Seen Seas Pediatric Dentistry: Loose Tooth | Seven Seas Pediatric Dentistry

Loose tooth

About loose baby (primary) teeth:

A loose tooth usually occurs when a baby, or primary, tooth is ready to come out to make room for an adult, or permanent, tooth. In most cases, there is no cause for concern. Don’t tie a string to the tooth or try to remove it for your child. Allow your child to wiggle the loose baby tooth him or herself. As the root goes away, the tooth should come out by itself. This may happen spontaneously, or during eating. If your child accidentally swallows the tooth, there is no cause for alarm. It is not dangerous or harmful to your child, and most likely the tooth will pass without you or your child noticing. We do suggest writing a letter to the Tooth Fairy that explains the situation and requests an exemption. The letter should be placed under the child’s pillow (or the usual pick-up location) in place of the lost tooth.

When to call our office for a loose baby tooth:

  • The permanent tooth is visible, but the baby tooth is not loose enough to remove.
  • The baby tooth becomes loose as a result of trauma to the tooth.

About loose adult (permanent) teeth:

An adult, or permanent, tooth may become loose as the result of trauma to the mouth or face. If this happens, take the following steps:

  • Clean the injured area with warm water and check for broken tooth fragments.
  • Gently touched the traumatized tooth or teeth and check for looseness.
  • Apply an ice pack, or cold compress, to the affected area.
  • If there is bleeding, apply pressure to the bleeding area with gauze or a clean towel.
  • You may give your child children’s acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or ibuprofen (Motrin®) if he or she is in pain.
  • If there is any bleeding, and/or the tooth is loose or in a different position, call our office for an immediate evaluation. Dr. Evan will need to take a baseline film to check for root damage, and instruct you on how to care for and monitor the tooth from home.

Call us for a followup appointment if the following occurs:

  • The bleeding has stopped, but the area continues to bother your child.
  • A tooth or teeth appear to be very loose and are not tightening after a reasonable amount of time
  • Any symptoms worsen over time.

After a trauma, the affected tooth or teeth may discolor over time. This may occur in the following days, weeks, or months after the initial trauma. It does not always indicate that the tooth needs to be removed.

However, if you notice any of the following symptoms, call our office for an evaluation:

  • Complaints of dental pain.
  • A “bubble” or abscess on the gums near the traumatized tooth.
  • Constant fidgeting, touching, or avoiding the tooth.

Visit an emergency room immediately if any of the following symptoms are present:

  • Chills, fever, or vomiting
  • Any facial swelling
  • Difficulty walking or change in gait
  • Severe increase in swelling or pain
  • Inability to swallow or keep liquids down
  • Bleeding that does not stop even after continued pressure for 20 minutes