When you’re young, your teeth are temporary. It’s a matter of time before your baby teeth loosen up and fall out, making way for your permanent, adult teeth (also called secondary teeth).
As a kid, finding a loose tooth was exciting—it meant you were due for a visit from the tooth fairy. But as an adult, it means a trip to the dentist’s chair.
So, you’ve probed and prodded it with your tongue, and you’ve determined that you have a loose tooth. What should you do? We’re going to look at what might’ve caused it, how to treat it, and how to prevent it from happening again:
Causes of Loose Teeth
Let’s narrow down why your tooth got loose in the first place. The most common reasons are:
Whether it’s a soccer ball to the face or a slip on an icy sidewalk, injuries like these can be hazardous to your teeth.
If your teeth are impacted by blunt trauma, you could loosen a few of them. That’s why if you play any contact sports (boxing, soccer, or football), a mouthguard is a must-have.
Bruxism (teeth grinding)
Ever wake up with a sore jaw? You might be grinding your teeth at night.
Over time, the pressure from your jaws can loosen the ligaments that attach your teeth to your gums. Teeth grinding can get worse if you’re stressed. Your dentist can create a night guard that will protect your teeth at night.
You don’t grind your teeth, and you haven’t injured your mouth. So, why is your tooth loose? It could be a sign of gum disease (or periodontal disease). It’s a type of infection that damages your gum tissue and bones.
Periodontitis begins to develop when plaque builds up near your gum line. Over time, bacteria cause your gums to become inflamed. Then, the soft tissue starts receding from your teeth as the bacteria infect the underlying bone.
Your bone are what secure your teeth in your mouth, and without that support, those teeth become loose in the mouth.
With early treatment, gum disease is reversible. Call your dentist right away if you suspect you’re developing periodontal disease.
Menopause or pregnancy
During pregnancy, levels of estrogen and progesterone spike. These hormones can make your gum tissues looser, causing your teeth to feel looser, too. When you’re pregnant, you’re also at a higher risk of developing gingivitis.
When you’re going through menopause, estrogen levels decline. This can lead to bone loss in the jaw, which is partly responsible for keeping your teeth firmly in your mouth.
Other underlying health conditions
Certain medical conditions can make it more likely for your teeth to get loose.
If you take any medications that cause dry mouth, this accelerates tooth decay and can make loose teeth more likely. A few common ones include antidepressants and pain relievers.
You may be at a higher risk of developing gum disease (and loose teeth) if you’ve been diagnosed with:
How To Fix a Loose Tooth
What’s the best treatment for loose permanent teeth?
It depends on what caused the problem.
Let’s say you have a loose tooth after tripping and hitting the pavement. This is a one-time problem, not indicative of an underlying oral health concern. It can happen to someone who has perfect oral health!
Your dentist may use a stabilization splint to secure your tooth. This helps evenly distribute the biting pressure of your jaw to protect the loose tooth. But if the injury is severe, they may recommend that you get the tooth extracted.
If several teeth are loose, you might be dealing with gum disease. With this condition, it’s essential to treat the underlying infection first. Your dentist may recommend antibiotics or oral surgery to remove harmful bacteria.
And if you have your tooth extracted, there are ways to replace it—dentures aren’t your only option! You can also look at getting a dental implant or dental bridge. If you’d like to learn more about your options, give us a call.
How To Prevent a Loose Adult Tooth
You can probably guess what we’re going to suggest first: Brush and floss your teeth twice a day!
Do this once when you first wake up and again before you go to bed. A superb oral hygiene routine will keep bacteria away from your gum line and prevent the development of periodontal disease.
Next up, wear a mouthguard. It’s just as important to protect your teeth as it is to protect your arms or legs. Before you buckle up your ice skates or slip on your shoulder pads, put in your mouthguard.
And finally, book dentist appointments regularly. Your dentist can remove any tartar that’s built up along your gum line and prevent periodontal disease before it starts.
What Should You Do if a Permanent Tooth Feels Loose? Call Dental House Today!
Loose teeth won’t heal without help from a dentist. With any dental issue, it’s always better to be proactive than reactive. Don’t wait for things to get worse—see your dentist sooner than later.
If you’re looking for a dentist in Saskatoon, we’ve got you covered. At Dental House, we offer the services you’re looking for. Let us help you correct your loose tooth!
Dealing with a loose permanent tooth from a mouth injury? We offer emergency dental care.
Need an extraction or gum disease treatment? We can help with that, too.
Our friendly and experienced dentists can restore your smile and your confidence. Book your appointment online today!