We get excited about loose or wiggly teeth when it involves a baby tooth. However, if a permanent tooth begins to feel unstable, it can be frightening. You may feel a loose tooth when you are eating or brushing your teeth. Even if the sensation of instability is slight, don’t ignore it. A loose adult tooth is often a warning sign that your dental health needs to be addressed.
What causes loose teeth?
Adults suffer from loose teeth due to a variety of causes, ranging from direct trauma to the tooth to a nighttime teeth grinding habit. When the ligaments that hold your tooth in place become stretched, the tooth loses stability. Another reason for loose teeth is gum disease. When gum disease isn’t treated at its early stages, the gums pull away from the tooth root and the periodontal ligaments can be damaged by the infection. This causes the tooth to lose stability quickly.
How are loose teeth treated?
The treatment you need for your loose teeth depends on what is causing it. Most dentist will try to stabilize the tooth with a splint. This involves placing a small splint on either side of the tooth and bonding them with dental cement. In many cases, the periodontal ligaments surrounding the tooth will then have a chance to heal, a process that may take about two weeks. Of course, if your loose tooth is caused by bruxism, you’ll need to protect your teeth from this habit and prevent the ligaments from being stressed in the future. A custom nighttime mouthguard can do the trick.
If your loose adult teeth are a result of gum disease, it is imperative that you eliminate the infection to prevent further tooth instability and tooth loss. This can involve a deep cleaning or special laser gum therapies to encourage the gums to reattach to the tooth root. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the United States.
What if the loose tooth cannot be saved?
If the above treatments fail to stabilize your loose tooth, it may be necessary to remove the tooth altogether. Rest assured that a dental implant is a remarkable life-like solution for replacing missing teeth. A dental implant can replicate your natural tooth while ensuring your remaining teeth stay in their proper position.
For more about loose adult teeth or dental implants, please contact Dr. Wayne Suway in Marietta. We can ease your mind when it comes to losing a natural tooth.
Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD
Atlanta, GA 30339