Loose Teeth After Deep Cleaning: Causes & Treatment

Many people may experience some degree of loose teeth after deep cleaning, especially if they have not had professional cleaning done in a while. The loose teeth are generally caused by the removal of tartar and plaque that has built up over time. While this may be a little uncomfortable in the short term, it is a sign that the deep cleaning was successful and that your teeth are now cleaner and healthier. In this blog post, we will discuss the causes of loose teeth after deep cleaning and what you can do to remedy the situation. We will also provide some tips for preventing loose teeth and tooth loss.

What is Deep Teeth Cleaning?

Deep teeth cleaning, also known as scaling and root planing or periodontal scaling, is a non-surgical procedure that involves the removal of plaque and tartar from teeth surfaces and below the gumline. Dental plaque is a sticky film that forms on teeth and is made up of bacteria. If plaque buildup is not removed, it will harden into tartar. Tartar is a hard, yellow deposit that forms on teeth and below the gumline. Bacteria in dental plaque produce toxins that irritate the gums, causing periodontal disease(gum disease), a bacterial infection of the gums.

If left untreated, the infection may spread to the tooth-supporting tissues, causing loose teeth and tooth loss. So, your dentist may recommend professional cleaning to remove the dental plaque and tartar and treat gum disease. Professional dental cleaning can be:

  • Routine or regular teeth cleaning: In routine cleaning, the dentist removes the plaque and tartar that has built up on the teeth above the gumline. Visit your dentist for regular teeth cleaning every six months.
  • Deep teeth cleaning: The dentist removes the plaque and tartar that has built up on the teeth below the gumline. Deep teeth cleaning is recommended if you have severe gum disease.

Scaling and root planing, often referred to as the deep cleaning process, is an essential dental procedure for treating gum disease and promoting oral health. In deep cleaning treatment, dental professionals use special instruments to remove the plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line. Then, they smooth the root surfaces to prevent bacteria from easily reattaching and to encourage the gums to reattach to the teeth.

The deep cleaning procedure may be uncomfortable and require a couple of visits, but it is very effective in stopping the progression of gum disease and restoring oral health. Some people may experience some degree of loose teeth after scaling and root planing, especially if they have heavy tartar buildup.

Scaling and Root Planing
During deep cleaning (scaling and root planing), the dentist uses an instrument to remove plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line.

Why Do I Have Loose Teeth After Deep Cleaning?

Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease characterized by red, swollen, and bleeding gums. Gingivitis is caused by the buildup of plaque and tartar on teeth, which irritates the gums and causes them to become inflamed.

If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, a more serious form of gum disease that damages the tooth-supporting tissues. Signs of advanced stage of periodontal disease (periodontitis) include:

  • Persistent bad breath is one of the common signs of gum disease, caused by the accumulation of plaque and tartar on teeth. Bad breath results from the bacteria that thrive in these deposits, producing foul-smelling compounds and contributing to inflammation and infection of the gums.
  • Gum recession occurs when the gums pull away from the teeth, exposing more of the tooth roots, making the teeth appear longer, and causing tooth sensitivity.
  • Deep gum pockets form when the gums detach from the teeth, creating spaces where bacteria can accumulate and cause further infection. These infected gum pockets increase the risk of bone loss and tooth loss.
  • Loose teeth and tooth loss can result from the destruction of the bone tissue and soft tissues that support the teeth due to advanced gum disease.

In advanced gum disease (periodontitis), the teeth become loose due to the destruction of the bone and tissues that support teeth. However, the heavy tartar buildup splints the loose teeth together. So, the loose teeth may appear to be stable and not loose. If the tartar is removed by deep cleaning, the teeth will become loose again. That is why some people may experience loose teeth after deep cleaning.

How to Tighten Loose Teeth after Deep Cleaning?

It depends on the severity of the damage to the bone and tissues that support the teeth. If the damage is mild to moderate, the loose teeth may tighten up after deep cleaning within a few weeks. However, if the damage is severe, the loose teeth may not tighten up and require further dental treatment.

Treatment Options

If you are experiencing loose teeth after deep cleaning, they may tighten up on their own over time. However, if the loose teeth are causing discomfort or are unstable, your dentist may recommend one of the following dental treatments:

  • Tooth splinting: A dental splint to hold the loose teeth together and stabilize them.
  • Surgical treatments: Dental professionals may recommend more invasive treatments, including:
    • Flap surgery: Your dentist may raise the gum tissues and expose the roots for more effective scaling and root planing and reduce gum pockets (pocket reduction surgery).
    • Gum grafting surgery to graft healthy gum tissue onto the affected area.
    • Bone grafting: It is a surgical procedure that replaces missing bone in the jaw. You can read more about reversing periodontal disease bone loss.
    • Tooth Extraction. If the loose teeth are causing pain or are unstable, they may need to be extracted. Your dentist may recommend dental implants or bridges to replace the missing tooth/teeth.

So, if you are experiencing loose teeth after deep cleaning, don’t panic! There are several treatment options available that can restore your oral health. Talk to your dentist about the best course of treatment for you. And remember, prevention is always better than cure, so make sure to visit your dentist for regular teeth cleaning.

Home Care Instructions for Loose Teeth After Deep Cleaning

If you are experiencing loose teeth after deep cleaning, your dentist may give you the following home-care instructions:

  • Maintain a good oral care routine by daily brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
  • Use dental floss at least once daily to remove plaque and food particles between teeth.
  • Eat soft foods and avoid hard or sticky foods that could further disturb your gums or loosen teeth. Eat a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
  • Quit smoking, as it can aggravate bleeding gums and gum disease.
  • Rinse your mouth with antimicrobial mouth rinse or hydrogen peroxide to help relieve inflammation and discomfort. Hydrogen peroxide works by releasing oxygen, which helps to kill bacteria and reduce infection in the gums.
  • Take the prescribed medications as directed.
  • Practice good oral hygiene and visit your dentist for regular dental check-ups.
  • Schedule follow-up appointments for regular cleaning and monitoring the healing of gum disease.

Following these simple steps can help speed up the healing process and reduce the likelihood of loose teeth after professional cleaning.

Home care instructions for loose teeth after deep cleaning
Home care after deep cleaning can help speed up the healing process.

Conclusion

Gum disease can destroy the tooth-supporting tissues, leading to loose teeth. However, heavy tartar buildup splints the loose teeth together and makes them appear stable. If the tartar is removed by deep cleaning, the teeth will become loose again. That is why some people may experience loose teeth after deep cleaning.

With proper dental care, loose teeth after deep cleaning will tighten up on their own over time. If loose teeth persist, dental professionals might recommend additional dental treatments to stabilize them. The treatment options include tooth splinting or surgical treatments, such as pocket reduction surgery and bone grafting.

Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial after the cleaning process. Brushing twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush, flossing daily, and using an antimicrobial mouth rinse can help reduce dental plaque and stop the progression of gum disease.

Visiting a dental professional for routine cleanings and check-ups is essential for maintaining oral health. During the routine exams, the dentist can monitor the healing progress and provide personalized advice on your oral care routine.

The cleaning process, whether through routine cleaning or a deep cleaning procedure, plays a significant role in removing dental plaque and tartar and promoting dental health and a healthy smile.

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