Once upon a time, a loose tooth was exciting. It meant a visit from the tooth fairy, maybe a little prize or reward under your pillow. As the years moved forward, each loose tooth meant we were a little older, a little wiser, a little closer to growing up and experiencing the world on our terms. 

For an adult, a loose tooth isn’t nearly as much fun as it used to be. A loose adult tooth is a cause of concern. If you’re an adult with a loose tooth, the first thing you want to do is contact your dentist to determine the underlying cause and what treatment will be most effective. Otherwise, your loose adult tooth can quickly become a big gap in your smile.  

Causes of a Loose Adult Tooth

How does one of your adult teeth become loose? Other than blunt force trauma to your mouth, the most easily identified reason is gum disease. Gum disease usually goes by one of two names, the first being “gingivitis,” which is a very mild and common enough that most of us will have it at some point in our lives. “Periodontitis” is the other, more severe form of gum disease. At the root of both is poor oral hygiene. According to the Center for Disease Control, half of American adults have gum disease of one kind or another. 

Gum diseases arise from plaque build-up around the gum line. If not correctly addressed by regular brushing and flossing, plaque quickly hardens into tartar, something that can only be removed by a dentist. If the tartar remains, the gums recede to expose more sensitive areas of the tooth and make infections likely. Often, these infections begin to break down the tissue and bone that keep the tooth in place. Eventually, the tooth loosens and may even be lost. 

There are other reasons for developing a loose adult tooth. The rush of hormones associated with pregnancy is one potential cause, as is poor nutrition and diseases like osteoporosis and diabetes. Regardless of what’s behind it, getting professional help for a loose adult tooth is of paramount importance. 

Avoiding a Loose Adult Tooth

It can ruin your smile and may well be the precursor to more serious health issues. But by putting a little effort into your oral hygiene routine, you can easily eliminate most potential causes. Here’s how:

  • Brush twice daily and floss at least once.
  • Be sure to have a check-up twice a year with your dentist.
  • Stay on top of other medical conditions and personal habits that can cause tooth and gum issues, e.g., smoking, smokeless tobacco, osteoporosis, and diabetes.
  • Maintain a proper diet with plenty of vitamins A, C, and D; take supplements if needed.
  • If you play sports where contact is likely, wear a mouthguard.
  • Check with your doctor to see if your regularly prescribed medication(s) could cause problems with your teeth or gums. 

South High Dental

Do you have a loose adult tooth? If so, the experts at South High Dental in Columbus, OH, can help. We’re here to provide you with comprehensive, compassionate, and effective dental care. From improving your brushing habits to guiding you through dental surgery, South High Dental wants to keep you smiling for as long as possible. If you have questions about a loose adult tooth or any other dental matter, please give us a call at 614.363.2462.