Heads up, parents: losing a tooth is not just a childhood issue. The American College of Prosthodontics estimates that 178 million Americans lose at least one tooth, and about 40 million Americans will lose all of their teeth. As we age, the problem worsens as 30 percent of adults between 65 and 74 years old have no natural teeth. That is a pretty scary statistic. So, what do you do if you lose a tooth?
Losing a Tooth to Trauma
If you have lost all of your baby teeth, losing a tooth in adulthood can be startling. There can be several causes of this. The first is tooth loss due to trauma. In a dental trauma, you may lose all or part of your tooth. Professional endodontists and dentists can save your natural tooth without having to implant a false one. If you want to keep your tooth after a trauma, it is essential to follow these steps:
- Pick up the pieces. Make sure you grab your tooth by the crown and not the root, which would damage it further.
- Clean it if necessary. While a dentist will clean and disinfect your tooth before any procedure, you can do that yourself if it needs a quick wash-off in the water. Do not use any soap or chemicals.
- Keep it protected. If you lost the whole tooth, you could attempt to place it back into the original socket and hold pressure by biting down on a paper towel. If it came out in more than one piece or you cannot put it into the socket, you can place the tooth in milk or saliva in a small container. You can also hold it inside your cheek until you see a dentist.
- Get to the Dentist. The sooner you can get to the dentist, the more likely it will be that they can save your tooth without needing artificial implants.
Losing a Tooth Due to Gum Disease or Tooth Decay
The American Dental Association says that more than 90% of Americans will suffer from tooth decay or gum disease at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, over 20% will allow this to go untreated. The most important thing you can do is prevent this with routine dental care. Seeing your dentist twice a year for a cleaning can prevent this kind of tooth loss from ever happening. If you have lost a tooth due to tooth decay or gum disease, make sure to see a dentist right away, as decay and disease spread quickly to other teeth in the mouth.
A Beautiful Smile Starts with Prevention
If this blog inspired you to take steps toward a more beautiful smile, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with one of our skilled dentists at Appletree Dental. If you are suffering from a recent tooth loss, we offer emergency dental appointments at both of our locations.