Teeth can be loose for lots of reasons, and it is important to understand the reason they are loose, before looking at options for treatment. The most common reasons for loose teeth are:
Advanced Gum Disease
Gum disease is by far the most common way that teeth can become loose. If left unchecked, gum disease will eat away the bone around your teeth, making the tooth loose.
This condition does not hurt, however, there are ways to see if you have it:
What colour are your gums?
If your gums are pink and healthy, then chances are you have healthy gums, if your gums are red, and they bleed if you brush them with a moderate pressure, then you should have your gums professionally looked at, as there could be a problem.
Do your teeth look long?
As gum disease gets worse, then bone slowly gets eroded away from the neck of the tooth. This makes the teeth look longer – but still no pain.
Other signs of advanced gum disease are:
Possible Treatments for Advanced Gum Disease
If the teeth are savable, then it might be a good idea to thoroughly clean the teeth, possibly over several sessions, and this might help to strengthen the gums and bone around the teeth. You will never regain the lost gum, so this is a damage limitation exercises.
Tooth Removal, and Replacement
It may be that the best thing is to remove the tooth all together. We can then consider either a Dental Implant, a dental bridge, or a removable denture.
Broken Tooth Roots
If your tooth is loose, because it has cracked under the gum level, then it is likely that it needs to be taken out, and replaced.
Healthy teeth do not often break, it is almost always teeth with have had root canal treatment, and crowns. In addition, you will probably have noticed a crack one day, when it actually cracked, and it could be painful when you bite on it.
Sometimes, a back tooth with a large filling can crack, and you might be able to see a gap between the tooth and the filling. Again, it is not often that we can save a tooth like this, so it may be time to consider either a Dental Implant, a dental bridge, or a removable denture.
Problems with your bite pattern
Changes in your bite pattern can cause undue pressure on some teeth, and this can result in loosening of some teeth.
Bite problems can also make the teeth look like they have gum disease, by causing the gum to reduce in height.
A problem in the bite is like having a stone in your shoe, this will cause you to change your walk, putting new stresses on your back, and give you back problems. Likewise, in the mouth, the problem may not necessarily be the loose tooth, and it quite often isn’t.
Treatment for bite problems
This is quite often a complex problem to fix, after a bite analysis, which may include something called deprogramming, we may need to adjust one tooth, or a filling, or if there is a lot of tooth wear, we may need to consider crowns, and veneers, to rebuild the teeth.
Click here to see a recent case, where we had to address significant bite problems, and improve the aesthetics. This is the most complex treatment for addressing bite problems.