While children get excited about a loose or “wiggly” tooth, adults don’t have the same response. Your adult or permanent teeth are the only set you get for the rest of your life. Therefore, it is understandable that a loose tooth as an adult can trigger fear and anxiety that the tooth is going to be lost for good. Fortunately, if you act promptly, your dentist may be able to salvage your loose tooth. If your tooth cannot be saved, don’t worry. Most patients qualify for a replacement tooth in the form of an implant or bridge.
Causes of Loose Teeth in Adults
There are many reasons why an adult tooth may lose stability. Determining the cause can provide a more accurate answer as to whether or not your tooth can be saved. Here are some of the most common causes:
- Gum Disease
- Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the United States. If left untreated, the infection can cause the gums to pull away from the tooth root and eventually destroy the underlying bone and periodontal ligaments that hold your teeth in place.
- Dental Injury/Trauma
- An unexpected mouth injury can result in a dislodged tooth. This can occur during a bad fall, contact sports or other accident involving the teeth.
- Severe Tooth Decay
- When a cavity goes untreated, it can affect the root of the tooth and the surrounding gum tissue. This will loosen the tooth over time.
- Teeth Grinding Habit
- Bruxism (also known as teeth grinding) is a common condition, but it can pose a major threat on the back molars over time. The repeated strain and pressure can not only weaken the back teeth, but also loosen these teeth from their sockets.
Treating Loose Teeth
There are some types of loose teeth that can offer you the ability to keep your original tooth. If addressed in a timely manner, teeth loosened by traumatic injuries or bruxism can be splinted, which can hold your tooth or teeth in place while it heals. Going forward, however, it may be necessary to wear a mouth guard for sports or bruxism to ensure the incident doesn’t happen again.
When a tooth becomes loose due to decay or gum disease, it is more complex to save the tooth. The underlying disease must be removed and treated first. In some cases, a bone grafting procedure can rebuild lost bone to support your original tooth.
If your tooth is unable to be saved or previous measures have not been successful to re-anchor your adult tooth, you won’t have to live with a missing tooth forever. With today’s advancements in restorative dentistry, you can have replacement teeth that look, feel and function like real teeth. Contact Park South Dentistry today to learn more!