Gone are the days when we look forward to a loose tooth being money in the bank thanks to a visit from the “Tooth Fairy.” As an adult, loose teeth can be the sign of many things (none of which are good). This is why it’s important to understand everything you can about what causes loose teeth and what you can do in order to ensure that your tooth doesn’t have a chance of falling out.
What causes loose teeth?
There are a number of different reasons that a tooth can become loose, but with adults, it is mainly when the gum recedes from the tooth causing it to not have the support that it needs. The most common conditions/events have been listed below for your convenience.
· Grinding Your Teeth
When you grind your teeth, they become damaged from the force that is exerted on your teeth, and eventually, this can make it to where they become loose. Not only can this cause your teeth to become loose over time, but it can also cause facial pain as well as headaches.
With Osteoporosis, the bones in your body become weaker and can fracture a lot easier than they can if one doesn’t have this condition. When the bones around your teeth become weak, your teeth will become loose and pose a risk of falling out.
It has been known that those with osteoporosis are at a higher risk of having loose teeth (or having tooth loss) than those without osteoporosis. Another reason that this condition makes it more likely for your teeth to become loose is the medications that are used. Some of them actually have a chance of tooth loss.
· Periodontal Disease
A common misconception is that periodontal disease only affects one’s gums, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. It also has a direct effect on the bone and ligaments that surround your teeth, which are needed to provide them with the support that they need to stay in place.
Believe it or not, this is the most common reason that tooth becomes loose in the first place as it’s a condition where your teeth start to recede from your gums, allowing points of entry for bacteria to build up and eventually cause tartar. Another symptom of periodontal disease is gums that start to bleed. The source of this condition comes from poor oral hygiene, specifically not brushing or flossing as you should.
During pregnancy, it’s common for your teeth to become loose due to the changes in one’s hormones, specifically higher levels of estrogen as well as progesterone. What this does is it causes both the bones around your teeth as well as the ligaments that provide your teeth with support to become loose. Most of the time, this something that will be experienced only during pregnancy and things will get back to normal after your new addition to the family is born.
There is one exception though, and that is where periodontal diseases may be present. In this case, tooth loss is possible. The best way to make sure that things stay as they should when it comes to your teeth is to make a visit to your dentist if your teeth become loose while pregnant.
This could be from a sports injury or even something as simple as taking a fall and hitting your mouth on something. At first, you might experience a little bit of pain, but anytime that it is ignored for a prolonged period of time, the pain will only worsen.
What home remedy can I use to tighten my teeth?
First of all, we must advise you that there is no solid substitution for professional dental treatment. We understand that you might not be able to get in to see a dentist immediately though, so here are some of the best home remedies for loose teeth until you have a chance to be seen.
· Indian Gooseberry (Also known as Amla.)
You can either take Indian Gooseberry in capsule form or just mix it with an equal amount of water and use it just as you would any other oral rinse. Keep in mind that you should not eat or drink anything for 1 hour after doing this.
· Mustard Oil & Table Salt
All it takes is a couple of drops of mustard oil mixed with a 1/8 teaspoon of table salt. Massage it directly onto your gums surrounding the loose tooth, and let it sit for 2 minutes before you go forward with rinsing it out. If irritation occurs, stop immediately. You can do this one time daily.
· Saltwater Rinse
Think of this as the “original” of all the home remedies to tighten your teeth when they have become loose as well as strengthen your gums. Not to mention, it will help provide an effective fight against bacteria that could lead to an infection if not treated.
All you have to do is take a tablespoon of salt and mix it with 6 ounces of warm water. Swish it around in your mouth for at least a minute (60 seconds, no less). Spit it out, and continue to repeat this process until the salt water is gone.
What can a dentist do for a loose tooth?
There are a number of things that your dentist can do in order to save the tooth that has become loose, which we have outlined for you below. It’s for this reason that we highly recommend that you get into a dentist immediately upon notice that the tooth is loose. The sooner, the better.
· Extracting the Tooth & Replacing It
If any of the other treatment options (listed below) are unable to re-secure the tooth, your dentist may recommend an extraction. You will have it removed, and you can proceed with other teeth replacement options (such as a partial denture or dental implant). Since the tooth will be replaced if you choose to do so, this is one of the most reliable ways to fix loose teeth even though it is a little bit more expensive.
· Periodontal Treatment
Any time that periodontal disease or gingivitis is present, further treatment will most likely be necessary. This is to ensure that the plaque and tartar are removed to ensure no further complications are experienced and make your gums healthier.
· Splinting the Tooth
Just as it sounds, splinting the tooth is where a dental crown is placed on the affected tooth while also attaching the surrounding teeth to the tooth that is loose. This will help stop it from being loose and ensure that it stays secure in the future as well.
Keep in mind that the route that your dentist decides to take will be based on what is best for your teeth as well as what your oral hygiene routine is like. X-rays and a professional dental examination is the only way to find out which one is truly the best treatment for your loose teeth.
Getting Help with Your Loose Teeth in Houston
If you have loose teeth and are in the Houston, Texas area, we would like to hear from you so that we can discuss the best treatment for your loose teeth. For over 15 years, Dr. Jasmine Naderi of Best Dental has provided her patients with first-class dental treatment. Not to mention, our prices are very competitive in comparison to other dental clinics in the area. Just call us at (281) 762-0637.
Frequently Asked Questions
At what age do adults start losing teeth?
It’s not uncommon for adults to have at least one tooth that has fallen out by the time that they reach the age range of 35-44 years old. In fact, by the time most adults reach the age of 50 years old, they will have at least 12 teeth missing.
How do you know when a loose tooth is ready to come out?
When it comes to adult teeth, you don’t want to take the risk of pulling it out on your own. The reason for this is that the experience won’t only be painful, but it could damage the tissue behind it as well. If you have a loose adult tooth, you should visit your dentist to get a professional opinion on what should be done in order to eliminate the pain while ensuring that extraction is the only option.
If you pull a baby tooth, the only time that it should be removed is when you can wiggle it and it breaks free without any force. If it’s ready to come out, it should come out pretty easily.
How do you stop a loose tooth from falling out?
There are three things you can do to try to keep a loose tooth from falling out. First and foremost, get in to see your dentist as soon as possible, there is no true alternative to being able to save the tooth. Second, keep the tooth as clean as possible (even though you can brush or floss the loose tooth directly). Third, switch to eating soft foods and avoid anything sticky or high in sugar.
How long does it take for loose teeth to tighten up?
The general rule of thumb is that if it’s due to any kind of trauma, it can take around 2 weeks to tighten itself back up. However, if it’s loose for any other reason, the amount of time can vary greatly and you should get in to see your dentist as soon as possible to prevent it from getting worse.
How long will a tooth be loose before it falls out?
Unlike baby teeth, which can fall out within a few weeks of becoming loose, adult teeth shouldn’t fall out because they are meant to be permanent. However, if an adult tooth is loose, you will have to consider having an extraction done at your local dentist.
Is it normal for a loose tooth to hurt?
Yes, but this differs on a case-by-case basis. Sometimes the tooth will be loose and not present any issues with pain at all. Keep in mind that a toothache that occurs with a loose tooth could still be a warning sign that there may be more issues than just the loose tooth.
Is it normal for a loose tooth to turn gray?
If a loose tooth goes untreated for an extended period of time or if the tooth has been injured, it can turn gray. When it turns gray, this is a sign that the tooth itself is dead. The root of the tooth itself is also dead, which is why it is no longer white.
Is it OK to wiggle a loose tooth?
For loose baby teeth, it is ok to wiggle it when it becomes loose so that you can see if it will fall out on its own. However, with adult teeth, it is a little bit different. You will want to avoid wiggling it so that you can get in to see your dentist. The reason being is that you want to be able to save the tooth if it is at all possible to do so. If you wiggle it, you might be reducing the chance of being able to have it repaired.
What happens if a loose tooth stays in too long?
While you might think that leaving a loose tooth could cause problems, it’s actually the best thing that you can do to ensure that there is still a chance of saving it when you see your dentist. However, if you are experiencing pain you shouldn’t put off a visit to the dentist any longer as this could be the sign of an infection or other issue that affects your oral health.
Will a loose tooth tighten back up?
In most cases, a loose tooth will tighten back up. It only takes a short amount of time to do so. However, there are cases where it may stay loose in which the only solution that should be embraced is undergoing a dental check-up to see what the underlying cause is.