Loose teeth are not just a part of some scary reoccurring dream. Teeth don’t naturally become loose all on their own. While children lose their teeth all the time, it is a part of the growth process. As an adult, loose teeth may indicate a concerning medical condition. Without proper intervention, you are at risk of losing your teeth, no matter the cause.
You should contact your dentist as soon as you notice loose teeth. Regardless of the cause, addressing the cause is extremely important, and time is of the essence. The sooner you discover the reason, the more likely you are to reverse the looseness of your teeth. Hopefully, you and your dentist can uncover the root of your problem before you need restorative solutions.
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, can progress from a mild gum infection to a severe issue. Gum disease is an infection of the gums and soft tissues in the mouth. Initial symptoms of gum disease include red, swollen, or bleeding gums. As it advances, the gums begin to recede and pull away from the teeth, which may create pockets in between the teeth and gums. Food particles and plaque will collect in these pockets, further progressing the disease.
Gum disease eventually destroys the soft tissues of your gum and can even affect your bone. Receding gums and bone loss create an environment where your teeth are unstable, causing them to shift and loosen. Ultimately, periodontal disease will result in missing teeth if its progression is not slowed or stopped.
There are several surgical and non-surgical procedures used to treat gum disease. Deep cleanings, called root planing and scaling, and a thorough daily dental hygiene routine can reverse gum disease if the symptoms are not too advanced. Your dentist may also suggest gum grafts, gum augmentation, bone grafts, or even dental implants depending on the stage of periodontal disease.
Your teeth, gums, and jawbone all work together in order for your mouth to function correctly. When one part of your mouth is affected, the other parts may soon begin to deteriorate. Your jawbone is no exception. Your teeth sit in your jawbone, so bone disease can alter the teeth’s stability.
Osteoporosis is a bone disease that causes your bones to become weak and brittle, which increases your risk of fractures and breaks. Along with weakening your bones, osteoporosis can create bone loss. This bone loss is what creates your teeth’s ability to move and loosen.
Much like the rest of your body, your mouth moves because of an intricate system of muscles and ligaments. For example, if you fall and twist your ankle, your joint will loosen because the ligaments and surrounding tissues will stretch. The same process can occur with your teeth. Trauma to the mouth, including a fall or perhaps an object hitting you in the mouth, can loosen the ligaments that hold your teeth in their sockets.
Most trauma to the mouth that causes loose teeth counts as a dental emergency, which means you should seek medical attention immediately. Your dentist can likely effectively save your teeth before you require any significant procedures.