Loose & Missing Teeth
Loose or missing teeth are often the result of trauma to the face or poor dental care. Over 50% of the teeth extracted over the age of 35 have been due to periodontal diseases which include Gingivitis (mild form of gum disease that causes bleeding and red gums) and Periodontitis (advanced form of gum disease where the gum starts to pull away from the teeth). Seeing your dentist regularly is vital to keeping healthy teeth and gums.
Over the age of 12, tooth loss is considered an emergency or urgent situation and should ALWAYS result in an immediate appointment to a hospital (for trauma) or your dentist for diseased, loose, broken or lost teeth.
Typical problems that may result from tooth loss are:
- Problems with eating
- Problems with speech
- Teeth may eventually shift and leave a gap that can cause bite problems
- Tooth loss may also weaken the overall structure of your mouth and this can cause additional tooth loss
Common Causes of Missing Teeth:
- Diabetes – (especially type 2) creates a substantial risk of oral infections and loss of bone and connective tissue in the mouth.
- Cigarette smoking – this also includes secondhand smoke
- Periodontal disease
- Oral contraceptives
- Poor diet
- Poorly fitted bridges
- Badly aligned teeth
- Defective fillings
- Excessive biting force (eg. clenching or grinding)
- Cancer therapy drugs
- Some calcium channel blockers
And, ironically, one important cause of missing teeth is earlier tooth loss causing teeth to shift out of place and cause more damage. You should have your missing teeth replaced as soon as possible in order to avoid further problems.
How to Prevent Missing Teeth:
- Tooth loss due to diabetes – be sure you are consistent with your insulin injections
- Smoking – this one is easy! Take steps to stop smoking and try to make your environment smoke free
- Most important – make sure you have regular dental checkups so your dentist can catch anything wrong before it becomes a major problem
- Brush 2X a day if not after every meal and floss once a day
Treatments for Replacing Missing Teeth:
- Dental implants and implant supported dental bridges – this is a permanent treatment that must be done by a qualified oral surgeon.
- Removable dentures – non surgical
- Dental bridges – non surgical
Loose teeth should be taken care of immediately as this can lead to more serious dental issues. Trapped food can also lead to gum disease and tooth decay, which can cause teeth to become loose, further impairing your ability to chew properly. Shifting of teeth can also occur, and in worst cases, tooth loss may be the result.
The most common causes of loose teeth gum disease and trauma to the face, however it can also be caused by illnesses (such as diabetes), malocclusion (teeth that do not match during chewing), and Bruxism – constant grinding or clenching of teeth.
Treatments for Loose Teeth:
- Treating gum disease can firm up the teeth
- Loose teeth caused by a poor bite will firm up when the bite is corrected by orthodontic treatment
- Replacement crowns that fit over the natural crowns will correct the imbalance in size and positioning of the teeth
- Grinding is prevented by using a night guard that fits over the upper teeth
- A loose tooth caused by trauma may firm up with time but it is important to allow to tooth to help by not using it, and taking good care of it
- If none of the above helps, loose teeth can be stabilized by using a splint
A loose or missing tooth is an urgent situation as you could experience extreme pain or discomfort at any time – book an appointment immediately to avoid further risk of damage: 1-877-283-0497.