What Should I Do About a Loose Tooth as an Adult?

Brunette woman touches a tooth on her lower jaw as if it were loose

While a loose baby tooth is cause for celebration, a loose adult tooth is worrisome. But don’t panic! Here is a helpful guide on what causes a loose adult tooth, how we can treat it, and how to prevent any other adult teeth from loosening.

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What causes a loose adult tooth?

There are a variety of reasons that can cause an adult tooth to become loose, which occurs when a looth loses support and slowly detaches from the bone and gums. A loose adult tooth could be the result of:

  • Gum disease
  • Vitamin deficiency
  • Oral injury or accident
  • Grinding your teeth (known as bruxism)

Signs and symptoms include:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Gum recession
  • Unusually red gums
  • Swollen & puffy gums
  • Difficulty eating, depending on how loose the tooth

What should I do if I notice a loose tooth?

A loose adult tooth doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to lose the tooth, but it’s important that you contact our office ASAP when you notice that the tooth is loose so we can quickly find the best treatment option for you. If you’re afraid to contact us because you fear this means you’ll need extensive (and expensive) dental work, that’s not always the case. Moreover, the sooner you resolve the problem by getting treatment, the better likelihood that we’ll be able to save your tooth!

What are treatment options for my loose tooth?

There are a number of treatments that can fix a loose tooth, and which one you’ll need depends on the cause for your loose tooth:

  1. Deep Cleaning
  2. If you have gum disease, we’ll need to do a deep clean to eliminate pockets of bacteria that are causing the infection between your gums and your tooth. Once we’ve cleaned away the hardened plaque and your gums are healthy again, your tooth should tighten up.

  3. Tooth Splinting
  4. Tooth splinting may be appropriate if your tooth has yet to detach from your gums. In tooth splinting, we’ll bond a splint to the enamel surface of the affected tooth to an adjacent tooth that is healthy and stable. This gives the loose tooth extra support and keeps it from loosening further.

  5. Nighttime Mouthguard
  6. If you grind your teeth at night, we recommend a custom-made mouthguard. A mouthguard acts as a protective barrier between your lower and upper teeth so the grinding doesn’t wear away at your tooth’s enamel while you sleep. You might also need a bite adjustment, which is when we reshape the bite surface of your tooth by removing a small amount of enamel to reduce pressure on the tooth.

How do I prevent loose adult teeth?

  • The best way to prevent loose adult teeth due to gum disease is to practice excellent oral hygiene. You should brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day for two minutes each time, brush your tongue daily, and floss at least once a day.
  • Eat a healthy diet with all essential vitamins and minerals and drink plenty of water.
  • Wear a custom-fitted nightguard if you grind your teeth while you sleep.
  • If you play contact sports, ask us about our custom-made athletic mouthguards to protect your teeth.

It’s also vital that you come in for cleanings and checkups every six months. Contact us to schedule your next appointment at Midtown Dental!

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Midtown Dental

Midtown Dental