You may be sitting idly reading and as your tongue brushes a tooth, you feel it wiggle. That’s great news if you’re a child. That means you’re going to lose the tooth and have a new one grow in its place. On the other hand, it can be quite a cause for concern if you are an adult, since there are no new teeth waiting in the wings.
This can happen far more often than you think, for a variety of reasons. You should always have a plan in mind for scenarios like this, since time can be of essence in many cases and any indecision can be costly in more ways than one. There are some scenarios that it’s not anything to worry about but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Loose teeth can happen for several reasons:
- Gum disease: This is when infection hits the gums and the teeth. The clinical reason is called periodontitis. People usually get this from not brushing often enough or flossing. It’s a problem that can affect a LOT of adults. Plaque builds up and then becomes tartar – which causes gaps in between the gum and teeth, which makes it a target for infection.
- Pregnancy: When a woman becomes pregnant, the elevation of certain hormones that aid the growing baby can up the risk for gum disease. Pregnant women also can become diabetic, which also is a factor. They need to be extra diligent when it comes to brushing their teeth and flossing and not missing any dental appointments. It usually resolves itself after birth. Dental visits are safe for pregnant women, and gum disease can also result in premature birth. So keep those visits.
- Injury: Here is another common reason for loose teeth. Anything from a car accident to landing face first on the pavement after a risky skateboarding move to an elbow to the mouth during a basketball game to just plain old clumsiness can be the culprits. Seek dental help immediately.
- Osteoporosis – This causes people’s bones to become weaker and more porous. Guess what is a bone? Your jaw. A weaker jaw can result in looser teeth. Yes, it can also lead to gum disease. People need to be on the lookout for loose teeth if they are also getting medication for osteoporosis since one side effect may also be loose teeth.
This will depend on how loose the tooth is and whether it can ultimately be saved.. Here are some options:
- Bone grafts – If you have lost jawbone mass, this can help rebuild it.
- Medication – Your dentist may have you use medicinal mouthwashes to help infected gums heal.
- Scaling and root planing – This is also known as a deep cleaning, the dentist will go under the gumline and remove plaque and tartar that has made its way there.
- Soft tissue grafts – If you have gum loss, this can help restore it.
- Surgery – This is often the last resort, if your gum tissue or bone has been so badly infected that it warrants removal.
There are certain things that you can do to promote the health of your teeth and gums. Be sure to brush twice a day, don’t smoke, wear a mouthguard during some sports. If you grind your teeth at night, also ask about a nighttime mouthguard. Diabetes can play a part, so be sure to keep your blood sugar under control. Also, check to see if any of your medications list dry mouth as a side effect.
The most important thing to do with all of this is not panic. Do some of the steps above and you will greatly improve your chances of being able to keep your tooth. Waiting can be the worst thing, so the best thing to do is be decisive and proactive – a trip to the emergency room may be in order if it’s after hours.
Ultimately, the thing you want to do is keep the time of any gap in your mouth to a minimum. If you leave the socket empty, then you can wind up with shifting teeth, which can make eating and talking quite difficult. The teeth shift because your mouth does not like any empty spaces and the remaining teeth try to accommodate it. Get it fixed as soon as possible.
If you live in the Columbus, Ohio area and have a loose tooth, don’t hesitate to come to US Dental Medical. The staff will be able to quickly help you with the problem and present you with the best solution to getting your smile back. Give them a call today to make an appointment – 614-252-3181.