As a child, a loose tooth was often an exciting experience. It meant finding a clever way to remove it before waiting eagerly for the tooth fairy to arrive. Having a loose tooth as an adult, though, is quite a bit different. Instead of excitement, you’re left feeling worried about what might happen if it falls out. Before you start to panic, an emergency dentist is here to explain what steps you can take to care for your smile while waiting for your appointment.
What Can Cause a Loose Permanent Tooth?
Once your permanent teeth erupt, they are meant to stay in place for the remainder of your life. Unlike primary teeth that eventually fall out, these should not. Unfortunately, problems can occur that leave these teeth loose or even missing.
Some of the most common reasons a loose tooth will develop include:
- Severe facial trauma
- Advanced gum disease that is weakening the jawbone
- Serious tooth decay that is causing an infection
How Should I Handle a Loose Tooth?
When it comes to dealing with a loose permanent tooth, you’ll want to know what you can do to keep it from falling out. Although you may be too fearful to do much of anything, you’ll need to follow these instructions while waiting to see your emergency dentist:
- Do not attempt to touch it with your finger or tongue, as this can cause it to fall out
- Stay away from eating anything hard, sticky, or chewy
- Clean the tooth but do not brush or floss around it
What Kind of Treatments Are Available For a Loose Tooth?
Depending on the underlying cause of the problem, your emergency dentist will need to take digital images of your mouth and build a treatment plan that targets the issue. This can include everything from creating a splint to hold it in place until it reintegrates with the bone tissues, bone grafting, adjustment of your bite, or a customized mouthguard.
In more serious cases of gum disease, you may be recommended for flap surgery, which involves pulling back the gums and clearing away plaque and tartar before reattaching the tissue.
Knowing what to do in this type of situation will ensure that you do not experience further harm. Having a loose permanent tooth can be worrisome but with the right mindset, tools, and emergency dentist, you can make sure your smile is healthy and intact moving forward.
About the Author
Dr. Douglas Baldwin and the team at Foundation Dental Solutions are here to provide emergency dental care when you need it. If faced with a loose tooth as an adult, we can help you to manage the pain and uncertainty while at home, as we work to get you in quickly for treatment. Contact us at (817) 478-4300 to let us help take care of your smile and keep all your teeth firmly in place.