Losing a tooth under any circumstances is upsetting, but if one simply topples out of your mouth all on its own, that's downright alarming. If this has happened to you or someone you care about, this simple guide will explain what you should do and a likely reason that this happened.

Immediate Care

If this is a situation in progress, the first thing you should do is collect the tooth. It may be useful to the dentist, as they can examine the tooth to determine why it was dislodged and to find out if it can still be used.

With the tooth safe, use gauze or cotton pads to pack the gum area where the tooth came from. This will help to slow or stop any bleeding that's happening. It may also temporarily help to keep bacteria from entering the wound and causing an infection.

With these steps complete, call an emergency dentist and let them know you're on the way.

How It Happened

If you haven't experienced a recent physical trauma and the tooth is an adult tooth, the most likely possibility is that you have experienced severe tooth decay.

Teeth can become so decayed that the interior structures are destroyed and the roots shrivel. When this happens, the tooth becomes loose in the gums and can eventually fall out on its own. For most people, there's a significant amount of pain before a tooth gets to this point. However, in rare cases, you might not feel it or simply have such a high tolerance for pain that you can ignore it.

What To Expect

When you get to your emergency dentist's office, they'll bring you in right away for treatment. The packing material will be removed from the gums and your dentist will perform an exam both on the tooth and the now-empty socket.

If tooth decay was to blame, your tooth likely will have to be replaced with a dental implant or bridge. Your dentist will need to determine the extent of the damage, as tooth infections can potentially spread to the gums and jaw. If your jaw is infected, surgery may be needed. Both of these methods take time, but your dentist can likely fit you with a temporary bridge on the same day of your tooth loss.

Losing a tooth suddenly could indicate that you have a serious problem going on with your oral health, so don't put off getting help. Visit an emergency dentist right away for treatment.