A loose tooth is cause for concern unless it is a baby tooth making way for the permanent tooth coming through. Loose teeth tend to start out with a subtle wiggle. Kids usually push loose teeth with their tongue so it becomes that much looser. However, teeth tend to stay in place, even if loose thanks to their strong root structure. The question is whether it is prudent to pull the tooth and when this extraction should occur.
To Pull or Not to Pull?
In most cases, it does not make sense to pull the loose tooth on your own. Pulling a loose tooth has the potential to cause parts of the bone to stay in the socket. It can also harm the tissue to boot. Pull a tooth and you might end up with an infection. More often than not, loose teeth fall out on their own without any sort of pain. However, there are some cases in which it makes sense to pull a loose tooth.
When is Pulling a Loose Tooth is Necessary?
A loose baby tooth should only be pulled if it is extremely loose. If the baby tooth dangles in the socket, pulling it out makes sense. This way, there is no risk of swallowing it after it loosens on its own. Just make sure your little one does not feel pain when pressure is applied to the tooth. If there is any type of pain, it is an indication the roots have not dissolved properly for safe tooth removal. The dentist can remove an extremely loose baby tooth. You can also do it on your own by wrapping a tissue around the tooth in question and squeezing. The tooth will then fall out of the socket.
Pulling an Adult Tooth
Do not attempt to pull an adult tooth on your own. There is no tooth behind the permanent tooth that is loose. If you pull a loose adult tooth on your own, you run the risk of enduring significant pain. Furthermore, you will have a gap in your mouth that must be addressed by a dentist. Dentists will only pull an adult tooth if it is quite loose or if you are experiencing significant pain and there are no other options.
When in Doubt, Do Not Have the Tooth Pulled!
People are usually surprised to learn loose adult teeth often tighten up on their own. So do not assume a loose tooth will have to be pulled. Pulling a tooth has the potential to damage surrounding teeth. Your best course of action is to meet with your dentist, have the tooth analyzed and follow this oral health expert’s advice. If the tooth is slightly loose, the dentist will likely advise waiting to see if it tightens up. However, if the tooth continues to loosen in the coming days, it might be prudent to pull it and replace it with a dental implant or another oral health solution.
For more information call MVP Family Dental at (215) 892-1438.
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