Loose teeth can have a number of causes, including trauma, infection and cracking, but the most common culprit is periodontal disease, especially when multiple teeth have loosened. While your dentist may be able to treat and save teeth with some minor mobility issues, extremely loose teeth generally cannot be saved, and leaving them in place may worsen existing dental problems or even create new ones. In such cases, removal is better done sooner than later to prevent problems that may make dental restoration more difficult.
Periodontal (Gum) Disease
Periodontal disease, is by far, the most common problem when a person discovers that several or all of their teeth have loosened. It typically begins as a condition called gingivitis, in which plaque bacteria causes inflammation and bleeding in the gums. Left untreated, gingivitis can progress into a more serious condition called periodontitis, which is a chronic infection under the gum line that causes gums to pull away from the teeth, forming pockets that allow the infection to spread deep into the gums around the tooth roots. As the infection spreads, the body's immune response to the bacteria begins breaking down the bone and connective tissues that hold teeth in place, causing teeth to loosen.
If you have teeth that have been so severely damaged by periodontitis that they are very loose, your dentist will likely advise that they be removed, usually by a Singapore oral surgeon. Often, extraction is the only way to prevent teeth that have become so severely damaged from spreading the infection to nearby teeth and bones. Leaving severely loosened teeth in place may also accelerate the destruction of bone and soft tissues, as they shift and mover, wearing away at them. Additionally, the bacteria that is at the root of periodontitis can cause other health problems, with a number of studies showing that people with gum disease are more likely to develop heart disease than those with healthy gums, may have more trouble maintaining healthy blood sugar levels, and pregnant women with the infection may be more likely to be affected by complications.
So, although it can be very disheartening to lose your natural teeth, if yours have been irretrievably damaged by gum disease, having them extracted as soon as possible is important to preserve oral health and function as well as your general health. Also, having diseased teeth removed before extensive bone loss has occurred opens the door to a wider range of dental restoration options, including dental implants, which can provide replacement teeth that look, feel and function like healthy, natural teeth.
Photo credit: Katherine Johnson