Adult Tooth on The Loose? Here’s What to Do Next

June 20, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — friscodentalcare @ 1:06 pm
A hockey player missing a tooth

Loose teeth can be kind of exciting when you’re a child. After all, it means you’re growing up, and you may even have a surprise from the tooth fairy to look forward to.  But loose teeth don’t have quite the same appeal as an adult. That’s because your permanent teeth are supposed to be just that: permanent. In fact, a loose adult tooth can be a sign of big trouble in your mouth. But while a loose adult tooth doesn’t necessarily mean you’re about to lose it, if you do notice this symptom, it’s imperative that you act quickly. Here’s what you should do next.

Why is My Permanent Tooth Loose?

Despite their name, permanent teeth can become loose for multiple reasons, including:

  • Injury
  • Periodontal (gum) disease
  • Pregnancy or menopause
  • Osteoporosis
  • Tooth grinding
  • Stress

What Should I Do If My Tooth Is Loose?

Thankfully, there is often a way to save a loose tooth from falling out, but the odds of saving it can be contingent on how quickly you seek professional attention from your dentist. If you have a wiggly adult tooth, take the following steps as soon as possible:

  • Schedule an emergency dental appointment
  • Do not touch your tooth or try to move it with your tongue
  • Do not consume sticky, chewy, or crunchy foods
  • Keep the tooth clean by swishing with warm water; do not brush or floss it

How Will My Dentist Treat My Loose Tooth?

If it is determined that your tooth is salvageable, there are several treatments that can be used to try and rescue it.

  • Scaling and root planning to help reduce and treat gum disease which could be causing your loose tooth
  • Surgery to remove gum tissue and bone that have been damaged by gum disease
  • Bone grafts to help restore bones that may have deteriorated due to gum disease
  • Bite splints to help prevent damage incurred by tooth grinding
  • Soft tissue grafts to help restore gum tissue lost by gum disease
  • Mouth rinses or medications to heal infected gums and stop the spread of oral bacteria

What Happens if My Tooth Can’t Be Saved?

Unfortunately, in some cases despite intervention your dentist may not be able to save your loose tooth. In that case, you may be recommended a dental bridge, dentures, or a dental implant.

How Can I Prevent Loose Teeth and Tooth Loss?

While it is not always possible to prevent your teeth from coming loose, especially when it comes to hormonal changes, there is still plenty you can do to reduce your risk of other causes such as gum disease.

  • Brush your teeth twice a day, and floss once a day
  • Attend all your semi-annual dental exams
  • Don’t smoke
  • Wear a mouthguard while playing sports
  • Wear a bite guard if you grind your teeth
  • Speak to your physician about taking a vitamin D or calcium supplement to support bone health
  • Keep your diabetes well managed

Remember, just because your adult tooth is loose does not mean tooth loss is imminent. Timely treatment by a dentist can greatly improve your odds of stabilizing it and preventing it from falling out, so don’t hesitate to schedule an emergency dental appointment as soon as possible.

About Dr. Phillips

Dr. Garry Phillips has been a dentist for over 40 years and he’s still as passionate about dentistry today as he was when he first began practicing. Still, plenty has changed since then, including much of the technology used in dentistry. To keep up with these changes, Dr. Phillips still attends a variety of continuing education courses each year, in addition to maintaining active memberships with organizations such as the American Dental Association, the Texas Dental Association, and the Dallas County Dental Association.

If you are experiencing a loose adult tooth, schedule an emergency appointment with Frisco Dental Care today by visiting our website or calling 972-944-0084.

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