I have loose teeth!

September 8, 2014

3 perio2a 3 perio8a 3 perio8b


Gum disease is a major reason why people lose teeth as they get older, but this patient is under 40 years of age.  This patient came to me once at Nundah Village Dental complaining that the front teeth had moved creating a gap.  The main complaint was that the smile wasn’t even anymore, and the patient hoped to get Invisalign to straighten the teeth.  Sadly, what has happened is a perfect storm of a smoking history, lack of 6 monthly professional cleans at the dentist for nearly 10 years, and probably a genetic modifier.  Gum Disease, or periodontal disease, occurs when the bacteria growing around the roots of the teeth in scale (tartar or calculus), cause a permanent chronic infection, and eventually this leads to tissue and bone destruction.  Once the jaw bone is lost, the teeth become loose and drift like pylons in soft mud near a jetty.  The gums recede leaving the roots of the teeth sensitive, and people become very disappointed to learn that the loss of bone is mostly irreversible.  Treating the teeth when they are sensitive is another challenge, and in this case I recommended specialist intervention as soon as possible.

Loose teeth therefore can have devastating issues for a patient’s confidence and well being.  I recently saw a 92 year old man with beautiful clean teeth.  He has never missed coming for his check and clean every 6 months, and is healthy and can eat whatever he wants.  How often do you service your car? Why? – People service their car more often than their teeth, spend more buying a car, and expect to often trade it in for little value 5 years later only to spend more to buy another car.  I’m sorry, but prevention wins, and you can’t buy a new mouth.  Any dental replacement will be a poor second to what you started out with in life.  Get your teeth into service and love your mouth again!




My gums are receeding

October 19, 2010

This 21 year old came to see me today complaining of pain and receeding gums.  The tissue is very thin and fragile on some people and the gum can receed from brushing too hard, or leaving bacteria on the gumline from brushing too soft.

We cleaned the hard calculus and build up off the teeth and prescribed a toothpaste for sensitive teeth.  Rubbing with salt and gentle brushing with a soft brush will help maintain the area – an electric toothbrush can be of benefit here.

Unfortunately the gum won’t repair (it may do slightly as the patient is very young).  What we want to do is be very diligent and stop it getting worse.  If it gets into the soft part of the lip it can speed up and long term the tooth could then be at risk of getting loose and falling out!  Sometimes a specialist can do a graft to cover the sensitive root.  If it is well maintained then receeding gums can be stabalised with regular check-ups.