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Why Do My Teeth Feel Loose?

Oct 25, 2023Oral health, oral surgery

Why do my teeth feel loose?

It is a common occurrence for children to experience loose teeth due to natural causes, unless the cause is an accident; however, if an adult experiences a loose tooth, it typically signals an underlying issue that demands immediate attention. The occurrence of loose teeth in adults can stem from various factors, including gum disease, tooth grinding caused by stress, underlying medical conditions, and medication intake.

Loose teeth are commonly observed in children as a natural part of their development. However, in adults, it may indicate an underlying issue. The occurrence of loose permanent teeth may signify various possible causes:

  • Advanced gum disease
  • Dental trauma may occur due to an impact or grinding of the teeth, leading to damage to the teeth or gums.
  • Low bone density
  • Dietary or hormonal issues

Pain, bleeding, or swelling of gums can occur due to a variety of underlying reasons. However, it is also plausible for individuals to remain symptom-free under such circumstances.

Promptly scheduling a dental examination is of utmost importance if you’re experiencing a loose permanent tooth. A skilled dentist can accurately determine the root cause and suggest the most effective solutions to ensure that you do not lose your tooth permanently.


Reasons Why Your Teeth Feel Loose

As an adult, loosened teeth can be attributed to various factors. Below are some of the frequently encountered reasons:


1. Gum Disease

Neglecting one’s oral hygiene can contribute to the development of severe gum disease known as periodontitis. Consequently, the periodontal ligament, which provides support and stability for teeth, may be compromised leading to attachment loss.

The irreversible loss of connective tissue can be remedied through treatment and prevention of gum disease.

It is often the case that individuals suffering from gum disease remain unaware of their condition. In the event that you have more than one loose tooth, it is advisable to look out for any signs or indications of the following symptoms:

  • Swollen, puffy, or tender gums
  • Gum recession resulting in a visible gap between the teeth and gum tissues
  • Red or purplish gum color
  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Pain when chewing

It is advisable to promptly schedule an appointment with your dentist upon encountering any of the aforementioned symptoms. Neglecting gum disease may result in tooth loss, heart complications, and worst-case scenarios, fatality.


2. Injury

An injury to the mouth can cause teeth to become loose. Indications that your loose teeth are a result of an injury include:

  • A few teeth or just one tooth are loose
  • Observing pain or bleeding in the region where teeth have become unsteady.
  • Based on your medical records and personal testimony, there is no evidence or indication of a past or present occurrence of periodontal disease or osteoporosis.

It is essential to seek dental attention when faced with tooth injuries. Dentists are trained professionals who can effectively provide necessary treatment to stabilize loose teeth and enhance the strength of the surrounding tissues.


3. Bruxism

Bruxism is a condition characterized by the repetitive grinding of one’s teeth, whether it occurs during waking hours or during sleep.

In the same manner as an isolated physical injury, bruxism can lead to damage of the teeth, resulting in their loosening. Moreover, in serious occurrences, teeth may undergo fracture or breakage.


4. Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a medical condition characterized by porous and brittle bones, posing a significant threat as individuals age. There are several risk factors that contribute to the development of this condition, including genetics, nutrition deficiency, and lack of physical activity.

Individuals diagnosed with osteoporosis may experience weakened jawbones, which can cause teeth to loosen and lack support.


5. Nutrient Deficiencies

Sufficient intake of essential nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D is crucial in maintaining bone and dental health. Inadequate levels of these nutrients may lead to low bone density and can potentially contribute to tooth loss.

The primary components of your bones are calcium phosphate, and therefore, inadequate levels of both calcium and phosphorus can impede the necessary support for your bones. Additionally, a decrease in calcium levels can lead to brittle teeth.

The vital function of Vitamin D is to aid in the absorption process of calcium and phosphorus within the human body. Conversely, insufficient levels of vitamin D can lead to an increased vulnerability of your bones and teeth to weaken.


6. Pregnancy

Elevated levels of estrogen and progesterone are observed in pregnant women which can lead to a potential loss of stability in the connective tissues that support their teeth.

In the case that you are pregnant and have observed your teeth to be slightly unstable, rest assured that this is a common occurrence and not indicative of a major ailment. This condition usually subsides after pregnancy.

Hormonal changes during pregnancy can cause pregnancy gingivitis among women. Although this condition is reversible, maintaining proper oral hygiene is crucial throughout the course of the pregnancy.


Treatment Options for Loose Teeth

The course of treatment required for loose teeth is determined by the root cause, extent of involvement, and number of affected teeth.


Deep Cleaning

In case gum disease has caused your teeth to become loose, the dentist will most probably carry out a thorough cleaning procedure to eliminate plaque and tartar buildup.

Gum disease is highly influenced by tartar, which is also known as calculus. As soon as it gathers, regular brushing cannot entirely get rid of it. Dental practitioners utilize specific equipment that effectively eliminates tartar from both teeth and gums.


Gum Surgery

Flap surgery may be accompanied by a thorough cleaning process to treat gum disease. The damaged tissue is removed, followed by repositioning of the remaining healthy gum tissue to support the teeth and minimize gum pockets.

If an individual doesn’t have enough healthy gum tissue left, gum surgery can involve a graft of new gum tissue. To provide support for the teeth, your dentist may also perform a bone tissue graft.


Bone Grafting

In the event of bone loss caused by gum disease, a recommended solution is to undertake a bone graft procedure to provide additional support for your teeth. Comparable to a gum graft, this entails the placement of fresh tissue which will subsequently merge with the original bone structure.



Dental splints are utilized by dentists to connect teeth together, typically made of fiber or wire. These devices serve the purpose of maintaining stability for loose teeth and safeguarding them from displacement. With regard to dental injury, dental splints are frequently proposed by dentists as an effective treatment option.

A loose tooth resulting from an injury can be stabilized using a splint, which operates in a similar way to a cast that supports a broken bone. As the surrounding tissues naturally recover and toughen over time, the splint is safely removed after several weeks.


Tooth Reshaping

Dental professionals have the ability to gently modify a loose tooth by carefully removing a portion of enamel. As a result, this can alleviate stress and tension from adjacent teeth.



A mouthguard provides the necessary support to keep your teeth in their rightful place and also serves as a shield against grinding. While it may not necessarily reverse any damage to your teeth or connective tissues, it can effectively halt its progression.



In cases where a loose tooth cannot be saved through alternative treatment methods, extraction becomes the inevitable solution. While other approaches aim to prevent this outcome, circumstances may necessitate the removal of the affected tooth.

After the extraction of a tooth, your dental professional can suggest from numerous choices of restorative dental procedures. Options include dentures, bridges and dental implants.

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