Children from the age of 6 will start to experience loose teeth as their permanent teeth start to grow and their milk teeth will eventually fall out to make way for the permanent teeth. However, loose tooth experienced by an adult is a sign of oral health issues that need to be addressed.
We would love to maintain and keep our original set of teeth as our permanent teeth cannot be replaced naturally once it is lost. Is it possible to save our loose tooth and how can we prevent more teeth from getting loose in the future? Do not assume that a loose tooth is permanently lost as it may be possible to save it. Let us find how to strengthen our loose tooth to prevent us from losing it permanently.
Causes of Loose Tooth
There are many causes of the loose tooth and it is important to know how the tooth became loose so that the right treatment can be given. Knowing the cause of a loose tooth also enables you to prevent your other teeth from becoming loose. The main causes of loose tooth include:
1. Gum Disease – Bacteria in the mouth attacks your gums and teeth, causing inflammation of gums. If the gum infection is not treated, the gum will start to recede until it can no longer support the tooth in place. The bacteria can also damage the tooth root causing the tooth to lose its strength. Gum disease is due to poor oral hygiene that allows the build-up of plaque and tartar on the space between the teeth and gum line.
2. Teeth Grinding – Teeth grinding at night can cause loose tooth as the prolonged pressure caused the tooth to lose strength. Putting on a mouth guard to sleep will help to prevent further damage to the tooth.
3. Facial Injury – Sport or accidents causing injuries to the face and jaws can cause the tooth to become loose.
4. Osteoporosis – Osteoporosis is a medical condition where the bones in the body lose their density due to lack of calcium and this includes the bones in the mouth. As the bones become weaken, it cannot support the teeth and hold them in place.
Dental Treatment for Loose Tooth
If your loose tooth is caused by injuries due to sports or accidents, it is best to consult a dentist immediately. The dentist can assess any damage to bones, nerves and tissues and decide on the type of treatment needed.
For a tooth that is only slightly loose, it can be left to heal on its own. For more serious cases, the dentist can do a splint by securing the tooth to the adjacent tooth until it heals. In either case, avoid eating with the loose tooth until it is fully healed.
If the loose tooth is due to gum disease, the dentist will do deep cleaning such as scaling and root planing to remove the plaque and tartar. These are non-surgical methods to treat gum disease. For more serious gum disease problems, surgical methods such as tissue or bone grafting and bone surgery are recommended.
The dental procedures may stop gum disease, prevent further damage and strengthen the tooth.
Home Remedies to Strengthen Loose Tooth
Some people have tried to use the following home remedies to strengthen their loose tooth:
1. Gargle with saltwater.
2. Gargle with hydrogen peroxide.
3. Turmeric and black pepper powder – mix the two spice into a paste and apply it onto the loose tooth area.
4. Coconut oil pulling.
5. Rub garlic or garlic oil onto the affected area.
These are home remedies that are practised by some people. Some of the ingredients such as turmeric, pepper, garlic and coconut oil contain anti-bacterial properties that can help prevent tooth decay and gum diseases. Using these ingredients can inhibit the growth of oral bacteria and thus prevent the build-up of plaque and tartar. However, there are no statistics or study to use such home remedies can strengthen loose gums.
Stop More Teeth from Getting Loose
The best way to stop more teeth from getting loose is to practice good oral hygiene and eat foods that are high in antioxidants to fight inflammation and essential vitamins and minerals to keep the teeth strong.
Good oral hygiene habits that keep the teeth strong and healthy and prevent and future loose tooth are:
1. Brush your teeth twice a day to prevent plaque and tartar build-up.
2. Floss after every meal to remove remaining food on the teeth to prevent oral bacteria from feeding on the food remains and in the process produce plaque and tartar, leading to gum inflammation.
3. Rinse your mouth after brushing with a mouthwash containing natural ingredients that have antibacterial properties to keep the teeth healthy.
4. Consume less of acidic drinks as such soda and energy drinks. If you do take acidic drinks, do so through a straw. Drinking from a straw reduces the contact time of acid with your teeth. However, you should remove the acid from your teeth as quickly as possible by rinsing your mouth with water.
5. Visit the dentist every six months to check that there is no hidden tooth decay or any other problems and to confirm that you did the rights things in maintaining good oral hygiene.
Besides maintaining good oral hygiene habits, we need to do the following to keep our teeth strong and healthy:
1. Follow a diet that is rich in calcium. Foods that are rich in calcium include green leafy vegetables, canned fish with bones and dairy products such as milk and cheese. Beans, almonds, tofu and soy milk fortified with calcium are alternatives for those who prefer non-dairy products.
2. Drink plenty of water daily to prevent dry mouth. The recommended amount of water to consume for an adult is about 2 litres.
3. Use xylitol chewing gum helps to increase saliva flow and repair tooth enamel. Xylitol also helps to neutralise the acids in the mouth that weakens the teeth.
4. For those who are doing extreme sports, remember to wear a mouthguard to prevent any injury to your teeth.
Prevention Is Better Than Cure
Although the dentist or natural ways can strengthen a loose tooth, prevention is better than cure. What we need to do is to maintain a good oral hygiene routine and eat a healthy diet for strong teeth and bones.
A tooth that is already very loose cannot be saved by dentists or natural ways. It is better that we take good care of your teeth before it cannot be salvaged. Therefore, we must pay attention to the health condition of our teeth before it is too late.