If you’re an adult, you probably have memories of losing your teeth when you were in elementary school and assume that’s the last you would ever have to worry about it. That said, it can come as a shock to realize that one of your teeth is loose as an adult. While it certainly requires dental attention, it is not the end of the world. Here’s what you should know about having a loose tooth as an adult and what you can do about it.
Why Would I Have a Loose Tooth as an Adult?
Adults typically have loose teeth for one of three reasons: dental trauma, tooth decay, or periodontal disease. If you’ve been playing contact sports or have recently experienced a hard fall, that could be a cause, but if you find bleeding, swelling, or irritation of the gums, the problem may very well be rooted in poor oral hygiene.
What Should I Do About My Loose Tooth?
Regardless of the cause, the first thing you should do is schedule an emergency dental appointment. If left untreated, a loose tooth could be lost. Ideally, the appointment will be scheduled within 24 hours, giving your dentist the best chance to save your tooth while reducing your discomfort.
How Should I Take Care of My Loose Tooth Before My Appointment?
While you’re waiting for your emergency dental appointment, the first rule is to avoid touching your loose tooth. This means don’t probe at it with your tongue, try to straighten it out, demonstrate its looseness to your friends, or apply any sort of makeshift dental splint. Even if you think it will need extraction anyway, attempting to remove it yourself will be painful and risk infection.
When eating, avoid chewing on the side of the mouth with the loose tooth. Especially steer clear of hard, chewy, or sticky foods that could pull on or apply pressure to it. Dentists will rarely recommend this but avoid brushing or flossing as these can loosen the tooth further. Clean your mouth by swishing some warm water to flush out food particles and control bacterial buildup.
The loss of a tooth can have long-term effects on your oral health and your self-confidence. It can lead to atrophy of the jawbone and misalignment of neighboring teeth. Getting to the dentist sooner will give you your best chance to save the tooth. Acting quickly and knowing what to do can make the difference between a full natural smile and needing a restoration.
About the Practice
Vista Dental Care provides high-quality dentistry in Sparks, NV. Led by Drs. Marc Thomas and Dennez Avendano, the skilled staff is dedicated to helping patients of all ages achieve complete oral health using the latest technology and methods. Services offered include preventive, restorative, cosmetic, and emergency dentistry. For more information about what to do if you have a loose tooth as an adult, contact the office online or give the front desk a call at (775) 626-3535.