5 Reasons Why Your Tooth Is Loose But Still Attached

A loose tooth in childhood is a celebrated milestone, but for adults, it is a cause for alarm. Having a loose tooth which is still somewhere attached to the gum is worrying. Let’s discuss the top 5 reasons why this might be happening and what you can do about it.

What Causes Your Tooth to Be Loose Yet Attached?

Here are some of the common culprits:

  1. Gum Disease
    Having a loose tooth still attached a bit to the gums is one of the most common signs of gingivitis. It begins with gum inflammation due to plaque buildup and progresses to periodontitis if left untreated. In periodontitis, the infection spreads in the bone supporting your teeth. This makes the bone lose its strength and weakens the tooth’s foundation, making it loose. Proper oral care, regular professional checkups that include dental cleanings, and prompt treatment of gum disease are essential to prevent tooth loss.
  2. Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)
    Involuntary teeth clenching or grinding at night, often during sleep, is known as bruxism. The continuous pressure and friction between teeth wears down the enamel, damaging the supporting structures, making them loose. If such is your case, using a mouthguard at night can help a great deal warding off excessive pressure. In addition to that, stress management techniques, and addressing underlying causes can help prevent further damage to the teeth.
  3. Hormonal Changes
    Hormonal fluctuations in women, such as the time of pregnancy and menopause, can adversely affect oral health. Pregnancy gingivitis weakens the gums and bone supporting the teeth, making your tooth loosely attached.
    Similarly, when there is a decrease in estrogen levels during menopause, it lessens bone density, making teeth more susceptible to going loose at the base. During these times, good oral hygiene, dental checkups, and addressing hormonal imbalances can help minimize these effects.
  4. Injury or Trauma
    Mouth traumas are quite common, whether from accidents or falls, sports injuries, physical impacts, etc., all can make your tooth lose yet leave it still attached. Sudden impacts damage ligaments and bone supporting the tooth, resulting in mobility. In such a case scenario, immediate dental evaluation is crucial to assess the extent of damage.
  5. Gum Recession
    If you can spot your tooth appearing longer than it should or compared to others, your gums might be pulling away from the line, exposing the root surface. Some of the factors that drive this change include aggressive brushing, gum disease, genetics, or aging. Sensitivity, decay, and tooth becoming loose are some of the common consequences when roots are exposed.

Treating a Loose Adult Tooth

Learning what you can do if your tooth is loose but still attached is a good way to move forward:

  • Tooth Extraction: If the damage is severe and saving the tooth is not possible or may cause harm, your dentist may decide to pull it out.
  • Scaling and Root Planing: For gum disease, a deep dental cleaning session or scaling and root planing can be of great help.
  • Mouthguards: Bruxism or excessive teeth grinding can loosen your tooth. In such a case, getting a mouthguard can help.
  • Soft Tissue Grafting: Periodontists often recommend going for soft tissue grafts to manage gum recession and its associated symptoms.
  • Other Treatments: The good news is that any changes that occur during pregnancy are mostly reversible. Moreover, you can get hormone therapy to alleviate the symptoms during menopause.

Closing Note

Learning why your tooth is loose yet attached to the gums can help treat it effectively. In case you have more questions, get in touch with Dr. Vijay Maheshwari, DDS a postgraduate of Pacific Dental College and a reputed member of the ADA at Infuse Dental of Schererville, for answers. We are just a call away. Dial (219) 472-0042 to connect with us and learn more about what we have in store for you.

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