How long does it take to pass a swallowed tooth?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, “How long does it take to pass a swallowed tooth?” Moreover, we will also discuss the effects of swallowing teeth and whether a swallowed tooth is digestible or not. 

How long does it take to pass a swallowed tooth?

If you have accidentally swallowed your tooth then according to Family Education recommendation it will take 24 to 48 hours to digest. The National Health Service recommends that, if you swallow your tooth then it is better not to use laxatives until your tooth is digested. 

Is swallowed tooth digestible? 

When you swallow your tooth accidentally, it is digestible. The National Health Service reported that “almost everything that is swallowed and passes through your digestive system’s narrow opening is digestible, even those with the sharp edges can be digested while passing through your digestive system”. 

The object that passes the esophagus and enters our stomach is most likely to be considered a digestible item. Although you should always keep an open eye for the symptoms or illness that you may feel after swallowing your tooth. 

Can stomach acid dissolve swallowed teeth? 

The acid present in our stomach has a 2.00 pH value which is considered acidic. The low pH value of acid will make the tooth dissolve slowly in your stomach. It is reported that the enamel of teeth starts to dissolve at the pH value of 5.5. 

The repeated acid attacks in our stomach can make the enamel lose its enamel which destroys the enamel and eventually a cavity will form. When your tooth starts to dissolve you might feel an increase in dental sensitivity

When to be concerned? 

After swallowing a tooth you should probably seek medical consultation if you see the following symptoms:

  • Having difficulty swallowing food
  • Pain In the upper chest and neck
  • Abdominal discomfort 
  • Drooling 
  • Inflammation 
  • Fever 
  • Abnormally high body temperature 
  • Frequent vomiting 
  • Blood in vomiting or feces (in rare cases)

What happens if you swallow an impacted tooth? 

An impacted tooth is known as a tooth that has been blocked from breaking through the gum due to some reasons. If you swallow an impacted tooth it will stay longer because it gets stuck in the throat. If the tooth is impacted and swallowed accidentally, it needs medical assistance to be removed by a dentist.

What happens when your tooth gets stuck in your throat? 

When your tooth gets stuck in the throat it usually displaces itself after some minutes. If your tooth remains stuck in the throat for a longer period, it might become infected and can eventually cause a condition called acute epiglottitis.

In certain cases, a tooth can get stuck in your esophagus consequently causing extreme pain. This extremely severe situation is known as foreign body obstruction of the esophagus.

Can swallowed teeth cause internal injury? 

Swallowing your teeth is not something that happens often. But if you swallowed your tooth accidentally it might cause some fatal injuries to your GI tract and even to your airways.

How to remove your swallowed tooth? 

Identify when you need to contact a medical consultant. Because the majority of the tiny objects that are ingested, like teeth, are generally the size of a small pill and are considered too small to be able to disturb the process of digestion, they usually pass through the digestive system along with the food they are swallowed without causing any damage to the internal lining of your digestive tract. 

Following are the steps that you should keep in mind if you swallow your tooth accidentally:

  • Monitor your feces and stools. 
  • Avoid laxatives during the period as much as possible. 
  • Make sure to relax because the calmer you are the quicker it will pass. 
  • Consume fresh fruits and vegetables daily. 
  • Eat whole grains because they help in digestion. 
  • Take diets that are nutritiously rich in fiber content. 

What to do if you swallowed your tooth? 

While waiting for your tooth to pass naturally, eat a normal diet but make sure to add a little soluble fiber in your diet if you experience constipation. It may take up to 1 week for the tooth to pass through your digestive system. Soluble fiber is known to soften your stool and may speed the recovery process along. 


In this brief guide, we have answered the question, “How long does it take to pass a swallowed tooth?” Moreover, we have also discussed the effects of swallowing teeth and whether a swallowed tooth is digestible or not. 


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