loose teeth

What Does Loose Teeth Mean?

Loose teeth, as a child, is the beginning of the tooth fairy. It’s an exciting rite of passage as a child, as we begin to shed our baby teeth for adult teeth, not to mention the anticipation of tooth fairy arriving to drop money in exchange for your tooth. It’s good times and fun as a child; however, the tables turn when we have loose teeth as an adult.

We don’t get any new teeth after all our baby teeth have fallen out. So, when we being to notice a loose tooth, there is concern that comes from it because it can often indicate a dental problem or health issue. But before you start to panic that you are going to lose your tooth, let us have a look at why it can occur.

Causes of a Loose Tooth

A loose tooth is caused by factors which affect our dental health and not always in the best ways. Some theses factors are

  • Gum Disease – also referred to as periodontitis, is a result of poor hygiene habits. When we do not remove plaque from our teeth, gum disease can develop causing the inflammation of our gums and infection. Plaque, if not removed over time, can harden becoming tartar which is known to pull the gums away from the teeth creating more room for bacteria and infection. During this process, tartar can begin to break down the bone and tissue structure supporting the tooth, where you start to have a loose tooth.
  • Pregnancy – here’s a cause you probably didn’t know was one. During pregnancy, our levels of estrogen and progesterone rise affecting our bones and tissues in our mouth. It can change the ligaments supporting our teeth that keeps them in place. Once our pregnancy is over, our loose teeth should be resolved; however, if you experience pain, then visit your dentist to ensure it’s nothing serious.
  • Osteoporosis – is a health condition where the bones become weak and less dense throughout the body. With a minor impact or bump can lead to fracture. Osteoporosis can affect the bones in the jaw, lessening the density of the bone resulting in loose teeth and falling out. If you have osteoporosis, you want to tell your dentist about the medications you are taking since they can affect your dental health.
  • Injury –  when there is a traumatic force in the face such as sports injuries, accidents, and falls, can cause damage to the teeth and surrounding tissue resulting in loose teeth. Another form of injury is clenching or grinding your teeth, a result of stress. It can wear down your teeth and tissue making them loose.

Although some of these factors are more serious than others, you still want to ensure you visit your dentist to rule out any serious problem.


The kind of treatment we need is dependent on the cause of our loose tooth. Common treatment options for loose teeth are

  • Scaling and Rooting Planning – it is a deep cleaning treating and reversing gum disease by clean and reattached your gum tissue.  
  • Bone Graft – helps restore bone loss to gum disease for support.
  • Gum Grafts – prevents the loss of further gum tissue or tooth loss for patients who have gum disease.
  • Splinting – the use of a piece of metal to bond two teeth to give the loose tooth support and prevent from moving.
  • Mouthguard/ Bite Splint – are dental appliances you can use alleviate the damaged from clenching or grinding your teeth. It helps create a barrier between your bottom and upper teeth.

Eventually, if a loose tooth is not treated or progress and happens to fall out, then replacing your missing tooth with a dental implant or bridge will be the next form of treatment. Again, if you are experiencing a loose tooth, visit your dentist to have an evaluation done to ensure it isn’t serious and doesn’t progress.  

Preventative Efforts

Even though a loose tooth cannot be prevented in some cases, we can take steps to reduce the risk of loose teeth. Here are some quick tips to keep in mind.

  • Practicing good oral hygiene – brushing twice a day and flossing daily.
  • Attending annual dental visits and cleanings or as recommended by your dentist.
  • Wearing a mouthguard during recreational activities and sports.
  • Wearing a bite splint at night to prevent from clenching or grinding teeth.
  • Eating a balanced diet to get nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D (or supplements if recommended by your doctor).
  • Being informed of medications that can affect dental health.

If you’ve noticed a tooth is loose, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with your dentist to rule out a serious problem and to get treated for a loose tooth. It can be a quick fix such as placing a bite splint at night to reconstruction. You always want to visit your dentist for your annual check-ups to have your teeth evaluated and cared for. If you need treatment or dental check-up, call our offices today at 801-747-800 or fill out our appointment form.  


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