While losing your tooth in childhood brought the joy of the tooth fairy, losing a tooth as an adult is not a good sign. If you have noticed a loose tooth in your mouth, then you should immediately book an appointment with your dentist for a checkup.
Losing an adult tooth is a concerning issue as it is not a normal phenomenon. Therefore, when you detect a loose tooth in your mouth, you must get it treated right away. The root cause of the loosening of a tooth determines the type of treatment that will be useful.
Reason For Loose Teeth
A loose tooth can be caused due to multiple reasons. The two major and most common causes of a loose tooth include the following:
1. Tooth Injury
Tooth injury is a common cause of a loose tooth in adults. If you were recently in an accident or fell and hurt your mouth, then that could loosen your teeth. People who play sports can sometimes face this issue.
2. Gum Diseases
Gum diseases are another common cause of a loose tooth in your mouth. If you have any infection in your gums, it can cause your teeth to loosen and even rot.
When should I go to the dentist for a loose tooth?
When you notice a loose tooth in your mouth, you should immediately book an appointment with your dentist. Whether your toothaches or not, it is essential that you get it checked as severe symptoms usually start to surface later.
You must visit your dentist right away so that they can save your loose tooth. Otherwise, the longer you wait, the more likely it is that your tooth will fall off. Make sure you don’t eat or only eat soft foods until you’ve seen your dentist.
Can a Dentist Fix a Loose Tooth?
If your loose tooth results from an injury, then your dentist will try to splint your tooth right away. Splinting is a procedure in which the dentist attaches the loose tooth to its surrounding fixed teeth to secure it. This is a temporary solution because this bonding with the other teeth doesn’t last very long unless you’re extremely careful.
In case the loose tooth is the result of gum diseases, then your dentist might have to perform a deep cleaning to save your tooth from falling off. During the cleaning, the infection is removed so that the gum can heal and tighten around the tooth again.
How is a Loose Tooth Treated?
The right treatment for a loose tooth will depend on the cause and extent of the damage. Your dentist can recommend a range of treatments for fixing your loose tooth. Some of the most commonly recommended treatment methods include the following:
1. Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing are a few of the most common treatments applied for fixing a loose tooth. This method entails a deep cleaning procedure to extract the infection that is causing the gum disease responsible for the loosening of your tooth.
If the loose tooth is caused due to a damaged bone or severe gum tissue damage, then the dentist may recommend oral surgery to treat it. Your dentist can remove inflamed tissues from your gum while performing the surgery.
3. Mouth Rinses or Medication
If the root cause of your loose tooth is an infection or a severe gum disease, then your dentist can prescribe medication or mouth rinses to kill off the bacterial infection from your mouth. The medication will help prevent further damage and heal the gums back to their healthy form.
4. Soft Tissue Grafts
Soft tissue grafts are gum grafts that prevent further damage to your gum so your loose tooth can be saved. This treatment is done for loose teeth caused due to gum disease.
5. Bone Grafts
Bone grafts are performed to help rebuild the bone that was lost or damaged due to gum disease. This treatment method prevents further damage and allows the bone grow healthy.
How is a Fallen Tooth Treated?
If your loose tooth falls off and you are worried about your smile, then a dentist can help you by performing either of the following two methods:
1. Dental Bridge
If your loose tooth falls off, but you keep it safe and take it to your dentist, then a dental bridge can be performed. Your dentist will create a dental bridge between the two healthy teeth on either side of the missing tooth. Then, the fallen tooth or a prosthetic tool will be fixed in the space left by the lost tooth.
2. Dental Implants
If you lose a tooth in an injury or an accident, then the only efficient treatment is dental implant surgery. Your dentist can implant an artificial tooth and root to replace the missing tooth by connecting the new tooth to the jawbone.
Is It Ok To Pull Out My Loose Tooth?
Before we answer the question, it’s important to consider whose tooth is loose? In the case of a growing child, loosening of teeth is the sign of falling of baby teeth and the emergence of adult teeth. Although you or your child might be tempted to pull out the loose tooth and get it over with, it is best not to do so.
Although there aren’t any severe repercussions of pulling out a child’s falling tooth, it does have the risk of causing infection or bleeding. If you force the loose tooth out, it can damage the nerves and cause severe pain. The best course of action in this situation is to let the tooth fall off naturally.
If the toothaches or is causing too many problems, consider going to the dentist to extract it out safely instead of attempting it yourself. However, if the loose tooth isn’t causing any significant discomfort or pain, letting it fall naturally is ideal.
In the case of a loose adult tooth, visit your dentist right away to prevent any further or permanent damage to your tooth. The dentist can fix the loose tooth by attaching it to the adjacent teeth. If the tooth is beyond saving, the dentist could extract it out and replace it with artificial teeth after dental implant surgery.
In any case, pulling out your loose tooth isn’t completely safe, and that is why you shouldn’t attempt it.
How can an Emergency Dentist Help?
Emergency dentists offer instant support and treatment to you or your family members in times of dental emergencies. Here are a few remedies that an emergency dentist provides:
- Reattach a loose or knocked-out tooth
- Repair a fractured tooth
- Carry out emergency procedures to treat a severe infection
- Replace a loose restoration
- Treat facial trauma
Let’s learn more about each of these in detail below!
1. Reattach a loose or knocked-out tooth
If you were hit or sustained an injury, then it causes your tooth to loosen or fall out entirely. An emergency dentist can reattach that lose or knocked-out tooth if you go to them right away.
The key to saving your fallen tooth is to pick it up by the crown, rinse it, and try to put it back in until you see the emergency dentist. In any case, the dentist will reattach the loose or fallen out tooth depending on its condition.
2. Repair a fractured tooth
Several reasons could be responsible for the fracturing of a tooth. Maybe you fell and hit your tooth, or you got injured while playing sports; whatever the reason, you need to get your tooth checked. Sometimes the fracture goes all the way to the pulp and causes severe pain, requiring immediate attention.
In those cases, an emergency dentist can fix up your tooth on short notice and may also prescribe something for your pain.
3. Carry out emergency procedures to treat a severe infection
If you’re suffering from pain or discomfort due to severe infections, then an emergency dentist can treat it by performing emergency procedures.
For instance, in the case of advanced pulpitis, a person suffers from unbearable pain. An emergency dentist will inspect the extent of damage and then perform procedures that provide immediate relief. You must visit the dentist if you’re suffering from fever and pain symptoms. The emergency doctor may also prescribe medication for pain relief and minimizing infection.
If the infection is too spread out, the emergency dentist can refer you to a specialist for further treatment.
4. Replace a Loose Restoration
If you ever received a filling treatment or a crown and it is now loose or nearly falling out, then an emergency dentist can restore it right away. There is no need to bear discomfort or pain, and it is better to get it treated immediately to prevent any aggravation.
A loose dental restoration can make your tooth vulnerable to infection or falling out. That is why seeing a dentist right away is imperative for preventing any further damage.
5. Treat facial trauma
If you experienced an injury or a terrible fall, then an emergency dentist can treat the trauma caused by it. The dentist can offer treatment for pain, swelling, and breakage. If you sustained severe injuries, the dentist could refer you to an appropriate specialist for further treatment.
How to Prevent Loosening of Teeth?
Though there are no specific preventive measures for stopping a tooth from loosening, you can take a few steps to reduce the chances of it from happening. Here’s how you can maintain healthy teeth and gum:
- Brush your teeth properly at least twice a day
- Floss your teeth at least once every day
- Schedule regular cleaning and diagnostic checkups with your dentist
- Reduce or quit smoking entirely
- If you have teeth grinding habit, wear a bit of a splint during the nighttime.
- Wear an appropriately fitting mouth guard while playing sports
- If you are at risk of osteoporosis, consult your doctor to check for vitamin D and calcium deficits.
- Get any minor pain or damage treated right away.
- Keep diabetes in check as it is also a major cause of gum diseases.
- Take care of the cleanliness and health of your teeth and gums.
Is a Loose Tooth Ever Beyond Saving?
Unfortunately, there are times when a loose adult tooth is beyond saving. In most cases, the tooth is severely infected or damaged in an injury beyond the point of repair.
In these situations, a dentist can perform extraction and implants. Dental implants are completely safe and convenient, and they keep your smile as bright as ever.
Being vigilant about your oral health is extremely important if you want to avoid losing your teeth or getting infected with gum diseases. If you notice a loose tooth in your mouth, then you must visit the dentist right away.
If you’re experiencing excruciating pain or inflammation, then contact an emergency dentist to prevent any further damage or tooth loss. It’s better not wait too long; otherwise, the damage done to your teeth and overall health might become irreversible. So remember to visit a dentist at the first sign of pain or better yet book an appointment for a checkup to stop the issue from arising in the first place.
Are you suffering from a loose tooth? Get in touch with Dr. Owyoung at Soft Touch right now for expert consultation and treatment!