My teeth have gradually become loose. Why is that happening and what can I do about it?
Teeth become loose because of mechanical factors or bacterial factors. Mechanical factors are how the teeth fit and the forces applied. Bacterial factors come from the bacteria that cause periodontal (gum) disease and tooth abscess (infection).
Mechanical factors that cause teeth to become loose are grinding, clenching, tooth migration, deep and tight overbite, poor tooth position after orthodontics and airway issues. In all of these situations, there is great force on the teeth leading to bone overload causing inflammation. When left untreated, bone is lost over time, creating mobility. It can be corrected by wearing a properly fitting night guard. You can also do some minor tooth reshaping to take the traumatic forces off the tooth/teeth. Finally, orthodontics can put teeth in a better position, protecting them.
Bacterial factors that cause teeth to become loose are progressive periodontal (gum) disease or a tooth abscess (infection). The bacteria that cause gum disease or an abscess increase chemicals in the surrounding tissues that cause inflammation and breakdown of the bone. This allows the tooth to move around in the socket more. The periodontal disease can be treated by doing gum therapy and maintaining your gum health. The tooth abscess can be treated with a root canal or extraction.
The sooner this condition is found, the easier, more comfortable and less costly the treatment can be.