Having Loose Teeth is Problematic
Having loose teeth in your mouth is never a good thing. It is usually a sign of more serious underlying issues and potential problems down the road. In this article, we discuss a recent case of a patient who came in complaining of loose teeth throughout her mouth and the steps we took to remedy her situation.
Everything is Loose!
That description of the problem was an exaggeration. What was loose was quite significant, however, as it involved the top and bottom front teeth. We have discussed loose teeth in various forms in other columns but today we explore this important subject a little more.
Looseness on a permanent tooth usually indicates some serious underlying problems. Let’s see what was happening in the mouth of my patient.
Loose Lower Teeth – The Cause And The Treatment
The lower front teeth showed gum and bone disease. One of the front teeth split in half under the gum. This fracture of the root tooth helped to set up an infection. This infection, along with general gum disease on the neighboring teeth, was the source of the looseness in the lower front teeth. A physical exam, along with x-rays, showed me the cause of the lower teeth issues.
The extent and the severity of the infection in this area only left one reasonable treatment. I removed all of the lower infected teeth, and that same day gave her teeth to wear. Her cosmetic requirement would not allow her to tolerate a significant gap in right the front of her mouth for any length of time. The bad teeth came out of her mouth and I replaced them with a set of replacement teeth immediately.
Loose Upper Teeth – The Cause And The Solution
The loose upper teeth were a different story as there was no infection at all. A dental implant was the primary support for that bridge, and it showed excellent health. The diagnosis that was presented to her by two other dentists was a fractured screw in the implant. Although I had not removed the bridge, I knew what I had to do. I needed to remove the bridge and attempt to retrieve the fractured screw. To complicate matters, even more, the implant system was not one that I work with regularly.
A fractured implant screw?
A fractured screw is a rare occurrence. I have had to remove screws over the years so I have a collection of instruments to help me do this. I gathered several devices that I use to retrieve broken screws. Since I didn’t make the bridge, it wasn’t apparent at first how to remove it. After a few minutes, my attempts paid off. I unscrewed the loose part. To my surprise, nothing looked broken. Following a phone call to the manufacturer of the implant, we came to the same conclusion. There was nothing broken!
A Change in Bite = A New Bridge
The patient’s bite changed over the years, and she required a different design of the implant bridge. The bite change was the cause of the looseness so I ordered all the parts that I needed to make a new bridge. My patient left with a big smile following our simple remedy for her problem. She expected a sizeable surgical procedure to retrieve a useless implant. All she needed was a redesign of the bridge that served her well for many years.
Remedy Loose Teeth as Soon as Possible
Teeth should never be loose. The lack of stability on teeth will seriously impair proper function and shorten their lifespan.
If this sounds like you, please call Megan at 440.951.7856 and set up an appointment. I look forward to meeting and helping you.
Jeffrey Gross, DDS, FAGD is an Ohio licensed general dentist and is on the staff of Case Western Reserve School of Dental Medicine.