Knocked Out Teeth: Next Steps for the Most Common Dental Emergency
Contrary to what the movies might tell you, there are other ways to knock out a tooth than getting into a fistfight. As one of the most common dental emergencies knocked out or avulsed teeth can occur due to simple falls, face injuries, contact sports, and more. While this ailment is common, only about 9 percent of adults in the U.S. know what to do if it happens. If you find yourself with an avulsed tooth, not all hope is lost but you must act fast. Ideally, you should see your dentist within 30 minutes after losing the tooth or teeth, however, reimplantation has occurred after over an hour. With these steps, you can be prepared and have greater chances of salvaging your lost tooth!
Locate and pick up the tooth by the crown.
Under NO circumstances should you pick the tooth up by the roots. Hold the tooth at the crown (chewing surface). Be very gentle when handling the tooth and do your best not to damage the roots for greater chances of reimplantation.
If the tooth is dirty, rinse gently with water.
Rinse the tooth very briefly, no more than 10 seconds, only using lukewarm water. Do not use chemicals or soaps. Even too much tap water can kill the root cells that are needed for successful reimplantation. Do not dry the tooth, wipe it off, or place it in a paper towel.
Attempt to place the tooth back in the socket.
Placing the tooth back in the socket is the most important next step until you can get to your dentist. If the lost tooth is wholly intact from root to crown, attempt to place the tooth back in the socket right away. Holding it by the crown, push the tooth into the socket gently. Hold the tooth in place with your fingers or very gently bite down.
Keep the tooth moist at all times.
It is imperative that you do not let the tooth dry out, keeping it moist at all times. If the tooth will not go back into the socket, you have a couple of options. According to the Mayo Clinic, placing the tooth in your cheek is the best and most natural alternative to placing it back in the socket. You can also place the tooth in milk or an over-the-counter emergency tooth preservation kit if you have quick access to it.
See your dentist within 30 minutes of the injury.
After your tooth has been knocked completely out of the socket, the nerve is severed and the blood supply is lost, meaning you do not have much time before that nerve dies completely, hence the urgency. Call Lakeview Family Dentists immediately to inquire about our emergency services. Though it’s unlikely, if the dentist cannot see you in time, go to the emergency room.
Depending on the damage, it can take a tooth anywhere from 1-8 weeks to successfully reattach into the socket. After the tooth has healed, there should be no need for further services besides your regular check-ups. If the tooth is unable to be reimplanted, your dentist will most likely discuss tooth replacement options, such as a dental bridge or dental implant, with you after the socket has healed.
To prevent having to actually do any of this in the future, make sure you’re always taking precautions to protect your mouth. If you play a contact sport, be sure you are wearing a mouthguard not only in games but in practice as well. When life happens, however, you can now be prepared and potentially save yourself from a much more invasive and costly procedure. At Lakeview Family Dentists, we want you fully equipped with the knowledge you need to take care of your oral health.
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Can You Brush Your Teeth After A Tooth Extraction?
Tooth Extractions in Dracut, MA
Tooth extractions can be painful, and it’s important to realize how to take care of the extraction site afterward to promote healing and avoid complications such as dry socket. After a tooth extraction, it’s important to maintain healthy dental practices, but extra care is required.
Do not forgo your everyday oral hygiene habits, such as brushing and flossing, even if you’ve just had a tooth extracted. However, it is important to brush gently and use care, especially in the areas close to the extraction. To be safe, avoid brushing or rinsing your mouth in the first 24 hours after the tooth extraction procedure. Afterward, brush with care, and don’t get close to the extraction site with the toothbrush. Also, don’t swish water, mouthwash, or any oral care fluid in your mouth. Instead, just lower your mouth and let water or mouthwash pour out.
What Else Do I Need To Do After A Tooth Extraction
Beyond brushing with care, there are a number of other things you can do to help yourself heal quickly and avoid pain and complications after a tooth extraction.
Choose Soft Foods
Stick with easy-to-chew foods for the first few days following your tooth extraction. On the first day after surgery stick to foods such as:
- Ice cream
After the first day, you can try a wider variety of foods, such as:
- Mashed potatoes
- Mashed sweet potatoes
- Scrambled eggs
- Broth-based soups
Avoid eating chewy or sticky foods during the first 4-5 days after the extraction, as these can get stuck in the socket left after the tooth was surgically removed. Also, sticky or chewy foods can attach to the clot in the extraction site, and these will remove the clot.
How you eat your food is also important, and you should try to only chew on the opposite side of your mouth from the extracted tooth. Also avoid using straws after an extraction, because the suction of the straw could dislodge the blood clot and lengthen your recovery time.
Follow Your Dentist’s Instructions
After a tooth extraction, it’s important to follow your dentist’s, or oral surgeon’s, instructions. These usually include taking pain medication and antibiotics and making follow-up appointments to ensure you’re healing and that there are no complications.
Having a tooth extracted is a common procedure that many people will experience. Knowing how to care for your extraction site can speed up the recovery process and avoid complications such as dry socket. If you have any questions about tooth extractions, please call our office at 978-957-6300.
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Does Tooth Sensitivity Go Away?
Tooth Sensitivity in Dracut, MA
If you suffer from sensitive teeth, you know how difficult it can be to eat certain foods. There is hope though – in some cases, tooth sensitivity can go away on its own! This is especially true if the sensitivity is due to a recent dental procedure, like a filling or root canal. If your tooth sensitivity lingers and doesn’t go away, you should talk to your dentist since this might be a sign you have worn enamel or exposed tooth roots.
What is tooth sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity occurs when the underlying layer of your teeth (dentin) becomes exposed. This happens due to erosion (wear and tear) and gum recession. Tooth roots that aren’t covered by hard enamel contain many tiny tubules that lead to your tooth’s center (the pulp). These tubules – or channels – allow hot, cold or sweet food to reach the nerve in your tooth, which results in the pain you feel.
Dental sensitivity can be a sign of other issues like cavities, gum disease or a cracked tooth.
How do you stop tooth sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity treatment depends on the cause of your sensitivity. Below are a few tips to reduce your sensitivity caused by normal wear and tear:
- Desenstizing toothpaste: Many brands of toothpaste make specific toothpaste for sensitive teeth. With regular use, you can notice a decrease in sensitivity.
- Good oral hygiene: Following proper oral hygiene can help prevent tooth senstivity if you thoroughly clean all parts of your teeth and mouth.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush: Using a softer toothbrush will help your teeth and gums suffer from less abrasion and irritation.
- Notice what you eat: If you are eating foods that are highly acidic this can gradually dissolve tooth enamel and lead to tooth sensitivity.
- Use dental products with fluoride: If you use a fluoride mouth wash daily you can effectively decrease sensitivity.
- Avoid grinding your teeth: If you grind or clench your teeth regularly, you should consider wearing a mouth guard at night.
- Routine dental checkups: visiting your dentist regularly will ensure you are receiving professional cleanings and fluoride treatments.
If you are still suffering from tooth sensitivity, you should consult your dentist. They may suggest a few dental procedures that could help reduce sensitivity like dental bonding, fluoride varnishes or dentin sealers.
If you have any questions about your tooth sensitivity, please call our office at 978-957-6300.
Halloween can seem like a kid’s ultimate daydream. But for their dental health, it can actually be their greatest nightmare. Just because Halloween has the potential to be bad for teeth doesn’t mean you should only let your children eat apples and carrots.
That doesn’t mean that all candies are the same. There are certain candies that you need to pay a little extra attention to this Halloween season.
One of the best candies you can let your child eat is chocolate. Because it is soft, it easily dissolves off of the teeth after eating, which minimizes the risk of developing cavities.
Another good candy for your dental health are certain kinds of gum. Chewing gum after eating greatly reduces the risk of developing cavities. It can help clean the mouth out and promote the production of saliva, a natural cavity fighter. The best gum to chew is anything that is sugar-free.
The “Be Mindful” Zone
Certain candies are worse for teeth than others. Anything that is sticky can linger on the teeth longer, allowing bacteria to grow and create cavities. It can also pull out any fillings in the teeth, causing painful and potentially deeper cavities.
Hard candy can chip or crack teeth if you try to chew them. Make sure that your child sucks on hard candy, rather than biting it. A lot of hard candies can be sour, which tend to be very acidic and damaging to teeth.
Lastly, one of the greatest classic Halloween treats is the popcorn ball. While delicious, the kernels can become lodged in between teeth and into the gums. This creates areas where bacteria can flourish and eat away at the teeth.
Your Dental Saviors
At the end of the day, there is no particular candy that you should go out of your way to avoid. All candies have the potential to cause damage to the teeth. If you are mindful about what you are consuming and how you are consuming it, you will be just fine. It is important that you floss once a day and brush twice per day. Mouth rinses can also be beneficial after eating.
Happy Halloween and good luck Trick-or-Treating!
Are Dental Implants Safe?
Dental implants have become many dentists’ go-to procedure for replacing missing teeth. Dental implant surgery replaces tooth roots with metal, screwlike posts and replaces damaged or missing teeth with artificial teeth that look and function much like real ones. This surgery is a great alternative to dentures and can offer an option when a lack of natural teeth roots don’t allow building denture or bridgework tooth replacements. At Lakeview Family Dentists, Dr. Daniel Coleman is our dental implant specialist, serving patients in the Dracut, MA area.
What are the risks?
Like any type of surgery, there are a few risks to getting dental implants. However, the problems that come with dental implant surgery are rare and typically minor, and very treatable. Risks include:
- Sinus problems, when dental implants placed in the upper jaw protrude into one of your sinus cavities
- Injury or damage to surrounding structures, such as other teeth or blood vessels
- Nerve damage that can cause pain, numbness, or tingling in your natural teeth, gums, lips, or chin
- Infection at the implant site
The advantages of using dental implants.
Dental implants are one of the most reliable dental procedures with a 95% success. They also offer advantages that other missing teeth solutions do not, such as:
- Appearance – Implants look and feel like your natural teeth.
- Speech – No need to worry about slipping dentures or loose bridges that can cause slurred speech.
- Comfort – Implants are permanent and stable, so no chaffing or discomfort will happen like with dentures.
- Oral health – Implant placement does not require modifying surrounding teeth as a bridge does. Also, implants stop bone deterioration and stimulate healthy bone tissue growth.
Dental Implant Procedure
When considering having a dental implant procedure, a patient will typically go through the following steps:
- First, the patient will go through a thorough exam and consultation with the dentist. The dentist will then make an individualized treatment plan.
- At the next appointment, the team will place your implant, which acts as a substitute tooth root.
- Then, the tooth is given time (about 2-3 months) to heal and integrate with the bone tissue.
- Once the implant has bonded to the bone tissue, a small connector called an abutment is attached to the implant.
- Impressions are taken of your teeth to create either a custom crown to replace one tooth or an implant-supported bridge or denture for multiple missing teeth. Crown restorations are custom tinted, so they blend in beautifully with your natural teeth.
- The finished crown, bridge, or denture is attached to the implant(s).
Once you get the finished implant, your new teeth are ready to use! If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us at 978-957-6300. We want your implants to look and feel like real teeth and your smile to look its best!
How To Prevent Cavities & Tooth Decay
Cavities, often referred to as tooth decay, are tiny holes that develop in the hard surface of your teeth. They are most common in children and teenagers, but they can affect everyone including infants and toddlers. Take a closer look at what causes cavities and how you can prevent them.
Causes of Cavities
Cavities typically occur as a result of poor oral health habits but other various factors can increase the risk of getting a cavity, including:
- Dry mouth. Dry mouth occurs when there is a lack of saliva in the mouth. Saliva helps wash away food stuck on the teeth and it counters the acid produced from bacteria in the mouth, which reduces the chance for cavities.
- Foods and drinks. Certain foods aren’t as easily washed away from saliva, making them more likely to cause decay. Foods you should limit include: ice cream, honey, sugar, soda, cake, chips, cookies, and hard candy.
- Constant snacking or sipping. Drinking or eating frequently throughout the day results in increased bacteria in your mouth. This bacteria produce the acids that attack tooth enamel.
- Lack of fluoride. Fluoride is a natural mineral that helps prevent cavities and can reverse the early stage of tooth decay. Use a fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash to help reduce your chance of cavities.
Regular dental visits and daily brushing and flossing are the best protection against cavities. If you get a cavity, it should be treated right away. But, cavities left untreated get larger and larger, affecting the deeper layers of your teeth. Deeper cavities result in higher chances of experiencing severe toothache and infection. So, when it comes to cavities, prevention is key. Below are some of our cavity preventions tips:
- Brush with fluoride toothpaste. Brush and floss twice a day, ideally after each meal.
- Visit your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. Professional teeth cleanings remove plaque that builds up overtime which isn’t removed by regular brushing and flossing. Going to the dentist twice a year is one of the best cavity prevention options.
- Dental sealants. Sealants protect the tooth enamel from harmful plaque and bacteria.
What Is The Best Teeth Whitening Option?
Teeth can become discolored for a variety of reasons and many people want their teeth to be bright and white, so they look into teeth whitening. When it comes to getting a brighter smile, you can whiten your teeth at home or get a professional treatment. At home whitening typically includes over-the-counter products like whitening strips, pens, or toothpaste. Professional whitening includes custom-made whitening trays you take home or an in-office appointment. What might work best for some, might not necessarily work best for another. So what’s the best teeth whitening option for you?
Both over-the counter and professional treatments use peroxide bleaching agents as the main active ingredient. The difference between each option is the amount of peroxide it contains. Over-the-counter solutions use 3 – 20 percent where professional solutions contain 14 – 43 percent. Solutions with higher amounts of peroxide should be left on for a shorter amount of time. Keeping the solution on longer will dehydrate your teeth and make them more prone to sensitivity.
Professional teeth whitening options are much safer and more effective. Additionally, it ensures that all of the proper precautions are taken. So, when it comes to protecting your gums, the whitening agent only gets on your teeth.
At-Home Whitening Products
Over-the-counter products are cheaper, generally take longer to see results, and have limitations depending on your tooth color and health prior. If used incorrectly, at-home teeth whitening kits can lead to burned gums, tooth sensitivity, or pain. It’s always best to talk with your dentist to decide the best treatment option for you.
If you choose to go for an over-the-counter solution, we recommend that you use one from the list of bleaching products with the ADA Seal of Acceptance.Bleaching Products with ADA Seal of Acceptance Learn More About Teeth Whitening