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Did you swallow a tooth or dental restoration? What to do next.

Feb 2, 2020 -- webmaster

Did You Swallow a Tooth or Dental Restoration? What to Do Next

Your mid-day meal suddenly includes an unexpected item. A tooth, dental restoration, or bracket from your braces just fell out — and you swallowed it. What should you do now? Take a look at what you need to know if you're in this situation.

What should you do if you swallow a tooth?

This is a fairly common issue for children who are losing their baby teeth. In some cases, an adult may swallow their own natural tooth too. Extreme dental decay and gum disease can cause secondary teeth to loosen. If this happens during a meal or while drinking, it's possible to accidentally swallow the tooth.

Likewise, some adults and children may also swallow tooth fragments. Impact injuries from sports, slip and falls, or sharp objects can break or crack the tooth. If this happens quickly, the adult or child may swallow a piece of their tooth.

Provided the tooth isn't jagged or excessively sharp, it isn't likely to cause a problem. If you have concerns about yourself or your child (depending on who swallowed the tooth), contact a dentist or medical provider.

What should you do if you swallow a denture?

Along with natural teeth, you can also swallow false teeth. Injuries, impacts, falls, and food can all cause you to swallow a fake tooth. It's not likely you'll swallow an entire row or full mouth of dentures. The size of a full set of false teeth would make dentures nearly impossible to fit down your throat.

Even though you probably won't swallow a full set of dentures, you could swallow one fake tooth. Like with a real tooth, a denture will most likely pass through your system. But this doesn't mean you shouldn't call the dentist. Always contact the dentist (or your doctor) in this type of situation.

While a denture could pass, it can also cause intestinal obstructions or perforate (cut through) your intestines. These are emergency situations and require immediate attention.

What should you do if you swallow a crown?

Dental restorations won't stay in place forever. Over time the wear and tear of eating and drinking can loosen crowns. A sudden sensitivity in the area where the restoration was can indicate a missing crown. If you can't find the crown itself, you may have swallowed it — especially if it fell out mid-meal.

Like with teeth, a crown typically won't cause a serious issue if swallowed. Most small, blunt objects can safely pass through the healthy adult's system. But if you're worried about the foreign object in your body, have abdominal pain, or have other gastrointestinal issues, contact your dentist and your doctor immediately. It's always advisable to get a professional medical opinion in this type of situation.

Along with the fact that you just ate your crown, your tooth is also exposed. This may result in sensitivity or discomfort. Contact your dentist to schedule a replacement. Ask what you can do while you wait to minimize pain. This may include over the counter pain relievers or dental wax that you place over the remaining part of the tooth.

What should you do if you swallow a bracket from your braces?

While this isn't common, it's still possible to swallow a loose bracket from your braces. Whether the adhesive comes loose or an injury causes the orthodontic issue, the small piece of metal can go down your throat before you realize what just happened.

Brace brackets can typically pass safely through your system. The small size isn't likely to get stuck or cause a major obstruction inside of your intestines. Again, if you have concerns or experience discomfort, call the dentist or a medical provider.

Did you swallow a tooth, restoration, or orthodontic device?
Contact Pittsburgh Dental Spa for more information.

Reviews from real patients:

Dr. Runco and staff are extremely nice and very understanding / patient. They do exceptional work. This place makes going to the dentist easier especially if you have had a previous experience with a dentist that has caused a fear of going to the dentist. I was so nervous before I had my work done but they made me feel extremely comfortable and safe.

Rachel Marie

Pittsburgh Dental Spa
6502B Steubenville Pike
Pittsburgh, PA 15205
(412) 200-2614

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