Having a loose tooth or teeth can be worrying. Most of the time, teeth are firmly implanted into the jaw and are difficult to remove without special tools. A small amount of movement is not unusual, but a completely loose or wobbly tooth is not normal. In some cases, extremely loose teeth can be prevented, in other cases, it might be beyond your control. Here are some common reasons why your tooth or teeth can be loose.
Gum disease is one most common reasons why teeth become loose in adults. Infections cause swelling and inflammation that could possibly spread to the tissue between the gums and the jawbone, causing the bond between them to weaken. Severely receding gums, even when not caused by disease, can cause the same issue. When gums recede, there is less tissue to keep the teeth firmly in place.
Problems within the tooth
Severely infected teeth that are so bad that an abscess has formed can cause teeth to loosen and possibly fall out. The same goes for tumors in or around the jaw area. Teeth can also become loose from biting too hard or when your teeth don’t bite down the way they should. Infections that spread down to the jaw line have the possibility to cause several teeth to become loose.
Trauma to the tooth
Teeth can be knocked loose through trauma, such as a hit to the teeth or jaw. You may be more susceptible to having a tooth knocked loose if you already have any of the previous issues mentioned above: gum disease or a diseased tooth. Chronic tooth grinding is also a contributor and if not addressed, can wear down the ligaments in the jaw or even crack a tooth.
Other health issues
Some reasons for a loose tooth don’t directly involve the teeth. Examples of such issues include diseases or conditions where bones can become thin or brittle such as osteoporosis. Pregnancy is also known to cause temporary problems with the ligaments in the jaw, but this is usually not serious if the gums are otherwise healthy. Poor nutrition can cause a variety of problems that can also lead to loose teeth.
The good news is that most of these conditions are preventable provided that you visit your general dentist regularly and take care of any problems before they start. This is especially true with gum and tooth diseases. Any time you have a loose, wobbly tooth, or you’ve had direct trauma to the area, see your dentist immediately. Teeth that suddenly become loose are considered an emergency. Otherwise, talk to your dentist if you are concerned that your teeth may be loose or you want to prevent it from ever happening.