Knocked Out Teeth: What to Do in Crisis

It happens pretty quickly: one minute you have all of your teeth and the next you are missing a few in an dentist holding molarunfortunate accident. Whether it’s due to a sports game or just a moment of clumsiness, knocking out your teeth is a painful, scary experience. Here’s what you need to do if you or someone else breaks or loses a tooth in an accident.

*Please note – if the person is unconscious or has a life-threatening injury, please dial 911 immediately.

Store the tooth or fragments – Your first step here should always be collecting the tooth from where it was knocked out or broken. If the tooth or fragments of the tooth have been on the ground or in the dirt, rinse the tooth in lukewarm water only. It’s very important that you handle the tooth with care and do not touch the roots. This gives the tooth more of a chance of being re-inserted.

Treat the mouth injury – First, make sure the person who has lost the tooth rinses their mouth out with warm water to get rid of any blood or possible tooth fragment. Treat the wound in the mouth as you would any other type of wound, by applying pressure with a clean, sterilized piece of gauze to help control bleeding. Staying calm is also a very important part of this, especially if you are the affected person or you’re dealing with children.

Maintaining the tooth – If reinserting the tooth into the socket it came from is not a viable option, storing the tooth between your cheek and gum can help to preserve the tooth’s root. If the root becomes dried out, it cannot be reinserted. If you’re unable to put the tooth between your gum and cheek, place it in a cup of milk to help keep it moisture on the root.

Call your dentist – Once the situation is assessed, make sure you call your family dentist to get an appointment as soon as possible. If the wound is still bleeding after an hour, visiting an emergency room should be your next stop.

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