The roots of healthy, natural teeth are situated within sockets and held firm by periodontal tissues along your jawbone. These tissues allow for a miniscule amount of flexibility to improve your teeth’s ability to absorb pressure. However, when teeth are noticeably loose, it may mean that the tissues and/or jawbone surrounding their roots have become compromised. As teeth grow looser, they can become increasingly more uncomfortable, shifting and moving as you bite and chew. The looseness may also indicate the presence of periodontal disease, which specifically targets your periodontal tissues and jawbone.
Causes of Loose Teeth
If you experience accidental trauma to your face, mouth, or jaw, then the force may knock a tooth lose without completely forcing it out of its socket. In some cases, the tooth may resettle on its own after a couple of days. Yet, it is best to visit your dentist just in case the tooth or its supportive structures require restoration. Aside from dental accidents and emergencies, periodontal disease is one of the most frequent causes behind loose teeth. The disease begins as a small infection in your gums, and without treatment, it can progress to erode and compromise your periodontal tissues. In severe cases, rampant gum inflammation and disease can spread to the jawbone underneath, leading to tooth loss if not addressed promptly.
If you notice a tooth has become loose, then your best chance at preventing tooth loss lies with visiting your dentist as soon as possible for an examination. If the tooth has been temporarily knocked loose, then your dentist can determine if it will heal, or if it needs to be treated to prevent its loss. If you exhibit periodontal disease, then your dentist can help you stop its progression with appropriate treatment, or by referring you to a trusted periodontal specialist for expert care.
In cases when loose teeth cannot be saved, extracting and replacing them as soon as possible may be the best way to preserve your long-term oral health. Extracting a loose tooth can make way for your dentist to restore your smile and bite’s function with a lifelike prosthesis, such as dental implant.