How to save a loose tooth from falling out? 5 ways to tighten a loose tooth in adults

Richard Hattaway

Written by Richard Hattaway DDS, Nichole McKenna DDS, Peter Dégallier RDH

Teeth become loose when they no longer have support from the surrounding gums and bone. There are many possible causes of this and it’s never good.

How to save a loose tooth from falling out? Do you have a lot of time? The guide below will help you answer these questions. Whether you have a loose tooth or just worry about one in the future, it’s good to be informed.

Why is my tooth loose?

Limited dental exam

Picture by Authority Dental under CC 2.0 license

While a loose tooth is no more than a right of passage in children, it’s a big cause for concern in adults. Permanent dentition is supposed to last a lifetime. There’s always a reason behind teeth loosening after primary dentition is gone.

Otherwise called bruxism, teeth grinding is the unconscious placement of parafunctional forces on dentition. “Parafunctional” means more pressure than normal. It can come about through stress, anxiety, or other medical issues., most commonly sleep apnea.

This usually happens while you are asleep. It can cause headaches and facial pain, as well as stretching of the periodontal ligaments. Those join the teeth to the jawbone. When they are stretched, teeth can become loose.

The most difficult to prevent, injury is also a leading reason for teeth coming loose. Even completely healthy teeth can be damaged by trauma. This is because as you take a hit to your face, surrounding tissue gets harmed.

The group that is most vulnerable to injuries are those who conduct a lot of physical exercise. Playing contact sports such as rugby or boxing puts you in the high-risk group.

Being pregnant raises the levels of hormones called estrogen and progesterone. Those can affect the bones and tissues in the mouth. The periodontium is particularly vulnerable. It includes the bones and ligaments that support the teeth.

Looseness of the teeth during pregnancy can be normal and go away on its own after birth. Nonetheless, if you notice these signs, you should see a dentist. He or she can then rule out other causes such as gum disease.

How to tighten a loose tooth?

Treating gum disease

Richard Hattaway

Richard Hattaway, DDS

Periodontal disease has a more diverse bacteria involvement than tooth decay, and therefore it is much harder to treat.

Bite adjustment

Bone grafting

Dental splint

Your dentist might use a splint to save your tooth if it hasn’t detached from the gums. It’s a piece of metal or rigid plastic that joins together two adjacent teeth. The loose tooth gets extra support while it heals. This is usually done on front teeth.


Mouthguards are given to athletes and patients who can’t control their bruxism. It creates a barrier between arches so that teeth don’t rub against each other. You may need additional treatment to help your ligaments heal, as a mouthguard is more of a preventative technique.

How long does a loose tooth take to heal?

Scaling and root planing

Picture by Authority Dental under CC 2.0 license

Healing time for a loose tooth depends on the cause of the issue and how long you wait to fix it. When it comes to trauma and bruxism, the looseness wears off around 2 weeks after you address the problem.

If your tooth is wobbly due to disease or infection, it may take up to 5 weeks for the antibiotics to do their job. Scaling and root planing may make your tooth feel even more loose at the beginning. This is because the buildup that is removed during this procedure may have acted as a “bridge”, holding your teeth up.

If your teeth are loose due to pregnancy, you just have to wait until you give birth. The good news is that this doesn’t require treatment. Make sure to target any other oral issues, though, as those can harm you and the baby.


If your loose tooth hurts or moves upon force, you may have an infection. The cause may be advanced periodontitis, which leads to periodontal ligaments detaching from the tooth. The most common loose tooth remedy is scaling and root planing. It may be followed by a course of antibiotics.

This depends on the cause. Loose baby teeth usually fall out after a few days up to a couple of months. If the problem is caused by gum disease or injury, you should act quickly. You may want to consult with a dentist over the phone if an emergency visit is not possible.

Schedule an appointment with a dentist. Don’t try to pull the tooth out yourself. It may lead to an infection or break off in the socket. What’s more, perhaps the tooth can be saved. If the tooth is ready to come out, the procedure will be relatively painless. You might not even need any anesthetic.

Even baby teeth should not be removed forcefully, unless it’s done by a dentist. Primary dentition has roots that slowly dissolve to make room for permanent teeth. The tooth will almost always come out on its own.

However, it is almost always best to try and save the tooth. Dentition is only removed when it is problematic in an orthodontic sense or if it is infected beyond repair.

Yes. A loose tooth is usually a sign of some bigger problem in your mouth. You should have a dentist inspect your mouth. You could be developing gum disease or have an underlying health problem if you subconsciously grind your teeth.