• Loose teeth in adults can have many causes. These include gum disease, gum recession, bruxism, hormonal and metabolic changes associated with pregnancy, and others.
  • To prevent further deterioration, it is important to see a dentist immediately.
  • Non-invasive treatments and surgical procedures can help save a loose tooth. These include flap surgery, bone grafting, soft tissue grafting, bite correction, and splinting.
  • Use Authority Dental to find urgent dental care for your problem. We ensure relief in every dental emergency.

Are you worried about your loose tooth falling out? Here's everything you need to know.

Causes of a loose tooth in adults

Unhealthy oral conditions are often the cause of loose teeth with inflamed gums in adults. Physical injuries can also lead to this problem. Yet, there are also less visible factors that can cause this dental issue.

Gum disease

Gum disease or periodontal disease is an infection that starts by affecting the soft tissues supporting teeth. It then can reach the bone surrounding the roots and becomes the main cause of tooth loss in adults. About 40 out of 100 adults are victims of periodontal disease.

Make a dental appointment urgently if you notice any symptoms of periodontal disease. Bad breath, gingivitis and bleeding gums are some of them. Heal your gum tissue in the early stages of the disease and you will be able to save your smile.

Receding gums

Gum recession exposes the root of teeth in some patients. Receding gums cause sensitivity and increase the risk of decay. Gum disease is one of the most common factors for gum recession. Poor dental care leads to plaque and tartar buildup.

Aggressive and hard brushing also damages gums. Misaligned teeth and tobacco consumption lead to gum recession, too. Tongue and lip piercings are other risk factors.

Exposed parts of teeth roots and sensitivity at the part closest to the gumline of your teeth are signals for a visit to the dentist.


Teeth grinding or clenching is known as bruxism. It puts extra pressure on the teeth and reduces the amount of tooth enamel due to premature wear and tear. This makes the teeth prone to cracking and chipping and also can promote them to become loose.

Bruxism can be very dangerous to your oral health because it often occurs unconsciously. You might be busy with your tasks or sleep at night with clenched teeth and not notice it. This makes it impossible for you to stop this harmful behavior.

If you experience sensitivity, chipping or breaking teeth, you should see your doctor. Ask your family and friends if anyone has noticed this habit in you. Wearing a mouthguard while sleeping will reduce the damage.

Pregnancy and menopause

Hormonal and metabolic changes associated with pregnancy and menopause can affect your oral health. As a result, you may even lose your smile.

Pregnancy can cause estrogen and progesterone levels to rise. These hormones affect the health of the soft tissues and bones in your mouth. Menopause often causes dry mouth, which can increase the risk of decay and gum disease.

Check your hormone levels and oral health during pregnancy. If you notice dry mouth during menopause, ask your doctor for help.

Injury or trauma

There are a number of incidents that lead to traumatic dental injuries and cause severe damage to dental health. It can be any accident that directly affects the jawbone and teeth, like a severe blow to the face.

You can avoid some sports injuries by wearing a special sports mouthguard. Other unfortunate events are beyond our control.

Jaw injuries require immediate medical attention.


Side effects of some medications range from dry mouth to excessive acidity. Abnormal conditions in your oral cavity can lead to decay and loose teeth.

Some examples of medications that affect oral health are opioid pain relievers and antidepressants. Others include muscle relaxants, decongestants and medications for high blood pressure.

If you have developed loose teeth after taking a new medication, contact your doctor urgently to change your treatment plan. Do not ignore other symptoms that occur after changing medications.

Loose tooth treatments

You will inevitably lose untreated wobbly teeth. However, there are non-invasive treatments and surgical procedures that can help you save them.

Flap surgery

Flap surgery is an effective method for the treatment of gum pockets that develop into gum disease.

Gum pockets are areas of affected gums with harmful bacteria that spread to the bone tissue over time. Flap surgery removes the unhealthy tissue. It also includes deep cleaning of the root from tartar and plaque. The procedure’s goal is to help improve oral hygiene and stop bacteria from accumulating and multiplying. This helps the gums to regain their natural strength in order to stabilize periodontal health

Bone grafts

If the loose structure is due to advanced gum disease with bone loss, you may benefit from bone grafting. As gum disease progresses, the bone tissue around the roots becomes less rigid. Bone grafts regenerate and strengthen the affected bone. Even if you lose your tooth, you should undergo this procedure. It will allow you to rebuild enough jaw bone tissue to support an eventual dental implant.

Your surgeon might take the bone tissue from other parts of your body or obtain it from a human or animal tissue bank.

Soft tissue grafts

If gum disease has exposed the roots, you may consider soft tissue grafting to improve your dental health.

This is another common grafting procedure in dentistry. The surgeon makes an incision directly into the roof of your mouth to collect soft tissue. This tissue will cover the exposed portion of the root to replace the sloughed off gum.

Bite adjustment

In some rarer cases, your doctor can offer you a bite adjustment if your teeth have become loose due to an incorrect bite alignment.

Bite or occlusal adjustment involves removing interference between teeth and polishing their surface. The procedure helps to distribute pressure evenly in the mouth.


Splinting involves connecting a loose tooth to a healthy tooth so that they form one solid, unmoving unit. This, unfortunately, doesn’t treat the source of the problem but masks it such that the patient may at least keep their teeth functional, despite the bone loss. Doctors usually perform splinting on the adjacent anterior teeth and use a thin fiber or metal wire to connect them.

Mouth guard

A custom mouth guard is helpful for protecting your teeth from bruxism. It is especially necessary if there is no other treatment available for the underlying cause of your grinding and clenching.

A mouth guard can also tighten your loose teeth up when it’s worn. Be careful: patients with suspicions of sleep apnea must be evaluated in order to determine if sleep apnea is present or not; if yes, other treatments may be necessary in addition or instead of the mouth guard in order to help manage the sleep apnea, which is often accompanied by bruxism. 


What symptoms are associated with loose teeth?

The most common symptoms of loose teeth are sore, swollen gums and bleeding when brushing and flossing. Gum recession and tooth sensitivity along the gum line are also common. Note that these symptoms are typical of gum disease.

What kind of dentist treats loose teeth?

See your general dentist for an initial diagnosis. Your dentist will recommend other specialists for further treatment of your dental health as needed.

Is it normal if your permanent teeth wiggle a little?

A little wiggle of your teeth is considered normal as long as the movement does not make more than one millimeter distance. Contact your dentist as soon as possible if the movement is greater.

When is a loose adult tooth an emergency?

It is an anomaly, whether you also experience pain or not. This condition leads to tooth loss. You need to make an urgent appointment with your dentist to save them.