I Always Am Afraid Of Losing My Front Tooth!
This statement is usually preceded by “I had a bad dream last night and saw my front tooth missing.”
Our large front teeth are one of the first permanent teeth that appear when we are about 6 or 7 years of age. They define our smile, our face, and our personality. These are the teeth that we see in pictures. These are the teeth that are most prominent when the photographer says “cheese.”
A recent dental repair case
I walked into a situation yesterday where I was told that the patient had fallen down. Her lip was cut a little on the inside, but no major gash was present to the outside world. I gently lifted the upper lip and saw the lip cut. There was some bleeding around the gums, but more of a slow oozing, not any type of gushing or hemorrhaging of blood. I felt the teeth in the area and one of them I could push slightly upward. I suggested ice and ibuprofen. On the way to get the pills the patient reached in her mouth and proceeded to pull the tooth out of the socket. When I saw this, I immediately replaced it and then quickly went to my office to bond the tooth back into place and stabilize it.
With the patient in the chair, I noticed that the lower teeth right under the injured teeth were higher than the other teeth. They were not excessively high. They were just a little higher. However, they were high enough that they created enough of a force to loosen the tooth so much that it was easily taken out by the patient. The first thing that I did was to shorten the bottom teeth so that they don’t touch the upper teeth. I then proceeded to bond the injured tooth to its neighbors. Bonding will allow the teeth to stay still while the body starts to reattach itself to the tooth.
At the end of the procedure, I kissed the patient and reassured her that all would be well. That’s right, you read that correctly. The patient was, in fact, my wife! I guess that it’s a good thing that her husband went to dental school.
Circumstances That Cause Tooth Injuries
Let’s talk about what was the cause of that tooth injury resulting in the tooth becoming so loose that it came right out.
As I mentioned earlier, the bottom teeth were slightly taller than their neighbors. Teeth are always moving around in our mouths. They can get taller, get twisted, get crowded and even develop spaces. This happens over time. Because of this movement there comes a time when their position should be assessed, and steps taken to correct the situation.
Tall teeth can break or knock out their mate. Crowded teeth create a place for food and bacteria to collect. This results in more cavities. Spaces can be a source of food sticking around teeth. This can be accompanied by pain or gum disease. Gum disease, like cavities, will cause one to lose a tooth or teeth.
Realigning Your Teeth After an Injury
Today moving teeth is relatively easy. Of course, braces are still around, but devices that come in and out easily are my favorite for an adult patient. These devices are called aligners and can do wonders for teeth that are really not where they should be in the mouth.
Treatment usually takes either weeks or months. Yes, it can happen that quickly. Since the aligners come in and out, oral hygiene is easily performed.
As teeth get back into line, brushing and flossing can become a real breeze.
I encourage you to take a look in the mirror and check to see how your tooth position appears. Many of us have areas that could use a little help.
Now is a great time to consider this or other dental repairs and treatment that has been delayed.
Call Megan at 440.951.7856 and set up a time for us to meet. I look forward to helping you look and feel your
Jeffrey Gross, DDS, FAGD is an Ohio licensed general dentist and is on the staff of Case Western Reserve School of Dental Medicine.