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General Dentistry Treatment for a Loose Tooth
Having a loose tooth can be frustrating and uncomfortable, making it difficult to eat, talk, and perform other basic functions with your mouth. Seeking out a general dentistry practice can help address issues that both create and are caused by a loose tooth.
What causes a loose tooth?
Several factors can contribute to the loosening of teeth. In children, loose teeth are to be expected, as baby teeth fall out and adult teeth come in. However, once adults have all of their adult teeth, loose teeth may be a cause for concern.
Gum disease (periodontitis) is one of the most common causes of loose teeth in adults. It may involve inflammation of the gums and is most frequently caused by poor oral hygiene practices. Essentially, plaque that is not removed through brushing and flossing can harden, leading to gums pulling away from teeth, and in the process damaging the gum and bone support system for teeth. Other possible causes of a loose tooth include :
- Overcrowding and crooked teeth may be more prone to becoming loose
- A traumatic injury to the face, jaw, or mouth can cause a loose tooth
- Incessant grinding of teeth, particularly during the night, can in certain cases cause teeth to become loose
- Pregnancy — in particular, raised levels of estrogen and progesterone — can lead to loose teeth, though the problem will typically resolve after the pregnancy
- In some cases, osteoporosis can lead to loose teeth due to weakening of the jawbone
What are treatment options for a loose tooth?
A general dentistry practice can effectively evaluate a loose tooth, assess its underlying causes, and design an effective treatment plan. The particular treatment varies depending on the unique specifics of the patient. In some cases, treatment may not be necessary and the problem will resolve on its own. However, consultation with a dentist is important to decide whether a loose tooth should be treated. If a dentist determines treatment is useful, it may include any of the following:
Improved oral hygiene
Redoubling and improving on oral hygiene efforts are often essential in treating underlying causes such as gum disease. Various medications and rinses for the mouth, along with using a softer toothbrush, can be particularly helpful in combatting gum disease and ameliorating those causes of a loose tooth.
Tooth splinting helps to stabilize a loose tooth by bonding it to stronger teeth nearby, allowing it to heal and recover.
Wearing a mouth guard
A mouth guard worn at night can be helpful in preventing individuals from grinding their teeth. A dentist can provide a mouth guard custom-fitted to the patient's mouth for greater comfort.
Speaking to a general dentistry practice is the recommended way to responsibly manage a loose tooth. While this problem may sometimes resolve on its own, in other cases it may not, so consulting with a professional is vital in comprehensively maintaining strong oral health.
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