How to Avoid loose or wiggly teeth, and tooth loss.
Are you an adult who is afraid you have a loose tooth that will fall out?
Have you been told by your dentist or dental hygienist that you have one or more loose teeth?
Or you may have noticed loose teeth yourself and brought it to your dentist’s attention?
Have you tried at-home orthodontics, such as SmileDirectClub, and now your teeth are loose?
Very often loose or wiggly teeth are misdiagnosed as being caused by gum recession and bone loss, and you are referred to a periodontist for an evaluation and recommended treatment.
The gum recession and bone loss associated with wiggling teeth is very often not the cause of the problem, but the result of long-term occlusal trauma. Occlusal trauma is caused by teeth that clash during rest or function.
When your teeth become mobile and increasingly crooked, these bite problems affect how your teeth contact as you use them changes. The teeth in your lower jaw are like a hammer that hits against the backs of your upper teeth. This consistent use gradually moves your teeth and makes them loosen. Usually the direction the upper teeth are travelling is forward. The lower teeth can be pushed backwards toward the tongue.
In conjunction with seeing a periodontist, you should see someone trained to handle occlusal trauma and get the help you need by seeing specialists for wiggly teeth in Manhattan, NYC.
Orthodontist, Dr. Joseph T. Hung, DMD, MMSc., specializes in all aspects of tooth movement and balancing occlusion at his office location in Midtown Manhattan, which serves as a treatment center for loose teeth in the Tri-State area.
What causes wiggly teeth?
Loose tooth is traditionally mostly common in patients over 50. They usually notice spaces developing in their upper teeth and profusion of the upper teeth. A very common situation is an upper front tooth protruding more and more over time. As the occlusal trauma occurs, the upper teeth keep being pushed further and further outward to escape the trauma. When the protrusion is so severe that it begins to affect the esthetics of the smile, patients may find that it is already too late to save the tooth. Extraction and implant is too often the treatment plan at that time. If caught early, a simple occlusal adjustment followed by the usage of retainers that cover the entire surface of the teeth can greatly extend the lifespan of your adult teeth.
Teeth can wiggle due to a variety of reasons. This can easily be misdiagnosed and often is. When patients notice teeth wiggling, they usually call a dentist and stop in for a clinical evaluation. X-rays are taken and widened periodontal ligament space is usually seen. Depending on how long it has been going on (many people just notice it one day meanwhile it usually has been going on for a while and gradually worsens). The X-rays can also show deteriorating bones and gums surrounding the tooth that wiggles the most. The diagnosis of periodontal disease is usually the first to come to mind. Although this can be a contributing factor, an occlusal analysis should be done by specialists to save wiggly and loose teeth from falling out.
There is often a lower tooth that is crooked and migrating slowly in such a way that it collides heavily against the upper tooth that it is functioning against. The collision that occurs is subtle and many patients don’t notice this until their teeth begin to lose the bony support that it used to have. The diagnosis of periodontal disease can often lead a person down a complex treatment plan that can involve bone grafting, gum grafting, and many times extractions, followed by implants to replace the missing teeth. The underlying occlusal trauma has not been addressed.
Occlusal trauma is extremely common and reducing occlusal trauma can greatly extend the longevity of natural teeth. Once occlusal trauma has been identified, a simple occlusal adjustment can improve the clinical picture greatly. Teeth that were once mobile can stiffen up and although periodontal breakdown has already occurred, it can often be adequate support to allow the tooth to still function for many years to come.
Make no mistake about it, with the rapid growth of at-home orthodontic treatment, such as SmileDirectClub, and orthodontic treatment administered by general dentists untrained and inexperienced in the diagnosing and treating of malocclusion, we should expect to see millions of patients dealing with loose, wiggly teeth and destabilized occlusion. Some teeth will be saved; for others it will be too late. And the cost to fix it will be far greater than if the patient had instead visited an orthodontist trained in the diagnosing and treatment of malocclusion in the first place.
For more information, or to schedule a bite assessment appointment, please call Dr. Joseph T. Hung at RockCenter Orthodontics at 212-265-3577 or visit Dr. Hung’s practice website at www.manhattanortho.com or his blog at www.orthodontistinsight.com.