of force.
That can happen in the case of accidents, such as bicycle or traffic accidents, as well as with a bad fall.
Sports injuries, falls and getting hit can knock out the tooth too.
These all happen with an impact and force so there is a tendency to lose the tooth.
Among sports injuries, there are many high-impact sports that can certainly knock out your tooth.
For instance, hockey and lacrosse contain a stick and a ball or puck.
The players hit it strongly and if that hits your mouth, you can completely lose a tooth.
On the other hand, you have football and rugby that contain a ball and running which can result in impact.
Skating and martial arts can also cause impactful hits.
Therefore, all of these sports can hit you strongly and in the process, you may end up losing a tooth.
This is why it is always recommended to wear a mouthguard whenever playing such sports.
So, what if you did not wear a mouthguard and got hit during these circumstances?
It is time to check for the symptoms to know if you have a dental avulsion.
Avulsed Tooth Symptoms
Did you know that around 5 million people knock out teeth in the United States?
In fact, dental injuries are more common in children between the ages of 7 to 11 years.
Moreover, men are twice as likely to get these injuries than women.
So whenever you face an impact, one way to know that it is a dental avulsion is by getting the entire tooth out.
The tooth knocks out from the socket completely so no part of it remains inside the mouth.
It will not be a chipped or cracked tooth but rather an entire tooth.
Hence, there will be a gap in your mouth where the tooth was previously.
You will also feel pain in your mouth because the tooth is knocked out.
Plus, there will be bleeding, similar to how it is when a baby tooth falls out.
When it starts to bleed, put a piece of cloth such as a handkerchief on the empty socket.
Then bite it down in order to stop the bleeding.
Besides the pain, you can take some pain relievers after contacting your doctor.
Though it is also important to remember that mouth pain and a dental avulsion may not be the only problems that you may face due to an impact and injury.
If you start to feel nauseous, dizzy or have a head injury then go to the ER.
This could be indicating ahead trauma that needs immediate medical attention.
In any case, you will be seeing a medical professional, if not a doctor then a dentist because you have to save your tooth.
This brings us to…
Avulsed Tooth Treatment
Whenever you have an avulsed tooth, there are two options.
Either you would insert it back on your own or you will leave it in a liquid and then go to the dentist.
Your dental treatment depends on what you did.
In the case of placing it in a liquid:
The liquid is most probably milk.
The dentist will first take out the tooth and gently rinse it with saline.
Then they will proceed to give you dental anesthesia preferably local anesthesia and start reinserting the tooth.
They will splint the implanted tooth and also schedule a root canal procedure.
However, you can also try to reinsert the tooth yourself.
In the case of reinserting the tooth in the socket before visiting the dentist:
Inserting your tooth yourself will be rather difficult so first, you need to make sure that you put it correctly.
Next, you need to splint the implanted tooth around the surrounding teeth.
Do that for 7 to 10 days.
However, if the bone near the tooth is also fractured, then your dentist will leave the splint for 6 weeks.
During this time keep evaluating the condition of your tooth.
If you need a root canal to remove the soft inner center of the tooth then get that within 2 weeks.
Since inserting it yourself is complicated, it is better to consult your dentist.
Till the time you meet the dentist, keep the avulsed tooth in milk.
You must be wondering why put the avulsed tooth in milk?
Well, this is because milk acts as an interim storage medium.
Milk is a good medium because of three factors:
- it is usually free from bacteria
- it is easily available
- milk can preserve the viability of PDL cells
Remember that dentist can fix the tooth within an hour.
Management of Avulsed Tooth
A tooth avulsion can be fixed usually in an hour’s time for the best result.
This is because the periodontal ligament that attaches the root of the tooth to the bone will start to die.
While placing it in milk can lend you some time preventing the root from drying out.
If it dries and dries, you are left with no other option than to replace it with a bridge, implant or denture.
Therefore, hurry to the dentist if any such thing happens.
Though, there is a chance the dentist might reimplant the tooth even if it was not placed in a liquid.
Additionally, your dentist will prescribe an antibiotic to help with the pain and prevent any infection.
They will also ensure that your tetanus shot is up to date as that could be a risk too.
Once your tooth is reimplanted, take some precautionary measures to manage pain and to hold the tooth in position.
Right after the tooth is implanted take care of what you eat.
Do not eat foods that are difficult to eat, hard or chewy.
Also, avoid cold and hot items.
Hence, you should eat soft, light and liquid foods instead till your mouth heals.
This time period can usually be two weeks unless you need a root canal.
If you feel any pain then take pain relievers or NSAIDs according to your dentist’s instructions.
Do not forsake oral hygiene during this time.
In fact, be extra vigilant with it.
So you should brush after every meal.
Though brush your teeth extremely gently with a soft-bristled brush.
You will already be taking antibiotics to prevent infection, rinse your mouth with one too.
Use antibacterial chlorhexidine mouthwash twice a day for two weeks till you completely heal preventing any infection that could worsen matters.
Complications and Outlook
Once your dentist reimplants the tooth, you need to take care of your oral hygiene even better than before.
Getting immediate treatment after tooth avulsion can save the tooth.
Following good oral hygiene can prolong its life.
However, there is no guarantee on how it can last.
Plus, it can result in complications over time such as:
This condition causes inflammation in the tissue surrounding the teeth.
Pulp Canal Obliteration
This involves the deposits of hard tissue along the root canal wall.
While it is a painless condition, it canlater lead to pulp necrosis.
This condition occurs due to the fusion of the tooth into the bone.
From there it starts to sink into the gum tissue.
In this condition, the tissue present in the center of your teeth dies.
This is the pulp and if it occurs, you will have to completely remove the tooth or get a root canal.
Inflammatory Root Resorption
This condition is the breakdown of the structure of the root.
Since this harms the tooth’s root, the tooth loosens as a result.
One way to recognize these complications is to constantly observe your tooth.
Go to your dentist if you feel continuous tooth pain and swelling.
Also, check for bleeding and tooth discoloration.
To prevent any of this from happening, wear a mouthguard in places where you are susceptible to get a mouth injury.
In case, you cannot find the tooth immediately then get a lung X-ray to see if you have aspirated it.
The other option can be that you have swallowed it instead which is usually harmless.
In an avulsed tooth, going to your dentist immediately is the safest option.
Do not try to put back a part of the tooth but only an entire one.