A child’s loose tooth is frequently a symbol of an exciting rite of passage. A loose tooth is no longer a common occurrence after a person reaches adolescence.
When adults notice their teeth are loose, they may become concerned. Adult teeth are supposed to last a lifetime and are permanent.
Adults might get loose teeth for a variety of reasons, some of which are completely harmless. Others need the assistance of a dental professional to save, remove, or replace the tooth with an implant or bridge.
Looseness in one or more teeth is frequently caused by the following factors:
Teeth that are healthy are strong, but they can be damaged by a hit to the face or a car accident, for example. As a result, teeth may become chipped or loose.
Similarly, clenching or grinding your teeth during stressful moments or at sleep can wear down the tissues and loosen the teeth.
Many people might not realize they are clenching or grinding their teeth until they have jaw pain. A dentist may be able to discover the problem before permanent damage to the teeth occurs.
Anyone who believes their teeth have been injured by an accident should consult a dentist as soon as possible. Dental injury can be caused by sports injuries, accidents, and falls, for example.
Osteoporosis is a disorder in which the bones become porous and fragile. As a result, even little hits and bumps might result in broken bones.
While osteoporosis is most usually associated with the spine, hips, and wrists, it can also harm the bones that support the teeth in the jaw.
The teeth may loosen and fall out if the jaw bones become less dense. A possible link between bone loss and an increased risk of gum disease has also been reported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the United States.
Certain osteoporosis drugs have the potential to cause tooth problems, albeit this is unusual. Bisphosphonates, which are used to treat bone loss, might cause loose teeth in certain people. The condition is known as osteonecrosis of the jaw
According to the authors of one study, osteonecrosis is uncommon in people who take bisphosphonates in pill form, but it can develop in patients who get the medication intravenously.
Osteonecrosis can be caused by trauma or surgical operations such as tooth extraction.
Increased levels of these hormones can cause changes in the periodontium, which is the collection of bones and ligaments that support and hold the teeth in place. One or more teeth may feel loose if the periodontium is impacted.
The alterations to this portion of the body will disappear after pregnancy and are not to be concerned about. Anyone who has pain or loose teeth during pregnancy should visit a dentist to rule out gum disease and other oral health issues.
According to the American Dental Association and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, dental checkups, cleanings, and X-rays are safe for pregnant women.
Pregnant women are recommended to see dentists on a regular basis because of a probable link between gum disease and premature birth.
This condition, often known as periodontitis, is characterized by gum inflammation and infection. Poor dental hygiene habits are typically to be the cause.
Gum disease affects half of all persons in the United States aged 30 and up, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Gum disease can develop if plaque is not removed by brushing and flossing. Bacteria can be found in plaque. It adheres to teeth and hardens over time, requiring the assistance of a dental specialist to remove.
Tartar, or hardened plaque, pulls the gums away from the teeth, producing gaps that can become infected.
This process can cause the bone and tissue that supports the teeth to break down over time, causing the teeth to become loose.
Gum disease might also manifest itself in the following ways:
- changes in the way the teeth fit together
- gums that bleed when the teeth are brushed
- gums that are tender, red, painful, or swollen
- gum recession
Any symptoms of gum disease should be checked as soon as possible by a dentist. Tooth loss can be prevented with early detection and treatment.
A variety of therapies are available, and the optimum choice will be determined by the reason of the looseness.
The following are some of the treatments:
- Scaling and root planing. This is a deep cleaning technique that can be used to cure and reverse gum disease.
- Medications or mouth rinses. These can aid in the healing of diseased gums and the fight against bacteria in the mouth.
- Surgery. The aim will be to remove inflamed gum tissue and bone that has been damaged by gum disease.
- Bone grafts. These can help to rebuild bone lost to gum disease.
- Soft tissue grafts. Also known as gum grafts, these can prevent further gum or tooth loss in people with gum disease.
- Dental appliances, such as bite splints. These can reduce damage from grinding and may help the mouth to heal after dental surgery.
- Treatment for diabetes. Dental health necessitates appropriate care.
If a loose tooth falls out, a dentist may usually restore a person’s smile with the following procedures:
- A dental bridge. The teeth on each side of the lost tooth are covered by this type of crown. As a result, a bridge is formed between two healthy teeth, with a prosthetic (artificial) tooth filling in for the missing one.
- A dental implant. An artificial tooth and root are attached to the jawbone in this procedure.
While these techniques are helpful, it is still necessary to address the underlying cause of tooth loss and take any additional measures necessary to avoid further damage.
Although loose teeth cannot always be avoided, there are methods that can be taken to lessen the risk. The following are some tooth and gum care suggestions:
- brushing the teeth twice a day
- flossing once a day
- refraining from smoking
- attending dental checkups and cleanings as often as recommended
- wearing a properly fitted mouth guard while playing sports
- wearing a bite splint, when nighttime grinding or clenching is an issue
- asking a doctor about calcium and vitamin D supplementation to help prevent osteoporosis
- keeping diabetes under control, as diabetes is a risk factor for gum disease
- being aware of medications that may affect the teeth
A loose tooth in an adult might be frightening. The tooth, on the other hand, can occasionally be saved, especially if the disease is caught early.
If a tooth is lost or must be removed, a variety of restorative techniques can be used to restore the tooth’s look.