Loose Tooth as an Adult?

Published on July 12th, 2016

Children vs. Adults

When children have a loose tooth, they get excited because it means a visit from the Tooth Fairy. When adults are faced with a loose tooth, they know that this means a trip to the dentist. Unlike children, we don’t have replacement teeth ready to grow in if we have a loose tooth! There are specific reasons as to why your tooth would become loose, such as damage to the ligaments.

Ligament Damage

Ligament damage is the main culprit of a loose tooth in an adult. However, this can be due to “primary occlusal trauma” or “secondary occlusal trauma”. The former is because of excessive bite force, which can be caused by grinding or clenching the teeth extensively, or tooth misalignment. The latter is technically due to advanced periodontal disease. Because the tooth experiences bone loss around it, the ligaments cannot handle the force that is being placed on the tooth.

Obvious Trauma

Hopefully, this will never happen to you-or that you even have to see it! People have been known to loose teeth because of an obvious blow to the face. This can occur in a myriad of ways-have you ever seen America’s Funniest Home Videos? No matter how this occurs, it is painful and will require treatment.


Fortunately, with the right dentist, treatment is possible. What the exact treatment is truly depends on the severity of the looseness. If the tooth is completely knocked out, in the case of obvious trauma at times, or if it is too loose to be fixed, cosmetic dentistry options exist. Dental implants are often a great choice for those that have lost a tooth.

For those that have a loose tooth that can be fixed, a mouth guard, occlusal adjustment, and splinting have all been known to work. Before these mechanical options are used, it is important to heal the periodontal disease that has caused the trauma.

If you have a loose tooth as an adult, contact Family Dental Care.

Courtesy of: Dentistry and You

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