Losing a baby tooth is a magical thing for children. The moment when you rushed to your room to place your lost tooth underneath your pillow in exchange for a valuable present from the tooth fairy was definitely a highlight of our childhood. However, as an adult, losing permanent teeth or teeth falling out feels like a nightmare because there’s no teeth regrowth in adult humans (along with most mammals).

You never expect to lose an adult tooth, but it happens more often than you might think. 1 in 6 Americans experiences a dental emergency each year. This results in 5 million teeth falling out annually. In case of losing your teeth, you can still help save your smile. But you need to act quickly and smartly. You must be wondering, “What to do if a tooth falls out?” or “how to pull a permanent tooth at home?” In that case, with the right care from your dentist and at home, you can save your tooth for good. Let’s find out “why do teeth fall out”?

Some Reasons Why Your Tooth May Have Fallen Off

There are several reasons why your tooth may have fallen off. For adults, losing permanent teeth is more common than you might believe. More than 178 million people in the U.S. have at least one missing tooth.

“Why are my teeth falling out?”

Poor Periodontal and Oral Care
The most common reason why most adult teeth fall off is because of their poor periodontal and oral health care. When bacteria buildup under the gum line, your teeth may get separated from the gums because of severe infection. The tooth will then become loose and ultimately fall or have to be extracted by a dentist. Poor diet and lack of essential nutrients, like calcium, vitamin C, potassium, phosphorus, and vitamin D, can be a significant factor behind poor oral health. If your diet lacks these nutrients, you’re at an increased risk of having tooth decay. High consumption of acidic and sugary foods can also help plaque to develop on your teeth. This eventually leads to cavities and loosening your permanent teeth.

Trauma to the Tooth
Another common reason is due to traumatic injuries or impact on the tooth. This can likely result in the tooth falling out or loosening. Sports injuries, fistfights, vehicular accidents, or any direct trauma to the mouth area can cause a tooth to fall off. Treatment for broken or irreparable damaged teeth may involve tooth extraction and the placement of a dental implant.

Extensive Tooth Decay
Suppose your tooth is affected by a bacterial infection. In that case, it will eventually decay and destroy its own structure until it can’t any longer remain attached. Moreover, if left untreated, a cavity will eventually fall out because of tooth decay that destroys the pulp in the tooth’s center. This will likely result in a root canal or even tooth extraction procedure.

Prevent cavities and tooth decay by practicing good oral health practices. Consume healthy foods and drinks, and make regular dental visits for cleaning and examination. Early treatment can save your tooth.

Oral cancer and Diseases
When problems are left untreated, certain diseases can begin to harm your teeth or your jaw’s bone structure. Periodontitis – a gum disease that has progressed from gingivitis – is the leading cause of adult tooth loss. This severe infection causes the soft tissue to recede and destroy the bone supporting the teeth. Though it is quite common and dangerous, it is preventable with good oral hygiene. If you notice any signs, like bleeding and receding gums, bad breath, painful chewing, and loose front or molar teeth, make an appointment with your periodontist immediately to diagnose and treat such diseases on time.

How to save a loose tooth from falling out?

Add 1 tablespoon of salt to a cup of warm water. Gargle salt water in your mouth for a minute before you rinse and repeat. This will wash out all the bacteria that is hidden in your mouth. Gradually, you will be left with strong gums and no further loosening of teeth.

How long does it take for an adult tooth to grow in?

Following the fall out of a baby tooth, it typically takes 6 months for the permanent adult tooth to grow in its place. It can take much longer to grow an adult tooth in the area of a fallen baby tooth in some cases. This often results in parents concerning about their child’s teeth development.

What to do if a tooth falls out

Some people often believe if a tooth is knocked out, there is nothing you can do to save it. However, this is not true at all. So, what to do if a permanent tooth falls out? If you act quickly and get to your dental office within the next 30 minutes, your dentist may be able to save your tooth whether if it is your front tooth or wisdom tooth. To make sure your tooth survives, below are some simple tips you need to do when you lose a tooth:

1 Hold your lost tooth by the crown
After you locate your lost tooth or filling that fell out, do not pick it up by the root. Hold it by the crown instead. This will prevent further damage to your broken tooth.

2 Rinse the tooth that fell out with cool water
After picking it up, rinse your tooth with cool water if needed. Do not use any soaps or cleaners. Also, make sure you don’t scrub or dry the tooth after rinsing.

3 Store your lost tooth into the socket
Gently push your tooth back into the socket with your fingers. Slowly bite on a piece of gauze to prevent it from moving. The saliva will likely help improve your chances of re-implanting your tooth successfully.

4 Keep your broken tooth moist
If you can’t insert it back into the socket, you need to keep the tooth moist. You can store your tooth in a cup of milk in the meantime you reach your dentist’s office. You must be wondering, “Why to put a tooth in milk?” Keeping your fallen tooth in milk prevents the root from drying out. The milk contains useful proteins that balance the acid-to-alkaline ratio, sugars, and anti-bacterial elements to help cells grow. This is why milk is an excellent medium to store your knock-out tooth.

5 Call your dentist
You must see your dentist within 30 minutes to have any chance of re-implanting your loose permanent tooth successfully.

Can a loose tooth heal?

No, but luckily, a loose permanent tooth doesn’t mean losing your tooth permanently. You and your dentist can save your loose or fallen tooth. Follow the above steps and visit your dentist to make your loose tooth get better. In case of a knocked-out tooth, you can still replace it with a new one.

Replacing a Missing Tooth

A missing tooth can not only change the appearance of your smile, but it can also cause several dental problems. Regardless of its cause, a tooth that fell out can also negatively impact your teeth’ alignment if not replaced on time. Missing a tooth can also affect your speech, chewing function and cause your teeth’ slow misalignment.

What happens if you’re unable to fix or re-implant loose adult tooth?

Luckily, there are many excellent options to replace your tooth or teeth that fall out to help restore your beautiful smile. In addition to improving your smile, prosthetic treatments can prevent gum disease, further tooth decay, and bone loss in the jaw. So can a dentist fix a loose tooth?

Yes, your dentist can fix a loose tooth by doing either of these three types of dental procedures to replace a tooth that falls out:

Dental bridge
Dental bridges literally bridge the gap between your teeth. A dental bridge is made up of two or more crowns on either side of the opening. These two or more attaching teeth are called abutment teeth. A false or artificial tooth is placed between them. These false teeth are known as pontics, which can be made from alloys, porcelain, gold, or a combination of these materials. Most patients prefer porcelain dental bridges as they can be aesthetically blended in with your natural teeth.

Dental implants
A dental implant is an excellent long-term solution for a missing tooth. In this treatment, your dentist will mount a titanium metal frame into your lower or upper jaw. A tooth-replacement is then applied to the implant, helping the tooth to remain in its appropriate position. As mentioned earlier, a dental implant offers a permanent solution for replacing a tooth that fell out. Moreover, the best part about dental implant procedure is that it provides excellent stability without affecting the neighboring teeth.

Partial denture
A removable partial denture is another option for a missing tooth. Partial dentures are replacement teeth connected to a base that complements the colors of your gums. Some of the teeth might also benefit from crowns, making them a better fit in the mouth. Ask your dentist about partial dentures to determine whether this solution is right for your unique dental situation.

Tooth Loss Prevention

One-third of people over the age of sixty suffer from periodontal disease, which becomes the ultimate cause of tooth loss. Thanks to modern dentistry, everyone can now keep their teeth for a lifetime. In most cases, only brushing your teeth twice a day is not enough. To reduce the level of bacteria in your mouth and prevent their harmful effects, follow these simple tips mentioned below:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day, especially before going to bed. During sleep, the glands that produce saliva disburse a minimum amount. Your saliva has disinfectant properties and protects your teeth. Also, make sure not to eat food after cleaning your teeth before bedtime.
  • Floss your teeth daily, and use an interdental brush for the tiny space between the teeth.
  • Use a mouthwash for 30 seconds in the morning and evening. This may help remove bacteria that accumulate in hard-to-reach places, such as between the teeth, near the gums, and other areas where it is difficult to reach a toothbrush.
  • Do not neglect your tongue and inner cheeks. Up to 60% of bacteria present in the oral cavity live there. Clean your tongue correctly to get rid of bacterial plaque that may spread in your mouth.
  • Eat a balanced diet and take proper nutrients. Make sure not to consume extra acidic and sugary foods and drink. Also, you should add raw vegetables and fruits to your diet.
  • Stop or limit smoking. Smoking is often the first cause of periodontal disease. It can hurt blood supply and narrow down the oral cavity.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for a routine check-up. Consider professional teeth cleaning and tarter removal once every 6 months.

Whether you have lost your front or molar tooth or you’re looking for how to fix a loose tooth, our dentist will help assess your tooth loss condition and move forward with the best solution for your unique needs. Call at 281-477-7200 and schedule an examination and consultation with our Houston, TX dental office.