A Loose Tooth

When a tooth begins to feel loose, it is normally a sign of advanced gum disease. However, there are other possibilities.

  • Occasionally a patient will complain about a tooth feeling loose when there is no actual problem present. All natural teeth have a slight amount of mobility that cushions them slightly when you chew. They are attached to the bone by a thin ligament layer, and they will move slightly in the socket. This is nothing about which someone should be alarmed. See our page about adult tooth movement.
  • If a tooth suddenly becomes very loose, it may be a cracked root. These teeth are ordinarily not savable. Pay a visit to your dentist right away.
  • A tooth can also become temporarily mobile from an impact injury. If the mobility is minor, it can heal without treatment. Significant looseness may require the tooth to be splinted in order to heal properly. See your dentist for proper diagnosis and care.

In the case where the diagnosis is advanced gum disease, the treatment is fairly involved and requires cooperation on your part with home care and diligence in keeping teeth cleaning appointments every two to four months, depending on the severity, so that your teeth are kept free of tartar.

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In any of these cases, a careful examination in the office would be important to determine the cause of the loose tooth.
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