According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, Periodontal Disease is the leading cause of loose, and shifting teeth. Periodontitis is no laughing matter. In addition to degrading the gums, this serious infection – which affects 3 million people every year – also targets the ligaments and bone that support the teeth. It can leave you highly susceptible to shifting, damage, and eventual tooth loss.
The importance of regular dental checkups in maintaining tooth health cannot be overstated. Seeing your dentist every six (or four) months for cleanings will eradicate the plaque and debris that build up over time. The reality is: our brushing and flossing at home – no matter how stringent – can’t always eliminate it. When we don’t destroy plaque, it hardens into layers called tartar, which attract bacterial toxins to the area.
Swelling and inflammation – the immune system’s responses to injury, ensue when the body is trying to eliminate something detrimental; in this case, plaque. Pockets can form between the tooth and gum, acting as breeding grounds for even more tartar. If they go undetected, or untreated for long enough – gum infection, or Gingivitis, is on the horizon. Spreading rapidly from the gums to surrounding tissue, the tissue and bone that support the teeth will eventually become unstable.
Teeth grinding, known in the medical field as bruxism, is another common reason teeth can become loose. The condition is often synonymous with stress (and sleep), and approximately 30 million Americans struggle with it. Some other reasons for bruxism include poor bite, neurological injuries, and side effects from certain psychiatric medications. Sleep mouth guards are often successful for use in milder cases – whereas dental corrections, such as reshaping teeth and crowns, may be required for teeth that have already endured significant damage.
In some cases, loose teeth are inflicted through sports injury. Being conscious about wearing soft mouth guards can be beneficial for protecting the teeth, gums, and jaw from trauma and force during athletics. If a tooth is knocked out of position due to an injury, your dentist may employ a technique known as splinting – which stabilizes the tooth by affixing it to adjacent teeth.
Unlike the days where we hoped and prayed for loose teeth – which signified a future visit and a few bucks from the “tooth fairy”, wobbly teeth as an adult are serious cause for concern. So, what can you do about it? Heed the advice of your dentist as soon as possible. Preventive care is best; but timely care is a close second.
Secondly, try as hard as possible to keep your fingers and tongue away from the tooth in question; wiggling it will only make the chances of infection higher. Steer clear of that apple or steak dinner; opt for soft foods until you’re able to get help. It may sound like a no-brainer but keeping the area clean is imperative. If brushing is difficult, try a germ-fighting oral rinse, instead.
Cut loose from dental woes once and for all. Don’t delay trips to the dentist for fear of what you may find; the sooner you have your teeth inspected, the more favorable the outcome will be. Offering both preventive and emergency dental care, the staff at Dedicated Dental will tailor a treatment to your specific needs and concerns. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call their office at 702-566-5509.