For an adult, having a loose tooth can cause lots of discomforts. The teeth are already deeply rooted in the jaw. They are surrounded by delicate gums, blood vessels, and sensitive nerves. Pulling out such a tooth on your own can easily cause permanent damage or leave broken parts behind.
However, there are special cases where the need or circumstances warrant that you pull out the tooth at home. If, however, the tooth has dental complications, you should seek professional assistance.
Pulling Out Baby Tooth
For children, losing baby teeth is a normal part of growing up. While baby teeth will often fall out without any assistance, at times they may need a little bit of nudging. In that case, you need to be careful so that the child feels minimal pain and there no permanent damage.
Assessing the Tooth
Ask the child to open the mouth so that you can see and also touch the loose tooth. Gently wiggle the tooth using a finger to establish its level of looseness. In case the tooth still feels firmly attached and doesn’t seem loose enough for painless removal. Inform the child the tooth is not yet ready to be pulled out.
Encourage the child to continue using the tongue or finger to wiggle and make it looser.
Most dentists will recommend that as a parent you don’t try anything designed to speed up the process, leaving it to take its natural course.
Baby teeth and other teeth that could be loose due to issues of gum disease are normally easiest to pull out. Grasp the tooth firmly with a small piece of gauze. Firmly pull. If the tooth is not coming out easily, it may be wise to postpone the procedure or visit a dentist. Continuing to pull a tooth that is firmly embedded could easily aggravate matters and cause considerable pain.
Stopping the Bleeding
Even if the tooth being pulled out was very loose, there is still a possibility of some bleeding. After the tooth is out, rinse the mouth and spit a couple of times. Use a sterile, fresh piece of gauze to compress the empty socket using your thumb and forefinger. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, is very heavy or there is too much pain, call a dentist.
To prevent infection after a tooth has been extracted, use some salt water to rinse your mouth right after you are done with the pulling out. It also helps to continue the rinsing for a couple of days. Avoid eating hard/crunchy foods lest you irritate the tender gums.
If you notice swelling, redness, pus or foul smell at the extraction site, or experience a fever, call a dentist.
Most dental work should ideally be performed by a trained dentist who can manage any potential complications. In fact, most dentists strongly advise against pulling out teeth on your own or even the teeth of others. However, there are cases like those of baby teeth or teeth that have become so loose such that pulling them out is easy and also quite safe.
Author: Peter Mayhew
Peter is a dental hygienist in the city of Chicago, IL. In his free time he likes to write blogs and product reviews on anything dental health related.