The loss of a tooth is magical for children. The tooth, hidden underneath their pillow as they sleep, results in a visit from the tooth fairy and some sort of reimbursement for the trade. However, losing a permanent tooth as an adult can feel like a nightmare.
Reasons Why Your Adult Tooth May Fall Out
There are many reasons why your adult tooth may fall out, and losing permanent teeth is more common than you think. More than 178 million people in the US are missing at least one tooth. Why does it happen?
Poor Periodontal Care: The number one reason behind losing a tooth is poor dental care. When bacteria gets under the gum line, the infection can separate the tooth from the gums. The tooth will become unstable, and ultimately fall or have to be removed.
Trauma to the Tooth: Injuries that impact the tooth directly may result in the tooth loosening or falling out. Sports injuries, vehicular accidents, or any direct trauma to the mouth region can cause a tooth to fall out.
Extensive Tooth Decay: Fillings, crowns, and other dental procedures repair damage to teeth. When these small problems aren’t corrected, the tooth continues to decay and destroys the structure of the tooth until it can no longer remain attached.
Oral Cancer and Diseases: Certain illnesses such as oral cancer can disrupt your teeth or the bone structure in your mouth, resulting in the loss of adult teeth.
First Aid for a Lost Adult Tooth
You should head straight to your dentist if your tooth comes out, regardless of the cause. Do NOT go to the emergency room, as they are unequipped to re-implant the lost tooth. A lost tooth is considered a dental emergency that requires immediate assistance.
- Locate the tooth and pick it up from the crown. Do NOT touch the root of the tooth.
- If needed, rinse the tooth with either saliva or milk. Never wash it with soap or other cleaning products. Do not scrape or scrub the tooth.
- Store the tooth in the empty socket, or back into your mouth, if possible. The saliva will help improve your chances of the tooth being successfully re-implanted.
- If you cannot store the tooth in your mouth, store it in milk, not water. Water is unable to preserve the tooth well.
- Usually you will have one hour to re-implant the tooth successfully, so don’t delay.
Options for Replacing a Lost Tooth
Even if your tooth is unable to be re-implanted, it is still important to replace your missing tooth. In addition to improving your smile, prosthetics can protect the future health of your surrounding teeth, and gaps leave your teeth vulnerable to gum disease, decay, and further loss of bone in the jaw which will make it much harder to restore the mouth later.
A dental bridge is a prosthesis that includes two dental crowns that fit around the adjacent teeth, with an artificial tooth filling the gap. The bridge is fused to the teeth, ensuring a snug and comfortable fit.
Dental implants are becoming an increasingly popular choice to those who have lost their adult teeth. A dental implant is a replacement tooth built of a titanium root, implanted into the jawbone. This is the most realistic and permanent solution for a lost tooth.
A partial denture is another option to replace a missing tooth. A replacement tooth is fitted into metal framework that will click into place using clasps around other teeth.
Whether you have a lost tooth or a loose adult tooth, a trip to your dentist can help determine the best avenue for maintaining a clean, healthy smile.
Here at Creating Smiles, you can trust in your St. Petersburg emergency dentist. Dr. Brayer and team will assess your tooth loss situation and move forward with the best solution for your individual needs.