If you have a loose tooth as an adult, you won’t get a visit from the tooth fairy. Tooth loosening in adulthood can be a sign of various oral health problems. Instead of celebrating the fact your adult teeth are coming in, the time has come to make an appointment with the dentist.
Trauma can cause a tooth to become mobile in its socket. A fall or accident can damage the bone surrounding the tooth and the periodontal ligaments and connective tissues that support it. Even a stretched ligament can loosen a tooth. Clenching your jaws, and grinding your teeth at night, can cause this problem as well, as can misaligned teeth in your mouth.
Periodontal Disease and Tooth Loss
People often think periodontal disease is a gum problem. However, it is not limited to the gums; this condition affects the supportive ligaments and bone too. It starts when bacteria form a plaque on the teeth at the gum line, which hardens into tartar; as more plaque forms over the tartar, the tissue becomes inflamed and can pull away from the tooth. Periodontal pockets form and allow bacteria and toxins to go deeper and damage tissue and bone. A lack of support causes the tooth to become loose.
Periodontal disease is avoidable. Regular dental visits can prevent it, but you also need to brush and floss every day. Even advanced stages of the disease can be treated with maintenance, deep cleanings, and periodontal surgeries. In pregnant women, high estrogen and progesterone levels can trigger tooth mobility, although tooth loss is uncommon except in those with periodontal disease.
Osteoporosis and Oral Health
People with osteoporosis lose bone density, and their bones are prone to fracture. The effects can be seen anywhere in the body in men and women, although women with the disease are three times more susceptible to tooth loss than those without it. Losing bone density around the teeth can cause them to loosen. Some medications for osteoporosis can lead to osteonecrosis, a symptom of which is loose teeth.
Loose Teeth Can Be Treated
Looseness is not a sure sign you’re going to lose your teeth. See a dentist as soon as you think there is a problem. They can do a thorough examination to determine why it is happening, and find a treatment plan that can remedy the issue before there is permanent damage. Your loose teeth can be treated and saved.