What causes loose teeth? Loose teeth are caused by the presence of bacteria and periodontal disease under the gums around the teeth. As the disease worsens, the gum pockets deepen due to loss of attachment structure. The bacteria from gingivitis and gum disease cause the body to destroy bone and gum tissue around the teeth, which are meant to hold the teeth in place.
- Bleeding gums
- Sore gums
- Swollen, purple or red gums
- Bleeding during brushing or flossing
- Pus around the tooth
- Food packing between the teeth or under the gums
- Gum recession
Many of these symptoms accompany loose teeth and are typical of active, severe gum disease. It’s important to identify loose teeth as soon as possible so that treatment can be completed before it is too late. Here are some great ways to fight and treat gum disease.
Once it is discovered that you have loose teeth, there is usually severe periodontal disease with bone loss. When one tooth has this condition it also places adjacent teeth at increased risk, due to the teeth sharing the same bone structure between them. Loose teeth are usually not evident until periodontal disease has surpassed moderate disease levels and is currently in the severe state of the disease.
The progression of tooth mobility is based on the amount of bone loss associated with the tooth. Even a small amount of mobility means there is severe disease around the tooth.
Neglecting this condition can allow the disease to progress rapidly, where the tooth is so loose that you cannot chew or apply any pressure to it, and it will eventually fall out. Loose teeth progress quickly as the bacterial plaque works its way deeper below the gums as the tooth moves back and forth. (1)
Loose teeth are a sign that there are underlying health conditions. Periodontal disease causes loose teeth and is also associated with heart attack, stroke, diabetes and other systemic health conditions. For more information on treating periodontal disease, see our article about periodontitis.
Preventing loose teeth is as simple as practicing good oral hygiene, eating healthy, and keeping other systemic disease conditions in check. A healthy lifestyle that involves a balanced diet and exercise can boost your immune system to help fight disease conditions.
A good daily oral hygiene program includes brushing, rinsing, and flossing. Be sure to avoid harsh chemical toothpaste and instead use toothpaste and mouthwash with pure, proven ingredients. This will help kill the bacteria that lead to periodontal problems.
Effective plaque removal on a daily basis can prevent loose teeth and gum disease. Brushing into the gumlines and flossing below the gums removes disease-harboring bacteria. Additional nutritional supplementation and essential oils can help gingivitis conditions.
- Deep Cleanings (scaling and root planing)
- Locally-delivered antibiotic therapy
- Bone grafting
- Gingival grafting
- Extraction of loose teeth
- Tooth replacement of lost teeth with dental implants
Most treatments for loose teeth come at a great cost, with hundreds of dollars spent on deep cleanings, bone grafting and gum grafting in order to save a single tooth.
Extractions are reserved for the most severely loose teeth, which then require tooth replacement with appliances such as dental implants, which can cost over a thousand dollars. Response to therapy is normally evident within the first year after treatment. (2) Teeth with mobility typically do not respond to treatment as well as teeth infected with periodontal disease that exhibit no mobility.
Effectively treating loose teeth alongside your dentist will also involve home remedies for loose teeth. These methods are the same as those used for Gum Disease and are the most important, while also being the most affordable remedies available.
- Boever, J.; Boever, A.; Occlusion And Periodontal Health.; Clinical Practice And The Occlusion. Sec.3 p.83-89.
- Fleszar, T.; Knowles, J.; Morrison, E.; Burgett, F.; Nissle, R.; Ramfjord, S.; Tooth Mobility And Periodontal Therapy.; Journal of Clinical Periodontology; 1980:7:495-505.