While a loose baby tooth is perfectly normal, a loose adult tooth is something to be concerned about. Painful and unpleasant, a loose permanent tooth may fall out, need extracting, or cause serious bite problems. This can all be avoided, but it is imperative that you seek professional dental care as soon as possible. If left untreated, your condition will only get worse by causing other serious oral problems and it might be very challenging to treat if enough time has passed.
Loose Teeth Causes and Treatments
There are a variety of dental conditions that can cause loose adult teeth, including:
- Periodontal disease: Due to poor dental hygiene, plaque and tartar invade the crevices between your teeth and under your gum line. This causes a bacterial disease that makes the gums pull away from your teeth and weakens tooth support. This leads to loose teeth and the inability for your jawbone to withstand biting forces, which causes significant bone loss. When periodontal disease is severe enough, loose teeth may fall out.
- Bruxism: Also known as teeth clenching or grinding, bruxism causes too much biting force, leading to the stretching of periodontal ligaments that support the teeth and bone. Over time with this constant pressure, it will cause jaw pain, worn down teeth, bone loss, and ultimately, loose teeth.
- Trauma: Physical oral trauma, such as through high contact sports, can also cause loose teeth.
For loose teeth caused by periodontal disease, the best thing you can do is visit your dentist for a professional cleaning. Once all the accumulated plaque is washed away from those hard to reach areas and underneath your gums, loose teeth will often reattach themselves to the gums. Loose teeth due to bruxism can be treated with a custom fitting mouthguard or dental splints. Dental splints can also be used for oral trauma resulting in loose teeth.
Bite Problem Causes and Treatments
Bite problems can appear in different forms, such as overbites, underbites, crossbites, open bites, and crowded teeth, and affect children, teens, or adults. Bite problems are typically caused by:
- Crooked teeth: A patient can experience crooked teeth by a childhood history of thumb sucking or tongue thrusting, or simply through genetics. Crooked teeth cause a misaligned bite.
- Genetic disposition: Genetics play a major role in what size jaw you are dealt, which can affect your bite. Typically, when a patient is born with jaw problems, they are more likely to also develop bite problems.
Early treatment of jawbone problems can significantly benefit young patients, allowing developing bones and teeth to grow properly and prevent more serious problems in the future. Orthodontic treatment options, such as traditional metal braces or clear aligners, are commonly used to correct bite problems and crooked teeth at the same time. Another option for correcting bite problems is using a custom made mouthguard or dental splint.
Treating your loose teeth or bite problems offers a wide range of advantages, including:
- Improved tooth mobility: Deep cleanings by your dentist reduces inflammation and gum detachment, and promoting tissue regeneration and pain relief.
- Proper distribution of biting forces: Aligned teeth create a more stable distribution of biting forces, removing unnatural pressure on your teeth.
- Protection of tooth structure: The consistent use of a mouthguard prevents bruxism from wearing down and weakening your teeth. It can also prevent serious physical oral trauma when playing high contact sports.
- Good oral health encourages good overall health: Visiting your dentist on a regular basis is crucial for addressing any onset of oral problems before they become more severe. Taking good care of your oral health benefits your overall health by decreasing the risk of developing systemic diseases, as the two are connected.