Why Does Your Permanent Teeth Feel Loose?

November 30, 2023

Loose teeth are a common occurrence in children, but when it comes to adults, tooth mobility is a red flag. In a healthy mouth, your teeth should not wiggle; if you are sensing a change, there is a reason behind it. Let’s have a look in detail about the causes and potential treatments for loose adult teeth.

Loose Adult Teeth – Causes

Some of the common causes include:

Oral Trauma

One of the most prevalent causes of a loosely hanging tooth is impact or oral trauma. The tiny periodontal ligaments in your mouth may stretch during an injury. Originally, they are supposed to handle the pressures of chewing without your teeth falling out. However, the tooth becomes more mobile when they stretch excessively, creating that unsettling, loose feeling.


Waking up with a loose tooth whose grip gets better as the day progresses is a clear sign of bruxism. This is a condition in which the patients clench their teeth tightly during sleep, causing them to slide and grind, resulting in stretching of the periodontal ligaments. Fortunately, during the day, the lack of pressure helps ligaments return to their normal state, tightening the tooth back into place.

Gum Disease

Another significant contributor is gum disease. When plaque solidifies into tartar due to inadequate oral hygiene, it can accumulate below the gum line. This creates a breeding ground for bacteria, leading to infections that destroy gum tissue, i.e., the ligaments. If left untreated, this ultimately results in tooth loss.

Can We Fix A Loose Tooth?

Yes. Understanding the cause of this issue is a must for determining the most effective treatment. Here are some options:

  1. Scaling and Root Planing
    This procedure is professionally performed. Deep cleaning targets gum disease and can reverse its effects.
  2. Medications and Mouth Rinses
    Medicines and medicated mouth rinses aid in healing infected gums and combat bacteria in the oral cavity.
  3. Surgery
    Surgical intervention removes inflamed gum tissue and repairs bone damage.
  4. Bone Grafts
    In cases where gum disease leads to bone loss, grafts can rebuild the damaged bone.
  5. Soft Tissue Grafts
    The grafts can easily prevent further gum or tooth loss, maintaining the right density, particularly in individuals with advanced gum disease.
  6. Dental Appliances
    Bite splints are one of the examples of devices that can effectively minimize damage from grinding and assist in the healing process after dental surgery.

Dealing with Tooth Loss

In some cases, there is no way to save a loose tooth. In such instances, dental care experts might recommend:

  1. Dental Bridge
    This fits over adjacent healthy teeth, creating a bridge with a prosthetic tooth replacing the lost one.
  2. Dental Implant
    An artificial tooth and root are surgically inserted into the jawbone. First, the base is fixed inside the jaw and left for it to undergo osseointegration, and then an abutment is fixed.

Closing Note

Understanding the causes of loose adult teeth helps experts in devising the best treatment plan. Whether it is addressing oral trauma, bruxism, or gum disease, the right pathway makes a significant difference. You can get in touch with our expert, Dr. Jay Arunkumar, an award winner from the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, at Smile Unique Dental and Orthodontics, for more information. Dial (832) 391-8660 to connect with us or drop by our clinic. We are located at 19355 Katy Freeway STE 600, Houston, TX 77094.


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