What to Do If You Lose a Tooth As an Adult?

Losing a permanent tooth as an adult brings about a different set of emotions compared to losing teeth as a child. Instead of the joy and anticipation of a tooth fairy visit, you experience a sense of shock and dread, realizing that this tooth won’t regrow. The absence of crisp dollar bills under your pillow serves as a reminder. If you’re currently facing the loss of an adult tooth and seeking guidance on how to proceed, continue reading for valuable advice on how to navigate this situation. Be assured that by following the appropriate measures, you can overcome this hurdle with positive outcomes.

Losing an adult tooth.

What problems can be caused by a lost tooth?

  • Inadequate dental hygiene – Insufficient care for your teeth is the primary factor behind tooth loss. When infection penetrates below the gumline, it can lead to the separation of teeth from the gums, resulting in tooth instability and eventual loss or the need for replacement.
  • Dental injuries – Accidents or impacts to the mouth can loosen teeth or cause them to be completely dislodged. Direct trauma to the oral region, such as vehicular accidents or sports-related injuries, can result in this type of damage.
  • Tooth decay – Tooth decay gradually accumulates over time. While minor cavities can be treated with fillings or crowns, extensive decay can cause significant damage, necessitating the removal of the tooth to prevent further complications.
  • Disease – Oral diseases have the potential to affect both the teeth and the bone structure of the jaws. Such disruptions can destabilize the teeth, increasing the likelihood of tooth loss.
  • Smoking – Smoking has a detrimental impact on oral health, specifically the gums. Those who smoke have a greater chance of developing gum disease, which in turn raises the risk of losing teeth.
  • Tooth grinding – The habit of tooth grinding, also known as bruxism, can cause long-term damage to the teeth. Grinding and clenching gradually wear down the enamel, leaving the teeth vulnerable to infection and decay.
  • Age – With advancing age, teeth naturally experience wear and tear from regular use, leading to an increased risk of oral complications. Typically, people who are 35 years old or older are more susceptible to experiencing tooth loss. 

The loss of a permanent tooth is not only a cosmetic concern, but it also requires immediate attention from a dental professional. If a tooth is chipped or knocked out due to direct trauma, it’s important to contact your dental clinic right away. Seeking immediate dental care improves the likelihood of saving and reattaching the tooth. There are preventive steps you can take to protect the tooth and avoid infection in the socket. Keep the following steps in mind to minimize the risk of permanent tooth loss.

What Do I Do If My Tooth Fell Out?

Losing an adult tooth differs from losing a baby tooth in that it cannot regenerate naturally. Once it falls out, your gums heal, and the tooth is gone for good. However, there are steps you can take to improve the likelihood of your dentist being able to replace the tooth. By acting swiftly and following these straightforward guidelines, you can increase your chances of successful tooth reattachment.

Locating a fallen tooth.

Step 1: Locate the tooth

To begin, locate the missing tooth. When you find it, make sure to handle it by the crown rather than the root. Touching the root can potentially harm the delicate tissue and worsen the damage. Handle the tooth with great care to preserve its condition, enabling your dentist to reattach it effectively.

Step 2: Stop the bleeding

After a tooth loss, the socket may start bleeding profusely. To stop the bleeding, place dry and sterile cotton balls onto the wound. Use your finger to gently press on the cotton balls, which will promote clotting and halt the bleeding. To ensure the effective absorption of blood, it is important to regularly replace the cotton balls. Remember to rinse your mouth with clean water and spit it out while replacing the cotton balls.It is important to avoid swallowing the blood as it may induce vomiting.

Cotton balls to stop the bleeding of a fallen tooth.

Step 3: Rinse the tooth

If the tooth seems unclean, give it a thorough rinse to eliminate any dirt and sanitize it. Use a saline solution or milk to eliminate germs and prevent infection. Avoid using soap or other cleaning products that may harm the tissue. Refrain from scrubbing or scraping the tooth, even for cleaning purposes, as this can remove valuable tissue needed for reattachment. Instead, simply rinse the tooth and its crown.

Step 4: Reinsert the Tooth into the Socket

Once you have cleaned the tooth and stopped the bleeding, carefully place it back into its original position in the socket. This will help protect the root and vital tissues, while your saliva will aid in preserving the tooth and preventing infection. To secure the tooth in place, use medical gauze or a clean washcloth and apply gentle pressure by biting down on it. This will help keep the tooth stable until you can see a dentist.

Re-implanting a fallen tooth at the dentist.

Step 5: Contact Your Dentist

It is crucial to promptly visit your dentist’s office. Act swiftly and make the necessary arrangements to ensure a smooth visit. It is crucial to promptly seek dental treatment for the damaged tooth. The ideal timeframe for successful reattachment is usually within one hour, emphasizing the importance of acting quickly. If you are unable to find a dentist in a timely manner, consider going to an emergency room.

Step 6: Bring the Tooth Along

In the midst of the urgency, we sometimes forget the essentials. If you are unable to reposition the tooth in the socket, be sure to bring it with you to the dentist’s office.


If you can tolerate the pain, it is advisable not to take any medication before your dental appointment. Sedation may be necessary during the procedure, and it is safer to avoid additional medication in your system that could potentially cause complications. In case you’re experiencing severe pain, you have the option to alleviate it by using either a heating pad or a cold pack on your chin or jaw.

Eating and Drinking

While waiting to see the dentist, refrain from eating or drinking anything. Without the tooth in place, the socket is exposed to food and beverages, which can lead to a secondary infection. It is best to maintain a clean area until you receive professional assistance. If you absolutely need to drink, use a straw to direct the liquid past the area of the missing tooth and towards the back of your mouth.

First aid for a tooth that has fallen out.

First Aid for A Tooth That Has Fallen Out

When an adult tooth is lost, it is crucial to seek dental assistance promptly for better long-term outcomes. The choice between visiting a dental office or an emergency room might be perplexing. Unless there is an accompanying injury requiring medical attention, it is advisable to consult an emergency dentist as an ER doctor cannot effectively address dental emergencies.

Several important factors should be borne in mind when a tooth is lost, as they can significantly impact the final result. Firstly, it is important to locate the fallen tooth. When handling it, it is essential to avoid touching the root at the bottom. Exercising extra care and caution while handling the tooth is essential. If the tooth is dirty and requires rinsing, it is recommended to use saliva or milk, ensuring that it does not come into contact with any other substances, particularly soap or chemicals.

The next step is to reposition the tooth back into its original place in the mouth, which may seem unusual but is considered best practice. Carefully and gently place the tooth back into its socket. Remarkably, the body recognizes the absence of the tooth, and by reinserting it into the socket, you are preparing for its permanent re-implantation by a dentist.

If it’s not feasible to put the tooth back in its place, it’s crucial to keep the tooth in a sterile solution. You can use a saline solution or a glass of milk as suitable alternatives. It is important to avoid using freshwater, as it does not preserve the tooth as effectively and can lead to complications during the reattachment process. If milk or a saline solution is unavailable, keeping the tooth between the gum and cheek can help maintain it in the mouth and expose it to saliva.

The urgency of reaching a dentist immediately cannot be overstated, as the tooth should ideally be re-implanted within an hour to maximize the chances of success. During this critical period, it is best to refrain from consuming any food or beverages, as time will be limited. Rinsing the mouth with warm or saline water is advisable to minimize discomfort and halt any bleeding.

Re-implanting Your Fallen Tooth

When you arrive at the dental clinic, you’ll experience a sense of relief knowing that an expert is present to assist you in determining the most suitable course of action based on the condition and duration the tooth has been outside your mouth. Since time is of the essence for re-implantation, the dentist will act swiftly. In the event that re-implantation is not feasible, there exist alternative options to restore your smile and safeguard the long-term health of your teeth.

Your dentist may suggest various alternatives such as a dental bridge, dental implant, or partial denture, taking into account numerous factors to arrive at the optimal decision. The dentist will investigate the cause behind the tooth loss to address any underlying issues effectively. The remarkable aspect of consulting a dentist is having someone who can identify the most suitable solution for you.

Why Do Adult Teeth Sometimes Fall Out?

Numerous individuals throughout the United States have encountered the loss of at least one adult tooth due to various factors. Although this may sound concerning, it is important to consider that sometimes the absent tooth is situated at the back of the mouth, which is visually less distressing compared to a missing front tooth. Nevertheless, any permanent tooth that is lost necessitates immediate attention to minimize the damage and prevent potential long-term complications.

Several common causes contribute to tooth loss, including inadequate oral hygiene resulting in tooth decay, the natural process of aging, gum disease, oral cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and a lack of regular professional dental care. Routine dental examinations, along with X-rays that can detect issues at an early stage, play a crucial role in preventing tooth loss.

Furthermore, teeth can be lost due to sports-related injuries or accidental falls. While these situations may seem comical if they were not real, most individuals find solace in laughter only after their smile has been restored. There is truly nothing more satisfying than regaining confidence after experiencing a dental emergency.

Dental implant to replace a fallen tooth.

How To Replace a Fallen Tooth?

In situations where you are unable to replace a missing tooth, it becomes crucial to address the issue promptly to prevent any oral complications that may arise. To maintain your oral health and protect your teeth and jaws from additional harm, it is important to consider replacing a missing tooth. Fortunately, there are various options for tooth replacement, including dental implants, dentures, and bridges.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are an excellent and reliable solution for tooth replacement. They consist of a titanium root that is inserted into the jawbone to provide a secure foundation for the replacement tooth. These implants are a valuable investment due to their long-lasting nature, ensuring many years of use.


For a more affordable and non-invasive alternative, partial dentures are a viable choice. These prostheses consist of a metal frame that holds a replacement tooth and clasps around the adjacent teeth. In situations where the gums and jawbone do not have sufficient strength to support an implant, dentures are frequently suggested as a viable option.

Dental Bridges

If you have a small gap between your teeth, dental bridges can be an effective solution. A bridge consists of two components: the replacement teeth and the abutment, which attaches the bridge to the neighboring teeth. Unlike dentures, bridges are permanently affixed to the teeth.

Final Notes

In dental emergencies, acting swiftly increases your chances of preserving your teeth. While losing a permanent tooth can be distressing, there are measures you can take to address the problem before it significantly impacts your overall oral health. These tips should serve as a helpful guide in such unfortunate circumstances. If you require comprehensive dental services, including procedures, feel free to contact Dr. Roland Zhuka.

Dr. Roland Zhuka offers compassionate dental care for individuals of all ages. We understand the importance of instilling good dental habits from a young age and are committed to supporting your children every step of the way. Furthermore, our services extend to various areas, including cosmetic dentistry. Should you wish to book an appointment, kindly reach out to us at +355 69 70 44 409. We are committed to aiding you in all your dental requirements.

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