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Exploring the Ill-Effects of Having a Loose Tooth

Maria J. Eubank September 14, 2023

It is alarming to notice a loose tooth. It is typical for children to have loose deciduous teeth. However, it can be hazardous since it poses a risk of accidental swallowing. But for adults, having a loose permanent tooth is a matter of concern. This can usually occur due to loss of attachment of the tooth from the supporting structures. 

A loose tooth is a common dental emergency in Parkland, FL, that requires immediate attention.

Loose tooth explained

Your teeth are carefully embedded in the alveolar socket and are surrounded by soft tissues that support and provide anchorage to the teeth. This attachment is possible through the periodontal ligament (PDL). Any loss of attachment of PDL can loosen the tooth from its socket. 

Causes of a  loose tooth in adults

The following reasons are often responsible for looseness in one or more teeth. 

  • Gum disease due to excess plaque accumulation and bacterial invasion
  • Dental trauma due to falls, sports injuries, or other accidents
  • Stress can lead to frequent clenching or grinding of the teeth
  • Hormonal changes as seen during pregnancy or menopause
  • Certain medications like anti-seizure drugs
  • Underlying health conditions like diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, or cancer 

Management of loose teeth at home

If you notice a loose tooth, do not panic. You can do more harm to the tooth in this process. Thus, it is essential to stay calm and manage the emergency before you reach your dentist. 

  • Use a cold compress and press it against the loose tooth to prevent further detachment.
  • Ensure not to let the tooth fall out. 
  • Bleeding can be managed through a small dishcloth soaked in cold water and placed around the loose tooth. 
  • Seek dental help immediately. 

Treating a loose tooth at a dental office

Your dentist can recommend the following treatment options:

  • For loose tooth due to gum disease
    • Scaling 
    • Root planing
    • Antibiotics to treat infection 

If the gum disease is severe, you may be suitable for the following surgical procedures:

  • Flap surgery
  • Bone graft
  • Soft tissue graft
  • Splinting 
  • Bite adjustment 
  • Mouthguards 

Root canal therapy may also be helpful if the loose tooth is caused by dental trauma. 


A loose tooth is a common dental emergency and requires immediate dental care. A loose tooth can progress and eventually detach completely from the gums and the bone, leading to permanent tooth loss. 

Treatment can, however, improve the health of your gums and bones. This can aid in healing and strengthening the teeth. Saving a loose tooth should be prioritized since tooth loss can impair the oral form, function, and aesthetics.