Tag Archives: loose adult teeth

What Do I Do If an Adult Tooth is Loose?

I was putting up some food storage when one of my preserve jars fell and smacked me right in the mouth.  I thought I was okay. My lipped swelled, but there didn’t to seem to be much more damage. But, when I woke up this morning, one of my front teeth seemed loose. I keep wiggling it to be sure. I’m pretty positive it’s loose. What do I do? Do I just let it heal, do I schedule an appointment, or does it matter and no matter what I do it’s going to come out?

Lydia G.

Dear Lydia,

First, stop wiggling it.  Seriously. Back away from the tooth. There are rubbery ligaments that bond your teeth to your jawbone. If they’re stretched too much, they’ll snap.  Once you’ve stopped messing with the tooth, I want you to schedule an emergency dental appointment.

Your dentist will try to stabilize the tooth. They’ll either put a splint on it or bond it to a neighbor tooth in the hopes it will heal itself up.  If the pulp of the tooth is damaged, you’ll need a root canal treatment and possibly a crown, but your tooth will still be saved.  You’re trying to avoid needing an extraction and tooth replacement.

How long it will take to heal (if it does), depends a lot on the amount of damage done. Teeth that can be repaired can take anywhere from a few weeks to many months.

While you’re waiting on your emergency appointment, be careful to baby the tooth. Only soft foods, and try to avoid using it to chew. The more you bite down on it the more damage you’ll do. It wouldn’t hurt to take some anti-inflammatory medicine to help with any swelling.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. David Potts.

Will An Emergency Dentist Call DHS if My Daughter is Drunk?

I need some advice pretty fast. I heard a bang downstairs. It turned out to be my 14-year-old daughter trying to sneak in the house drunk.  Yes. Drunk. I’m so mad I can’t even think straight. She smashed her face when she fell trying to sneak back in and I’m worried one of her teeth is damaged. It seems a little wiggly. I think she needs an emergency dentist, but I’m worried if I take a drunk child with a swollen and bruised face they’ll call DHS. What do you think?

Belinda G.


I think you need to take your daughter in. I’m sure if you explain the situation the emergency dentist won’t call DHS. In fact, picturing the situation, they might get a little chuckle out of…respectfully waiting until you guys leave, of course.

This obviously isn’t an abuse situation and dentists are there to help. They wouldn’t call into DHS unless there was obvious abuse.

The wiggly tooth needs to be looked at. Hopefully, the dentist can stabilize her tooth until the ligaments heal.  He’ll also need to do some x-rays to check for damage not visible externally.  It’s possible she’ll need a root canal treatment.

The tooth is the easy part of this situation. Figuring out what to do about the drunk 14-year-old, that’s the toughy.  Be sure to tell the dentist to make lots of noise with the instruments to let her feel the full force of that headache. And take lots of pictures of her swollen face. Hopefully, the memory of the humiliation will cause her to think twice next time.

If she struggles with dentists, being under the influence of alcohol may exacerbate that, instead of relax her. It’s kind of the opposite of what you might think. It’s helpful if you can get her as sober as possible before going in. That way if the dentist needs to get her any type of sedation for a procedure, she’ll be safe to take it.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. David Potts.