Tooth Mobility – Loose Teeth

Loose teeth or Tooth mobility is one of the most common problem and the right type of dental treatment can easily address the same. We have tried to provide detailed overview on Causes, symptoms and treatment of loose teeth but feel free to Contact us with your specific questions.

Tooth mobility is the term used to describe loose teeth in the jaws or the alveolar bone. Tooth mobility of about 0.25 mm is present normally in all the individuals and is considered healthy . This mobility is termed as physiologic mobility.The reason for this mobility is that the tooth is not fused to the alveolar bone directly , but is attached to the sockets by the periodontal ligament. This slight mobility is to bear masticatory forces on the teeth while chewing without harming them.Milk (primary) teeth also become mobile. This is a natural process of exfoliation.This is caused due to resorption of the roots, stimulated by the developing permanent tooth underneath.

Causes of Loose Teeth

  • Trauma to the teeth caused by accidental injury.
  • Malocclusion : the trauma due to occlusion also results in tooth mobility. Conditions like deep bite or edge to edge relationship causes excess of chewing forces on the teeth.
  • Bruxism: is referred as the grinding habit of teeth either consciously or unconsciously.
  • Periodontitis: it is the gum disease
  • Gum recession
  • Gum abscess or periapical abscess
  • Cyst or tumour in the jaws.

Symptoms of Loose Teeth

Mobility is seen clinically by applying pressure with the ends of 2 metal instruments (e.g. dental mirrors or dental probe) and trying to move a tooth gently in front and back direction.

Grace & Smales Mobility Index

  • Grade 0: No mobility
  • Grade 1: mobility
  • Grade 2: 1mm but less than 2mm
  • Grade 3: 2mm or more or depressibility in the socket

Other Symptoms are :

  • Redness of the tissues around the tooth.
  • Pain or discomfort.
  • Difficulty in chewing food.
  • Tender gums.

Treatment for Loose Teeth

  • The mobile tooth can be treated by treating the cause first .
  • Relieve the traumatic occlusion and correct the bite.
  • Treat the tumour or cyst
  • Treat the gum infection by proper cleaning and curettage
  • Correction of the reduced bone level by adding the bone grafts.
  • The grade 2 or grade 3 mobility can be corrected by splinting the loose tooth and restricting any movement.
  • If prognosis is poor then the loose tooth has to be extracted and replaced by dental prosthesis.