Have your teeth ever felt loose occasionally? Did you choose to ignore it? This is something most people experience when brushing their teeth or even when eating. In most cases, you may experience it during the morning hours before your teeth “tighten up” gradually as the day goes on. The sensation is an indication of some dental problem and should never be ignored. It is, therefore, important to discuss the condition with your dentist for proper treatment.
What causes loose teeth?
The most common cause of loose teeth in adults is oral trauma. When an oral trauma occurs, it causes the small periodontal ligaments responsible for holding your tooth roots in place to stretch. The stretching effect makes your tooth to start feeling weak. Studies have revealed that the human tooth has thousands of ligaments lined up around the root. In most cases, oral trauma is as a result of nighttime tooth grinding or bruxism.
Loose teeth may also as a result of gum disease. When gum disease is left untreated, it may destroy the gum tissue and damage the periodontal ligaments that hold your tooth in place. This will eventually lead to dental problems including loose teeth and teeth loss.
How are loose teeth treated?
The cause of the loose teeth determines the treatment you receive. To begin with, you will need to give your tooth extra support for stability. Your dentist will help you through this splinting process. It involves placing a flexible splint to on either side of your tooth which holds it to the surrounding teeth to keep it stable. You may have to put on the splint for two weeks so as to give time to periodontal ligaments to heal.
In the case of bruxism as the cause of loose tooth, you will need a special mouth guard at night while you sleep. This will prevent from clenching your jaws as you sleep. The smooth material of the guard will prevent the periodontal ligaments to from feeling stress that could cause your tooth to become weak.
It may be more costly to treat loose teeth caused by gum disease. The beginning of it would be deep cleaning schedule where your mouth will be carefully treated quadrant after quadrant. The plaque and other deposits will then be removed by root planing and dental scaling. In case your periodontal pockets are very deep, they may be treated to shrink back to the normal size.
A tooth extraction may be the only alternative if your tooth has gone beyond repair. You will get a dental bridge, a dental implant or a dental denture to replace the removed tooth.