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Aura Dental

Loose Tooth

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Aura Dental The Aura Centre
Charlbert Street, St. John's Wood, London NW8 7BT
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Adults

As children, wiggly, loose teeth meant that we would soon be richer, thanks to the generous tooth fairy. As adults, the tooth fairy is a thing of the past. Now, we need and want to keep our teeth for a lifetime. Tooth mobility is typically a red flag for a dental problem, which may require immediate attention. There are a number of different oral health conditions that can cause tooth loosening.

Periodontal disease affects not only your gums but also the ligaments and bone that surround and support your teeth. Periodontal disease is one of the most common causes for loose and shifting teeth. It all starts when the bacterial plaque that forms on your teeth around the gum line hardens into tartar because of inadequate brushing and flossing. As the tartar forms and more dental plaque forms on top of it which contains bacterial toxins, the gum tissue becomes inflamed, bleeds easily and pulls away from your tooth. The gums can develop periodontal pockets that form around the tooth or teeth allowing more bacteria and toxins to form deep within the pocket. This can lead to the loss of bone and connective tissues that secure your teeth in place.

Here's the good news: You can avoid this disease, and you don't have to let it get to the point of developing periodontal pocketing and loose teeth. Good home care, including brushing and flossing, and regular dental visits twice a year are the keys to prevention. However, there have been many advances in treatments. Today, dentists and hygienists successfully treat their patients, even in advanced stages, with deep cleanings, periodontal surgeries and good periodontal maintenance protocols.

High levels of progesterone and oestrogen during pregnancy can cause the ligaments and bone around your teeth to loosen, which results in tooth mobility. Fortunately, this is usually a temporary situation that does not normally result in tooth loss unless there are other complications, such as periodontal disease. Don't take a chance; at the first sign of any tooth movement while pregnant and consult with your dentist.

Both men and women can be affected by osteoporosis, which is a condition in which the bones throughout the body become less dense and are prone to fracture. When the density of the bone around the teeth lessens, teeth can become loose. Women with osteoporosis are three times more likely to experience tooth loss than women without the disease. You should tell your dentist about any medications you take for the treatment of osteoporosis. The risk is low, but antiresorptive medications can interfere with certain dental treatments. The medicine can lead to a condition called osteonecrosis, which can cause loose teeth.

The periodontal ligament and connective tissue that hold your teeth in their sockets can become stretched whenever there are extreme forces placed on the teeth. When the periodontal ligament become stretched, you may experience loose teeth. This can happen if you regularly grind your teeth at night, clench your jaws or have teeth that do not align properly. Any trauma to your mouth from a fall or accident can damage the ligaments and the bone around the tooth.

Consider any injury to your mouth area a dental emergency, and see your dentist right away.

Tooth mobility is never a good sign, but you don't have to lose your teeth. At the first hint of a loose tooth, see a dentist immediately. After a thorough examination, your dentist can determine the cause and severity, and he will present you with a treatment plan to save your teeth.

Kids
Losing baby teeth is a rite of passage for kids, and makes them feel like they're truly growing up. Typically, your child starts to discover "wiggly teeth" around the age of five or six. Some children, however, start losing their primary set later. It's important that they understand it's perfectly normal. This can be a very exciting time for your child and it helps to have a few good tips to get everyone through the process.

The process of losing baby teeth begins as the permanent teeth start to dissolve or resorb the roots. This happens gradually; once a tooth starts to loosen, it may take a few months for it to finally fall out. Once a tooth comes out, it will appear smaller out of the mouth due to this root resorption. Usually, the first teeth to come out are the two lower front teeth, or central incisors. This occurs around five or six but it can be delayed until the age of eight depending on when the first baby teeth erupt. If your child was a late teether, his or her permanent teeth will probably erupt later as well.

To be prepared for your child to lose baby teeth, visit a dentist regularly beginning at age one. In addition to looking for decay and other dental problems, the practice will recommend a preventative schedule to monitor your child's baby teeth at home. It may even be at one of these dental visits that a wiggly tooth is discovered! Once this occurs, continue to:

  • maintain normal brushing and flossing.
  • encourage your child to personally remove the tooth, but only if it is extremely loose.
  • reassure him that they're not the only ones; it's normal to be "toothless" for a while.

If the tooth is not extremely loose, kids will inevitably wiggle it with their tongues, expediting the process. But it is important to note that the resorption process happens at its own pace, and it is never recommended to tie floss or string around a tooth to pull it out. On the other hand, if the baby tooth is very loose, it can be uncomfortable for your child to eat and brush. In this instance, it's perfectly acceptable to try to help your child finish the job at its final stages.

When your child's loose tooth gets even looser, the best course of action is to get it out! Whether they are brave or squeamish, some parental guidance will be necessary. Once the tooth is out, there may be some light bleeding from the gums. This bleeding should stop in a few minutes and the area may appear irritated for a day or two.

Some tips for before and after losing a tooth include:

  • removing it with clean fingers or a moistened gauze.
  • reducing the bleeding with pressure from tissue or gauze in the area for just a few minutes.
  • brushing the area gently for a day or two.

Be sure to call the dentist if the bleeding doesn't stop, or any portion of the baby tooth remains in the socket. Above all, focus on good oral hygiene during this process. Losing baby teeth indicates that your child is maturing and his permanent teeth are ready to erupt. Children at this age should be brushing with a toothpaste that contains fluoride for its cavity fighting benefits.

What's next? Your child will lose 20 baby teeth over five to seven years and show signs of beautiful jaw growth over that time. The loss of baby teeth happens over a long period, but it is an exciting time for the child. For parents and guardians, it's a time of good oral hygiene. During this time, maintain regular dental visits to monitor permanent teeth eruption and receive preventive treatments like scaling and polishing the teeth and fluoride application. Remember that after your child loses each baby tooth, the adult set need to be able to provide a lifetime of chewing, speaking and smiling.

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