Decayed wisdom tooth fell out. Further vigilance or action needed?


Joined
Mar 9, 2017
Messages
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Hello! A lower wisdom tooth had become severely decayed and started breaking into pieces several months ago. (I've been out of work, uninsured, and broke, so unable to see a dentist.) Had occasional pain and perhaps some mild swelling along the way, but nothing intense or long lasting.

Stayed very vigilant about keeping it clean and the hollow/open portion cleaned out with a toothpick. Tonight, the remaining 3/4 portion of the tooth (above the gumline) fell out. It looks like a baby molar, with no root. I *thought* wisdom teeth had roots, but I just can't see or feel anything left in the big open socket. It's a little tender, so I don't want to poke TOO hard, though, so maybe there is something solid still in there. I don't know! (I'm 43, and no dentist has ever mentioned anything unusual about my wisdom teeth or roots, btw.)

Okay, so questions are:
1. Can I assume there *is* a root still in there? Or could it have fully decayed or perhaps have never existed, etc.
2. Big open socket. How do I care for it? With the tooth, I brushed, flossed, and picked it regularly. The socket feels too tender for that (right now at least.)
3. What complications might I need to be watchful for now?
4. If I need a professional to look/act... would the first step be a general dentist or an oral surgeon? I've never had a tooth removed, so I just honestly don't know how that works.

Thank you so much for any insight!!!

RE: image. This is the 3/4 portion that fell out tonight. The other 1/4 had fallen apart into shards at various points in time over the past couple of months.
 

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Joined
Jun 27, 2016
Messages
96
> but I just can't see or feel anything left in the big open socket.

You can buy a dental mirror online for <$5 to inspect your teeth with & look for decay on any of your teeth. The cheap ones likely don't have an anti-fogging coating, so you have to run it under hot water for a while to prevent it from fogging up. They are wonderful for self-care.

> Can I assume there *is* a root still in there? Or could it have fully decayed or perhaps have never existed, etc.

From my understanding, as with baby teeth the root is re-adsorbed into the body.

> Big open socket. How do I care for it? With the tooth, I brushed, flossed, and picked it regularly. The socket feels too tender for that (right now at least.)

Same as a wisdom tooth extraction- salt water rinses.

I've seen another person speak of with infections caused by a leftover root fragment which the dentist neglected to remove... keep using salt water after meals. Don't suck on straws or anything. You want any heavy blood in that socket to stay there to maximize bone-regrowth.

A very rare complication from tooth extraction is a blood infection... so if you get blood infection symptoms take care of that immediately as a blood infection can kill within a few days. Since it fell out on its own and there doesn't appear to be a pre-existing infection this shouldn't be a worry.
 

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