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It’s estimated by the American Association of Endodontists that nearly five million teeth are knocked out each year. This is often the result of athletic activities or household accidents that cause a hard blow to the face. When this happens, the trauma requires immediate first aid while you seek professional treatment. To that end, your dentist, Dr. Glen Lockwood, offers these key insights.

If there is blood or debris in your mouth, you can rinse it away with lukewarm saltwater. This can also help sooth the injured gums and give you a better look at the situation. If the socket is bleeding profusely, you can lightly bite down on some sterile gauze to stop the bleeding. Try not to swallow too much blood as it can cause nausea.

If the tooth is whole and none of it remains in the socket, your dentist might be able to implant it back into your gums. For this to have any chance of success, the tooth must be whole and alive.

You can keep the tooth alive by holding it in your mouth between your cheek and gums or you could use one of the tooth-preservation products available in stores. These canisters are filled with a specially formulated nourishing gel. All you have to do is place the knocked-out tooth in the jar and seal it. The nourishing gel will keep it alive for a few hours.

In most cases, some of the tooth remains in the socket and the tooth cannot be saved. To prevent pain and future infection, your dentist will likely need to extract the remnants and suture the wound. Once your gums have healed, he can help you decide if you want to restore the tooth with a dental bridge or a dental implant.

If one of your teeth has recently been knocked out in Kenai, Alaska, you should call 907-283-4875 to seek immediate treatment at Kenai Dental Clinic.