Loose Teeth

While loose teeth are common for children whose adult teeth are growing in, they may be a cause for concern for adults. For help finding a local dental professional, search for a dentist near you.

Loose teeth in children

Most child start losing baby teeth around age 6 when their middle teeth, called incisors, become lose. They will continuously lose other teeth over the next few years ended with their back molars, which are usually lost around ages 10-12 and fully replaced with permanent teeth by age 13.

Children tend to wiggle their loose teeth to get them to fall out. Occasionally, if a primary tooth is not loosening sufficiently on its own, your child’s dentist may suggest extracting it.

If your child loses their baby teeth by decay or accident too early, it can cause problems with permanent teeth erupting too early. Your dentist will help you determine next steps in that scenario.

Loose teeth in adults

For adults, a loose tooth occurs when a tooth loses support and slowly detaches from the bone. Small touches or even eating and chewing can exacerbate the issue.

Common Symptoms Of Loose Teeth

A loose tooth may more slightly or more severely. In all cases, it will seem to pivot from the gum line and may be able to be moved with a finger or your tongue. Other signs to look out for:

If you suffer from these symptoms regularly, it is important to schedule a checkup with your dentist to confirm the cause of the issue. Bleeding gums are not usually a cause for concern but can also be a symptom of more serious issues, like a vitamin deficiency.

Common Causes Of Loose Teeth

Loose teeth may have several possible causes including:


  • Gum disease also known as periodontitis is a common cause for tooth loss. Here, the infection within the gums affects how strong your gums are. The deterioration of gum strength may cause your teeth to become lose
  • Injury or trauma. If you get hit in the mouth and a tooth becomes lose, call your dentist right away so they can determine the best way to treat your loose tooth.
  • Teeth grinding / bruxism. The added pressure you put on your jaw when you grind your teeth can contribute to loosening teeth.

The best way to determine the cause of your loose teeth is by making an appointment with your dentist. They can then review your symptoms, make an accurate diagnosis and give you their recommended treatment plan which may include the need for a referral to a periodontist.

How Can I Stop And Prevent Loose Teeth?

Having a healthy oral care routine is essential to having healthy gums. Plaque that is not removed from your teeth and gumline can be a cause of loose teeth. If plaque is left on your teeth and gumline, it can lead to gingivitis, an infection of the gums, which can lead to gum disease. To help prevent plaque buildup:

  • Floss once a day 
  • Brush your teeth two times a day

But remember to not brush your teeth and gums too hard: pressing down the toothbrush while brushing could cause a loose tooth to get worse.

Once your doctor identifies the cause of a loose tooth, treatment can begin. If you have gum disease you may need a scaling and root planing to clear up the underlying gum issues.


Depending on the severity of gum disease, you might be a candidate for surgery. Options include:

  • Flap surgery. A more intensive scaling and root planing where your doctor makes incisions in your gums to perform the scaling and root planing. Then, gum tissue is reattached.
  • Bone grafting. In cases of bone deterioration, your doctor can take fragments of bone from another area of your body or use a special bone grafting material and to repair diseased bone in your mouth. This helps support your teeth.
  • Splinting. If a loose tooth hasn’t detached from the guns, your doctor may be able to save the tooth using a splint. Your doctor uses a piece of metal to bond two neighboring teeth. This gives the loose tooth extra support and keeps it from moving.
  • Mouth guard. Another option for grinding is wearing a night guard while sleeping. This creates a protective barrier between the upper and lower teeth.

Who Treats Loose Teeth?

Typically, your general dentist can treat the causes of loose teeth. But if your dentist determines that you have a healthy mouth, you may be referred to a general physician or specialist, such as a periodontist, to determine the cause. See your dentist twice a year for a routine cleaning to help prevent loose teeth. preventative care is pivotal in having good oral health, which contributes to overall health. Your dentist can also teach you how to brush your teeth and floss properly to keep your mouth healthy.  To find a dental office near you, visit our locations page.