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What Does a Loose Tooth Mean?

April 18, 2018
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Posted By: Dr. Thomas B. Gladnick
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Over the past several weeks I’ve had a few patients ask me the same question:

What does it mean if my teeth are loose?

The most common reason why teeth are loose is due to the destruction of the bone around the teeth. This occurs most frequently in patients that have severe gum inflammation over a long period of time which causes the bone to be resorbed. When our teeth lose this bony support, they start to move a little bit. We call this disease periodontitis.

However, there are several other reasons why teeth could be loose. In primary teeth (baby teeth), the root of the tooth resorbs to a point where the only part of the tooth that’s left is a thin shell of enamel, barely attached to the gingiva (gums). They usually fall out on their own. Teeth that have serious infections can also become loose, as the infection destroys the bone around the teeth. Patients that have unhealthy occlusion (the way the teeth bite together) and a severe grinding habit can also experience loose teeth.

In general, unless the tooth is a baby tooth, it should never be loose. If it is, come on in and let us a take a look.

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