First aid for mouth injuries : How to treat a knocked out tooth
Teeth first aid. We all know how important it is to look after them, and we’re all aware of the importance of good dental hygiene. However, accidents do happen, and if you’re one of the victims of an accident where you have one or more teeth knocked out, then you’re not alone. More than 5 million people per year in the UK each year suffer a tooth knockout. But did you know there is one old wives tale that can help to save the tooth and allow it to be re-implanted, saving the root and the gum too.
Putting a knocked out tooth in a glass of milk may sound a little weird, but the truth is, it’s a good way to preserve the tooth and give it a good chance of being re-implanted. It doesn’t matter whether the milk is skimmed, semi skimmed or full fat. The best option of course is to immediately rinse it and put it back in the right place, but of course this is not always possible. If it isn’t then putting into milk preserves the fluid balance, therefore helping it to survive and have the best chance to be re-inserted by a dentist. Although most people would think that water would be sufficient, sadly, this is not the case. Water can cause the root’s cells to swell, causing irreparable damage.
Time is of the essence
Of course, the tooth cannot be kept in milk forever, and it must be stressed that there is a time limit to getting treatment on a tooth that has been knocked out. Rue of thumb is that if you cannot get to go and see a dentist within an hour of the tooth being knocked out and preserved in milk, whether its’ your own or an emergency dentist, then you should ensure you go directly to A and E. It is imperative that the tooth is not left “dry” for any more than 10-15 minutes during this time.
The “old wives tale” works on both adults and children’s permanent teeth but if you haven’t got a glass of milk to hand, then propping the tooth between the affected persons cheek and gum may suffice until they can (quickly) get to a dentist. This will help to keep it moist and preserve the gum.
Following this advice may mean the difference between saving the tooth or not.