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Suffering a blow to the face or another form of oral trauma can potentially knock one of your teeth out of its socket. In some of these cases the root of the tooth might remain while the bulk of the tooth fractures at the gumline.

In a situation like this, evaluating the severity of the trauma and applying some basic oral first-aid will help manage the pain while you seek professional care with Drs. Warshawksy and Driver.

If dental fragments and blood are present in your mouth, you can gently rinse them away with lukewarm saltwater. Do not use antiseptic mouthwash, as the alcohol or astringent chemicals can irritate traumatized soft tissues.

If the tooth was completely knocked out and kept alive, our periodontists might be able to insert it back into the dental socket. In a pinch, you can keep the tooth alive by holding it between your cheek and gums.

The tooth preservation products sold in stores can also help keep the tooth viable. You simply place the out tooth in the jar and seal it. The special gel inside will keep it alive for a short time while you await your emergency appointment with Dr. Warshawsky and Dr. Driver.

The tooth will not be viable for implantation if it fractured at the gum line or any of the root remains in the socket. In a case like this, our periodontists may be able to treat and restore the tooth with a root canal. This will rebuild sufficient structure to eventually anchor a dental crown.

If the oral trauma is severe, our periodontist might advocate extracting the remnants of the tooth and suturing your gums. Once the traumatized tissues have healed, they can help you decide if you’d like to replace the tooth with a dental implant or dental bridge.

If you are in Palm Desert, California, and you’ve had a tooth knocked out, you should call 760-674-4410 to seek emergency care at Periodontics of the Desert.