4 Causes of Loose Teeth in Adults & Treatment Options

  • By Tonya Davis
  • 18 Dec, 2017
In toddlers and young children, a loose milk tooth usually heralds the arrival of its permanent replacement. This is a time of discovery, a time to celebrate. Loose milk teeth eventually fall out, as nature intended, and are replaced with permanent teeth. However, there is nothing natural about loose teeth in adults. A loose tooth is an indicator that something is wrong.

Teeth are held in place, within their sockets, by the periodontal ligament. These web-like tissue fibres cover the roots of teeth and anchor them to the jawbone. Gum tissue also helps to hold teeth in place. If teeth are loose then, there is an underlying issue that is affecting those tissues.

Periodontal Disease

This disease affects 53.4% of Australians over the age of 65 and causes the deterioration of the tissues, i.e., bone, periodontal ligaments and gums that hold the teeth in place. Gingivitis, the milder and curable form of gum disease, precedes periodontal disease and is caused by a build-up of bacteria at the gum line. If not treated, gingivitis later becomes periodontal disease.

Gingivitis leaves the gums swollen and inflamed. Periodontal disease attacks the supporting tissues, creating pockets around the teeth, causing them to become loose.

To treat periodontal disease, a periodontist removes the tartar from the tooth. This allows the tissues to reattach to the teeth. In some cases, gum grafting or pocket reduction is necessary.

Bruxism (Nocturnal Grinding)

Night-time grinding, or bruxism, affects about 10% of the adult population. Everyone has probably, at some point in their lives, heard the awful sound of teeth being ground together in the night. That sound indicates that a sleeper's teeth are experiencing  10-12 times more pressure  than that which is usually applied during normal chewing.

These massive forces wear teeth down and cause them to become loose in their sockets due to the back and forth rocking forces exerted on them. Stress can contribute to bruxism, as can alcohol, tiredness and a misaligned bite.

A dentist can treat this issue by first giving the patient a night guard to protect their teeth at night, and then by correcting any misalignment issues.

Dental Abscess

A dental abscess is usually preceded by pain and sensitivity. This is the first indication that something is wrong. Ideally, patients should get to their dentist as early as possible. Otherwise, the pulp within the tooth dies. Once dead, the pulp rots inside the tooth. The dead tissue, dead bacterial organisms, and other waste material has nowhere to go except to the roots.

In the form of pus, it builds up at the tip of the root, infecting the surrounding bone structure. Not only does this cause swelling, but it also loosens the tooth in its socket as the infection destroys the bone and supporting ligaments.

To treat this, the abscess needs to be drained and the infection treated with antibiotics. In severe cases, the tooth will need to be removed.

Malocclusion

This is essentially a misaligned bite. Usually, misalignment of the teeth can be corrected with braces. However, when not corrected, one or more teeth may be subject to more pressure than the others during eating and speaking. This excess force not only wears teeth down, but also affects the gums and periodontal ligaments, in much the same way as bruxism. If not corrected, the affected teeth become loose.

This problem can be corrected with braces. When a tooth is especially loose and in danger of falling out, it can be splinted. By bonding the loose tooth to an adjacent tooth, the tooth benefits from the added stability. This helps in the healing process.

Has one of your teeth become loose? Then you need to see a dentist so that together, you can determine the cause and decide upon  an appropriate form of treatment . Don't wait for the problem to go away on its own. When treated early, loose teeth can be saved. 

By Tonya Davis 16 Jan, 2018
You've been to the dentist enough to know the basics — you're in and out after a quick cleaning, flossing and X-ray scan. But this time there was something different. Your dentist took a quick look at your gums, frowned and recommended that you get a surgery called a frenectomy sooner than later.

If you're like most people, you probably haven't ever heard of a frenectomy, and you're understandably a little frightened and confused by the recommendation. But frenectomies are actually minor surgeries that can go a long way towards preserving your teeth for decades to come.

Whether your dentist referred you to a gum specialist or has the know-how to perform a small frenectomy in-house, keep reading. We'll tell you what you can expect from this minor procedure.
By Tonya Davis 18 Dec, 2017
In toddlers and young children, a loose milk tooth usually heralds the arrival of its permanent replacement. This is a time of discovery, a time to celebrate. Loose milk teeth eventually fall out, as nature intended, and are replaced with permanent teeth. However, there is nothing natural about loose teeth in adults. A loose tooth is an indicator that something is wrong.

Teeth are held in place, within their sockets, by the periodontal ligament. These web-like tissue fibres cover the roots of teeth and anchor them to the jawbone. Gum tissue also helps to hold teeth in place. If teeth are loose then, there is an underlying issue that is affecting those tissues.
By Tonya Davis 06 Nov, 2017
Teeth whitening has come a long way over the last few thousand years. The ancient Egyptians whitened their teeth with ground pumice stone and wine vinegar 4,000 years ago. Later, the Romans decided that urine was their whitening agent of choice! It wasn't until the 1960s that peroxide, which is used to whiten teeth today, was used to whiten teeth.

Hydrogen and carbamide peroxide, the two main components of teeth whitening, can work wonders with stained teeth. What they cannot do, however, is whiten dental bridges or in fact any other type of dental restoration. Whitening agents simply cannot penetrate these materials in the same way they can natural teeth.

If your bridge needs to be whitened, you may be out of luck. However, if you get a bridge that is whiter than your natural teeth, you may be able to solve the problem by whitening your teeth to match. Learn more about your options below.
By Tonya Davis 27 Sep, 2017
Did you know that over 29% of adults are so scared of the dentist that they delay treatment and suffer from oral health problems? If you don't want your child to become part of the statistics, you need to give them the right messages about the dentist from the time they are young.

To ensure your little one doesn't develop a dental phobia, it's important to set a good example, portray dentist's visits as a positive thing and choose the right dentist. Read on for detailed advice on how to keep your child from getting scared at their next appointment.
By Tyler Vogelsberg 05 Sep, 2017
If you have recently noticed that your teeth are translucent to some degree, you may understandably be worried about what this indicates in regards to your oral health. Translucent teeth, however, are not always a sign that something is wrong. In fact, there are several reasons for this phenomenon, each of which will be explained below.
By Tyler Vogelsberg 01 Aug, 2017
When you think about losing teeth, you may picture a gap-toothed grin on a wide-eyed child who's talking about the tooth fairy. For children, tooth loss allows for the permanent teeth to erupt properly.

But many adults experience tooth loss as well. As an adult contemplating tooth extraction, you may feel nervous or even embarrassed, so it's
important to understand the causes of adult tooth loss, possible prevention and common  types of tooth replacement .

In this blog, we list four facts about tooth extraction that can help you feel more prepared for this procedure.
By Tonya Davis 29 Jun, 2017
In general, the typical shade of healthy teeth is an off-white hue with slight undertones of brown, yellow or grey. However, many people find that their teeth are much darker than off-white. If you're one of these people, you may be wondering why your teeth aren't as bright as everyone else's and what you can do about it.

Browning and yellowing teeth have a variety of possible causes. One of the most well-known is aging, but what about discolouration that happens before you reach your senior years? If you're an adult with stained teeth, there are two broad categories of tooth discolouration you should look to: extrinsic and intrinsic.

Both can be remedied in different ways, but the right solution will depend on which of these discolouration types is affecting you.
By Tonya Davis 28 Mar, 2017
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