If you’ve ever bitten into a crunchy chip or a chewy steak and felt your teeth shifting around in your mouth, you’ve experienced what’s called dentinal hypersensitivity. It can be painful, but it doesn’t have to be!
Your tooth enamel may become more susceptible to wear and micro-fractures. When you experience dentinal hypersensitivity, you may feel pain when chewing certain foods like apples or nuts or using a toothbrush on your teeth.
Many people also experience pain from cold or hot foods/drinks and pressure from brushing their teeth or flossing. It’s a problem that affects an estimated 5% of the population: teeth that feel loose.
Some teeth are naturally more mobile than others, and those teeth may start feeling loose as you get older. You may also experience loosening if you have gum recession or periodontal disease.
In addition, certain treatments, such as braces, can loosen your teeth.
Why Do My Teeth Feel Loose?
Dentinal hypersensitivity is caused by damage to the periodontal ligament (PDL) around the tooth. This damage can make the tooth vulnerable to bacterial infection and cause inflammation.
Gum disease usually affects the gums around your teeth and causes a variety of symptoms, including:
- Red, swollen, or bleeding gums
- Pain when you eat or brush your teeth
- Chronic bad breath
- Loose teeth
Treatments from your dentist can help prevent gum disease from getting worse and causing more serious problems.
However, if you’re not able to see your dentist often enough or don’t have dental insurance, the best way to manage the problem is to follow a few simple steps.
The first step is to brush and floss regularly, at least twice a day! This will help remove plaque and build-up on your teeth. Be sure to use antimicrobial toothpaste since bacteria feed on sugars.
When they eat the sugars, they’ll create acids that dissolve tooth enamel and lead to cavities. Antimicrobial toothpaste reduced gum bleeding caused by plaque by over 70% in a recent study.
The second step is to make sure you visit your dentist at least once a year for a professional cleaning. Your dentist will inspect your teeth for any signs of decay or other problems and will also check for signs of gum disease such as red or swollen gums or bleeding gums when you brush or floss.
Injury to the Mouth
The inner layer of your teeth is the dental pulp, which contains nerves and blood vessels. It is separated from the outer layer of dentin by a thin middle layer called the dentinal tubules.
Sudden, severe injury can disrupt these tubules, causing them to burst and bleed. When this happens, your tooth may feel loose or wobbly.
If you have an injury to the mouth that causes your teeth to feel loose, you should see a dentist immediately. The dentist will examine your tooth and determine what type of treatment is needed.
Teeth grinding or bruxism can make your teeth feel loose.
This is because teeth are held in place by ligaments that attach them to the bone. Teeth grinding can tear these ligaments, causing the teeth to become more mobile.
This is a common problem for many people who clench their teeth or grind them during sleep. If you think you may have this problem, the best thing you can do is see your dentist.
Osteoporosis is characterized by weak, porous bones that affect the spine, hip, and wrist. It can be either a primary disease or a result of other conditions or diseases.
The most common causes are low calcium intake and vitamin D deficiency.
When osteoporosis causes a person’s bones to become weak and porous, they can lose 10% of their initial bone density. This means that the bones become so fragile that they are subject to fracturing with as little as a minor fall or bump, which can cause them to break into pieces and become irreparable.
Once a bone breaks, it cannot be made whole again. In addition to this being extremely painful and dangerous, it also puts you at risk for further injury because broken bones are more likely to break again.
Because of osteoporosis, your teeth may start feeling loose in their sockets. This is because many of your teeth have already been weakened by osteoporosis until they no longer fit into their proper positions.
Since the bone of your jaw becomes so weak, it can no longer support the teeth in its sockets properly, so your teeth may start to feel loose.
If you’re taking certain medications, you may notice that your teeth seem looser than usual. This is a side effect of your medication, and it can be treated with some simple adjustments to your routine.
Many different medications can cause this feeling. Some of the most common ones include:
- Blood pressure medication
- Anti-anxiety medications
Let your doctor know if you’re experiencing this symptom, and they’ll be able to recommend the best course of action for you.
Pregnancy can sometimes cause your teeth to feel loose. There are a few different reasons for this, the most common of which is that the hormone relaxin makes it easier for ligaments in your mouth to become loose.
Relaxin is also responsible for the looseness and instability of your joints during pregnancy, so it makes sense that you’d feel it in your mouth too!
In addition to causing tooth looseness, relaxin can cause trouble with your bite and even loosen your gums. If you notice swelling or pain in your gums, see your dentist right away before the issue gets worse.
When Should You See Your Dentist for Loose Teeth?
It is important to see a dentist for loose teeth if you are experiencing any of the following:
- Teeth that feel wiggly, or like they could be pulled out
- Your teeth that have been chipped or cracked
- Teeth that are sensitive to temperature and/or pressure
Loose teeth are no laughing matter. According to the ADA, loose teeth can be a sign of gum disease or tooth decay, which is serious and could lead to more issues down the line. You can prevent it by practicing good dental hygiene and seeing your dentist regularly.