I’m freaking out because I fell down last week and now my front teeth are loose. I slipped on the ice and landed on my face. At first, things seemed fine. Now, my front teeth hurt to chew with and they are loose. Do I need to go to the dentist? Will I need to get dental implants if they fall out?
-Ben in Minnesota
Yes. You need to see a dentist as soon as possible. It is very difficult to give you recommendations without seeing you in person. So, schedule an appointment right away, especially if your teeth feel loose and are sore.
However, try not to jump to conclusions about the worst case scenario. Hopefully, the dentist will be able to save your natural teeth. That is always the best option.
Here’s what may be going on based on what you have described. If the teeth are moving, it is quite possible that you have damaged the nerves, which are inside the teeth. The ligaments that hold your teeth in place may also be damaged.
It is also possible that the tooth root is broken. So, it would be best to get x-rays done so you know exactly what is going on. If the nerves are not damaged and the roots look okay, you may only need a dental splint or retainer. This will help keep the teeth secure until they heal.
If there is nerve damage, you may end up with a tooth infection. The pulp of the tooth where the nerves are located in the area where the infection begins. Even if the x-ray looks good, nerve damage may still be an issue. Sometimes, it takes a while to develop. So, you will need to go back to the dentist if you experience sensitivity to hot or cold drinks or foods. Other symptoms are a dull, achy feeling or any throbbing or pain that develops is a sign of a tooth infection. Typically, the treatment for a tooth infection is a root canal treatment. Then, a dental crown will be placed to protect and save the tooth.
Lastly, if the root is damaged or broken, the tooth may need to be removed. At that point, a dental bridge or dental implant can be used to replace the missing tooth.
The most important thing for you to do right now is to get in to see the dentist so you can be evaluated.
James T. Gavrilos is a dentist in Barrington that places dental implants to help patients with missing teeth.