Some causes of loose teeth in adults are harmless, others require the care of a dental professional to save the tooth, remove it, or replace it with an implant or bridge.
The following factors are often responsible for looseness in one or more teeth: gum disease; pregnancy; injury to teeth; and, osteoporosis. Loose teeth cannot always be prevented, but a person can take steps to reduce the risk. Tips for tooth and gum health include:
- brushing teeth thoroughly twice a day;
- flossing once a day;
- refraining from smoking;
- attending dental check-ups and cleanings as often as recommended;
- wearing a properly fitted mouthguard while playing sport;
- wearing a bite splint when night-time grinding or clenching is an issue;
- asking a doctor about calcium and vitamin D supplementation to help prevent osteoporosis;
- keeping diabetes under control; and,
- being aware of medications that may affect the teeth.
A range of treatments can help loose teeth, and the best option will depend on the cause of the looseness. Treatments include:
- scaling and root planning;
- medications or mouth rinses;
- surgery to remove inflamed gum tissue and bone that has been damaged by gum disease;
- bone grafts;
- soft tissue grafts;
- bite splints and other dental appliances; and,
- treatment for diabetes.
If a loose tooth falls out, a dentist can often restore a person’s smile with a dental bridge or implant. While these options are effective, it is essential to treat the underlying cause of tooth loss and take any other steps needed to prevent further damage.