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My Tooth Got Knocked Out of Position

We get calls from patients who say “My Tooth Got Knocked Out of Position” When a tooth gets knocked slightly out of place but remains attached, it is known as tooth displacement. In order to prevent further damage, it’s important that you visit our office as soon as it happens. Even if the tooth is a baby tooth, it is important that your dentist take a look to ensure no damage has occurred to the bone or permanent tooth below the surface.

Tooth Displacement Types

Tooth displacement can happen in a number of ways:

  • Intrusion – the displaced tooth has been pushed into the gum, making it shorter than it would usually appear.
  • Extrusion – the displaced tooth has been pulled out of the gum, making it longer than it would usually appear.
  • Lateral displacement – the displaced tooth has been moved either behind or in front of the surrounding row of teeth.

Symptoms of Tooth Displacement

It’s usually pretty easy to tell when a tooth has been knocked out of place. Not only will the position of the tooth change, the tooth may also become loose. Additional symptoms of tooth displacement include pain and discomfort, bleeding, and swelling in your gums around the tooth. Tooth discoloration and facial swelling may also occur.

Diagnosis and Treatment

When checking to see if your tooth has been displaced, your dentist will ask you about any oral trauma you’ve experienced as well as discussing your symptoms. They will check for cuts around the gums and chips in the tooth, as well as checking to see if the tooth has become loosened. Your bone and gum tissue will be examined, and your tooth will be tested to ensure that the tooth nerve is still alive.

Treatment for your tooth displacement will depend on what type of tooth displacement that you have. Whether the tooth is a baby tooth will also play a part. If a baby tooth has an extrusion or lateral displacement, chances are it may need to be extracted. With a permanent tooth, your dentist will attempt to place the tooth back in position. The tooth will be held in a dental splint while the ligaments retighten.

In an intrusion of a baby tooth, unless the dentist determines that it may damage the permanent tooth underneath. In the case of a permanent tooth intrusion your dentist may perform dental surgery to correct the intrusion, or leave the tooth to grow back out on its own.

What You Can Do

Once your tooth has been put back into position, brush your teeth very gently for the next several weeks. You will also need to take any medications as prescribed and avoid chewing with the affected tooth whenever possible. Follow up with your dentist at all appropriate appointments.