After falling down and hitting your mouth, you may have discovered that you knocked out one of your teeth. However, upon further investigation, you may have also found that the tooth left behind fragments. If so, make sure you avoid the following mistakes when giving yourself emergency care afterward.
Putting Anything in Your Mouth Besides Gauze
After you knock out your tooth, you may have bystanders try to give you advice on what to do. Some of this advice may range from putting sugarless gum in the socket to sucking on a piece of ice to control the bleeding and swelling.
While their intentions may be sincere, following their advice could put you at risk for causing further damage to your gum. If there are tooth fragments lodged inside the socket, they are probably already cutting into your gum. If you put anything hard in your mouth, such as ice, the pressure may force the fragments further into the tissue. Or, if you put a piece of gum in the socket, it may inadvertently pull the fragments out. If the fragments are lodged in the gum, they may be blocking some of the bleeding. If they are pulled out suddenly, you may see an increase in bleeding and pain from the gum.
To protect the area and absorb some of the blood, only put a piece of gauze over the socket. If you do not have any gauze on hand, use a cotton ball moistened with your saliva to keep the edges from snagging on the fragments.
Trying to Put the Tooth Back in the Socket
Normally, when a tooth is knocked out, people recommend that you try to save it by putting it back into the empty socket. While this is a good idea if the entire tooth was dislodged, it would be a mistake if there are still pieces of it left in your gum.
Since the pressure on the fragments caused by replacing the tooth could cut up your gum tissue, avoid using this first aid advice. Instead, place the tooth in a small container, and cover it with either saliva or milk to keep it viable in case the dentist can save it.
Avoiding the above mistakes while taking care of your gum after a knocked out tooth leaves behind fragments can help you keep from causing further damage to the tissue. Once you have given yourself immediate care, go to an emergency dental service as soon as possible so they can take steps to remove the fragments and possibly save the tooth you bring with you.