A loose primary (baby) tooth is a normal occurrence. Baby teeth are supposed to be shed to make room for the permanent teeth to come in. But when a permanent tooth is loose, it will most likely require treatment to be saved.
What are the chances that a loose permanent tooth can be saved? What type of treatment will it need? Learn about the process for saving a loose tooth and the endodontist’s role.
What Causes a Permanent Tooth to Become Loose?
A permanent tooth may become loose for a variety of reasons:
- Trauma. An accident or injury (dental trauma) can knock a permanent tooth loose in the socket.
- Gum disease. Gum disease can damage the support structures for the teeth and cause permanent teeth to become loose.
- Teeth grinding. Chronic teeth grinding can cause permanent teeth to become loose.
- Health issues. There are other health conditions that can lead to loose teeth, such as pregnancy, cancer, arthritis, osteoporosis, and more.
- Root damage. If there is damage to the roots of the tooth it may become loose. This can occur due to gum disease, impacted teeth, or other causes.
How Can You Tell a Permanent Tooth From a Baby Tooth in Kids?
If your child has a loose tooth, you may be wondering if it is a baby tooth or a permanent tooth. You can tell the difference by the size of the tooth and the location. Baby teeth are significantly smaller than permanent teeth. You can compare the different sizes of the teeth if there are other permanent teeth already in place. The only molars that are shed as baby teeth are the 2 year molars, so if it is a larger molar it is likely a permanent tooth.
What To Do For a Loose Permanent Tooth
If you or your child have a loose tooth that you believe is a permanent tooth, contact your dentist. Your dentist can evaluate the condition of the tooth and determine if a referral to an endodontist is necessary to save the tooth.
How is a Loose Permanent Tooth Treated?
The appropriate treatment for a loose tooth depends on the cause and the condition of the tooth. Treatment may involve:
- Stabilization. In some cases the tooth may need to be stabilized while the support structures can tighten it back into place to provide support. A splint may be used to secure the tooth to the other stable teeth for a temporary period of time.
- Scaling and root planing. If the tooth is loose due to gum disease, scaling and root planing may help to clear up the infection and encourage the gum tissue to reattach more firmly to the tooth.
- Night guard. If one or more teeth are loose due to teeth grinding, wearing a night guard can take the pressure off those teeth while they restabilize.
- Root canal therapy. Dental trauma that is severe enough to knock a tooth loose can cause damage to the inside of the tooth that is not immediately visible. The tooth may need a root canal or other endodontic therapy to be saved following an injury.
- An Endodontist’s Role in Saving Teeth
A tooth that has experienced trauma may be damaged on the inside where the dental pulp resides. It can cause a tooth to break down from the inside and eventually become unsavable. An endodontist may be able to save the tooth by performing a root canal.
Damage to the roots of the teeth may result in the need for another endodontic procedure, called an apicoectomy. This procedure involves removing the tip of the root structure and placing a cap over it to seal it off from infection.
Why Choose Elite Endodontics of NH?
Your dentist may want to refer you to an endodontist in order to save a loose permanent tooth. Elite Endodontics of NH provides a variety of endodontic treatments and procedures that improve the chances of saving the tooth in case it becomes loose for any reason. When it comes to saving a tooth, time is an important factor, so don’t wait.
Contact us today at the office location that is most convenient to you to schedule an appointment.