Why do my teeth feel loose?

It’s one of the strangest, most disconcerting feelings in the world: loose teeth. As an adult, with all your permanent teeth supposedly intact for life, it can be worrying to consider one (or more) of them might be ready to just fall out into your mouth.

Still, as with most other things, it’s nothing to worry about, right? Well, maybe, but if there are accompanying symptoms alongside it, then that loose feeling might be hinting at a larger problem, and in any case, it’s worth checking in with your dentist just to make sure.

Of course, none of the below applies if you haven’t been brushing your teeth consistently since you were a child. In that case, looseness is the least of your worries. 

Loose teeth may be a sign of gum disease

Looseness usually occurs when a tooth loses support and gradually detaches from the bone and surrounding gums, causing it to move due to friction from either touching or eating (via Healthline).

If accompanied by other symptoms, such as bleeding or swollen gums, gum recession, or very red gums, the looseness could indicate an underlying issue and you should contact your dentist or doctor immediately. In certain cases, it might even be due to advanced gum disease, which is heralded by a bacterial infection in the gums, tissue, and surrounding bones.

Thankfully, gum disease is treatable, particularly if caught early, but it’s worth noting it occurs most often as a result of bad dental hygiene. You should always ensure you brush and floss regularly, as well as keeping up with regular dental cleanings, to prevent tartar buildup. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to bone deterioration and even tooth loss, so it’s a major concern. 

The best treatment for loose teeth is prevention

It’s also suggested that pregnancy can affect bones and tissue in the mouth, too, making the teeth feel loose (via Medical News Today). This is, obviously, nothing to be concerned about in the long term as long as everything goes back to normal after the baby arrives. On the other hand, osteoporosis, which causes bones to weaken and become porous, can cause loose teeth if the jawbones loosen, and that is a worry.

Also, Dr. Vaibhavi S. Patel notes for VSP Dental that certain medications, such as acid reflux treatments and prescribed steroids, can also cause loose teeth. However, your teeth may also feel loose if you’ve simply been grinding or clenching them, or if you’ve received an injury to your mouth or face after falling or playing sports. As always, practice good oral hygiene at all times and speak to your dentist or doctor if you’re concerned. 

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