Why is my permanent tooth loose?

It's not just kids who can have loose teeth. Even adults can end up with a loose tooth. It may be due to gum disease or stress.
gap in teeth
With age gap in teeth can increase. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Natalia Ningthoujam Updated: 17 Oct 2023, 06:34 pm IST
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Most kids are excited about their baby teeth loosening up and falling out. They eagerly wait for the tooth fairy to arrive. As an adult, you realise that tooth fairy is not real, but some people continue to experience their teeth getting loose. Before you dismiss it as a part of growing old, let us tell you that it may not have much to do with old age. Turns out, loose permanent tooth can happen even to young adults. But why do adults have loose teeth? Read on to find out the reasons and how to fix them.

Health Shots connected with Dr Sageer Aazaz, Head Of Department, Dental, Paras Health, Gurugram, to know why some adults have loose teeth.

Causes of loose teeth in adults

There can be a number of internal and external factors leading to loose teeth in some adults.

1. Trauma

If you had a big fall or an injury while playing or any other accidents, dental trauma can happen, leading to loose teeth.

loose tooth in adults
Stress can lead to loose teeth. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

2. Gum disease

You might know it as gum disease, but periodontitis is a bacterial infection that affects the gums, soft tissue, and the bones surrounding your teeth. The expert explains that as the disease progresses, it can cause the gums to recede and your permanent teeth to become loose. Other symptoms of advanced gum disease include red, tender, swollen and bleeding gums, increased food lodgement and bad breath. All these can have detrimental effect on your overall oral health and lead to loose teeth in the long run.

3. Stress

Some people frequently clench or grind their teeth when they are stressed. That’s a condition known as bruxism, and it can cause your teeth to become loose over time. It generates more than normal biting force that can affect the supporting tissues of the teeth.

4. Pregnancy and menopause

Changes in your hormones (estrogen and progesterone) during pregnancy or menopause can also affect your dental health adversely, says Dr Aazaz.

5. Medications

Certain medications like anti-seizure ones such as phenytoin may make it more difficult for the body to absorb calcium. When such medications are taken regularly over a long period of time, it can cause the tooth to weaken and become loose.

loose tooth in adults
Pregnancy is one of the causes of loose teeth. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

6. Underlying health conditions

Certain diseases such as uncontrolled diabetes and osteoporosis can aggravate gum diseases which can lead to loose teeth.

Tips to fix loose teeth

There is not just one treatment to fix a loose tooth. It depends on the severity of the issue and how early it’s diagnosed. Let us look at some of the ways a dentist can help to save a loose adult tooth.

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Non-surgical treatments

1. Splinting

If the tooth is loose due to injury, your dentist may try to splint the tooth. Splinting involves bonding the loose tooth to the surrounding teeth to help secure it, explains the expert.

2. Deep cleaning

If poor dental hygiene or gum disease is the cause of loose tooth, your dentist may suggest you to go for deep cleaning. During deep cleaning, a dental hygienist will remove the infection that has grown into the gumline. Once the infection gets cleared, the gums may heal and tighten up around the tooth.

Surgical treatments

1. Tissue and bone grafting

It involves synthetic or natural bone placement around the weakened root to help regenerate new bone and gum tissue.

2. Flap surgery

In this case, the gum is lifted to remove tartar and repositioned back in place. This process is done to gain a more clear access to the deep seated calculus.

3. Guided-tissue regeneration

It uses barrier membranes, which encourage tissue regeneration which were destroyed by periodontitis.

Your dental troubles can be prevented if you practice good oral hygiene, go in for a professional cleaning every 8 to 12 months and stay away from tobacco products.

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About the Author

Natalia Ningthoujam has written on various subjects - from music to films and fashion to lifestyle - as a journalist in her career that started in 2010. After getting stories from the crime scene, police headquarters, and conducting interviews with celebrities, she is now writing on health and wellness which has become her focus area. ...Read More

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