Finding that you have a loose tooth as an adult can be alarming. Now that the days of the Tooth Fairy are behind you, your adult teeth are supposed to last a lifetime. There can be a few different reasons for having loose teeth and in some cases the issue might resolve itself but it’s important to see a dentist to establish the main cause and get it fixed.
Why Do I Have a Loose Tooth?
Let’s look at the main reasons for having a loose tooth or loose teeth as an adult.
Gum disease or periodontal disease is the main reason for having loose or wobbly permanent teeth. Without good oral healthcare, bacteria builds up in your mouth and under your gums, eventually causing the gums to recede or pull back from the tooth. This means your teeth will become looser and are at risk of falling out.
Injury or Trauma
An impact to the mouth such as a sports injury or a fall can cause a tooth to become loose. There may be unseen damage to the surrounding gum and root of the tooth so ensure you see a dentist as soon as possible.
Tooth Grinding or Clenching
Grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw is known as bruxism. It usually happens when you’re asleep and can result in heavy wear and damage to the surface of your teeth. In some cases it can even cause teeth to become loose.
Pregnancy and Menopause
If you are pregnant or menopausal, changes in your hormone levels can affect your teeth. During pregnancy, you may experience a loosening of the ligaments in your jaw. During menopause, you jawbone may lose density, increasing the possibility of loose teeth.
How to Fix Loose Teeth
The number one tip on how to fix a loose tooth is to make an appointment with your dentist! While you may ignore it or hope the issue fixes itself, in the majority of cases medical intervention will be needed. The amount of dental care to fix your loose tooth will depend on what’s causing it and in some cases, a replacement tooth or teeth may be necessary.
Loose Teeth Due to Gum Disease
If it’s caught early, gum disease is treatable and sometimes reversible. Your dentist can effectively clean your teeth above and below the gumline, which will encourage your gums to reattach. If the periodontal disease is more advanced, however, it may result in tooth loss. In this case, there are various options to replace teeth including dental implants and bridges.
Loose Teeth Caused by Injury or Trauma
See a dentist or an emergency dentist for any sudden injury to the mouth. Depending on other potential damage to the surrounding area, your dentist may fix your loose tooth by “splinting” or bonding it to neighboring teeth to stabilize it. In some cases even a knocked out tooth can be reattached but if the tooth or root is too damaged, a replacement tooth might be needed.
Loose Teeth Caused by Bruxism
If bruxism, or nighttime clenching and tooth grinding, is the main cause of your loose teeth, equipment such as a custom nightguard may be successful in relieving the stress on your jaws. If there are no other underlying conditions such as gum disease, your dentist may splint the affected teeth and with a mouthguard to protect the dental work, your loose teeth have a great chance of tightening back up.
Loose Teeth Caused by Hormonal Changes
Usually, if your teeth become loose when you are pregnant, they will tighten back up on their own afterwards. It is still worth seeing your dentist, however, to discount other underlying factors such as periodontal or gum disease.
If you are experiencing a loss in bone density, grafts may be necessary to strengthen the jawbone or gums or minor treatments such as dental bonding can be used to close gaps and stabilize loose teeth.
Preventing Loose Teeth
It’s not always possible to prevent a loose tooth but there are some steps you can take to protect your permanent teeth:
- Maintain a good oral health routine. Yes, we know you know but brushing twice daily and flossing at least once a day is the best thing you can do to prevent gum disease and loose
- See your dentist regularly. A dental exam and professional cleaning every 6 months can spot and treat early signs of gum
- Use a mouthguard if you’re playing Damage to the teeth from contact sports can be avoided if you’re wearing a properly-fitting mouthguard.
- Wear a night guard if you grind your Reduce the stress on your jaws and teeth by using a nightguard or bite splint to prevent damage from bruxism.
- Cut out the tobacco. Chewing tobacco and smoking causes gum disease as well as a host of other health Avoid tobacco products to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
If you are worried about loose teeth, get in touch with your dentist to find the best solution to your problems. Patients in Missoula, MT can contact Discovery Dental Group for expert care in a welcoming setting.