Have you ever had a dream where your teeth are loose or begin to fall out? If so, you’re not alone. Millions of people report experiencing dental-nightmares where their teeth mysteriously become compromised. Dream experts have concluded that these dreams stem from big life changes and the anxiety surrounding them. When you wake up from one of these dreams, you may pay special attention to your oral hygeine for a few days, but the threat of missing teeth should be gone.
However, for many adults, loose teeth are a reality that extends beyond dreamland. If you wake up one morning and you do have a loose tooth, don’t worry. It might be terrifying, but a loose adult tooth isn’t the end of the world. Chances are, your dentist can fix it.
There are a number of reasons why an adult may have a loose tooth. The most common reasons include:
If you notice you have a missing tooth, call your dentist immediately. We really can’t stress enough the importance of getting into a dentist’s office ASAP. The longer you have a loose tooth, the more likely it is to fall out completely. We’ve had patients who just ignored a loose tooth for months and months because they assumed it would require tons of dental work (which isn’t always true). Schedule an appointment at the dentist and try to eat soft foods in the meantime.
Once you get into the office, the doctor will examine your tooth and see what has caused it to become loose. If the tooth is loose from injury, the doctor may try to splint the tooth which involves bonding the loose tooth to the surrounding teeth to help secure it. This is more of a temporary fix since composite bonding doesn’t last very long.
If the tooth is loose because of periodontal-related gum recession, the dentist can complete a deep cleaning in an effort to save the tooth. During a deep cleaning, a hygienist will remove the infection that has gotten into the gumline, causing the gums to recede. Once the bacteria is gone, there’s a good chance the gums will heal and tighten up around the tooth. If they don’t recover completely, a doctor can perform a gum grafting procedure to “regrow” the lost tissue.
Unfortunately, there are times that a loose adult tooth cannot be saved. Sometimes, the injury to the tooth is too severe or the patient has waited too long to get the tooth looked at. In these cases, we recommend extraction and implants. Dental implants improve aesthetics and can return the ability to eat and speak naturally to patients who have missing teeth.