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What Should You Do if Your Tooth is Knocked Out or Chipped?
Jul 29, 2020

girl covering mouth Dental Care Center

Chipping a tooth — or worse, knocking one out — can hurt, and can certainly leave you feeling uncomfortable. A chipped tooth in the front may make you feel self-conscious, and long-term, missing or chipped teeth can affect your speech and eating. In the unfortunate case that you have chipped or completely knocked out your tooth, don’t panic. Instead, here is what to do. 

Causes of Chipped Teeth

First, what causes chipped teeth?

Teeth chip in a number of ways. You might chip a tooth during a hard fall or car accident or after biting down on a hard substance such as ice or candy. One of our patients chipped a front tooth while eating a salad; she bit too hard and hit the fork. 

You’re also more likely to chip a tooth while playing contact sports, but you can even chip a tooth if you grind your teeth while sleeping. When you take an extremely hard fall or blow to the face, your entire tooth can become broken and separated from your gums. Most people refer to this as their tooth being “knocked out.” 

If this happens to you, follow these steps: 

  • Find your tooth. Find your tooth, if possible. If it’s a small piece, you may not find it. It probably isn’t right in front of you and you’ll have to look around. After you have found your tooth, pick it up by the crown so you don’t cause any more damage. The crown is the part of the tooth that you use to chew, not the part that sits in your gums. 
  • Rinse it off. Once you have found your tooth and picked it up, you will want to wash it off. It is probably going to be dirty no matter where it fell. Rinse it off with water and be sure to gently remove any visible dirt particles. Please be very careful because teeth are fragile. 
  • Call your dentist. Lastly, but most importantly, call your dentist for a same-day appointment. If your entire tooth came out, the hole could become easily infected or suffer more damage. Plus, any jagged pieces let inside may cut your mouth. Finally, even if it’s a smaller chip, you’ll likely want to fix it for cosmetic reasons, especially if it’s a front tooth.

knocked out or chipped tooth infographic

If you have chipped or knocked a tooth out, contact our office now. There are a number of ways to repair a chipped tooth and we will walk you through the process, whether you have a small chip or a completely missing tooth.