Causes of Tooth Mobility
By Mina Levi, DDS, 09/04/2015

We’ve all experienced a loose tooth at some point in our lives – usually when our baby teeth came loose to make way for permanent adult teeth to come in. As adults, however, it’s much less common to have tooth mobility. In this week’s article, San Francisco dentist Mina Levi, DDS talks about what causes loose/mobile teeth.

Mobile or Loose Teeth in Adults San Francisco Dentist

·     Gum disease – gum disease is the most common reason for loose or mobile teeth. When bacteria builds up between the gum and the tooth, the attachment of the gum to the tooth slowly loosens and comes apart. When the gum is no longer firmly attached to the tooth, the tooth can become mobile. If the gum disease is not treated, the tooth can eventually fall out or need to be extracted. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.

·      Trauma – if you hit your tooth on something in a fall or a physical altercation, it can affect the attachment from the gum to the tooth or from the tooth to the jawbone and cause the tooth to become loose or even fall out.

·      Malocclusion (Bite Interruption/Error) – if the bite of your teeth or the way that the teeth fit together is off or interrupted, the uneven forces can cause the teeth to become mobile. Bite errors can be caused by crowded teeth or by clenching/grinding the teeth at night.

·      Abscess – a gum or tooth abscess will cause the tooth to come loose, and must be treated as soon as possible to reduce risk of an infection getting into the bloodstream and/or eventual loss of the tooth itself.

·      Orthodontic treatment – while undergoing orthodontic treatment to straighten the teeth such as Invisalign clear aligners or traditional braces, the teeth may feel mobile because the attachments are being moved. This should go away once the teeth are set in their final position and have been retained there for some time.

If you have loose or mobile teeth as an adult or are concerned about possible causes of mobile teeth, visit Dentist San Francisco Mina Levi, DDS on the web at or give us a call at (415) 513-5066.