Even Our Dentist Had Never Heard This One Before.

You know you’re dealing with something unusual when you Google it and get zero relevant hits.

Or, when you call your dentist, and he admits that he’s never heard of a kid doing this before.

Leave it to Bennett.


As previously blogged, Bennett lost his first tooth (and solved the tooth fairy mystery) on the first day of our Colorado vacation last summer.

I didn’t mention, at the time, that shortly after pulling his tooth for him, which bled a little more than the typical pulled tooth, he fainted a couple of minutes after the tooth was out. We were in the bathroom of our hotel, and he was a little freaked out by how his mouth felt and the bleeding. I had him rinsing his mouth and spitting in the sink, and thankfully, I was standing right there, because he started to pass out.

Except, having not experienced a kid fainting before, I thought he was having a seizure or something. Because it’s not a melt-into-a-puddle-on-the-floor kind of thing…no, kids stiffen up, eyes roll back but stay open, and they turn white as a ghost. It’s horrible.

He came to quickly, and Matt helped calm me down and think straight, and realize that he’d not had a seizure, but had passed out. I laid him down on the floor (so you KNOW it was bad…I let my child lay on a hotel floor!) and put a cold cloth on his head. After a couple of minutes he felt good enough to get into his bed, as it was almost bedtime anyway, and everything was fine after that.

So I thought: scary, because it was his first lost tooth and it was pretty bloody, but that shouldn’t happen again.

tooth #1 gone, child recovered from fainting.


Fast-forward to sometime last fall, when Bennett’s other bottom tooth was hanging by a thread. He came home from school upset because it was hurting to eat snack, and he decided that he wanted me to pull it. I was nervous a) because even though I’m much less grossed-out by it now than I was years ago, it still is very gross and b) because of the fainting spell the previous time. But, he wanted it out, so I did it.

And I caught him again as he started to pass out.

This time it was much less dramatic of an episode than the first time – the fainting spell was much shorter, and I got him to the ground right away and got a cold washcloth on his head. He laid around for a while afterwards, but again, recovered within 20 minutes or so and you never would have known it had happened.

So when Bennett’s third loose tooth reared its ugly head, I told him I wasn’t pulling this one. He said he didn’t want me to, either.

I went back on that offer as the weeks went by with a totally dangling tooth. I seriously find that grosser than the act of pulling it. He wasn’t interested, though, preferring to eat carefully (and without complaint!) and just wait it out. I did warn him that some kids end up swallowing a tooth in the night if they let it get too loose, but he wasn’t too worried about it.

Sunday at around 3am, I was awakened by Bennett, standing excitedly at my bedside, holding his tooth. He’d woken up, wiggled it a bit, and it popped right out! I laid in bed, breathing a sigh of relief and a prayer of thanks that this went ok.

But that was a bit premature.

I sent him to the bathroom and followed him in there, where he laid his (sorry for the details – bloody) tooth on the counter while he checked out his mouth, which was not bleeding. And then he leaned down on his elbows on the counter, and the color drained from his face, and I reacted quickly enough to scoop him under the arms to prevent a collapse to the floor or a smack on the countertop.


The collapse this time more resembled the first one more than the second one, but was still less pronounced and less scary than the time in the hotel. He was lucid again immediately, and asked to sleep on the floor of our room.

He woke up fine, of course, and eager to show people the gap in his mouth.

my friend kelly commented last night that it's sad to her when her kids lose their baby teeth, because big teeth change how they look so much. i totally agree 😦


I called our dentist this morning, and he felt, as I did, that this is, overall, nothing to worry about, given that he’s not passed out under other circumstances, and he recovers quickly. We all think it’s just him being freaked out…something his dad, who despises hospitals/medical procedures/etc, can relate to (not quite to this degree, though).

I also called his teacher just to let her know that this happens, should a tooth fall out at school, and we told him that if he loses a tooth and we’re not with him, it might be best to just sit down for a while so he doesn’t hurt himself in case he faints again.

No one can prepare you for stuff like this.

I hope we look back on this and laugh. I mean, we kind of are already, just not to his face right now.

69 responses to “Even Our Dentist Had Never Heard This One Before.

  1. What the what?? Crazy!

  2. Poor Bennett! Definitely his father’s child.

  3. Maybe he’s actually SEEING the tooth fairy?

  4. Oh. my. I can’t believe he actually passes out! Unfortunately, he has a lot more teeth to lose… Don’t tell Bennett, but we did get a good laugh from this story!

  5. Poor fella! And Mama. Truth is stranger than fiction and that’s why we blog.

  6. My 1st thought as I read through this- ANOTHER vacation medical emergency?!?! This is just too weird. Does he faint if he gets a bloody scratch? Or is it when his tongue finds the hole? Eww…

    • Ha! Very short-lived medical emergency πŸ™‚

      No, blood does not otherwise bother him. I really think it’s seeing the hole in his mouth and/or mouth bleeding, which is maybe grosser to him?

  7. I can’t believe I was JUST thinking about Bennett’s tooth today and thought it must have SURELY come out by now! Meant to email & ask you! This is really a strange quirk!! Especially can’t believe the delayed reaction this last time!

  8. I’m pretty sure this is vasovagal syncope.


    I know of one family where both the dad and one of the children experience this kind of thing over various stimuli.

    • Jan, THANK YOU for giving this a probable name! I’ve heard of this before but couldn’t remember what it was called. I’ll mention it to our doc when he goes for his annual physical.

  9. I’m thinking that a medical career may not be in this kid’s future.

  10. I hit the floor as a kid every single time I was pricked with a needle or saw blood. I remember vividly being 8 and watching the doctor take stitches out of my brothers knee. The next thing I knew I was on the floor and my mom was standing over me shaking her head in disbelief. πŸ™‚ I am much better now, but I still tend to pass out when getting shots and on occasion when the kids have gotten hurt or were bleeding, I’ve felt my head get hot and that familiar nausea build up in my stomach and had to sit down.

    I can TOTALLY identify with Bennett. 😦

  11. I had my ears pierced about 7 times when I was a kid before I was finally able to keep the holes. Every time I had to change my earrings for the first (and, usually, ONLY) time, this very same thing happened to me. I was about 9 the first time, and I remember it being very scary!

  12. I totally feel for Bennett cause I’m the same way!! I seriously think I’m worse than Matt. Do any of you Diehls remember the time I blacked out at our next door neighbors’ “ceremony” for their new baby boy?

  13. I’m a woman in my late-twenties with vasovagal syncope. Mine is brought on my blood draws and bam- hit the floor every single time. Mine started around age 5 when going in for immunizations and just hasn’t stopped. During pregnancy, it can be especially tough, as I have to warn the lab staff what is likely going to happen and bring along a driver since I’m always too shaky to drive home after an incident like that.

    I remember it always freaking my parents out though as I would get twitches, eyes rolled back in the head, etc.

    • I hate to hear of people having to go through this their whole lives, but it definitely makes me feel a little better, like Bennett isn’t alone! Thanks for commenting!

  14. omg. Kayla did the EXACT same thing with her second tooth. She was completely white with purple lips. Although I don’t think she completely passed out. But, she was on the floor with a cold rag on her head. We also gave her OJ right away to try and raise her blood pressure. She gets this from her dad completely. She did OK with the first tooth, but Kirk “accidentally” got it out with the flosser (it was THAT loose). And, we didn’t let her look at it right away b/c she was saying her stomach hurt.

    Maybe this is a second child issue?!? πŸ™‚

    I had NO idea Matt was the same way. Although, I’m sure Kirk is worse.

  15. Andrea, I don’t remember your reaction to the bris “event” next door!!! I can’t blame you–it was more openly visible than I expected (I can still hear that baby just screaming & the mom being very shaken up)–but I have no memory of you blacking out!

    • Mom, I can’t believe you don’t remember me blacking out and needing help through the crowd toward the back of the room!! Oh, and I just remembered that I also blacked out at school when we dissected a worm in 5th grade.

      • You have GOT to be kidding about the worm!! Don’t remember that either! (I do, however, remember your unfortunate incident at your gynie’s office–hee hee!)

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  17. Wow! I’m going through somewhat of the same thing! My son lost his first tooth and within 10
    Minutes was on the floor having a seizure! We went to the ER where I was told it was probably the flash on my camera that triggered this seizure. We had an EEG done and it showed he has epilepsy. He has never had another full blown convulsive seizure because he is on medication. In fact I have never when thought he was close to having one, until he lost his 2nd tooth, he got really sick, super pale, shaky and he threw up. I asked his neurologist if it’s related. She said she’s never heard of that. Tonight he lost tooth 3, same thing, I was sure he was going to have a seizure, but he hit threw up, got super pale and shaky again. I know there is a connection. This is the ONLY time e gets sick like this or that I even think he may have a seizure. I laid here and googled it an cant
    Find anything! This post was the closest I
    Could find.

  18. Hey… My son did the same exact thing!!!! I never heard of it before either!! This was his first tooth and he was very nervous about it falling out!!! He passed out once before this.. He hit his mouth and he was bleeding as than passed out for awhile me and my husband were scared so we called 911!! It was crazy and now today again!! He let the tooth pretty much fall out on its own but once it was out he turned green and was out but came back quick and was fine after that!!!! UGGGHHH so now I have to worry about him passing out when his other teeth fall out!!! Glad to find out he wasn’t the only one

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  22. I’m glad I’m reading this, same thing happened to my daughter today during lunch at the mall. We were in a booth and found out that her tooth finally came out. She quickly grabbed my phone and wanted to call her aunt FaceTime to show her (bad idea) she was also able to see the hole in her mouth but no blood. 30 seconds after she hung she started passing out with her eye kids never shutting but eyeballs rolled back. I quickly picked her and walked to the front for help, by then she was up and talking while crying. Paramedics came and everything checked out that she just passes out. Even though the paramedics did their thing and assured me everything was fine it scared the living hell out me.

    Your story kind of puts me at ease with our passing out scene.


  23. My son his first tooth tonight and passed out! Scared me half to death! I couldn’t find anything about this until I saw your post. I am glad to know my son is not the only one. I saw the pic of your son and it was the same tooth as my son tonight…..ummm…

  24. OMG. this happened twice to my daughter. the latest last night and I couldnt find anything about this. she doesnt seem to hate the sight of blood..she gets excited when tooth comes out- only after a few minutes does she faint. she has also fainted when dehydrated and hot in the summer , and once when they took 3 vials of blood from her and she hadnt eaten or had anything to drink (ok normal right?) but the tooth thing on top of the other two had me freaked out but no doctors have anything to say. I guess I feel a little better that I’m not alone

  25. I just found this post after I plucked my daughter’s (second) baby tooth, and she passed out while rinsing her mouth out with water. I too thought it was a siezure at first. Scary but it was over quickly.

  26. I passed out 3 or 4 times when I was younger from losing baby teeth. The worst incident resulted in hitting my head on the corner of a bookshelf.. and I had to get 8 stitches in my eyelid. I got the rest of my baby teeth removed at the dentist when they got loose… I guess it was cheaper than a big hospital bill πŸ˜›

  27. Now when you google fainting from tooth falling out you come up! My son has lost 3 teeth and with #1 and 3 he doesn’t faint exactly but gets really disoriented and stumbles around like he’s on the verge of fainting. I don’t think it’s a blood thing since he’s fine when he skins a knee or sees blood. It only happens when the teeth are falling out. I feel better reading that it happens to others.

  28. I feel a little relieved now that this has happened before my 7yr old daughter just lost her 4th tooth(pulled it out herself) & I was helping her rinse out her mouth & all the sudden she stiffened up & went to thr floor out cold I was glad I was by her side! Was a little scared but I knew she fainted due to anxiety

  29. This happens to my son too! The first time was actually in the dentist’s room, when the dentist was just talking about tooth extraction to alleviate overcrowding – my son hit the floor. He’s lost a tooth since then and passed out cold – he also laid himself out on the sofa when he was watching a kid’s medical programme! No medical career for him either! Good to know he’s not the only one. We have a dental check up this afternoon, which is what got me to thinking about this topic…

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  31. Joseph Mueller

    My daughter did this exactly thing tonight with her first to other! Shes doing great now!

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  33. This happened to my son this morning….fainted after he pulled his tooth out. Thank you for posting…

  34. I’m glad I found this. My son has done the exact same thing. He just lost his second tooth and again started to pass out. It’s comforting to know that he’s not the only one out there with this problem:)

  35. I’m a 40 year old father of 2, and whilst I no longer lose teeth in the gentle and natural manner you describe, when a tooth has been extracted, I go through the exact same experience as you describe. With time, I have learned to “fight the faint” and can usually hold it off at the ‘nausea/hot/cold sweat’ stage.

    So far I have scared the life out of 3 successive dentists, all of whom laughed it off when I warned them in advance. In any case, I hope your lad gets over it.

  36. So like everyone else here my 5 yr old daughter isn’t the only one doing this…several months ago she lost her second baby tooth on the bottom..and passed out and banged her head on the radiator …ended up in the ER WITH A CONCUSSION …they couldn’t figure out why she passed out and neither could I until today…I check her tooth to see if it’s ready to pull out …i tried but couldn’t grip it ..it was so tiny …so I said never mind we will try in a few days if it didn’t fall out on its on..she walked out my bathroom stumbling I caught her as she passed out In my arms.. This is very scary to see happening to my child I put water on her face and a cold towel then she came too… She has so many more teeth to go how will I stay sane in the process…. I guess I’ll have to let Her school know about what happens to her I would hate for this to happen while in school… I’m calling her dentist on Monday I told them about what happened before I’ll let the take it out so Do not worry myself sick!!! Thank you so much for this post it really helped me knowing that she is going to be okay!!!

  37. This JUST happened to my 5 year old daughter… I pulled her tooth put she was fine … She showed her brother her gap I snapped a pic she was a little dark under her eyes I noticed but thought nothing of it since it was bedtime she was tired… Then she said mommy I feel “bizzy” which is how she says “dizzy” and she leaned in to my chest and then passed out… I scooped her up and she started to cease … I have seen epileptic seizures before and hers felt no different than them… I was frightened… I could see her back in the bathroom mirror as I held her and her hands jerked and twisted she went stiff all over …

    I couldn’t lay her down our bathroom is small and I am big … So I kept her as safe as possible until her body relaxed … She had ceased for about 8 seconds but for a mother holding her child it felt like an eternity… My son who is 12 was standing in th bathroom door terrified As he watched this happening ….

    I have never in my life seen this happen to a kid after losing a tooth … And after reading your story I’m quite frightened of the next one 😞😞

    • I’m so sorry to hear this happened! All I can say is that now that we know to expect it, he just lays down immediately after losing a tooth and we put a cold rag on his head, and he usually doesn’t actually pass out.

  38. My daughter faints and then barfs after losing a tooth. Lost her 4th tooth 2 days ago. She is going on 7 yrs old and both top teeth are beginning to loosen. This will be a nightmare. She hems and haws, cries, hardly eats the week before it finally comes out. Thank you so much all for sharing. Glad I’m not alone!

  39. Poor kid… I’m 13 and as I’m about to lose my last tooth, I can completely sympathize with him. I’ve had pretty much the same problem all throughout my life, I would get light headed, nauseated, dizzy, you name it. Ever since I lost my first tooth I developed an enormous anxiety about losing teeth, to the point where for most of my teeth, I had to go to the dentist to have them pulled out! His fear is completely natural. To ease his stress, you could make your own small booklet or story about how to feel less anxious about losing his teeth, I did this when I was younger, and it definitely made the whole experience a lot easier. Good luck!

    • I’m sorry you’ve been through this too, but it’s so sweet of you to comment! He is 11 now, and just lost two teeth in the last week and didn’t pass out from either of them! I’m hopeful that we are turning a corner…

  40. This Just happened to my daughter. At 10, it was her 11th or 12th tooth lost, but more blood than usual. Tooth already lose, chewing on her water bottle cap and pop, it came almost all the way out, hung on by a thread. Spitting into the sink, I helped her and as her mom got some salt water to rinse and she rinsed a few times and eventually went limp, head down in the sink but still half standing. I grabbed her and called her name a few times as her mother laid back on the floor with her and I eased her down, calling her name and watching those beautiful eyes rollback into her head. I tried blowing into her face and mouth and she tensed up a bit, her right arm going tight and then shaking for a second or two and then her eyes rolled back forward, she looked around a bit and got really scared. It scared the crap out of us to and we just laid there for another 5-7 minutes talking to her and reassuring her as I massaged her legs.

    She’s fainted similarly before when she was much younger…2 and then 6, both times bumping her head, we thought concussion, but it turned out that she likely just breathed in so much and held her breath to cry or scream that she passed out.

    I googled similarly to you and found your story. Now we feel a bit better about the whole thing. Living in Mozambique, good health care is hours away and this story helped.

    Thanks, Ryan, Johana and the fainting queen Alexis.

  41. Aaagh! I am researching this b/c my son, who is anxious by nature, has his first loose tooth today…He was jumping all around so excited to have his first loose tooth and a visit from the tooth fairy soon, as he has been waiting on this to happen. I told him that when it falls out there will be a little blood, but not much, and then asked to see it. I didn’t even touch it, was just looking in his mouth, and he began staggering out of the bathroom into the wall and furniture before I realized he was fainting! I am of course nervous b/c I wouldn’t think 6 year olds faint. Glad to hear others have!

  42. Thanks everyone for sharing your stories. Our 6 yo son just lost his first tooth yesterday. It came out naturally, hardly any blood, but our son immediately started sticking his tongue in the new gap. About 4 HOURS LATER he started zoning out and became stupified, i.e. could not make a noise or focus his gaze. Still conscious, but completely unable to check in or speak. We moved him and he started to be able to speak, but he was utterly confused. Unable to give his name, unable to write his name, got me confused with his father, and so on. We took him into the ER, and on the way there he passed out twice in the car. Very scary. In the ER he slept, and everyone there thought maybe seizure, but maybe not. Not everything pointed to seizure. He was completely fine within a couple of hours of this thing starting. No one thought the tooth had anything to do with it, but after reading this, we will be watching and prepared when the next tooth comes loose.

  43. Thank you for posting this! My daughter has passed out with two of the three baby teeth she has lost. She does it quite dramatically, with a stiff body and eyes roll back in her head, stops breathing, and it is quite terrifying!! It takes everything out of her, and she is quite disoriented for about an hour. Her older siblings each have done this with a fall and hit to the head, so I’m guessing my kids just have a strong fainting response! glad your little fellow is doing well!!
    Blessings to you!

  44. I have been looking and looking for somebody else with a similar story! My 7 year old just lost his third tooth. He did not pass out with the first two teeth, but he totally fainted with this tooth! It was so unexpected and it freaked me out! Have you been able to find anyway to help?

  45. My 6 year old son passed out last night pulling on his 4th loose tooth (bottom left next to the 2 front teeth). We were at an event at school. It was barely hanging on by a thread. He was yanking on it to pull it out while I was trying to take a picture of him. Suddenly he got really quiet and zoned out. I thought he just fell out of his chair and on to the floor, but his legs were twitching. His eyes didn’t really close. I picked him up and asked him if he was ok. He looked at me and started freaking out and crying. His father held him for about 20 minutes, while I was Googling what to do. Your post came up! No one in the cafeteria saw this happen. I asked a staff member for a cold towel. About a 1/2 hour later, he was totally fine and finished his activity. He has a dentist appointment next week. We will definitely mention it. The Tooth Fairy gave him an extra dollar due to the traumatic event.

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