Friday 9 May 2008 

If You Lose A Tooth, Soak It In Milk!

What do you do if you are unfortunate enough to have a tooth knocked out? Trauma of this kind is on the increase, according to specialist dentists Plowman & Partners, in part due to the increase in contact sports like boxing, rugby and kick boxing.

Not to mention the risk of copping a bouncer or a rearing delivery in the mouth while batting, always an unpleasant experience, and all the more so if you get caught in the teeth.

Swimming pools are another problem area, with people diving in and cracking their teeth on the side. Also, biting on hard food and cycling accidents, which account for many lost or damaged teeth, as helmets protect the head but do not prevent the wearer cracking their chin and sheering off the cusps of their teeth.

“We do a lot of dental re-constructive work,” says Guy Robertson, specialist in Restorative Dentistry at Plowman & Partners, in Cavendish Square, London. “We also work with orthodontists. Some cases, especially car crash victims, require treatment that can take more than 18 months.”

He advises:

  • If a tooth is knocked out don’t scrub it as this will remove the ligaments
  • Take it as it is, wrap it in cling film or put it in milk if possible, to keep the tooth moist
  • Don’t use water as it destroys cells on the roots needed for this to re-attach
  • The quicker you get to a dentist or hospital the better
  • If it is wrapped you have about an hour
  • If the tooth is put back without vital ligaments the bone cells will treat it like bone and the patient is more likely lose the tooth.