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FAQ:  Braces

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Braces causing loose teeth: I have had braces for about 5 months now.

When I was geting my teeth checked my front left tooth is really loose. I can move it with my tongue. My orthodontist said to leave the wires off to see if the tooth will strengthen by itself.

Do you think it is possible for a really really loose tooth to strengthen itself and what should I do to help it ...Visitor from FL

Teeth will become loose during orthodontic treatment because the periodontal ligament around the root of the tooth actually thickens. This is a normal response to orthodontic treatment.

It is very rare to lose a tooth that becomes mobile from orthodontic treatment.

Some teeth will become looser than others, especially your front upper and lower teeth. These teeth have only a single root, compared to a molar which can have two and up to four roots.

I would, however, have your orthodontist take a periapical radiograph to rule out any excessive bone loss around this tooth or periodontal abcess. This is rare, but could also attribute to excessive mobility.

You also need to make sure that you are in periodontal status with your general dentist. It is rare to have periodontal disease localized to one tooth, especially in younger patients, but there is that possibility.

This can be confirmed with a periapical radiograph and manual probing around the gum tissue of that particular tooth. Moving teeth in the presence of periodontal disease will increase the likelihood of excessive bone loss and tooth mobility.

I don't think this is your problem, but your general dentist or orthodontist can confirm this for you.

Editorial Staff

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