May 4, 2023
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, many Americans have lost at least 12 teeth by the time they turn 50 years old. Given that average adults have 32 pearly whites, losing such a large number of pearly whites would definitely impact overall well-being. So, if you notice that one of your teeth has become loose, it’s vital to take care of your dental emergency as soon as possible! Read on about the causes of loose teeth in adults and your next steps.
What Causes Permanent Teeth to Become Loose?
There are several reasons why adult teeth can begin to weaken and get loose. These include:
- Trauma: An accident or sports injury can easily knock a tooth out of place. While some traumatic injuries heal on their own, you should still see a dentist to ensure to the root of the tooth hasn’t been damaged.
- Gum Disease: A bacterial infection of the soft tissues of the mouth can cause your gums to recede and eventually loosen teeth.
- Stress: Teeth grinding or frequently clenching the teeth can cause them to become loose over time.
- Changes in hormones: During pregnancy and menopause, levels of estrogen or progesterone fluctuate, leading to the jawbone becoming weaker. This can cause teeth to begin to loosen.
- Certain medications: Some medicines can negatively impact the way the body absorbs calcium, eventually weakening the teeth.
Your Next Steps
If one of your pearly whites has begun to wiggle, it’s best to take care of it as soon as possible. Here are the next steps you need to take so your oral health doesn’t further suffer:
#1: Visit Your Dentist Right Away
A loose permanent tooth should ideally be treated within 12 to 24 hours. If it is seen by a dentist as soon as possible, it is more likely to be saved. Many dentists offer same-day appointments so you can tend to your dental emergency right away.
#2: Don’t Wiggle the Tooth
Although tempting, you should avoid touching your loose tooth, even with your tongue. This can not only make it come out but increase your chances of an infection.
#3: Avoid Certain Foods
If you have to eat before your dental visit, steer clear of anything sticky, chewy, or hard as it can cause further damage. It’s also best to chew on the opposite side of the loose tooth.
#4: Clean Your Mouth Gently
To keep your smile free from bad bacteria, swish some warm water around your mouth very gently. This can help rinse away harmful organisms and food particles. It’s best not to brush or floss until after your dental visit.
About the Practice
Dr. Ronan Freyne keeps the smiles of Chevy Chase whole, healthy, and beautiful. He earned his Doctor of Dental Medicine from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and has completed numerous continuing education courses to remain up-to-date with current techniques and technologies. Dr. Freyne provides a comprehensive range of services, including emergency care, to keep your oral health in top condition. To schedule a same-day appointment, contact him through his website or call (301) 986-0700.
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