Help! My tooth is loose.

When you’re a kid, it’s normal to have loose teeth. After all, we have to give up our starter set of teeth in order to get our adult teeth. But once your adult teeth come in, they should be secure.

If your adult tooth is loose, we have to figure out why and recommend an appropriate treatment so you can stop asking “why is my tooth loose?” to your closest friends. Here are some common reasons why you might have loose teeth and what treatment we might recommend.

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Recent Orthodontic Work

Braces, Invisalign, and other types of orthodontics move your teeth by reshaping the bone around the teeth. The new bone around the teeth may not be completely solidified after your braces come off, and you might notice a small amount of looseness.

This isn’t a cause for concern–it’s normal. It’s what your retainer is for. Your retainer’s purpose is to hold your teeth in place as the bone around them hardens and can hold them in place more firmly. That’s why you should to wear your retainer most of the time after your first get your braces off.

If you find yourself wondering, “Why do my teeth hurt when I wear my retainer?” it’s likely because you have gone an extended period without wearing it and your teeth have shifted. A tight retainer can damage teeth if it’s too tight. If your teeth feel loose and your retainer is too tight, please visit us for assistance.

Make your regular checkups and mention your concern. We’ll be able to let you know if something else is going on and if any additional treatment is necessary.

Tooth Trauma

Did you get hit in the mouth or teeth recently? In this case, “recently” can mean weeks. If so, then it’s likely that’s why your tooth is loose. If you have an orthodontic retainer handy, you can wear that until the tooth becomes solid again. If you don’t, then you should come in and see us.

We’ll look at your tooth and determine how much damage the bone and periodontal ligament experienced. We may splint the tooth to hold it in place while it heals.

Sometimes, the damage to the tooth support is too bad and the tooth won’t heal. There may even be additional bone loss occurring around the tooth. The injury to the tooth itself may or may not cause bone loss. If the tooth has an injury, it may turn dark in color. We may have to do root canal therapy on the injured tooth.

In some cases, we may not be able to save the tooth and may have to extract and replace it. Dental implants are the best tooth-replacement option available.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is one of the most common causes of loose teeth, and it’s the leading cause of lost teeth among adults. If you have red, inflamed, or receding gums around the loose tooth or teeth, you should consider this a dental emergency.

When you come in for your next checkup we will evaluate your gum health and decide on a course of treatment. For minor gum disease, you only need to make minor hygiene changes. However, if your tooth is loose, you will likely need a deep cleaning, possibly surgery.

We will also use a splint to stabilize your tooth during treatment. Gum disease treatment is often successful at saving healthy teeth, and it’s a lot cheaper than dental implants!

Bad Bite

If you’ve noticed that one or more teeth look worn as well as being loose, then it’s likely that you have TMJ or a bad bite to blame in full or in part for your loose teeth.

If your bite is putting excessive force on one or more teeth, it can damage the supporting bone, making the teeth loose.

To correct loose teeth in this case, we have to fix your entire bite. We may stabilize one or more teeth with splinting, but we’ll also do bite measurements and recommend treatments that address the imbalanced bite, which may include a bite splint and/or restorations to build up worn teeth.

Let’s Fix Your Tooth and Save Your Smile

If you’re in the Wichita Falls, TX area and you have a loose tooth, don’t wait to get it looked at. At StarImage Dentistry, we know that a full set of teeth is essential to a beautiful smile and preserving your teeth is preferable to replacing them. Please call 940-322-2252 today for an appointment with one of our cosmetic dentists so we can save your smile.