Loose Permanent Tooth: Will It Ever Get Better?
A loose permanent tooth is an advanced sign of disease. The reasons behind a loose permanent tooth may vary. In adults, the most common cause for loose teeth is secondary trauma from periodontal (gum) disease. In this, the bacterial plaque built up on teeth from poor oral hygiene causes a chronic infection. It eventually weakens gum attachment to the teeth.
There are many reasons for a loose permanent tooth. These include injury, grinding, biting on things that are too hard or gum disease. It is a fact that not all loose permanent teeth require a visit to the dentist, but there are a few instances in which you will need to seek help. Here the good news is that a loose tooth does not mean losing your tooth. In fact, in many cases, your dentist can save a loose tooth. But it is unlikely to get better on its own. Therefore, if you have a loose permanent tooth, try to make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.
What makes a tooth become loose?
There are tiny bands around the root of the tooth that are called periodontal ligaments. When these periodontal ligaments stretch, a tooth becomes loose. This is a fact that your gums can heal up to a certain point, but the amount of help they need to do this totally depends on the situation. There are many causes of loose permanent teeth, for example, periodontal disease, tooth decay or abscess and impact or trauma (this could involve a sports injury, an accident or even biting something hard). Moreover, if you are in the habit of grinding or clenching your teeth during the day or at night, it can also cause teeth to become loose.
Loose Tooth as a result of Periodontal Disease
Losing permanent tooth is also caused by periodontal disease. In this case, bacteria accumulate that leads to an infection that can damage the roots of a tooth. The treatment for such disease can help make the tooth feel less loose. Moreover, a thorough cleaning of plaque using ultrasonic or hand tools can also remove plaque beneath the gum line and help create a more solid base for your tooth. In case of infection due to periodontal disease or an abscess, a course of oral antibiotics may also be required. If you lose your permanent tooth, you need to see your dentist as soon as possible for x-rays as well as other tests.
Should I be worried?
For an adult, a loose permanent tooth is a cause for concern. This problem usually occurs when a tooth loses support and slowly detaches from the gums and bones. As a result, the slightest touch may cause the tooth to move. Moreover, eating or chewing can also cause further loosening. Just keep in mind that if you develop a loose tooth later in life, you may experience other symptoms as well. These include:
- Bleeding gums
- Swollen gums
- Red gums
- Gum recession
All these symptoms can indicate an underlying disease, therefore, it is really very important to talk to your doctor about a loose tooth. Always remember that understanding the cause can help your doctor determine the appropriate treatment.
What happens if the tooth cannot be saved?
There are some cases in which your dentist may not be able to save your loose tooth. This occurs particularly where gum disease is involved. In this case, your dentist may need to extract the tooth and replace it with an implant or a bridge. But thanks to the new technology and expertise. Now your dentist can definitely save your loose permanent tooth.
If you are hoping that your tooth will heal on its own, then it is probably not an effective strategy for dealing with a loose permanent tooth. Just try to play it safe and make an appointment with your dentist as soon as you feel that something is wrong because in most cases, the earlier you see your dentist, the better chance he has of saving your tooth. Before visiting the dentist, try to eat soft foods and use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Moreover, you need to rinse with salt water as it can also help keep the area clean.
Treatments for a loose permanent tooth in adults
Once your dentist identifies the cause of a loose tooth, the treatment begins. If you are facing the problem of gum disease, you will need a special dental cleaning procedure for the purpose of removing hardened plaque that has accumulated underneath your teeth and gums. This is often known as scaling which means removing tartar and bacteria and smoothening the root surface that helps the gums reattach to the tooth. Moreover, your dentist may also suggest you the antibiotics to help kill any infection. You can also be a candidate for surgery depending on the severity of gum disease.
Flap surgery involves making incisions in your gums and pulling back the gum tissue to perform a scaling procedure that prevents tooth loss.
To help support your teeth, bone grafting can be done in which your dentist can take fragments of bone from another area of your body or use a special bone grafting material to repair diseased bone in your mouth.
Splinting can be done to save the tooth if a loose tooth has not detached from the gums.
The bite adjustment procedure reshapes the bite surface of the tooth and removes small amounts of tooth enamel. Bite adjustment is a good option for a loose tooth that is caused by grinding.
Wearing a night guard while sleeping is another option for grinding that creates a protective barrier between the upper and lower teeth.
To sum up:
Having a loose permanent tooth as an adult can be unnerving. Therefore, it is important to know when to see your dentist for help. Do not wait, losing a permanent tooth is preventable if you take the right steps now!
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