If you find yourself with a loose tooth, you may panic. However, a loose tooth does not mean it cannot be saved. In fact, modern dentistry has many techniques to solve the problem of a loose tooth. But to have the best chance of success, it is imperative you do several things, one of which is to see a dentist as soon as possible.
What Causes Loose Teeth?
When you have a loose tooth, it is probably due to one of several reasons. While your tooth could have been loosened if you got hit in the mouth while playing contact sports or if you fell down, it may also have gotten loose due to gum disease or bruxism, a fancy term for grinding your teeth. But no matter the reason, prompt treatment almost always results in success.
Leave it Alone
While it may be tough to avoid using your tongue or finger to poke at your loose tooth, muster up all the willpower you can to do so. If you don’t, the constant poking and prodding will loosen the tooth even more or even make it fall out of its socket.
Keep it Clean
Since you don’t want an infection to form around your loose tooth, gently rinse your mouth with room-temperature water to remove food particles.
As for how a loose tooth can be saved, most dentists use the technique known as tooth splinting. When this is done, a dental crown is attached to the loose tooth and its surrounding teeth, creating a “splint” that holds them together.
If gum disease is the reason for your loose tooth, your dentist may need to perform certain types of periodontal treatment. The most common are scaling and root planing, which will remove plaque and tartar.
In very severe cases or where treatment was significantly delayed, a loose tooth may be pulled and replaced with a dental implant. Though the original tooth will not be saved, the dental implant will look, feel, and perform just like a regular tooth.
Should you discover one of your teeth is loose, don’t just sit around and poke at it with your tongue. Instead, contact your dentist as quickly as possible to schedule an appointment.