Causes of Loose Teeth

It can be alarming when an adult notices that they have a loose tooth! Tooth loss is an unfortunate dental issue with a number of contributing factors which include age, lifestyle, accidents, and even genetics. Missing teeth can cause anyone to become self-conscious about their smile and experience a drop in self-esteem. Quality of life may also lessen if the patient finds it difficult to eat some of their favorite foods.

What causes teeth to become loose?

Gum Disease

Gum disease is the leading cause of loose teeth in adults. The first stage of gum disease is gingivitis which is chronic inflammation of the gum tissue, accompanied by bleeding during oral hygiene. Left untreated, gingivitis can progress into periodontitis, an advanced form of gum disease which can lead to gum recession and bone loss, which can then lead to loose teeth.

Gingivitis can usually be treated if it is caught early during a regular dental cleaning unfortunately, the negative effects of gingivitis can be reversed. When it progresses into periodontitis, the gum recession and bone loss requires the care of a specialist for treatment. It is important to practice proper oral hygiene which includes brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day as well as receiving a professional dental cleaning at least twice a year. Patients who are prone to gum disease may benefit from more frequent cleanings, three or four times a year.


A lot of people clinch or grind their teeth while they sleep which can cause a patient to wake up with job pain and frequent headaches. The unconscious clenching and/or grinding of the teeth is called bruxism. Patients who suffer from bruxism can experience teeth that become worn down, fracture, or loose. A simple night guard is a great way to combat the ill effects of bruxism. Your dentist can have a night guard fabricated for you with a simple impression which is used to make a model of your teeth which a dental lab uses to create a custom night guard.

Lifestyle and Life Changes

Lifestyle choices, such as smoking, can increase a patient's risk of bone loss in their jaw in addition to other major health concerns. If you are a smoker, it is important to floss more often than once a day.

Hormonal changes in the body can also lead to gum disease and loose teeth. Pregnancy and menopause can have a negative impact on oral health (gestational gingivitis) but usually resolve once hormones are regualted and does not often result in tooth loss.

Additionally, as we age, natural loss of bone mass can be expected but for patients that have been diagnosed with bone disease, this bone loss can be detrimental to oral health. Patients with osteoporosis are at a higher risk of tooth loss because the bone structure holding teeth in place begins to weaken as bone disease progresses.

Accident or Trauma

Trauma to the mouth, like a fall or a hit during a physical activity, can cause a tooth to become loose. When damage is inflicted to the ligaments that connect the tooth to the jaw bone, a tooth can become loose.

If at any time you find yourself with a mobile tooth, it is important to visit your dentist as soon as possible to ensure there are no underlying issues affecting your teeth and to receive treatment before any further damage is done.

Loose Teeth & Bite Problems