How Can Loose Teeth Be Strengthened After Trauma?

If you were recently in an accident, like a sporting or car accident, and your face experienced some trauma, then you may notice that your teeth feel looser. You may be worried that your teeth could eventually fall out or need to be extracted. Read on to learn why your teeth may feel lose even if you've otherwise healed and how to fix the problem.

Why Did This Happen?

Your teeth are held into their sockets by periodontal ligaments. These ligaments have some give and act as shock absorbers when you chew food. These ligaments also stretch when people undergo orthodontic treatment and teeth shift. Small movements, like grinding your teeth, can apply an abnormal force to the periodontal ligaments and affect them; so, even if you didn't knock out a tooth during your accident, the periodontal ligament could've been stretched which can then affect your tooth mobility.

Why Should You Fix This if It Doesn't Hurt?

If a tooth isn't stabilized, it won't be able to redistribute biting forces evenly; you could have a higher chance of premature wear or micro-fractures. Another possible side effect of having a loose tooth is that it can make you more prone to gingivitis or gum disease. When a tooth doesn't have a strong attachment, then plaque can settle into the cementoenamel junction (CEJ). The CEJ is near the border of your gum line and is the area of the tooth where the enamel crown meets the cementum that covers your tooth root. If plaque settles into that area, it can cause further decay and even tooth or jaw bone loss.

How Can a Dentist Help?

In order to strengthen the periodontal ligaments and stabilize the tooth, your dentist may bond the loose tooth to nearby teeth with a splint made of wires and resin. These splints are usually bonded to the chewing surfaces of teeth and will distribute forces as you eat. If you have multiple teeth that are loose, your dentist may splint these teeth with crowns that are fused. If you need a more permanent splint, then your dentist may use a dental drill to cut a tiny channel into the chewing surfaces of your teeth to fix an intra-coronal splint, which is then cemented into place.

Over time, the periodontal ligaments should heal, and then the splint can be removed. If periodontal structures are too damaged, then your dentist can discuss other options, such as implants or other restorations.

Reach out to a dentist for more details.