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The American Association of Endodontists estimates that nearly five million teeth are knocked out each year as a result of athletic activities or household accidents. To help you provide quality first aid in a time like this Dr. Christopher McGonigle offers these simple tips.

If there is blood or debris in your mouth you can rinse it away with lukewarm salt water. This can also help to sooth the injured gums and give you a better look at the situation. If the socket is bleeding profusely you can lightly bite down on some sterile gauze to stop the bleeding. Try not to swallow too much blood as it can cause nausea.

If the tooth is whole and none of it remains in the socket, Dr. Christopher McGonigle might be able to implant it back into your gums. For this to have any chance of success, the tooth must be whole and still be alive

You can keep the tooth alive by holding it in your mouth between your cheek and gums, or you could use one of the tooth preservation products available in stores. These canisters are filled with a specially formulated nourishing gel. All you have to do is place the knocked out tooth in the jar and seal it. The nourishing gel will keep it alive for a short period of time.

In the vast majority of cases, part of the tooth remains in the socket, and the tooth cannot be saved. To prevent pain and future infection, Dr. Christopher McGonigle will likely need to extract the remnants and suture the wound. Once your gums have healed he can help you decide if you want to restore the tooth with a bridge or a dental implant.

If one of your teeth has recently been knocked out, you should call Dr. Christopher McGonigle’s office in Burlington, Massachusetts at 781-272-2875 to seek immediate treatment.