The Real Reason Why Your Permanent Tooth Is Loose

woman laying down with tooth ache

A loose baby tooth is a healthy life occurrence; however, a loose permanent tooth is hugely concerning. A loose tooth as an adult is typically an advanced sign of disease that could lead to losing the tooth entirely.


Some causes of loose teeth in adults are harmless, while others require the care of a dental professional to save the tooth before it’s too late.


Potential Causes of a Loose Tooth

Adults may be alarmed when they notice that a permanent tooth feels loose because adult teeth are designed to last a lifetime with proper care. Some causes of loose teeth are harmless. Others require the attention of a dental professional to save the tooth, and early detection is critical. If the tooth is unable to be saved, your dentist will likely recommend the tooth be removed and replaced with a dental implant or bridge.



Osteoporosis is a disease that causes the bones to weaken and become porous. As a result, even minor bumps and impacts can easily lead to broken bones. Osteoporosis most commonly affects the spine, hips, and wrists; however, it can also damage the bones in the jaw that support the teeth. Less-dense jawbones may cause the teeth to loosen and fall out.


Gum Disease

Also known as periodontitis, gum disease involves inflammation and infection of the gums. Poor dental hygiene habits typically cause gum disease to take form. When brushing and flossing aren’t performed correctly, gum disease can develop. Dental plaque, which contains bacteria, sticks to the teeth and hardens over time. Once hardened, this plaque is referred to as tartar. Tartar causes the gums to pull away from the teeth, creating pockets that become infected.


Other signs of gum disease include:

  • Gum recession
  • Gums that are tender, red, painful, or swollen
  • Changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite down
  • Gums that bleed when you brush your teeth



Elevated levels of estrogen and progesterone during pregnancy can affect the bones and tissues in your mouth. An oversupply of these hormones can alter the periodontium, which is the collection of bones and ligaments that support the teeth and keep them in place. When the periodontium is affected, one or more teeth may feel loose.


While feeling your teeth become loose can be terrifying, the changes to your periodontium levels are only temporary and will resolve after pregnancy. Even though they are not a cause for concern, anyone experiencing pain or loose teeth during pregnancy should still see a dentist to rule out gum disease and other oral health issues.


The American Dental Association and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists state that it is perfectly safe for pregnant women to have dental checkups, cleanings, and X-rays.


Tooth-Related Injuries

Your teeth are pretty strong and durable, but an impact of force from a car accident or a blow to the face can damage teeth and surrounding tissue. The result may be chipped or loose teeth. Anyone who suspects that an injury has damaged the teeth should see a dentist as soon as possible. Sports injuries, accidents, and falls, for example, can easily cause dental damage that you might not even be aware of until it’s too late.


Teeth Grinding

Clenching the teeth during times of stress, or grinding your teeth at night can quickly wear down the tissues and cause the teeth to become loose. Many people are unaware of their teeth clenching or grinding habits until they result in jaw pain. A dentist may be able to detect the problem before the teeth are permanently damaged.


Signs of teeth grinding include:

  • Teeth that are flattened, fractured, chipped or loose
  • Worn tooth enamel, exposing deeper layers of your tooth
  • Increased tooth pain or sensitivity
  • Tired or tight jaw muscles
  • Jaw, neck or face pain
  • A dull headache starting in the temples
  • Sleep disruption


When Your Dentist Can Help

These causes can be grave – and lead to more significant problems than a shifting bite. If you notice that a permanent tooth is feeling loose, it’s time to get professional help. Cherrywood Dental Associates can assist in treating the underlying cause of your loose teeth, and help you to take any other necessary steps to prevent further damage.


If you’re experiencing loose teeth, make an emergency appointment today!


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