With age comes many unwanted health-related problems, including dental health. This becomes one pervasive problem that typically arises in people age 30 and up but can happen sooner.
In fact, according to the World Health Organization, it is estimated that over 3.5 billion people globally are affected by oral diseases. Oral disease is not just limited to oral cancer. One of the most prevalent forms of oral disease that causes strife to over 10% of the world’s population is periodontitis, otherwise known as gum disease. Gum disease is the leading cause of loose teeth in adults and can create significant problems for anyone suffering from this issue.
Periodontitis and Loose Teeth
Periodontitis is caused by a combination of age and poor dental hygiene. As plaque begins to build up around the teeth and gums, bacteria start to multiply as well and causes inflammation and discomfort in the tissue and bones surrounding teeth. Although it is common and many people are affected by periodontitis, it is also very preventable if they are educated on oral hygiene and health, which is why dental education is so vital at a young age.
Periodontitis Risk Factors
- Smoking and use of tobacco products
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Intake of soft drinks and sugary beverages
- Taking certain medications for an extended period of time
- Poor tooth brushing or lack of cleanliness in the mouth
- Failure to floss regularly
Not only does periodontitis create an issue for the health and well-being of one’s teeth, but it can significantly reduce the quality of life for its sufferers in many ways, the most prevalent being loose teeth and tooth loss. Food becomes more difficult to chew, and even simple activities such as talking can be complicated if one does not have full access to their teeth.
When to Treat Gum Disease
If gum disease is present and, as a result, the patient finds themselves with loose and wiggly teeth, it is essential to note that this is an issue that can be addressed and hopefully remedied if proper care occurs early enough. It’s important to know the severity of the disease before seeking treatment. Know when it’s time to visit a dentist and do not ignore these symptoms of gum disease:
- Excessive bleeding of the gums
- Loose and wiggly teeth, pulling away from the gums either slightly or significantly
- Pus seeping from pockets around the teeth
- Redness and swelling that is painful to the touch
- Halitosis (prolonged bad breath)
The condition of gum disease should be assessed when a patient is experiencing any or all these above symptoms. Then, begin treatment as soon as it is available.
How to Fix Loose Teeth from Gum Disease
One way to fix loose teeth from gum disease is by seeking dental treatment and professional help. The dental professional will likely perform a detailed assessment of the disease progression to determine which treatment will be the most successful in preventing tooth loss and tightening up the gap between the already loose teeth. Some of the most successful treatments include treatment with antibiotics, tissue and bone grafting, scaling and root planing, and in severe cases, osseous surgery may be necessary.
Treatment with Antibiotics
Treating the existing gum disease with antibiotics is the least invasive method that a dental professional will use for periodontitis resulting in loose teeth. However, it may be used in addition to other treatments. In mild cases, the antibiotics will work to fight the infection, and as the bacteria clears away, the inflammation will subside as well, which will help to tighten up the loose teeth again.
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is something that a dentist can do using a general anesthetic and helps to take all the existing plaque and tartar away. They use a scraping tool to chip away the plaque but take it one step further and dig underneath the gums as well, which is why an anesthetic is recommended for this procedure.
Tissue and Bone Grafting
Tissue and bone grafting is another way in which a dental professional may be able to fix loose teeth from gum disease. This happens by using either donated bone material, synthetic bone, or even the patient’s own bone sample to fill in the broken or missing tooth pieces. The tissue surrounding the teeth is also treated and filled in with excess mouth tissue, usually taken from the roof of the patient’s mouth.
If all other treatment methods are ineffective in treating the loose teeth from gum disease, the dental professional may be forced to perform Osseus surgery. Osseous surgery is when the gums get cut back to expose the infected parts and then cut away until all the infection and bacteria are gone. If the bone was also damaged by bacteria before, the bone is repaired and reshaped by replacing the old tissue with new tissue
How to Fix Loose Teeth at Home
Most people will want to avoid visiting a dental professional at all costs. In some mild cases of gum disease, treating gum disease from home will avoid this. Although preventative care is the most crucial way to ensure loose teeth do not occur from gum disease, knowing how to fix loose teeth from gum disease from home or naturally can play an important role in correcting the problem after the fact. Some remedies for gum disease and loose teeth include:
Drinking green tea every day can help correct receding gum lines. Green tea is high in antioxidants (polyphenols,) reversing the inflammation the body produces as a reaction to foreign bacteria. This tea also helps to restrict the further growth of bacteria.
Gargling hydrogen peroxide can help fight the bacteria that cause plaque buildup and gingivitis, which will also remedy the loose teeth. Be sure to dilute the hydrogen peroxide with 50% water and 50% peroxide before gargling to avoid harmful levels of acidity that can do more harm for a patient’s mouth than good.
Just as the hydrogen peroxide mix helps draw out bacteria, discourage bacteria from creating more spores, and cleanse between teeth by disinfecting and pushing out leftover food particles, a simple saltwater solution can do the same. If a patient does not have access to hydrogen peroxide, this is just as effective.
First, create a diluted solution of one cup water and a half teaspoon salt. Then gargle for about 10 seconds and rinse at least three times or more until the pain subsides and teeth start to look and feel less inflamed.
Loose Tooth Glue
This is not a regular glue from a kids’ craft set. Do not use that to fix a tooth.
Dentists created a special glue just for teeth. Dental glue is a great way to reconnect broken or loose teeth that natural remedies can’t otherwise fix. Although this is more of a temporary treatment for loose teeth, loose tooth glue can be rather effective for short-term relief and, in some cases, can last up to 3 to 6 weeks after the first application.
There is also the option of using a permanent tooth glue which will bind to the teeth much more tightly and can fix loose teeth long term. However, permanent tooth glue is very strong and should first be approved or recommended by a dental professional.
How to Tighten a Loose Tooth
Loose teeth are a huge nuisance, and sometimes the solution is to find a way to tighten them back up a little. Knowing how to tighten a loose tooth at home can help alleviate some of the problems and issues that persist because of them.
How to Tighten a Loose Tooth from Home
Teeth can be naturally tightened by some of the same remedies used to help alleviate the pain of loose teeth, such as a salt or a hydrogen peroxide rinse. Someone treating their loose tooth can also try wearing a mouthguard at night to prevent any further damage if they grind their teeth or clench their jaw while sleeping. However, in most cases, gum disease that leads to loose teeth is typically past the point of home remedies and really should be seen by a dental health professional.
How to Anchor a Loose Tooth
Occasionally, a procedure known as anchoring may be an option for a loose tooth. To anchor a loose tooth, the dentist will cut a tiny channel between the back of the teeth and place a metal splint to hold the loose tooth gently in place. Sometimes the splint is made of a synthetic material that will eventually dissolve as the patient’s gums begin to heal.
How Long Does a Loose Tooth Take to Heal?
This ultimately depends on the severity of the gum damage. However, a loose tooth can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months if proper care is taken and treated immediately. If there is any damage, the pain will likely subside within a few days, but ultimately the tooth will still feel a little bit wiggly for a longer period of time. Reference the tips given above on treating loose teeth with at-home remedies to help speed up the time it takes for recovery.
Prevention is Key
In conclusion, loose teeth are prevalent but can also be very debilitating. Prevention is always key. Taking the time to brush and floss teeth daily while also rinsing with an alcohol-based mouthwash is the first and most important step to preventing loose teeth and painful gums from periodontitis. Also, proper nutrition, regular dental visits, and yearly cleanings are great preventative measures to take to avoid mouth disease and loose teeth.
If a person finds themselves with swelled and red gums, and their teeth start to feel loose, it is essential to know the proper steps to ensure that the issue is taken care of promptly and effectively to avoid further damage and long-term conditions.