What to do with a chipped or lose tooth

Nobody likes waking up from a vivid nightmare, especially if the nightmare involves suddenly losing all your teeth. According to the Sleep Foundation, about 39% of the population has experienced dreams of their teeth falling out, rotting or breaking. These dreams can be incredibly vivid and disturbing, and might leave you wondering what to do if this occurred in real life.  

Don’t worry—if you find yourself with a chipped, lose or broken tooth, here’s what you should do.  

What to do after breaking or chipping a tooth 

First, rinse your mouth with warm water. This will help keep the mouth clean before you apply pressure to stop any bleeding. Cold presses are recommended to reduce any swelling associated with the injury.  

If you find the chipped or broken part of the tooth, wrap it in wet gauze to bring to your dentist. If you can’t find the broken piece, don’t worry. Dentists can use fillings, resin, crowns, caps or veneers to replace the missing part of your tooth.   

What to do after losing a tooth 

In the case of losing an entire tooth, don’t panic. You can use a gauze pad and place the tooth back into its socket by grasping the top of the crown. Avoid touching the roots of your tooth as this can transfer bacteria onto the sensitive surface.  

If the tooth falls on the ground or appears dirty, rinse with water only! Rinse gently and avoid scrubbing or brushing away any of the tissue attached to the tooth. If you can’t put the tooth back in its socket, place the tooth on the side of your mouth or in a glass of milk. The tooth must stay moist at all times. Bring the tooth to your dentist within 30 minutes if possible.  

How the dentist can help 

If you break, chip or lose a tooth, it is recommended to visit the dentist as soon as possible. The dentist can help repair or replace your injured tooth. Most dental insurance will cover part or most of the cost for the procedure. If you need a tooth fixed, call Jackson Dental at (573) 243-5200, or stop by our office on 3100 E Jackson Blvd., Jackson, Mo.