You’re brushing your teeth and something is a little off. You feel around your mouth with your tongue. Your tooth is wiggling!

A loose adult tooth is worrisome, as it’s an indicator the tooth may fall out. If you act fast, you still may be able to save the tooth with the help of your trusted dentists at Collins Dentistry & Aesthetics in Spokane. But first, you should figure out what’s causing the looseness.

What Causes Loose Teeth?

A loose adult tooth can be caused by a few different things. Obviously, if it’s caused by a more serious disease, you’re less likely to save the natural tooth. But don’t panic; there are ways we can remedy the problem.

Bruxism/Grinding and Clenching

Bruxism, or tooth grinding, can weaken the connection between your teeth and gums. Clenching has the same effect. You’re putting unneeded pressure on your mouth. By constantly wearing down the teeth, the attachments that keep your teeth in place weaken and pull away from the teeth. Thus, the teeth become loose.

Trauma to the Teeth

A common cause of wiggly teeth is trauma. Think back: did you recently fall or get injured? If you’re an athlete, you’re at a greater risk of tooth trauma. If you’re hit in the mouth with a rogue ball or fall riding your bike, your teeth may have been knocked out of place.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease, or gum disease, causes the gums to recede from the teeth. Your gums play an integral role in keeping the teeth where they should be, and if your gums begin to recede, your teeth loosen. Other common symptoms of periodontal disease are bleeding or sore gums, red or irritated gums, or pain when eating.

What Should I Do?

The first thing to do when you find a loose tooth is to stop playing with it. Like any injury, it’s difficult to stop yourself from touching or prodding at the injury, but it’s paramount that you leave the tooth alone. If you keep touching, wiggling, or pushing at the tooth with your tongue, you’re more likely to knock the tooth out altogether.

The second step is to schedule an appointment with your dentist. Drs. Ken and Marnie Collins will be able to tell you what’s causing the tooth wiggliness and get to the root of the problem. If your dental appointment isn’t for a few days, we recommend you wear a mouthguard as much as possible to protect the tooth from any additional trauma. When brushing your teeth, try to brush lightly around the tooth and don’t put pressure directly on it. Eat on the other side of your mouth for now.

What Are My Treatment Options?

After assessing the state of the tooth, Drs. Ken and Marnie Collins may recommend a few next steps. If you’re in the late stages of gum disease, scaling removes plaque buildup and planing reduces the rough areas in your tooth to discourage future plaque buildup.

If the tooth is wiggly because of trauma to the tooth, we might use a tooth splint. This bonds the wiggly tooth to surrounding strong teeth. It’s a temporary solution that allows the connective tissue to regrow around the wiggly tooth.

If the tooth can’t be saved, a dental implant may be your best choice. Dental implants are a beautiful and natural-looking option that restores the look of your smile. The benefit of dental implants is that they don’t require any special care; just treat it as you would your other natural teeth, and it’ll benefit you for years to come.

Worried about a Loose Tooth? We Can Help

If you’re experiencing a wiggly tooth, we’re here to help diagnose the issue and treat it immediately. To schedule an appointment with Drs. Ken and Marnie Collins at Collins Dentistry and Aesthetics in Spokane, call (509) 532-1111 or click here to book an appointment online.