Loose teeth


In children, loose teeth are expected, marking the change from baby teeth to adult teeth. However, after adolescence, loose teeth are no longer normal and should be taken seriously. Despite the fact that our teeth are very resistant and meant to last for a lifetime, they can become loose for several reasons.

A loose tooth is not completely hopeless, but the problem behind it needs to be addressed with a certain urgency, otherwise the damage can become irreversible and the dentist might not be able to save it.

The most common reasons for loose teeth in adults include:

  • Gum disease: severe inflammation of the gum, also called periodontitis, leads to break down of the bone that holds the tooth in place. The process is moslty painless, hence it is usually discovered when teeth start getting wobbly. Gum disease can get more severe in people with uncontrolled diabetes or in the presence of other medical conditions.
  • Trauma or injury: any blow to the face resulting from contact sports, falls or accidents can cause damage to teeth and surrounding structures, leading to chipping, fracture or loosening. These cases require an emergency approach.
  • Osteoporosis: it is a disease that results in weakening of the bones in the spine, wrists and hips. The jaws can also be affected, becoming more porous and fragile. One of the drugs used in the treatment of osteoporosis (biphosphanates) can result in the development of a rare condition in the jaws, called osteonecrosis, which causes teeth to get loose.
  • Pregnancy: because the hormones estrogen and progesterone are raised during pregnancy, the risk for gum disease is increased. In the absence of adequate oral hygiene, the inflammation in the gums can get intense and lead to loosening of teeth.
  • Bad bite



Another condition that can result in loose teeth is a bad bite. When teeth bite together, ideally, chewing forces are distributed evenly among the back teeth.

A bad bite can be caused by many conditions, including all types of misalignment of teeth (crooked, crowded, rotated, tilted teeth) and jaws (cross bite, deep bite, open bite). Restorations such as fillings, crowns and bridges can also cause bite issues.

When the bite is uneven, certain areas or teeth receive an overload of forces that can damage the structures around the teeth. These forces can stretch the ligaments around a tooth and harm the small fibers that connect it to the surrounding bone, resulting in loosening. The excessive forces can also affect the shape of the bone around the teeth.

A bad bite is often linked to tooth grinding, a condition that adds additional stress to some teeth and their ligaments.

Furthermore, bite problems can aggravate gum disease, which is the number one cause for loose teeth.



In order to find the best solution to treat a loose tooth, the dentist needs to find what is causing it in first place. Potential medical reasons must be investigated, such as diabetes and hormonal imbalances.

If gum disease is the cause, oral hygiene must improve and a deep cleaning of the teeth (scaling and root planning) is necessary.

In the case of injury or trauma, the dentist might need to immobilize the loose tooth by bonding it to neighboring teeth. This can be a temporary or a permanent solution. Depending on the severity, a root canal treatment can be necessary after a traumatic injury.



In most cases of loose teeth, there is a component of excessive chewing forces leading to stress in the surrounding tissues. If this is not corrected, teeth might be lost and, the fewer teeth present, the greater the forces that they are subjected to. An analysis of all factors that can cause bite problems needs to be conducted by the dentist; replacement of restorations can be necessary.

If a bad bite is present, the most conservative approach to avoid further problems and improve dental health is orthodontic treatment. By shifting misaligned teeth, the jaws can meet properly together and have an even distribution of forces. This prevents loosening of teeth and a variety of other complications, such as problems in the jaw joint, headaches and pain.

The easiest way to correct the bite and the smile at the same time is through clear aligner therapy. This is an excellent and viable option for adults, who typically feel like braces are overwhelming. Aligners are discrete and can be removed, being a convenient solution.

If you have the feeling that one of your teeth is loose, get a dental appointment immediately.

The health and longevity of your teeth depends on a healthy bite.