Do your teeth move when you chew? Can you wiggle them with your finger?
A Loose adult tooth or teeth are a sign of serious gum infection and bone loss. Left untreated, these gum infections can advance until there is a risk of teeth infection spreading to the heart and brain. Gum infections often take people by surprise because they develop gradually over time and don’t hurt at first. The fact that these infections don’t hurt initially makes them easy to ignore. Unfortunately, by the time someone arrives in my office complaining that they have pain or that their teeth are loose, it’s often too late to save their teeth.
Loose Adult Teeth: They Affect More Than Just Teeth
Teeth loosen because of periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. By causing inflammation, infected gums complicate diabetes, heart conditions and many other chronic health problems. By causing loose teeth, gum infections also stop people from being able to chew the foods that make up a healthy diet such as fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats and nuts. Chewing these crunchy, hard or chewy foods requires biting power and stability that just isn?t possible when teeth are loose in the mouth.
Loose Teeth: Treat Infection First
The first step in treating loose adult teeth is to treat the infection by removing the infected teeth and cleaning the bone and gums. Once the bone has had time to heal, dental implants can usually replace the missing teeth as permanent stable new teeth. Don’t worry – you’ll never be without teeth. Temporary teeth allow healing to take place until you’re ready for your permanent solution.
Loose Adult Tooth: How did this happen?
It can be very frustrating and sad to lose your teeth because of advanced gum disease. Frequently, people know that they’ve neglected their teeth, but they don’t really understand why their teeth are loose and falling out. The process of going from healthy to loose is simple, but it’s not talked about much.
The tooth infection that causes gingivitis leads to gum disease & tooth loss.
That’s the same gingivitis that you hear about on floss commercials. When we don’t clean the bacteria out from under our gums, infection builds up and making our gums red & puffy. You know that you have gingivitis if your gums bleed when you floss.
Stopping Gingivitis is Simple
Gingivitis is easily treated with regular dental cleanings, brushing and flossing. In a professional dental cleaning, the hygienist uses instruments to clean out the built up bacteria around the teeth and under the gums. Regular brushing & flossing keep the bacteria to a minimum in between cleanings. It’s an easy solution; however, because gingivitis doesn’t hurt, many people, especially if they don’t have dental insurance, will put off treating gingivitis. Unfortunately, gingivitis can’t heal itself and it grows into a much more serious condition.
Untreated Infected Loose Teeth IS Gum Disease.
Dentists and hygienists usually call gum disease by a bigger name: periodontal disease. Gum disease happens when the bacteria that were causing gingivitis multiply into a larger infection that surrounds the teeth and kills the jaw bone. This infection and its side effects begin to dissolve the jaw bone that holds teeth in place. When sufficient bone has been lost, teeth start to loosen and you, the patient, finally become aware of a problem which started years ago!
Gum Disease is WHAT?!?
Have you ever seen loose teeth about to fall out because of gum disease?? I have. Gum disease is the #1 cause of tooth loss! I’ve seen lots of people with advanced periodontal disease whose teeth are only being held in their mouths by a tiny bit of bone at the very tip of their tooth roots.
As gum infection melts away supporting bone, teeth get more and more mobile. Eventually these teeth may actually fall out on their own. We’ve seen it happen when we’re taking impressions for new teeth.
What’s so sad about losing teeth to periodontal disease is that they are almost always healthy teeth with few or no cavities. These loose adult teeth are only falling out because of the gum infection that has spread into the bone.
As their bone melts away, people begin to experience a number of other problems:
- Bad breath that can’t be fixed with mouthwash or gum (it’s the smell of the infected tissue or gases produced by the bacteria causing the infection).
- Pain as infection nears the nerves in the jaw.
- Complications for diabetes and other chronic disease
Gum disease causes more tooth loss and health complications than any other dental condition.
It's not all bad news. We've got some good news and even some great news!
The good news is that modern dentistry is able to replace the teeth that are lost. The great news is that modern dentistry can actually prevent the teeth from being lost in the first place through regular dental cleanings, brushing & flossing!
Drumroll please! The TOP Reason people ignore loose adult teeth is...
People put off treating gum disease because doesn’t hurt until it’s bad. It doesn’t feel like it’s doing damage.
Why doesn’t it hurt? Simple ? the nerves that tell our brain something is wrong are inside the teeth, not the gums. Gum disease doesn’t hurt until it’s way too late to reverse. You may read more on gum disease and loose adult teeth.
The Bad News: Periodontal Disease Is Incurable
What if we told you that nearly half of adult Americans had an incurable disease?
What to do when you’ve got bacteria in your pockets?
Wait, did we just switch from dentistry to laundry advice?