While a loose tooth is a normal part of a child’s development, it is not normal for an adult and can signify dental disease. A loose tooth occurs when a tooth slowly becomes detached from the gums and bone. Sometimes periodontal (gum) disease is the underlying culprit.
A loose tooth may sometimes become apparent during eating or flossing. The dentists at Northfield Dental Group can assess your symptoms to determine whether gum disease is an underlying cause. Remember, dentists care for not only the health of your teeth but also your gum health!
Other symptoms of gum disease or early-onset periodontal disease (gingivitis) that may coincide with a loosened tooth include:
- Gum redness
- Swollen and/or bleeding gums
- Gum recession
- Chronic bad breath (halitosis)
- Tooth sensitivity
- Pain while chewing
- Changes in tooth gaps
- Changes in denture fit
Periodontal or Gum Disease
Teeth grinding or clenching can sometimes cause tooth loosening. Injury from blunt force to the face or mouth are other potential causes. However, advanced gum disease (advanced periodontitis) can be the cause of loose teeth in adults. In advanced periodontitis, bacteria infect the gums and eventually degrades the surrounding healthy tissue and jawbone. Left unchecked, gum disease can cause significant bone deterioration.
Causes and Risk Factors
Brushing, flossing and regular dental cleanings and care are critical for gum disease prevention. Without proper, consistent dental hygiene, tartar eventually builds into the spaces between our gums. Early symptoms of poor gum health like redness, bleeding or pain may be present at the onset of gum decay. It is important to note that early-stage periodontal disease may not include pain and can only be diagnosed via appropriate dental care.
Besides poor oral hygiene, some common periodontal disease risk factors include:
- Severe, chronic stress
- Certain medications
- Hormonal fluctuations (pregnancy, etc.)
- Poorly fit filings or dental bridges
- Immunodeficiency disorders
The great news is that early gum disease treatment can reduce inflammation, kill infection and prevent further damage to the gums and teeth. Our dentists can determine whether gum disease is the cause of your loose tooth and what care you need. The earlier the treatment, the better.
Northfield Dental Group can determine whether gum disease is the cause of your loose tooth and what treatment you may need. Contact us to schedule an appointment for consultation at Northfield Dental Group.