Why are teeth loosened?
Milk teeth are loosened and replaced in childhood by permanent teeth. This is a normal part of growth and development. When adults’ teeth loosen, it is a problem. The conditions that cause the teeth to loosen affect the teeth themselves or the small fibers of the ligament that keep each tooth deeply rooted in the mouth. Once these structures are engaged, how loose the teeth depend on the severity of the situation.
Periodontal disease and infection
Periodontal disease is a gum disease that damages the supporting structures of the teeth. Usually there are a few millimeters of space between a tooth and the healthy gums that surround it. The bristles of toothbrushes and floss can enter these small spaces to keep them clean. When periodontal disease is active, these spaces become deeper pockets where bacteria are trapped. These pockets are too deep for brushing to effectively clean them. Inflammation caused by these bacteria and plaque deposits leads to destruction of the bone and fibers that hold the teeth in place.
This is the progressive cycle of inflammation and destruction of the bone that requires professional treatment. Once this process starts, your teeth may loosen up and make you feel uncomfortable. Affected teeth may fall on their own or be removed because they no longer have enough support to remain stable inside the mouth. Infection of 1 or more teeth in the mouth can also cause inflammation and destruction, which can lead to the teeth loosening.
Infections of this nature may be due to untreated caries, untreated periodontal disease or broken teeth. Which can lead to loose teeth. Infections of this nature may be due to untreated caries, untreated periodontal disease or broken teeth. Which can lead to loose teeth. Infections of this nature may be due to untreated caries, untreated periodontal disease or broken teeth.
If the teeth are constantly subjected to traumatic forces, they may loosen over time. Examples of traumatic forces are bruxism or clenching teeth. If only 1 tooth is receiving substantially more force than those surrounding it, that tooth may become loose. Orthodontic treatment also exerts force on the teeth, resulting in the mobility that allows the teeth to move to align.
Injury and fractures
Traumatic injuries can displace a tooth within its socket in several different directions. This change in position can fracture the bone surrounding the tooth and damage the fibers that hold the tooth in place. If the root of the tooth is fractured, the portion of the tooth that is exposed in the mouth is loosened.
Several conditions can lead to bone lesions in the jaw. These lesions can destroy the bone or expand it and make the jaw appear larger. Bone lesions displace or loosen teeth and may be linked to tumors or certain types of cancer, such as lymphoma or leukemia. Oral cancer screenings performed on periodic dental checkups and physical examinations performed by a physician can help identify benign and malignant tumors.
What to do
If you are concerned about your loose teeth, your dentist can evaluate your situation and guide you to the right treatments, if necessary. Visiting your dentist periodically, along with good care and vigilance in your home are the best ways to maintain a strong and healthy smile.