Edentulism also known as tooth loss, can rob you of much more than the physical ability to chew and eat food. Tooth loss can have very serious emotional, psychological and social consequences which may lead to impacting the quality of your life and self-esteem and self-image. Edentulism can result when one or more teeth are missing, or need removing due to injury or disease. Dental trauma is very common especially in children, the loss of a tooth and therefore its complete detachment is the most serious event for which it is necessary to act quickly. In the case of children, the tooth may be deciduous (the so-called baby teeth, and therefore temporary) or permanent. In the case where the incident involves an adult, the teeth are definitive. The avulsion can be partial or total, in either of these cases, it must be evaluated by a dentist.

What are the causes for a loss of a tooth?

The loss of a tooth depends on many factors, regarding age, ethnicity, health and the behaviors of the individual, such as inadequate oral hygiene and professional and regular dental care. Other causes of tooth loss are and not limited to; poor diet, bad habits, lack of education about tooth loss and in some cases lack of finical support.

Children run the risk of two types of traumatic tooth loss; premature loss of baby teeth, and loss to permanent teeth due to injury. A major cause for tooth loss in children and teens alike is dental caries.

Adults run many risks that are involved in the habits that they have formed. Some of these include smoking, poor nutrition, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and arthritis. Gum disease (gingivitis or periodontitis) and dental caries are the leading cause of tooth loss among adults.

In the elderly plaque accumulation and hardening, gum recession, older fillings and dry mouth, put the elderly at a greater risk for loss of their natural teeth.

What to do in case of tooth loss

  • If the gums are bleeding, try to prevent and stop the bleeding with the use of a handkerchief or gauze.
  • It is essential to also retrieve the tooth.
  • Handle your tooth by the top or crown only, do not touch the roots of the tooth.
  • If possible immerse the tooth immediately in a glass of saline solution
  • Inspect the tooth to check if any part is missing.
  • Go to an emergency room or the dentist as soon as possible as to allow them to intervene with the replanting of the tooth.
  • The sooner you the medical team or dentist, the higher the chance of success with replantation of the tooth.

What not to do in case of tooth loss

  • Do not immerse the fallen tooth into solutions or liquids that are not saline.
  • Don’t rub the tooth or scrape it to remove debris. This will only damage the root surface, making the tooth less likely to survive.


Disclaimer: The information in this article does not in any way replace the intervention or signs associated with this type of emergency, but rather only provides simple tips as how to keep the situation under control while waiting for a medical rescue team to arrive.