Causes of loose and wobbly adult tooth
A loose tooth in adulthood doesn’t occur without cause. You may initially notice looseness while brushing or flossing, or your dentist may notice some wobbling during a routine dental appointment.
These are some common causes of wobbly and loose teeth in adults:
- Gum disease. This is when a bacterial infection attacks your gums, tissue, and surrounding bones.
- Teeth grinding. Unconsciously grinding or clenching your teeth can eventually damage your teeth and cause other complications like headaches and facial pain.
- Injury. An injury to the mouth or facial area can also cause a loose tooth. This might happen if you fall and hit your mouth or experience other force to the mouth.
Gum disease and wobbly tooth or teeth
Gum disease is treatable. If caught early, it’s possible to kill an infection, stop inflammation, and restore the health of your teeth. It is really important to maintain good dental hygiene to prevent gum disease.
If left untreated, gum disease can progress and lead to bone deterioration. Your teeth will not receive the support they need and will become loose. Early signs of gum disease include gums that bleed, are painful, or are red. We can diagnose gum disease by examining your mouth for tartar buildup and by using a dental probe to measure your pocket depth. This is the space between your teeth and gums. If your pocket depth is larger than normal, this could indicate gum disease. We may order dental X-rays to check for bone loss.
Treatment for loose or wobbly tooth
The treatment depends on the cause of the loose or wobbly tooth. It may include:
- Flap surgery. Your dentist makes incisions in your gums and pulls back the gum tissue to perform a scaling and root planning procedure. Gum tissue is reattached after the procedure. This procedure can prevent tooth loss.
- Bone grafting. In cases of bone deterioration, your doctor can take fragments of bone from another area of your body or use a special bone grafting material and repair diseased bone in your mouth. This helps support your teeth.
- Splinting. If a loose tooth hasn’t detached from the gums, your doctor may be able to save the tooth using a splint. Your doctor uses a piece of metal to bond two neighbouring teeth. This gives the loose tooth extra support and keeps it from moving.
- Bite adjustment. This procedure reshapes the bite surface of the tooth by removing small amounts of tooth enamel. This reduces pressure on the tooth, allowing it to heal. This is an option for a loose tooth caused by grinding.
- Mouthguard. Another option for grinding is wearing a night guard while sleeping. This creates a protective barrier between the upper and lower teeth.