Fixing Loose Teeth
Why are my teeth loose?
Teeth are not designed to be completely held in your jaws, but have a ligament which acts as a shock absorber, as well as allow your teeth to move slightly. However, larger movements of your teeth could be a sign of more serious problems. Loose teeth are most commonly due to severe forms of gum disease, but also can be cause by heavy clenching or grinding, or fractures of the tooth possibly caused from trauma or large fillings.
How can I strengthen my loose tooth?
Many people ask us, 'How can I strengthen my loose teeth'? We always attempt to stabilise your tooth to try to allow you to keep them for as long as possible. Generally, severe gum disease will require treatment which allows us to remove as much of the bacteria and infection present around the roots and gum of the affected teeth. This is known as periodontal treatment. In complex cases, this may require specialist referral to a periodontist to give you the best chance of saving your tooth.
Over time, periodontal treatment, in combination with cleaning your teeth really well at home, will lead to your gums strengthening, as well as reducing the amount your teeth move. In some cases, we may decide to stick or ‘splint’ teeth together to reduce the amount that each teeth move, potentially ‘buying time' or allowing for you to better consider your options to replace this tooth.
Clenching or grinding of teeth is an often uncontrollable condition which will require a night time guard (known as a splint or orthotic) to protect your teeth from possibly excessive forces. We also recommend that teeth which are vulnerable to trauma (such as teeth which protrude significantly) be protected. This can be achieved by either moving them to more protected areas and/or use of mouthguard during sports. Orthodontic treatment may be advisable to allow protruding teeth to be kept out of harm’s way, as well as allowing you to smile confidently! Mouthguards also allow for any accidental contact to the teeth or face to cushioned and to prevent more serious injuries from occurring.
Recently, some home remedies have been suggested to us as possible options to try to avoid the dentist! One of these was ‘oil pulling’ to try to strengthen teeth and gums. Unfortunately, in our experience this hasn’t proven to be a sufficient replacement to toothbrushing, flossing and interdental brushes. Also, once gum disease has progressed sufficiently, you will likely need professional intervention to prevent the condition from worsening over time.
In some cases, it may be more suitable to have a tooth replaced, rather than attempting to repair the loose tooth. In these cases, we can discuss all of your options to find a suitable method of replacing your loose tooth. Depending on the condition of your mouth, this may involve dental implants, bridges or dentures. Each of these options have advantages and considerations which need to be carefully assessed for each missing tooth. We are always happy to discuss these options in detail with you at any dental visit.
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