What Causes a Loose Tooth?
In general, the causes of loosening teeth are split into two categories:
- Primary occlusal trauma
- Secondary occlusal trauma
Occlusal is a term that refers to your bite, and trauma is anything that can damage or injure the supporting structures of your teeth. A primary occlusal trauma can occur as a result of force exerted by your bite, such as clenching or grinding your teeth, and affects only the teeth themselves. At this point, there has been no loss of periodontal attachment. A secondary occlusal trauma occurs after tooth has already lost support from the bone or ligaments due to another condition. Loose teeth are typically caused by secondary trauma, such as gum disease.
Periodontal disease, a chronic infection that affects your gums, is one of the most common causes of loose and shifting teeth.
Periodontal disease, a chronic infection that affects your gums, is one of the most common causes of loose and shifting teeth. Most often attributed to poor oral hygiene, this condition occurs when bacteria forms around the gum line and begins to affect the bone and connective tissues of your teeth. The longer gum disease is left untreated, the more likely it is you will have serious oral health issues. Advanced stages of this condition can cause tooth loss.
Occlusal trauma can come from a variety of sources. Whenever extreme force is placed on teeth, the ligaments and connective tissues that hold your teeth in place can become stretched and lose their strength. If you regularly grind your teeth or clench your jaw, you are placing excessive pressure on your teeth.
In addition, misalignment in your teeth can cause extra force to affect certain teeth over others. External trauma from a fall or accident can also damage the ligaments and bone and loosen your teeth. You should visit your dentist right away after any injury to your mouth.
Osteoporosis is a condition that diminishes the natural density of bones and causes them to weaken. This disorder can affect both men and women. When the density of the bone is lowered by osteoporosis, teeth can become loose.
During menopause, your body produces less estrogen, which can cause the bone supporting your teeth to weaken. Jawbone loss can result in tooth loss.
If you are missing multiple teeth, every bite exerts a greater amount of pressure on your remaining teeth than it normally would. In addition, tooth loss leaves gaps in your smile, allowing space for other teeth to shift and increasing the chance of loose teeth.
Infections or Abscesses
Infection below the gum line or abscesses around a tooth can affect the bone and connective soft tissues of your teeth. Loss of bone and periodontal ligament can result from an abscess, reducing the amount of support your teeth have.