What Should You Do If a Permanent Tooth Feels Loose?

Repairing Missing Teeth

After we lose all of our baby teeth, our adult teeth have to last us for the rest of our lives.

That’s a lot to ask, given the amount of work and abuse that our teeth have to withstand daily. Thankfully our molars and incisors are up to the tough task.

Even with daily brushing and regular dental check-ups, an adult tooth can become loose. Do you have a wiggly tooth or maybe a few loose permanent teeth? This can be a sign of some serious dental problems that you should address as soon as possible. Failure to do so could result in losing your tooth--and maybe a few other teeth along with it.

This article will focus on loose teeth and what you can do about them.

Why Do My Teeth Feel Loose Sometimes?

There are many different causes for having a loose adult tooth, and the necessary treatment will vary depending on the cause. If you suffered a fall or injury, the tooth may have been dislodged from its root, requiring dental surgery to splint it back into place. The injury should heal up after a while, allowing you to continue on your life after recovery.

On the other hand, a loose tooth with no precipitating injury can be a sign of a deeper problem, such as advanced gum disease. This is especially the case for loose teeth that are also accompanied by a bad taste in the mouth, painful gums, or persistent bad breath.

How Long Does a Loose Tooth Take to Heal?

Waiting to have a dental visit only allows the problem to progress or worsen. In more severe cases, patients may need extensive treatment including removal and replacement of the teeth. Only a qualified dentist will be able to determine what caused your tooth to start becoming loose, and you should make sure to make an appointment to see one right away. The healing time depends on the cause of the loose tooth.

Tooth Splinting - a Few Weeks

One treatment plan for a loose tooth is through tooth splinting. Your dentist will attach a splint or stabilizer to the surface of your loose tooth then bond or connect it to the strong teeth near it. This splint will help your ligaments recover and your loose tooth to strengthen. This process usually lasts a few weeks. 

Night Guard - Ongoing, Changes Within a Few Weeks

The next treatment option is for you to use a night guard. This mouth guard is for people who grind their teeth and is worn while sleeping. People who grind their teeth at night put a ton of strain on their teeth, gums, and overall mouth. Using a mouth guard at night, in some cases only occasionally, you should notice a difference within a few weeks. 

Gum Disease Removal - 1-2 months

Finally, there is a treatment for gum disease that led to your loose tooth or teeth. This is a more serious condition that requires more intense treatment. You will need a deep cleaning to remove the infected tissue and bacteria from your teeth, gums, and mouth. Since this treatment is more intense, you will need to recover over a month. 

What Can I Do To Prevent Loose Teeth?

Your first step to prevent loose adult teeth is your daily dental hygiene of brushing twice a day and flossing your teeth. Beyond that, regular checkups and cleanings can also prevent the possibility of loose teeth. If playing sports, wearing the proper gear such as a mouthguard can save your teeth from colliding and cracking.

Be aware of the causes of gum disease and actively take care of your teeth to prevent it. Also know that people with Osteoporosis and Diabetes are more susceptible to problems with their teeth.

Find a Dentist to Correct Your Loose Adult Teeth

At the Southfield Family Dental Center, we know that your smile is important to you. That’s why we have a staff of experienced dental professionals ready to meet all your dental needs. Contact us to schedule an appointment today, and let us help you get your smile looking great again!

The article was originally posted on December 30, 2015. We revised it once on March 11, 2019, then again on August 13, 2020, and a third time on December 29, 2020. The author of this page is Dr. Noah Levi

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