Accident or injury

It is common to lose a tooth (or several teeth) as a result of an accident or injury. Sports injuries are a classic example of this especially if they involve physical contact and often occur in younger people.

A blow to the mouth or a fall which results in an injury to the face often results in a tooth being knocked out.

A one-off incident such as tripping over a step or walking into a door can result in a chipped, cracked or broken tooth which may be too badly damaged to restore. In these cases removal is the only answer followed by a replacement.

A dental implant is a good replacement in cases where a single tooth has been knocked out. They are also suitable where more than one tooth has been lost although other options include dentures or a bridge.

Dental injuries and children

Children often lose a tooth or two as a result of rough and tumble play or competitive sports. Very young children such as toddlers are at risk of this as they are prone to falls, bumps and scrapes at this age while they are developing their co-ordination.

It is not uncommon for a toddler to bang into a table or fall over something which then causes them to break a tooth. Plus there is the fact that they are acquiring their milk teeth at this time and these teeth are more fragile than permanent teeth.

So it is very easy for a milk tooth to become dislodged and fall out.

A lost milk tooth will not be replaced as these teeth will fall out by themselves when the child reaches the age of 6. This is a natural process in which the milk teeth are replaced by the permanent teeth so do not try and insert it back into its socket.

If you are the parent of a toddler who has lost a tooth as a result of a fall or accident then seek help if the missing tooth is accompanied by profuse bleeding. Contact your dentist for advice.

Dental injuries and older children/adults

It is a different situation with an older child or teenager as this involves permanent teeth. There is always a chance that the tooth can be re-inserted even if it has fallen out completely. In these cases take your child to your dentist as soon as possible.

This equally applies to adults as well. If you have had a tooth or teeth knocked out but have been lucky enough to them then take them with you when you visit your dentist. He or she may be able to replace them.

Do this if the tooth has become loose or has fallen out. Be careful how you handle it and wrap your tooth in a soft material to prevent it from becoming damaged.

See a dentist as soon as possible.