Causes of a Loose Tooth

While losing a tooth as a child may elicit positive feelings and a visit from the tooth fairy, this occurrence as an adult has serious negative repercussions. Understand why loose teeth happen and the treatment options that can help prevent tooth loss over time.

Loose Teeth Causes and Dental Treatments to Prevent Tooth Loss

One of the leading causes of loose or missing teeth as an adult is trauma. Of course, if you experience an accident or attack, you may experience dental problems. Possible outcomes include cracked teeth, stretched ligaments designed to hold your teeth in their sockets firmly, and shifting due to the force of the impact. If this happens, contact your dentist as soon as possible for help. There are other preventable or treatable conditions that contribute to these issues, however.

Periodontal Disease

Any type of periodontal disease like gingivitis or periodontitis may cause loose teeth over time. These involve inflammation, infection, or breakdown of the gums, soft tissues, teeth, and supporting bones. In the initial stages when gums separate from the teeth, more spaces and gaps for bacteria and plaque to accumulate speeds up the problem. Any of these situations can progress rapidly and result in losing teeth in the long run. In order to prevent this eventual problem, address the first signs of gingivitis before it advances. Symptoms of gum disease include bleeding, swelling, and pain. Once periodontitis sets in or teeth begin to loosen, your dentist can still offer solutions like scaling, deep cleaning, root planing, or surgery to reduce gum pockets and more.

Pregnancy Gingivitis

Pregnant women may experience changes to their dental health due to the increased activity of certain hormones. Gingivitis, which is defined as gum inflammation, is a possible outcome. If you notice streaks of blood when you brush your teeth or floss, speak with your dentist about your options. Untreated pregnancy gingivitis may transform into periodontitis over time. This, in turn, may result in loose teeth and more serious dental issues.


Deterioration, demineralization, and weakening of bone that often affects older people also has an impact on the jawbone and its ability to hold teeth securely. As the strength of the alveolar process, the part of the bone that holds teeth, dwindles, it becomes more difficult for the soft tissues to hold them in place. According to the National Institute of Health, the risk of loose teeth increases threefold for women diagnosed with osteoporosis.[i]

If your medical doctor has given you this diagnosis or put you in a high-risk category, make an appointment with your dentist to discuss the possible repercussions. Make sure to tell your dentist about medications you take to prevent potentially damaging side effects like osteonecrosis. This condition can cause teeth to loosen when certain treatments counteract anti-resorptive prescriptions.

If you experience loose or missing teeth as an adult, it is a cause for major concern. In many cases, Las Vegas Smile Center can save your loose teeth with proper treatment. Many options exist for missing teeth these days, too. The most important tip is to make a dental appointment quickly to address the problem before it gets worse.