Does My Loose Permanent Tooth Require Emergency Dentistry?

Does My Loose Permanent Tooth Require Emergency Dentistry?
Injuries and dental issues can make a permanent tooth become loose — but does a loose tooth always necessitate emergency care? Learn why permanent teeth loosen, and find out when it’s time to visit the emergency dentist.

Permanent teeth are meant to last a lifetime — but trauma, injury, or underlying dental issues can sometimes make a permanent tooth loose. No matter the cause, the question arises: Does a loose permanent tooth require emergency dentistry?

Narjes Abtahi, DDS, and our team at Your Community Smile offer emergency dental services in Lansdowne, Virginia, and we’re here to help you get the care you need. Here’s what you should know about the possible causes of loose permanent teeth, the potential risks, and when it’s time to go to the dentist.

Why permanent teeth become loose

Your jaw and surrounding ligaments hold your permanent teeth firmly in place, but sometimes, a tooth loosens when it shouldn’t. Trauma or injury, like blow to the face while playing sports, is a common culprit.

Other possible causes include untreated gum disease, tooth decay, and teeth grinding (bruxism). These issues can weaken the ligaments and the bone supporting your teeth, leading to instability that develops over time.

The risks of loose permanent teeth

Loose permanent teeth can be painful, and leaving a loose tooth untreated can have serious consequences. A loose tooth puts you at risk of infection, because the opening around the tooth can attract bacteria.

Loose teeth feel unstable, often making it difficult to chew or speak properly. In some cases, a tooth can shift out of place, affecting your bite and the overall alignment of your teeth.

If you have a loose tooth that’s not treated properly, it might eventually require extraction. Missing a tooth means you could experience additional dental complications and need restorative treatments like dental implants or bridges.

When to go to the emergency dentist for a loose tooth

Some teeth become loose suddenly, but others get loose over time. Because of this, it’s not always easy to know if your loose tooth necessitates a trip to the emergency dentist.

The urgency of your situation depends on how your tooth got loose and severity of your symptoms. If your tooth is only slightly loose, you may be able to wait a day or two for a scheduled dental appointment.

However, certain signs indicate the need for immediate dental care. These include:

Severe pain or bleeding

A traumatic injury can cause intense pain or persistent bleeding around your loose tooth. These symptoms often indicate a more severe underlying issue, and it’s crucial to seek emergency dental care.

Displacement or dislodgement

If your tooth has been completely knocked out of its socket or it’s significantly displaced, you need emergency dentistry. Time is of the essence in these cases, as the chances of re-implanting the tooth successfully decrease rapidly after the initial injury.

Infection or abscess

Even if your tooth has gotten loose over time, you might need emergency dentistry if the area around your loose tooth becomes swollen, red, or tender. These are signs of infection or abscess, and prompt treatment is crucial to protect your overall oral health.

Multiple loose teeth

If you have more than one loose tooth, it might be a sign of an underlying systemic issue or advanced periodontal disease. Immediate dental attention can help save your teeth, prevent further tooth loss, and address the underlying condition.

Have a loose permanent tooth? While not all cases require emergency dentistry, it’s crucial to recognize the signs that require immediate dental care. Call our team at Your Community Smile at 703-565-2667 or book an appointment online now.