Help! Why is My Tooth Loose?

Afraid of having a loose tooth?

This article will summarise the reasons why a tooth might become loose.


First Off, Let’s Look At Kid’s Teeth

There are many reasons for a tooth or teeth to become loose.  In children, it is normal for teeth to become mobile, it is actually indicative of an emerging permanent successor. When it does so it means it’s time to go and it has done its share in the oral cavity or the mouth.  The reason behind the loosening of teeth in children is because of root resorption.  Root resorption is the disintegration of root because of too much pressure caused by the emergence of the permanent teeth about to replace it in the oral cavity.  The roots of teeth dissolve until it loses its anchorage in the underlying alveolar bones, holding the tooth in place.

As this happens, the tooth would naturally wiggle in its place making its presence cause so much discomfort to the child.  Sometimes its successor tooth may have already made visible its presence in the oral cavity but sometimes it takes several days to a week before actually coming out.  When a tooth is lost through natural exfoliation, you can expect its permanent counterpart to appear sooner. It will then start performing the task supposedly being performed by the milk teeth or deciduous teeth lost.  When primary teeth get mobile, you cannot do anything but wait until it exfoliates or if it is causing so much discomfort, you may bring your child to the dentist to have it pulled out.

For more on kids see here.


“But I’m An Adult, Why Is My Tooth Loose??”

There are other reasons for the loosening of teeth, it doesn’t only occur in children, it could happen to adults, too.  In cases of periodontitis or the inflammation of the periodontium, tooth or teeth mobility can be expected.  Periodontium are tissues that surround and support the teeth.  When an inflammation of the periodontium occurs, it suggests loss of surrounding and supporting tissues that holds them in place.  This inflammation in the periodontium can be caused by a lot of factors. But the most common is patients’ lack of awareness about the proper oral hygiene practices.  It is more towards patients’ neglect of the oral cavity.  Failure to see regularly the dentist for routine oral prophylaxis, etc. could be a direct contributor to mobility leading to tooth loss.

Gum disease is explained in this video;


Another reason for mobility is when a patient undergoes orthodontic treatment where metal brackets and wires help correct the alignment of teeth.  These metal brackets and wires are also known as orthodontic appliance.  Due to the pulling and pushing pressure applied by the orthodontic appliance, bone resorption happens.  Bone resorption is the dissolving of bones, and considering that this is orthodontic treatment, bones dissolve due to extreme pressure applied.  You may notice patients undergoing orthodontic treatment to have tooth or several teeth mobility but it is normal, it will heal especially when you go to your dentist for regular adjustments and supervision.

For more advice on the causes see here.


When you are a child and your teeth loosen, it is normal, it is a process.  But if you are an adult and your teeth become mobile, get to the dentist for a check-up!

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