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Causes of Loose Teeth

2012 December 20
by Sanjay Narda

While it is normal for young children to get loose (mobile) teeth, in adults, it can be a sign that you have a major problem. The most common cause for loose teeth in adults is gum disease and if you let this condition continue without treatment, the bone that holds the teeth in place will eroded away. Without this support, a tooth will become mobile.

Gum disease however, is not the only cause of mobile teeth. There are several causes; here they are listed in relative order of frequency.

  • Gum disease. This is the leading cause not only of tooth mobility but also for loss of teeth. Periodontal disease is the more severe form, where the gums recede back and the bone is also dissolved away. Factors that lead to this common condition are lack of oral hygiene, smoking, diabetes and lack of regular dental examinations and cleans.
  • A localised infection, or abscess. An underlying infection in the gum will make a tooth loose.
  • Trauma. If a tooth is knocked, then it may become loose for a few days. It may tighten up again by itself, depending on how severe a blow it receives. There is a risk of nerve damage and an abscess occurring later so it is best to get it checked out.
  • Bite alignment problems. If a tooth lies out of line then it may receive more force from your bite than it can handle, and in turn, may become mobile.
  • Bruxism (grinding or clenching) Similarly to the bite problems mentioned above, the excessive forces from grinding or clenching your teeth can make them loose.

Even if you only have one loose tooth, there may be others that are heading the same way. If you have gum disease that you ignore, you may be looking at a lot of dental treatment, including extractions, dentures or implants.

Missing teeth can have a significant impact not only on one’s appearance and self confidence, but also on the overall health of the mouth. When a tooth is missing, the other teeth have to take a lot more pressure which can lead to the decline of the rest of the mouth. You also lose the ability to chew your food as normal which can force you to avoid certain foods that you enjoy.

Luckily there are treatments available for loose teeth. The treatment for a loose tooth does of course depend on the cause, so the first action to take is to get in contact with us here at the Bank House Dental Centre in Princes Risborough for an assessment.

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