As a parent of a growing child, if they complain that their tooth feels loose, you would not feel worried but excited. This means that his permanent teeth are underway to an eruption, and this signals maturity for your kid. However, what should you do if it is you that reports a tooth feels loose? Read on to know what causes a loose permanent tooth and how to prevent tooth loss.
What Causes Teeth to Get Loose?
Having a loose tooth is a double-edged sword. In a way, if a tooth feels loose, the reason for this is nothing to be worried about. But there are also causes that you would need a dental specialist to handle. What we can recommend is that at the first sign of your tooth feeling loose, contact your family dentist and have him assess your dental cavity so you would know the cause and what to do depending on his findings.
Have you experienced this ‘tooth feels loose’ sensation after getting a tooth extraction? More often, patients who have had their molars extracted feels like they have an adjacent loose tooth. This is because as time passes, the bone that previously holds the extracted tooth begins to lose mass and density, allowing the neighboring tooth (or teeth) to lose some support and feel wobbly. This is one of the reasons why tooth replacement is necessary after permanent tooth extraction.
We all know that gum disease can pose a lot of complications, not just to our oral cavity but also to the whole body itself. It usually is the effect of not maintaining proper dental care and hygiene. The gums become the habitat of bacteria from plaque and tartar buildup, which attacks the teeth as well if they are unaddressed. What makes this s reason for your loose tooth is the fact that these infection-causing bacteria affects the integrity of the tissues and bone surrounding the tooth, causing loose permanent tooth. Here are some signs and symptoms that should alert you about the presence of periodontitis or gum infection.
- Redness, swelling, and tenderness of the gums
- Bleeding even with gentle brushing
- Gum receding
If you are experiencing these symptoms, do not hesitate to check with your dentist so immediate treatment and prevention of further complications can be done.
Yes, a loose tooth can also be felt, among the myriad of side effects, when you are pregnant. Blame it on the hormones! Increased estrogen and progesterone levels observed while being pregnant can change the status of your bones and tissues in the mouth. But do not worry because this is one of the few causes of a loose tooth that is not bad for the body. In fact, your loose permanent tooth shall come back to normal after giving birth, and your hormones start to normalize. Just make sure that you still maintain proper dental hygiene during your pregnancy, and you have nothing to worry about.
This is by far the only cause of having a loose tooth that came from external factors. Accidents can happen anytime, anywhere, so getting hit in the face during a blow or a mishap is possible. This sudden force can injure your permanent tooth and make it feel loose. However, trauma or force is not isolated to accidents alone. Sometimes, when we are stressed, we clench our jaws and teeth too hard that we cause an unwanted and damaging force to the integrity of the bones. This, in return, allows our tooth to feel loose. Moreover, grinding our teeth, or bruxism can also present greater force to the teeth, causing them to chip or get loose.
Have you heard of osteopenia and osteoporosis? The former is the milder version of the latter, but both deal with bone problems causing weakness, brittleness, and loss. If a patient is osteopenic or osteoporotic, the bones in his body are all affected. Some TV advertisements would show this as a disease targeting the spine. But the truth is, even the bones in our jaws can get porous, causing problems like a loose tooth.
What Can You Do To Address A Loose Tooth?
The general advice that we can give our patients is this: see a dentist. Aside from getting into an accident, the reasons for one getting loose permanent tooth can only be conclusively determined by a dental professional. Have him assess your condition and let him come up with a treatment plan to address the cause.
What Treatments Can I Get If My Tooth Feels Loose?
Once your dentist finds out what causes your loose tooth, he can use any of the following dental care treatments to aid your problem:
- Scaling and root planing. Specifically targeting plaque and tartar buildup that cause gum infection, this deep cleaning dental care method help to reverse gum disease, thus preventing further loose tooth.
- Medications or mouth rinses. If your loose tooth is caused by an infection, medicated mouthwash products and oral drugs can fight them and help bring back the normal integrity of your gums.
- Surgery. Sometimes, in order to fully clean and remove the bacteria and cavities that cause gum infection, the dentist must perform surgery to pull back the gum tissue. This is called flap surgery, and this may also be used to remove badly damaged and infected gums so that the spread of the infection is prevented.
- Bone grafts. If bone loss is the reason for your loose tooth, this surgical procedure can help repair and rebuild bone that you lose from having a gum disease.
- Soft tissue grafts. Like bone grafts, this surgery targets rebuilding and repairing gums affected by the infection so that your loose tooth can feel supported and stable again.
- Use of different dental appliances, such as bite splints or mouthguards. These can lessen the damage caused by teeth grinding. It can also be used post-surgery to help the mouth heal after the dental operation.