Can a Loose Tooth Fix Itself

Experiencing a loose tooth as an adult is often cause for concern. A tooth can become loose due to accident or injury, or, more commonly, gum disease. During physical activity, it is possible to experience injury to your teeth from a hit to the face or other accident such as a fall or vehicle accident. Teeth that become loose due to an injury may be able to heal on their own if mobility is minor.

Teeth that have become loose due to gum disease will require treatment. The first step to healing a loose tooth in this case is to address the underlying cause, gum disease. Your dentist may be able to provide you with treatment in the form of a deep cleaning, or scaling and root planing. This is only appropriate for gingivitis or even mild periodontitis but patients that have advanced periodontitis will need to receive specialized treatment from a periodontist.

A loose tooth can often heal and tighten back into place on its own within a few weeks. It is important to make sure proper care is taken while the tooth heals which includes not chewing on the tooth at all. If the tooth continues to become more mobile, it is important to let your dentist know as soon as possible so they can provide treatment before it gets to the point of no return and has to be extracted.

How is a loose tooth treated?

Your dentist will examine the area and take an x-ray to identify the cause of your loose tooth. If it is determined that you have gum disease, your dentist may advise a deep cleaning to eradicate the infection from gum disease. More severe cases may require treatment from a periodontist to heal the affected areas and prevent further damage.

Scaling and Root Planing

Scaling and root planing is a deep cleaning which requires local anesthetic to be administered to the area being treated so that your hygienist is able to reach way below the gum line and remove any tartar buildup and bacteria. Once this is complete, your gum tissue is able to heal and reattach to the tooth surface where it should be. Patients that receive a scaling and root planing often need to have more frequent professional cleanings in the future to prevent reinfection.

Oral Surgery

Patients with more severely loose teeth may require surgery from a periodontist or oral surgeon. A bone graft or soft tissue graft can help heal the area and provide the support that your teeth need to remain stable in your mouth. Advanced gum disease can cause not only soft tissue to recede from the gum line but can actually cause bone deterioration. A periodontist oral surgeon can provide a bone graft at which point they will remove any affected bone structure and replace it with donor bone or synthetic bone.

A gum graft can be used just like a bone graft in which case the infected gum tissue is removed and healthy soft tissue taken from another area of the patient's mouth is placed and stitched over the affected area.

Another option is to have the tooth splinted. This is a treatment in which a piece of metal is bonded to the back of the loose tooth and to stable, neighboring teeth on each side of the loose tooth. This provides support to the loose tooth to keep it from moving while the underlying tissue and ligaments heal.

It is crucial to seek treatment if you notice a loose tooth. If you get hit in the mouth and do not notice a loose tooth right away, keep an eye on the area for a few days because a tooth can become loose days after injury. Your dentist will want to save your tooth and will do everything they can but in the event that your tooth becomes hopeless, your dentist may advise you to have the tooth extracted. They will provide restorative options to replace the tooth such as a dental implant or dental bridge.

Causes of Loose Teeth