Monday, July 28, 2014

Loose Teeth

A few days ago, I had a woman visit my office for her first time. She has seen numerous other dentists in the last ten years. She was a little over 50 years of age. She was well groomed and appeared to be concerned with her appearance.

Her primary reason for visiting my office was her loose teeth. She has known about her condition for years but has failed to act on it. At this point, it may be too late too salvage her teeth. Her appearance will be altered drastically. She will look 10 years older the day she has her teeth extracted.

She inspired me to write about loose teeth. There are many reasons why this occurs. Here are some reasons:

This is quite obvious. If you get hit in the mouth with a baseball, a steering wheel, a hockey puck or any other object, the tooth may get loosened up from the supporting bone.

Periodontal disease

My employees mock me for being "The King of Analogies". Here is an easy to understand analogy. If you have a post in the ground, it should be fairly stable. However, if you start to dig up some of the dirt surrounding the post, the post will loosen. Also, if the dirt is of poor quality and consistency, the post will also loosen. Makes sense right?

Oral Cancer

When a cancerous lesion develops within the bone, it will continue to increase in size. The lesion will then exert force on surrounding structures and move them out of the way. If force is exerted on a tooth, the tooth can then be forced away from it's original position.

Parafunctional Habits

This is just a fancy way of saying a habit of a body part that does not serve it's intended purpose or beyond it's capabilities. Some examples of parafunctional habits include clenching, grinding, biting on fingernails, chewing gum and chewing ice. In the context of this blog, if you are constantly subjecting your teeth to excessive stress, they will loosen.

Orthodontic Treatment

When we move teeth on purpose, the bone on the side of the force is lost. On the side that it is pulled from, the bone will fill in. If the movement occurs too rapidly, then the teeth may become slightly loosened. The good news is that once all of the teeth are in their final position, they will tighten back up. 

Baby Teeth

As the permanent teeth develop under the baby teeth, the roots of the baby teeth get much shorter. When there is little to no root left, the teeth will become loose.


If you notice loose teeth, have them evaluated immediately. Don't stop there, heed the advice you get. If you choose to stick your head in the sand, your problem will certainly worsen and you may ultimately lose your teeth like the lady I described at the beginning of the blog.

Dr. Cisneros maintains a practice in Freeburg and Columbia, IL. Both are in the Greater St Louis, MO area. For more information on a wide variety of subjects, please visit

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