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The American Association of Endodontists estimates that an average of five million teeth are knocked out each year. Most are due to hard falls, blows to the face or sports injuries.

Your dentist, Dr. Scott Ferguson, offers these essential first-aid tips to help you care for a knocked-out tooth.

If a fall has left blood or debris in your mouth, you can rinse them away and sooth the injured tissues with lukewarm saltwater. If at all possible, don’t rinse your mouth with antiseptic mouthwash because this will likely irritate the gums.

Dr. Scott Ferguson might be able to implant the tooth back into the socket if the tooth is whole and alive. So, it’s best to do all you can to take care of the tooth. Soaking the tooth in water or milk are poor choices for keeping the tooth alive. They can actually degrade living tissue. Keeping the tooth between your cheek and gums will keep it alive much better because this is already the tooth’s natural environment.

There is also a tooth-preservation product that is sold in stores. To use it, you simply place the knocked-out tooth in the jar and seal it. The nourishing gel inside will keep it alive for a short time while you make your way to Scott J. Ferguson, DDS.

If any part of the tooth or the root remains in the socket, the tooth itself will not be viable for implantation. In a situation like this, the dentist will usually have to extract the remnants of the tooth and suture the gums. Once your gums are healed following the extraction, Dr. Scott Ferguson can help you explore your restoration options.

If one of your teeth has been knocked out in Kimball, Michigan, you need to call our office at 810.985.3301 to schedule an emergency appointment.