A woman checked for loose teeth smiles in dental chair.Your teeth are an important aspect of your overall health and your looks in general. You want to have a smile you feel confident about and aren’t shy to show off. Therefore, it’s essential that you take care of your mouth and teeth and notice and take action when there’s an issue, such as loose teeth. Learn more about what you need to know about loose teeth such as the causes, how to save a loose tooth, and your loose teeth treatment options.

Causes of Loose Teeth

Noticing a loose tooth as an adult is cause for concern. It occurs when a tooth loses support and slowly detaches from the gums and bone. You might find that the slightest touch may cause the tooth to move, and eating or chewing can cause further loosening even yet.

Keep in mind the reasons for a loose tooth may vary by patient. For instance, you may have experienced “primary occlusal trauma,” in which the teeth have experienced a prolonged excessive biting force beyond their tolerance. The looseness is caused by habitual grinding or clenching the teeth in this case. You may have also experienced “secondary occlusal trauma,” where the teeth can’t handle the stress due to degraded bone support and gum tissue detachment. The damage accelerates due to clenching habits combined with weakened bones and gums.

The most common cause of loose teeth in adults is secondary trauma from periodontal (gum) disease. Bacterial plaque buildup on teeth from poor oral hygiene causes a chronic infection that eventually weakens gum attachment to the teeth, and a loose tooth is a late sign of this damage.

How to Save A Loose Tooth

The upside is that you have treatment options when it comes to dealing with a loose tooth. Your first step should be to schedule a visit with a periodontist. The periodontist and his or her team will thoroughly clean the tooth, root, and gum surfaces. It’ll remove the plaque and reduce the infection and inflammation that will help restore healthy tissue. They may also recommend antibiotic treatments to reduce bacteria below the gum tissue that you can’t see.

Additional treatment options include:

  • Better Oral Hygiene: Brushing twice a day, flossing, using good technique, using the proper equipment, and knowing when to replace your toothbrush.
  • Scaling and Root Planing: Scaling and root planing, also known as conventional periodontal therapy, non-surgical periodontal therapy or deep cleaning, is a procedure involving removal of dental plaque and calculus (scaling or debridement) and then smoothing, or planing, of the (exposed) surfaces of the roots, removing cementum or dentine that is impregnated with calculus, toxins, or microorganisms, the etiologic agents that cause inflammation.
  • Gum Grafting: A gum graft is a type of dental surgery performed to correct the effects of gum recession. It is a quick and relatively simple surgery in which a periodontist removes healthy gum tissue from the roof of the mouth and uses it to build the gum back up where it has receded.
  • Laser Gum Surgery (LANAP): An FDA-cleared laser treatment called the LANAP protocol offers a more successful treatment alternative to conventional surgery. LANAP is the only scientifically, research-proven methodology that results in true periodontal regeneration, new bone growth, and gum tissue reattachment.

If the Tooth Can’t be Saved

You may also be wondering what will happen if the loose tooth can’t be saved. In this case, you have a few options that you should discuss with your periodontist and team. Dental implants are replacement tooth roots. Implants provide a strong foundation for fixed (permanent) or removable replacement teeth that are made to match your natural teeth. There are several benefits of dental implants including improved appearance, speech, and comfort.

Another possibility you have if the tooth can’t be saved is a dental bridge. A bridge is a fixed dental restoration used to replace one or more missing teeth by joining an artificial tooth definitively to adjacent teeth or dental implants. Since dental bridges are not implanted into the gum tissue, they are less likely to be affected by gum disease. Finally, you may want to also consider dentures if the tooth can’t be saved. A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues. Two types of dentures are available, which are complete and partial. Dentures are fitted to act as a prosthesis for missing teeth. They’re often made of acrylic, nylon, or metal. They can be used in place of one tooth, several, or all of your teeth, and they fit snugly over the gums.

Next Steps

If you or someone you know is dealing with a loose tooth or teeth then you’ll want to strongly consider these loose teeth treatment options. We encourage you to contact us at Baton Rouge Perio to schedule an appointment so we can take a look and offer the best treatment plan advice for your situation. We’re happy to answer any questions regarding your care with us or to make an appointment for you.

Baton Rouge Periodontists, Dr. Kenneth Markle and Dr. Jenny Herman provide a variety of surgical and non-surgical services for the treatment of periodontal issues. We pride ourselves on the fact that we are very conservative in our treatment recommendations and limit surgery to the areas where it is absolutely necessary. Call our Baton Rouge Office with any questions or to make an appointment.

Conclusion

While loose teeth may be cause for concern, you can rest easy that under our care you’ll be on your way to getting back your smile and confidence. We pride ourselves on taking good care of our patients and offering the best solutions for each patient’s individual needs and circumstances. Loose teeth shouldn’t be ignored and we hope that you’ll contact us today if you would like us to take a look and see what we can do for you. You shouldn’t have to live in worry or discomfort and we want to help you feel better and obtain a smile that you feel proud to show off.