It’s a question that often comes to mind: why do our teeth sometimes wiggle?
There are several causes, the most common of which is tartar, the consequence of a procedure involving recession of the alveolar bone from the onset of decay- -commonly known as periodontisis.
Why is plaque removal important?
If plaque is not removed, gum disease will develop. If plaque is permanently present, bacteria cause chronic peridontal disease through the bone, around which teeth break down. As a result our teeth loosen and then fall-out. Notwithstanding these circumstances, plaque is unsightly and embarrassing.
Let us just provide you with a quick overview regarding how plaque can develop:
Poor dental hygiene, poor diet and infrequent visits to a dentist all constitute serious problems in their own right, but in concert they result in tooth loss.
Poor dental hygiene: irregular / poorly performed tooth brushing, smoking.
Casual and ill-considered nutritional intake: many sweets, sparkling drinks and negligence regarding food intake which aids in the development of healthy teeth or helps to prevent any nascent problems from developing.
Negligence regarding visits to the dentist: it is highly advisable to attend a check-up every six months so as to enable our dentist to identify any problems we are unaware of, all the better to treat them in good time; by this we mean that dentists can examine our teeth to a degree that, as individuals, we can’t and are able notice plaque developing on our teeth.
Everything is based upon good oral hygiene, proper and prudent nutrition and visits to the dentist at least twice a year.
Oral hygiene: After main meals brush teeth for at least 5 minutes; use a tongue sraper, mouthwash and dental floss.
Proper and prudent nutrition: Avoid sugary food, consume more fruit and vegetables as well as and foods which contain K, B6, B12, C, D and A vitamins.
Visit a dentist at least every half a year: No need to talk more about this as it’s been mentioned above.
Returning to the topic, bone deterioration can be measured easily as even in milder cases the dentist can measure the amount of bone loss between the gums and teeth using a probe; this is termed a ‘sachet depth measurement’. A sachet can develop between the teeth and gums because there is an insufficient bone base, enabling bacteria entering via saliva and tartar to cause disease and further bone deterioration. The consequence is loose teeth followed by tooth loss.
Splinting loose teeth
Splinting teeth can be done by means of crowns, bridges or other dental splinting techniques. Splinting arrests further tooth loosening and can help us to keep teeth which are already loose. Using these techniques loose tooth movement can be prevented; however, without hygiene treatment splinting is not enough in itself.
Unfortunately, beyond a certain degree of tooth looseness the tooth fastens to a connective tissue root instead of a bone parodontium, afterwhich not even the above mentioned methods can help; the tooth must be extracted and a secure tooth replacement inserted because long term parodontium diesease, if left untreated, can serve as a source of infection for the entire body.
Another solution: loose teeth can be fixed using a bone replacement material. However, this is an expensive method which involves the use of anaesthesia. There is a possibility of pain, because this counts as minor surgery.
Generally, loose teeth affect older people more because at an older age bone materials decay progressively, so the gum’s connective tissues continuously lose their strength in the toothridge, leading to loose teeth and eventually tooth loss.
Unfortunately, nowadays this periodontitic illness appears more and more amongst young people. In our view this is caused by inadequate oral hygiene, poor diet and insufficient visits to the dentist.
It’s well worth getting our children used to proper oral hygiene practices from an early age and to attending dental check-ups regulalry.
So don’t fall into despair! If you experience loose teeth see your dentist, because there may well be a solution to fix the problem. If there’s no chance of fixing the tooth, extraction and replacement with implants or crowns is advised.