The teeth generally have a small degree of mobility, usually higher in single-rooted teeth and lower in multi-root teeth such as the molars. Once tooth mobility exceeds the normal limit it is a sign of disease.Tooth mobility is characterized by one or more teeth becoming loose in their sockets. It may be caused by localized infections in the gum sand tooth support structures.
Gum disease in its early stages is known as gingivitis. It is an inflammation of the tissues that surround the tooth and is caused by bacterial plaque. In this case, the pathology is reversible.Periodontitis is the more advanced form of gum disease, the main cause of tooth mobility and tooth loss in adults.These gum diseases present with or without pain, redness and inflammation, bleeding, bad breath, abscess formation, and tooth mobility.
How tooth mobility occurs
Tooth mobility starts from the accumulation of plaque and tartar. The accumulation of bacterial plaque on the teeth is an indication of a poor oral hygiene routine or an incorrect brushing technique. As a result, plaque hardens over time and turns into tartar, which is difficult to remove with manual brushing and requires professional dental cleaning.
This buildup of tartar is where bacteria are found, weakening the gum’s attachment to the teeth. If the tartar remains here, the gum will become red and swollen. Without proper oral cleaning habits, tartar will progressively increase, causing the gums to recede, creating more room for tartar buildup.
Over time, this accumulation of tartar combined with receded gums will result in loosening of the teeth as the supporting structure of the teeth becomes weaker.If poor oral hygiene measures are not corrected, the condition worsens until the tooth is only held by tartar.
Other reasons for tooth mobility
Other causes for tooth mobility may include:
- Malocclusion as a result of misalignment of the teeth. This puts constant pressure on the teeth causing them to become loose.
- Habits such as teeth grinding or clenching can also cause tooth mobility
- Missing teeth. This causes teeth adjacent to gaps to become poorly supported, which can lead to mobility of the teeth.
- Dental trauma or injuries can cause tooth mobility and even tooth loss.
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