How long does it take to pass a swallowed tooth?

In this short article, we will answer the question “How long does it take to pass a swallowed tooth?” and will discuss how teeth are digested.

How long does it take to pass a swallowed tooth?

It can take from 24 to 48 hours. According to the National Health Service, refrain from using a laxative if you or your child has swallowed a tooth. 

How should I act if I swallow a tooth?

A tooth is too little to get in the way of digestion; instead, it travels down the digestive tract alongside the food it is ingested with. 

Medical attention will be required to extract the tooth if it gets stuck elsewhere in the digestive system. Consult a physician if you have any discomfort or have blood in your stool:

What you should do is as follows:

  • Keep an eye on your stools and faeces all the time. Within 12 to 14 hours, the tooth would most likely be extracted. However, be ready for it to show either earlier or later than those conditions would suggest.
  • Nothing travels through your body as quickly as water does, so unwind. It needs to be processed by your digestive system, and the more relaxed you are, the faster it will move through the stomach to the colon.
  • Make sure you eat entire grains, fresh fruits, and veggies every day. These foods might facilitate the passage of things through the digestive tract.
  • Employ a screen over the toilet to catch any loose teeth if your stools are soft and/or liquid (as a result of the laxative).

Do teeth digest easily?

Yes, an animal’s tooth may usually be digested. Nearly all contaminated goods will go through the digestive tract without causing any damage, even those with sharp edges.

Anything that can fit between the junction of the oesophagus and the stomach, the digestive tract’s narrowest point, will likely pass with no problems. 

It is always a good practice to keep an eye on any signs of sickness in your child even if it is not required and to seek medical attention if necessary.

When should you be concerned if you swallow a tooth?

Ingested foreign items enter the digestive tract in 93 per cent of cases. However, only around 8% of them reach the tracheobronchial tree, the system of airways that leads to the lungs. A foreign object trapped inside is a medical issue that needs to be attended to right away. 

Get immediate attention if your child exhibits any of the following symptoms, regardless of the method of administration that was employed after consumption.

  • Experiencing trouble swallowing
  • Frequent vomiting
  • Upper chest and neck area discomfort
  • Abdominal discomfort

Additionally, foreign objects like teeth may not be readily visible on an X-ray, requiring the utilization of an endoscope to detect them. 

Fortunately, new developments in anaesthetics and endoscopic methods have improved the retrieval experience for individuals who require it.


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