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my tooth fell out!
An_244421 posted:
My tooth fell out a few months ago. My gum is still tender, bleeds when I brush on it and appears to be a hole there where food gets stuck. Seems like it should be better by now. There arent signs of infection, except the pain. No dental insurance. Anybody have this happen or know what to do. Thanks.
Zev Kaufman, DDS responded:
Dear An-244421:

Your query has two aspects:

If you still have pain and the area is not healing, you MUST call your dentist. He/she should examine you and see why your healing is not progressing properly.

As to the issue of money...

There are free clinics and hospital based residency programs an dental schools who provide free and sliding scale based services to people in need.

They will be more than happy to help you sign up for Medicaid, which will pay for the basic services you need.

Best of luck,
Dr. Zev Kaufman
marymarie134 responded:
The exact same thing happened to me! Mine fell out in July, which is 9 months ago, and the gum still hurts and bleeds when I brush the area. It hurts to the touch, too. Mine started as a filling that fell out, and then the rest of the tooth in pieces. I'm pretty sure it was actually a wisdom tooth, because it was big and wayyy in the back. Then little by little, the tooth started falling apart and breaking off. Finally in July, there were just 2 small pieces hanging in there and they were really bugging me and hurting when I'd eat, so I just pulled them out. Didn't hurt at all, but there was quite a bit of bleeding.

Sometimes there is a "salty" taste that comes from the area where the tooth was, (when I push my tongue on it) but I'm not really seeing any signs of infection like abscess, fever, etc. Just a gum that is very sensitive, and a little "indentation" where the tooth used to be. I AM guilty of grinding and clenching my teeth at night, that's how I did the damage to the filling in the first place and why I ended up losing the I don't know if that's what is causing the pain in the gum area.. the bruxism that occurs every night. I don't know if an empty gum can feel pain from grinding/clenching the way that teeth can. Some days the area is just fine, some days it hurts a lot!!
marymarie134 replied to marymarie134's response:
I forgot to ask/mention this... Could a root or 2 still be stuck up there? If so, what would happen to them, would they eventually push their way out?...or what could a dentist do about them? I don't feel any roots, just a gum. Thanks!
Zev Kaufman, DDS replied to marymarie134's response:
Dear Marymarie134:

You definitely do have an infection. When a filling comes out it is usually due to decay which creeps under the margin of the filling and progresses to undermine it. Once the process starts, the remaining parts of the tooth just fracture away, and the roots remain. These roots serve as a bacterial trap and are infected. Most times, the body just gets gums swelling (gingivitis), but sometimes, a full blown infection ensues.

Either way, going to the dentist and having the roots removed is the smart thing to do.

Good dentistry is expensive (even not so good dentistry is expensive), but the emergency room is much more expensive. The only difference is that when you go to the emergency room with this type of problem, we (the tax payers) end up paying much much more. You also end up sitting and waiting and wasting lots of time. A visit to the dentist is much more productive.

Please do not neglect your mouth. It is just bad for your health, in general. Your loved ones and I would rather see you healthy.
As I said before, if you are really destitute and cannot afford dentistry, Medicaid is available to you, as well as many free, or reduced fee clinics. The local information is available on line.

I wish you the best of health,
Dr. Zev Kaufman
marymarie134 replied to Zev Kaufman, DDS's response:
Thank you so much for your reply, Dr. Kaufman. My filling didn't just fall out on its own. I was always grinding that tooth with the one below it in my sleep. The filling was just slowly grinding away little by little (I would wake up and I could almost feel "gritty sand" in my teeth, from the filling breaking apart. Then one day I was chewing gum, and the whole thing came out. Then the tooth started breaking apart because it didn't have the filling there that was most likely holding it together. Clenching/grinding is my main problem, and it finally got to the point of actually damaging one of my teeth/fillings.

You are right, I need to see a dentist to confirm there are still roots up there and if I should most likely get them removed. In the meantime, I sometimes chew on a very small piece of garlic and sort of "lodge it" up that area for a minute or two. Then I swish the area with warm water and sea salt. I do this almost every day, trying my best to keep infection at bay. But yes, I will eventually see the dentist about this. I had a bad experience at the dentist when I was a teen, he didn't numb the area enough for a simple drill/filling procedure...and when he hit the nerve, I almost hit the ceiling!!! That's the reason I've been staying away from the dentist chair. But I will just have to muster up my courage and go back. Hopefully things will go better this time. Thanks again for your informative answer. I really appreciate it.
Zev Kaufman, DDS replied to marymarie134's response:
You are very welcome.

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