Sometimes a tooth is lost thanks to decay, in which it will probably be pulled out by your dentist. However, teeth can also be lost through blunt force trauma, even if they are perfectly healthy. Should you be struck in the mouth, the force can easily dislodge a tooth completely. When this occurs, the tooth is referred to as 'avulsed'.
If a tooth is knocked out, particularly if it is towards the back of the mouth and therefore not very visible, many people assume that they don't need to seek treatment from an emergency dentist.
Firstly, you should always visit a dentist as soon as possible since an avulsed tooth can often be successfully re-implanted if you cope with the situation quickly. Secondly, there are a number of further complications that can arise if you don't see a dentist.
1. Socket Issues
When a tooth is removed, it leaves a socket. In order for the area to heal properly, a clot will form over that socket, and then the soft tissue of the gums will grow over it. Unfortunately, it is possible for that clot to have trouble developing or for it to fall out once it does develop. When this happens, the bone below will be directly exposed, resulting in intense pain and a significant lengthening of the recovery process. Problems with the socket can always arise, but they become more likely when you don't see a dentist since a dentist will be able to remove any debris and determine whether the wound needs to be stitched. They will also let you know what you need to do to avoid dislodging the socket, such as smoking and drinking with a straw.
Infection is probably the most serious risk that comes with an avulsed tooth. Your mouth is always full of bacteria, but that bacteria is kept in check by saliva and hardened enamel. When a tooth is knocked out, bacteria can swiftly invade the socket. It is difficult to clean within the socket by yourself, and an infection can quickly develop. Given the position of the infection below the gum line, it can spread to other teeth or even affect the jaw. If you develop an infection of the lower jaw, such as osteomyelitis, you will suffer from fever, pain, and swelling, and you may need to take antibiotics for some time. A dentist will be able to help prevent infection by cleaning the wound and providing a short round of preventative antibiotics.
3. Damage to Surrounding Teeth
Finally, you'll want to keep in mind that any trauma serious enough to knock out one tooth probably damaged the surrounding teeth. These teeth might not have been knocked out, but they could have sustained damage to the root or hairline fractures, both of which can be hard or impossible to spot on your own. A dentist will take an x-ray or perform a visual inspection to ascertain whether those surrounding teeth need any work. It can be the difference between losing one teeth and losing several.