What is Loose Teeth?
Loose teeth in children is of common occurrence when the temporary teeth are replaced by permanent dentition, however, in the case of adults, loose teeth are a matter of concern. When the periodontal layer and the bone supporting the teeth gradually detach themselves from the tooth, the tooth becomes loose. In such a state, any pressure applied on the teeth including that while chewing will cause the teeth to fall out.
What causes loose teeth?
- Gum diseases due to poor oral hygiene causes the gums to recede, thereby causing the loosening of the teeth.
- Poor oral hygiene can cause tartar or plaque build-up in the mouth. If not treated at the right time, it progresses to the bone, leading to bone deterioration and causing teeth to fall out.
- Injury to the teeth can also cause loosening or avulsion or falling out of the teeth. Injury can be a result of tripping and falling or sports-related injuries.
- Excessive night time grinding or grinding of teeth due to stress can also be causes of loosening of the teeth. Clenching the teeth hard puts added pressure on the teeth, causing them to fall down.
Treatments for a loose tooth in adults
Depending on the severity of the gum disease that has caused the loosening of the teeth, the doctor may opt for one of the following methods of treatment:
- Scaling or Root Planing: This method is employed to remove the hard plaque from underneath the gums, and that have deposited on the teeth. Scaling and Root Planing cleans the mouth of hard debris.
- Flap Surgery: In this procedure, an incision or a cut is made on the gums to remove a flap and expose the underlying tissue. Scaling and Root Planing procedures are then performed on the teeth, and the gums is then reattached to their former position.
- Bone Grafting: Bone grafting is a procedure that is followed in case of bone deterioration. The Dentist will take a part of the bone from another part of the body or use artificial bone grafting materials to reconstruct the area of bone thinning or none loss. Bone grafting helps in supporting the teeth and prevents loss or loosening.
- Splinting: Incase of mild to moderately loose teeth, a method known as splinting can be followed. In this method, if the tooth is mobile, a metal aid is employed to bond two adjacent teeth to seek support from the next teeth and prevent the movement of the teeth.
- Bite Adjustment: In case teeth become loose due to grinding and clenching, a method called bite adjustment is put to use. In the method, a part of the enamel is rounded off or removed in order to reshape the bite. This helps the teeth to heal by removing excessive pressure on the teeth
- Dental Aids: Dental Aids like mouth guards can be used as a protective barrier that can be worn in the night. This prevents harm and excessive pressure on the teeth
- Dental Implants: In case the tooth has loosened beyond repair, the dentist may suggest extraction or removal of the tooth and replace it with more sustainable options like dental implants.
When to visit a dentist?
- Visit a dentist as soon as you notice that your teeth are moving or is loosely attached to your socket.
- In case of injury, a dentist must be immediately consulted for performing surgical procedures if required.
Maintaining proper dental hygiene can stop gum disease-related tooth loss. This entails flossing daily to avoid buildup between the teeth, using mouthwash and rinsing the mouth after each meal, using tongue scrapper, and brushing your teeth in the correct way at least twice or three times per day. Additionally, you should consult your dentist if you detect any changes, such as poor breath, aching gums, or bleeding gums, and schedule regular dental cleanings or scaling twice a year. Login to MyDentalPlan.in to get in touch with the dentist near you to plan out your next dental appointment.
About the Author:
Dr. Rituparna Dubey
Dr. Rituparna Dubey is a BDS graduate from MCODS, Manipal, and is currently pursuing her Masters in Hospital Administration from TISS, Mumbai. She has additionally worked as a freelance content curator with many clients before joining Accenture Operations as a Medical underwriter.
Special thanks to Dr Deepak Kulkarni, a dental surgeon with over 23 years of experience who proofread this blog. He graduated from the H.K.E's Dental College, Gulbarga, and has certifications in ACHS International Accreditation Education Plan; Advanced Rotary Endodontic - Restorative Continuum; and Leadership, Team Building and Customer Service Leadership from the Oscar Murphy International.