Don't Panic, There's a Chance It Can be Saved
Getting a tooth knocked out can feel like a nightmare. Although it may not be the most serious injury in the world, it can certainly seem like the world is close to ending. Who wants to be called Gappy when they are an adult? It was cute when you were six and knew it was very much a temporary situation, but a knocked-out tooth as a grownup? It sends shivers down most people's spines just thinking about it.
As shocking and scary as it is, thanks to modern dentistry if your tooth is knocked out, putting things right is a lot easier than it used to be, and the chances you won't lose your lovely smile for very long are high. As long as you take prompt action that is.
Dealing with a Knocked-Out Tooth: Immediate Steps to Take
Whether the cause is a sports injury, an accident, or you got into a fight - either with someone else or the pavement - it is important to know what to do immediately after a tooth has been knocked out.
When a tooth is knocked out it is quite literally severed from the socket (that's just one reason why it hurts so much) and usually, the ligament that once attached it to your gum and jaw is destroyed. The tooth can still be saved at this point, but you'll need as many of the tiny nerve fibres to remain attached as possible.
This means you'll have to be very careful when you pick up the tooth (we're assuming here it can be located) You should pick it up by the crown only, never the root. Pick it up the wrong way and those precious fibers will be gone.
Once you have the tooth, wipe away excess dirt (carefully) and either set it back into the socket or hold it between your cheek and gums in your mouth. Bathing your tooth in your saliva will help keep it alive. If you can't place it in your mouth putting it into a glass of cold whole milk is the next best thing.
At this point somebody - possibly not you as your mouth is busy trying to save a knocked-out tooth - should be on the phone with an emergency dentist. A tooth that is lost due to an accident has an 80-90% chance of being saved if these procedures are followed and you can get to the dentist's office quickly.
A healthy tooth that is. If a knocked-out tooth was loose already, something that is usually caused by periodontal disease, none of these measures may help, as a diseased tooth is usually beyond that at this point. You should still head right to the dentists though, as the damage done to the gums and potentially to surrounding teeth still needs to be accessed asap.
Preventing Tooth Loss
Accidents happen. We understand that. But there are some things you can do to help prevent getting a tooth knocked out in the first place. Some sensible measures include the following:
If you play sports, wear a mouth guard. Not just if you play cricket or footie and there are flying objects involved, but when you participate in any sport. You never know when an opponent’s arm, or the track, might connect with your face and knock your tooth out. You need to make sure it fits well though, so talk to your dentist and they'll help you find the right one.
Practice good dental hygiene and visit your dentist regularly to prevent gum disease and decay. As we already mentioned, an unhealthy tooth is knocked out far more easily than a healthy one and once it's out there's rarely any putting it back in.
Think when you drink. Yes, there's still tons of fun to be had, even if the summer's winding down. And while we are not suggesting you give up enjoying everything that Sydney has to offer - including all the great pubs and clubs - drink with care.
Once you get a bit beer wobbly you are far more likely to fall down and kiss the pavement (ouch, it hurts just thinking about it) and/or get into a bit of fisticuffs with a fellow 'happy' reveler. If you are drinking, take it steady and if you really can't walk straight (oops) don't try. Call a taxi, call an Uber, call a mate but don't try to walk home and certainly don't drive.
Emergency Dentist Sydney Says:
With prompt action a knocked-out tooth can often be saved. Just another reason why it pays to have our number in your phone, as you never know when you might need it at 2 am!