Broken or knocked out tooth
The medical term for a knocked out tooth is "avulsed" tooth.
Teeth - broken; Tooth - knocked out
A permanent tooth that is knocked out can sometimes be put back in place. In most cases, only permanent, adult teeth are reimplanted into the mouth. Baby teeth are not reimplanted.
Tooth accidents are commonly caused by:
- Accidental falls
- Sports-related trauma
- Car accidents
- Biting on hard food
Save any tooth that has been knocked out. Bring it to your dentist as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the less chance there is your dentist to fix it. Hold the tooth only by the crown (chewing edge).
You can take the tooth to the dentist by following one of these tips:
Also follow these steps:
If your tooth is badly broken, your nerve endings may be exposed. You will need immediate dental help to avoid infection and pain.
You may not need an emergency visit for a simple chip or a broken tooth that is not causing you discomfort. You should still have the tooth fixed to avoid sharp edges that can cut the lips or tongue.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your dentist right away when a tooth is broken or knocked out. If you can find the tooth, bring it with you to your visit with the dentist.
If you cannot close your upper and lower teeth together, your jaw may be broken. This requires immediate medical help at a dentist or hospital.
- Wear a mouth guard when playing any contact sport.
- Avoid fights.
- Avoid hard foods, such as bones, stale bread, and tough bagels.
- Always wear a seatbelt.
Pfenninger JL, Fowlder GC. Management of dental injuries and reimplantation of an avulsed tooth. In: Pfenninger JL, Fowlder GC, eds. Pfenninger & Fowler's Procedures for Primary Care. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Mosby; 2011:chap 81
Last reviewed 2/25/2014 by Ilona Fotek, DMD, MS, Palm Beach Prosthodontics Dental Associates, West Palm Beach, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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