Can a Glass of Milk Save Your Lost Tooth?

A tooth with milk forming a heart around it

Can a Glass of Milk Save Your Lost Tooth?

Have you ever heard the saying that a glass of milk can save a knocked-out tooth? Our teeth are vulnerable to injury every day, so it’s important to know how to save them if this occurs. For years, dentists have been telling their patients to put their lost teeth in milk, but can this really save your tooth?

What Causes a Tooth to Fall Out?

There are multiple reasons why your tooth might fall out, and people lose their teeth more frequently than you’d think. While your teeth can fall out due to a lack of proper oral hygiene, they can also be lost accidentally during an accident or injury.

It’s possible to have permanent teeth fall out for the following reasons:

  • Gum Disease — When your tooth becomes infected, it can cause your gums to become weak too. This may cause your tooth to fall out or need to be extracted.
  • Sports Injury — A direct hit to the face, being hit with a ball, or falling on the ground commonly occur during sports and can affect your teeth.
  • Car Accident — Injury is common in this situation, and puts you at a high risk of knocking your tooth out.
  • Pregnancy — Pregnant women experience a higher level of hormones during this time, causing their teeth and gums to become more vulnerable.
  • Medical conditions — Health conditions such as osteoporosis can weaken your bones, making it harder for them to hold your teeth in place.

How Can Milk Save Your Tooth

When one of your teeth falls out, dentists recommend putting it back into the socket immediately until you get to your dentist’s office. If you can’t get the tooth to stay in place, placing it in a glass of milk may save it, according to Dr. Richard Rowntree in Kingwood, TX.

While they suggest placing it in whole milk, other varieties of cow milk may be enough to save it. Although it might seem random, there’s a specific reason why dentists believe placing your tooth in milk is the best option.

Unlike water, milk won’t cause your tooth to swell or cause your roots to rupture. In fact, the proteins in cow’s milk will help keep the elements of the tooth balanced so that it doesn’t die. Whole milk contains a higher amount of proteins, which is why it’s recommended over other versions.

A woman holding out a glass of milk and smiling

Alternatives to Preserving a Lost Tooth

Not everyone drinks cow’s milk or has it on hand at all times, so it’s crucial to know what other actions to take in order to save your lost tooth. As mentioned above, you should never place a tooth in water to keep it moist.

If you can’t get it to stay in its socket, try holding the tooth between your gums and cheek to keep it moist. This can result in the tooth being accidentally swallowed, so make sure to be extra cautious while storing it here.

Spitting in a cup and placing your tooth in the saliva is a good alternative way to preserve the tooth until you are able to visit a dentist such as Dr. Randy J. Allain in Highland, MI.

Restoring Your Lost Tooth

Living with lost teeth can cause additional health problems. According to Dr. Regina Dailey in Ann Arbor, MI, missing teeth can lead to oral diseases, high blood pressure, and even sleep disorders.

Placing a tooth in milk may keep it alive, but visiting your dentist as soon as possible is still recommended. Once you make it to their office, your dentist will try to place the tooth back in its socket using dental adhesive or by reconnecting the tooth’s roots to the bone.

While your tooth and nerves may sometimes remain healthy enough to save, other times they become too damaged and another restoration option may be considered.

Implant dentists such as Dr. Emil Svobada in Brampton, ON can replace your lost tooth with a dental implant. This restoration is a strong titanium root that’s attached directly to your jawbone and covered with a porcelain crown, allowing it to function and look just like a natural tooth.

A woman smiling and looking up in nature

Preventing Tooth Loss

We can’t always prevent situations in life from happening, and accidents are bound to happen. However, it’s possible to take extra precautions during these times to prevent your teeth from coming loose and falling out.

Maintaining Good Health

Your oral health is affected not only when bacteria attack your teeth and gums but is also affected by your overall health. Maintaining a good diet to make sure your entire body stays healthy and strong will also ensure that your teeth and jawbone stay this way as well.

As you might’ve guessed, implementing a good oral hygiene routine into your everyday life will help your teeth stay intact as well. Dentists recommend brushing twice a day, flossing, and visiting your dentist regularly.

Wearing Protection

If you enjoy playing sports, you’re at a higher risk of having your teeth knocked out. Even non-contact sports involve situations that could cause you to injure your teeth. Wearing a mouth guard or helmet when necessary will help protect your teeth from coming loose.