There are many reasons that an otherwise healthy tooth can become loose. It can cause some alarm. Sometimes there is a little pain in the tooth and you push it with your tongue and it’s panic time. ‘My tooth is loose!’, you’ve confirmed. So what can you do? In this article we are going to discuss what the causes of loose teeth, what you should do, and go a little into what your dentist can do to help deal with the issue.
Will a loose front tooth tighten back up?
You need to keep in mind that a loose tooth is not going to happen on its own. If one of your front teeth is loose it is not going to fix itself. You will want to get in touch with your dentist in order to determine the reason why your tooth is loose. In the meantime, there are some actions which you can take in order to help to stabilize the tooth.
Why s my tooth loose, anyways?
If your tooth is not loose from a painful knock on the head then it may be a symptom of rather than the actual issue. A loose tooth can sometimes occur in the following scenarios:
- Gum disease – If your gums are red, inflamed, sometimes bleeding, or tender to the touch then your loose tooth may be a sign of gum disease. Even if this is not the case, gum disease is quite manageable but it is a good idea to see your dentist before it progresses and your gums start receding.
- Osteoporosis – Osteoporosis is a debilitating bone disease, wherein your bones start losing density and becoming porous. While this typically affects other areas such as the wrist, the spine, or the hips, in rare cases it can spread to the jaws. As the jaws weaken then your teeth become loose and can fall out.
- Pregnancy – Progesterone and Estrogen levels become elevated during pregnancy and in some cases, this can affect tissues an bones in your mouth. If you suspect this is the case then you should check with your dentist immediately in order to rule out this scenario.
- Diabetes – Diabetes can put you at a higher risk for gum disease, so you will want to make sure that you are taking your medicines and watching your blood sugar levels.
- Tooth grinding – This is a common reason for a loose tooth. Sometimes we grind our teeth together at night while we sleep. It generally goes on unnoticed until the dentist points it out or until we notice odd tooth abrasions when looking at our teeth in the mirror. Thankfully, this is easy to treat, as your dentist can create a mouth guard that will remediate this issue.
You will need to treat the tooth with care if you don’t want to lose it. This means that you need to avoid touching it as much as possible, avoid hard foods, and more. Here are a few things which you should make sure to do in order to maximize your chances of keeping the tooth:
- Call your dentist – This is the first thing that you need to do. While a loose tooth can take up to a month before it loosens enough to fall out, it is not a good idea to wait that long. Your priority should be saving the tooth and determining the root cause of the issue and you are going to need your dentist for this.
- Bite down on a soft cloth – Depending on how loose the tooth is, if you want a quick way to secure it while you are on the way to the dentist you can try biting down lightly on a soft cloth. You want just enough pressure to keep it in place.
“You want just enough pressure to keep it in place.”
- Leave it alone – Don’t ‘pick’ at it. Resist the urge to push it with your fingers or your tongue. While it is difficult you will need to do this, as wiggling the tooth back and forth is only going to increase your chances of losing it. If you cannot resist and it pops out, you have a dental emergency on your hands. You need to pop the tooth into the socket and get to the dentist immediately, as you have about a 2 hour period before it ‘dies’.
What will the dentist do to save my tooth?
Depending on the actual cause of the issue, your dentist may do one of a number of things. Some example treatments for a loose tooth are as follows:
- Bone grafts if it is a bone density issue
- A metal ‘splint’ to secure the loose tooth in place, while cementing it to the teeth on either side to give it time to heal properly
- Gum surgery, followed by scaling of the root and gum reattachment
- Extraction may be done if the tooth damage is too extensive
What can I do to prevent loose teeth in the first place?
The best defense is simply good oral hygiene. Make sure that when you are brushing that you are holding the brush at a 45 degree angle. When you are flossing, make sure that you are flossing each tooth individually, looping each end of the floss in your fingers and placing a U-shape of floss over and between both sides of the tooth. Floss gently and change the floss often to ensure it is fresh and effective and be sure to floss ALL of your teeth.
In this article we have discussed what you can do if you find yourself with a loose tooth. Make sure not to panic but for best results, pick up the phone and make an appointment with your dentist right away. Avoid hard foods, don’t manipulate the tooth yourself, and your dentist will do the rest!