Updated: May 28
Fixing a loose tooth typically involves a combination of a deep cleaning along with some teeth splinting. The exact treatment to tighten it up will differ depending on what caused the teeth to be loose in the first place.
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What causes loose teeth and how to fix it
Loose teeth can be caused by a variety of factors such as gum disease, trauma, medical conditions, smoking, and even stress. Fixing the loose teeth will depend on the specific cause of the teeth looseness. Therefore, it is very important to have the correct diagnosis before proceeding with a specified treatment.
The advanced stage of gum disease, periodontitis, can lead to bone loss which causes the teeth to be loose because the less bone supporting that is supporting your teeth, the looser they will be.
Tightening teeth after periodontitis would require a deep teeth cleaning along with possible teeth splinting. As long as the bone from periodontitis was mild, the deep cleaning should be sufficient in fixing the looseness. Typically the teeth should tighten up 4-8 weeks after the procedure is completed.
Although if you had severe bone loss from gum disease, you would need teeth splinting in addition to the deep teeth cleaning because once you lose bone, it doesn't grow back. If there is not enough bone to support the teeth from being loose, you will need the splint for additional stability and support.
The teeth splint is very similar to having braces with the difference being that there are no brackets and the wires only cover a couple of teeth. The splint is a metal wire that is simply bonded onto a couple of teeth to give the mobile teeth some additional stability and support. The splint can be on the outside facing the cheeks or it can be placed on the inside facing the tongue.
In very extreme cases of loose teeth, you can also see a gum specialist for bone grafting to help restore some of the missing bone. They feel loose because of a lack of bone so all you have to do is add some extra bone back in.
The upper front teeth are the most prone to trauma, usually from a sports injury that involves a physical impact to the mouth causing the teeth to get loosened. A mild trauma will cause the teeth to be wiggly but severe trauma can displace them or even knock the tooth out of the mouth.
The only way to tighten teeth that had trauma would be to use teeth splinting. The splint used in this case would be a semi-rigid wire because a full rigid wire can cause ankylosis of the tooth. The splint for traumatized teeth usually stay on for as long as 6-12 weeks depending on the severity of the trauma. Once the teeth have healed the splint can be removed by your dentist.
Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones become weak and brittle, which causes a problem for your teeth because they need to be embedded in strong bone for them to be stable. If you start losing bone density around your teeth, they may start getting loose and wobbly.
Treatment for osteoporosis would actually be performed by your medical doctor and they usually prescribe you a medication for the bone. In addition to a prescription, lifestyle changes are also recommended such as consuming more calcium rich foods and vitamin D. The bones need to be strengthened so that the teeth tighten up as well.
Smoking does not directly cause loose teeth but it increases the risk for gum disease so it indirectly makes your teeth loose. Smokers tend to experience dry mouth along with an association for gum disease.
If your smoking as led you to periodontitis, you would need a deep teeth cleaning to help stabilize the teeth. It would also help if you quit smoking as well or at the very least minimize the amount of tobacco consumption.
There is a large subset of individuals who grind their teeth at night due to stress and that grinding can cause the teeth to loosen. Grinding your teeth back and forth is akin to pushing the teeth back and forth and that is how they become wobbly.
To treat loose teeth from teeth grinding, you can have a night guard made by your dentist, which protects your teeth from grinding. So, instead of grinding on your teeth you would grind on your night guard. The night guard also helps to hold the teeth in place as well. If you grind and you don't have a night guard, our dentists in long island city can help make one for you!
How to fix a loose tooth in front?
Depending on what cause the front tooth to be loose, it would require a certain type of treatment to fix it.
If the front tooth is loose from trauma, it would need a tooth splint.
If the front tooth is loose from periodontal disease, it would require a deep teeth cleaning along with a splint.
If it is loose from smoking, you would need to quit smoking!
If it is loose from grinding your teeth, you should have a night guard made by your dentist.
You should figure out what is causing the front tooth to be loose so you can apply the correct treatment but if you are unsure, you can always book an appointment with one of our long island city dentists.
How much does it cost to fix a loose tooth?
The cost to fix loose teeth would depend on how much treatment it requires. The cost of a deep cleaning is a separate fee from the splinting. Your dental insurance should cover a portion of the deep teeth cleaning and your orthodontic benefits may cover the splinting. All together it may cost you at least a couple hundred dollars.
How to fix a loose tooth at home.
There are home remedies for fixing a loose tooth at home but they can only prevent it from getting looser because they will not make the tooth tighter. As long as you understand that, here are the home remedies which can help.
Maintain good oral hygiene. Having a strong oral hygiene regime will prevent tartar build up and consequently gum disease. Make sure you brush and floss at least twice a day so that your teeth stay tight.
Use daily mouthwashes. Using a mouth rinse will help prevent gum disease from eating away at your bone so that your teeth can be stable. There are a variety of mouthwashes you can use such as Listerine, coconut oil, hydrogen peroxide, salt water, peppermint tea, and etc. They will all work so use which ever one will make you want to rinse more!
Consume a calcium and vitamin D rich diet. Calcium and vitamin D are the building blocks required for strong bones and teeth so you should eat a lot of foods with it. Dairy products and tofu are a good source!
Altering lifestyle choices. If you smoke, you should really think about quitting because it is not only bad for your teeth but also for your lungs.
Hopefully that helps you in understanding how to fix loose teeth. If you have any further questions, you can book a consultation with one of our LIC dentists.