Emergency Action: Understanding Tooth Avulsion and What to Do


Dental emergencies can occur anytime anywhere to anyone. These are situations that require immediate attention since if ignored they may deteriorate the condition even more. This article will explore one such common condition that requires emergency dental care, known as tooth avulsion, knocked out tooth, or avulsed tooth. Let’s explore more about tooth avulsion and how to manage and treat it. 

What is an avulsed tooth?

An avulsed tooth occurs when there is a complete dislodgement of the tooth from its socket. These are dental emergencies and require immediate care and treatment. This is especially worrisome if the affected tooth is a permanent one. 

What causes tooth avulsion?

It requires a significant amount of force to knock out a tooth from its socket. The most common causes of avulsed teeth include:

  • Falls
  • Bicycle accidents 
  • Sports injuries
  • Traffic accidents 
  • Assaults

What are the symptoms of an avulsed tooth?

Symptoms of an avulsed tooth may include:

  • A gap in your mouth where your tooth used to be
  • Mouth pain
  • Bleeding 
  • Occasional swelling 

How do you manage an avulsed tooth until you reach a dentist?

An avulsed tooth requires immediate attention to save it. You must see a dentist at the earliest but before that, there are certain measures you must follow:

  • Pick up the tooth by the crown, and avoid touching the root 
  • Rinse the tooth with water or milk to clean it by removing dirt
  • Do not use any soap or detergent
  • Do not scrub the tooth 
  • Gently place the tooth back into the socket 
  • Bite on a gauze or napkin to anchor your tooth in place 
  • Visit a dentist immediately

However, remember to replace a permanent tooth in its socket and never try it for a baby tooth. Replacing the baby tooth in the socket can harm the permanent tooth bud. If you cannot insert the tooth in the socket, try to place it in a moist environment like:

  • Milk 
  • A salt solution
  • Your cheek where saliva keeps it wet 
  • In saline solution 

How do dentists treat an avulsed tooth?

If you reinsert your tooth, your dentist will:

  • Reposition it properly 
  • Splint the tooth to the surrounding teeth for 7 to 10 days
  • Evaluate the pulp condition and perform root canal treatment

If you store the tooth in a moist medium, your dentist will:

  • Gently rinse your tooth
  • Give local anesthesia
  • Reinsert the tooth in the socket
  • Splint the implanted tooth
  • Schedule a root canal 

Final note

An avulsed tooth happens when you lose your tooth due to injuries, falls, or accidents. Knowing how to manage an emergency like tooth avulsion will help prevent further damage and harm to your oral health. Seek emergency dental care as soon as possible.