Loose teeth may be cute for kids, but is not considered to be charming in adults. While children lose most of their teeth as a rite of passage, adults lose teeth due to several other not-so-adorable reasons that often include:
- Periodontitis, also known as gum disease, where the build up of plaque can harden into tartar creating a great home for bacteria in your mouth. Over time this process leads to breakdown of the bone that supports teeth, causing the teeth to become loose.
- Pregnancy causes raised levels of estrogen and progesterone that can affect the bones and tissues in the mouth, often making teeth feel loose.
- Dental injuries from sports, accidents, or fights can leave one or more loose teeth. Similarly, grinding teeth at night can also cause dental injury and can loosen teeth.
- Osteoporosis causes bones to weaken and become porous, which can also lead to bone loss in the jaw bone thus affecting teeth.
Prevention is key when it comes to preserving your oral health. This includes:
- Brushing teeth twice a day and flossing once a day (for real every day, not just on the morning of your teeth cleaning)
- Quitting smoking and using tobacco products
- Receiving regular dental cleanings and exams
- Using a mouth guard for impact sports or to reduce teeth grinding teeth while sleeping
- Talking to your doctor about supplements to help reduce osteoporosis and learn if any medications you take may affect your teeth.
However, loose teeth cannot always be prevented therefore several different treatment options exist. These options will vary depending on the severity of each case, from mouth rinses and deep dental cleanings, to surgery, bone or soft tissue grafts, dental appliances, and dental implants. The best course of action is to first consult your dental professional if you are experiencing a loose tooth so you can learn what procedure is best for you.