Loose teeth aren’t fun and games when you grow up
Back when we were kids, losing teeth was such a joy!
The tooth fairy (our parents) would always replace them with all kinds of gifts!
But when you grow up, the gift of losing a tooth or several of them is bone loss, messed up occlusion and obviously a dent in your appearance.
Loose teeth are mostly the outcome of a long-lasting periodontal disease which starts with poor oral hygiene and ends with completely ruining the supporting structures of the teeth.
And the final result is loose teeth that eventually fall out, leading to even bigger problems.
Now if you are thinking whether or not there is a way to Stop A loose Tooth From Falling Out then there is good news for you.
Through the advances of dental science, your periodontist can help you get back the firmness of your teeth.
If the mobility of your teeth isn’t too bad, the gums and teeth can become firmer just by keeping your oral hygiene intact and following a few "at-home tips".
However when the ship has sailed and your teeth are as loose as a goose, surgical treatments like bone grafting can go a long way in saving your teeth.
To find out more about how a loose tooth can be saved, read up!
Ideally a permanent tooth is embedded in the bone and surrounded by the periodontal ligaments and other supporting structures that firmly keep it where it belongs.
Due to a few reasons, a tooth can become loose. Sometimes just biting on something hard can slightly move it away from its place, while at other times; it is loose enough to fall out either due to dental trauma or an extensive gum disease.
Now if an injury has caused your tooth to become loose, there are a lot of chances that it will tighten back up and can be treated.
When any sort of dental trauma has caused your tooth to become slightly loose in its socket, all you need to do is be cautious because this one can and most probably will tighten back up.
Just don’t bite or chew from the affected side and consistently do warm saline water rinses.
However, if your tooth has become tremendously loose in its socket, that too after some kind of dental trauma, it’s time to visit your dentist as soon as possible.
An endodontist is specialized in treating dental traumatic injuries and will provide a treatment according to the requirement.
If the injury is severe enough to knock the tooth out, even that can be saved.
But there are a few limitations such as visiting your dentist in a few hours and making sure that you are not leaving the tooth dry.
If you are ever in such a situation, put the knocked out tooth in milk or saline and rush to your endodontist. If you have reached within an hour of the injury, chances are that your dentist will be able to immediately implant the tooth back and splint it via the help of some wires.
In a few days the tooth will tighten back up and the periodontal ligament fibers which are responsible for the firmness of the tooth will take their place again.
If you were a few hours late your dentist might still be able to replant the tooth in its place and splint it. Provided that your oral hygiene is pristine, the bone cells will eventually replace the root cells, preserving the tooth in its socket.
Coming on to the final and the most common reason behind loose teeth is gum disease. In this case the tooth has become loose because of the partial or total loss of the periodontal ligament fibers.
If the tooth is not as loose, just by keeping your oral hygiene intact and regularly getting dental cleaning done can make it firmer. At least the condition won’t get any worse.
However in the later stages of gum disease, it is very difficult to avoid tooth loss. By this time, almost all the PDL fibers are lost and a considerable amount of bone loss can also be seen.
If you want to save such a tooth and tighten it back up, the only way out is regenerative bone grafting or ridge augmentation.
In these procedures either a small piece of bone from your own body or synthetic bone respectively is taken and placed in all areas where the bone is lost.
Once the bone making cells start multiplying the teeth will tighten back up. If the gums have also receded, a healthy gum tissue from the roof of the mouth is taken and grafted for the regeneration of the gingiva.
How Long Does A Loose Tooth Take To Heal?
Depending on the condition and the reason why your tooth has become loose will decide its healing period.
If it is only slightly loose, the gum and PDL fibers will tighten back up in just a few weeks.
However if the tooth has become extremely loose as a result of dental trauma, it will take 4-8 weeks to start tightening again, and almost a year to completely heal, provided you are following the guidelines given by your dentist and are not missing any of your follow up appointments.
The deal with loose teeth due to periodontal disease is that they may or may not heal completely. If the tooth is just slightly loose the gums will tighten back up within a few weeks of dental cleaning and accurate maintenance of oral hygiene.
But when a graft is placed to restore the bone and to level it up again, it will take 3-6 months to completely heal.
Growing up is all kinds of difficult!
But when life throws the stress of loose teeth at you, it’s way out of line!
Except, mostly, your neglect towards oral hygiene maintenance is the reason behind all this mess.
However in many instances, the tooth can tighten back up either after keeping a pristine oral hygiene or seeking treatment. If the tooth is only slightly loose, it can easily go back to being firm again once you are getting regular scaling done and brushing and flossing twice a day.
If the teeth are considerably loose due to extensive periodontal disease, your periodontist may decide to give you a bone and gum graft via taking regenerative bone and gum tissue from your own body or simply perform ridge augmentation by adding synthetic bone.
In some instances, the teeth become loose due to an injury. Again, if they are only slightly loose they will go back to normal in a few months.
If the injury is so bad that the tooth is moving in its socket or has fallen out, your dentist will still be able to help you get the firmness of your tooth back by splinting it through wires and performing endodontic surgeries.
The condition and the prognosis of the treatment decides the amount of time it will take for the loose teeth to heal completely.
All in all, learn to take care of that small little oral cavity which is not so little when it starts playing with your confidence.
Visit your dentist regularly for scaling and don’t even let gum disease play with that bright smile of yours!