Loose teeth are not common in adults. Unless there is an underlying problem or an accident, teeth should remain firmly attached and functional throughout an adult’s life. Unfortunately, some adults experience loose teeth due to a variety of preventable reasons—and these should all be taken seriously.
A loose tooth is just a detachment of the tooth to the gums. When the teeth are detached, or begin to detach from the gums, you will notice that they will “wiggle” when touched, or when you eat or chew. But be careful! Wiggling these looser teeth can cause the problem to worsen! If you are experiencing loose teeth, avoid eating hard foods or touching the teeth until you have seen the dentist.
In addition to the loose tooth, you may experience related issues, such as swollen and/or bleeding gums, gum recession and jaw pain. It is important to talk to your dentist about loose teeth as soon as they happen to determine and treat the underlying cause if possible, and develop a plan for saving the teeth.
Here are the most common causes of a loose tooth in adults:
1) Periodontal Disease (Gum Disease). Gum disease, commonly referred to as periodontal disease, is caused by a bacterial infection in the gums, (as well as the tissue and surrounding bones). This weakens the structure and teeth can become loose. You’ll need a special dental cleaning procedure called “scaling and root planing” to remove hardened plaque that has gotten stuck beneath your teeth and gums. You may also be prescribed antibiotics to help kill any infection. Scaling removes tartar and bacteria, and root planing smooths the root surface. Together they prepare the tooth to heal.
2) Teeth Grinding. Unconscious teeth grinding can cause severe damage to teeth and can also cause them to loosen. Your dentist will discuss the best options for you to maintain teeth, and this may include bite adjustment and/or mouthguards. The bite adjustment procedure reshapes the bite surface of the tooth by removing small amounts of tooth enamel to make the teeth fit together better. This reduces pressure on the tooth, allowing it to heal. The other option for grinding is wearing a night guard while sleeping. This creates a protective barrier between the upper and lower teeth. Bite guards can be custom fit for patients who grind or clench their teeth in their sleep.
3) Injuries. An injury to the mouth or jaw can cause loose teeth. Falls, car accidents and sports are all common causes of a loose tooth in adults. Treatment for loose teeth due to injuries may include surgery and most certainly will include limiting chewing for a period of time. If you have any injury to the mouth or teeth, same day emergency appointments are available. Loose teeth in adults should be taken seriously. No matter what the cause, should you experience a loose tooth, a trip to the dentist is warranted. Give us a call on 480-409-3548 to schedule your appointment today at Cobblestone dental care.