Experiencing the feeling of a loose tooth as an adult can not only be nerve racking but at times, embarrassing. Whether it was caused by an unforeseen event or is the result of poor dental hygiene, it is important that you address it to make sure that you don’t lose the tooth or worse - the problem is just the symptom of a bigger issue.
What Caused My Loose Tooth?
There are three main possible causes of your loose tooth...
1. Oral Trauma
Typically, a loose tooth is cause by some sort of oral trauma. This could be anything from a dramatic event such as a car accident, causing trauma to the face, or just simply bumping your tooth on a drinking glass.
2. Teeth Grinding/Clenching
Teeth grinding and clenching (also known as bruxism) is another possible cause of a loose tooth. Benchmark Dental Lab claims that up to 50% of Americans experience some form of bruxism. It’s no wonder that adults experience wiggly teeth from time to time. The good news is that it’s preventable. You can get fitted for a mouth-guard to reduce the impact on your teeth, especially if you’re a night-grinder.
3. Gum Disease
In many adults, gum disease is a major offender of loose teeth. And it’s not something to take lightly. Gum disease is the result of a build up of bacteria, which can cause a multitude of health issues if not treated quickly and correctly.
How to Fix a Loose Permanent Tooth
As soon as you discover that you have a loose tooth, you should contact your dentist right away especially if it is very loose or has fallen out. The typical survival time of a tooth is just 2 hours, so it’s important to get it back into the socket as quickly as possible and treated by a professional. Also, if it has fallen out, it’s important to keep your tooth moist so it doesn’t dry out.
Techniques for Fixing Loose Teeth
Tooth splinting is the most common way for fixing a loose tooth. This involves bonding or splinting the tooth against other steady, permanent teeth until the loose tooth secures back into place.
Other treatments are more focused on being proactive about preventing future loose teeth, such as wearing a mouth-guard to prevent grinding and procedures to reverse gum disease (i.e. surgery).
No matter what caused your tooth to loosen, it’s best to get in touch with your dentist right away. He or she will know the right actions to take to ensure that you don’t lose the tooth or that this doesn't become a reoccurring issue.