What To Do With A Wobbly Tooth?

Our Epsom dentists take a look at this not uncommon problem

replacing a lost toothAnyone who can remember as far back as their childhood will probably recall those wobbly teeth that seemed to take forever to come out.

Some of us may have even had to endure the ‘doorknob and string’ method of speeding this process up (more of that later), but wobbly teeth at this age are perfectly normal. Having teeth like this as an adult certainly is not.

Loose teeth are not good news if they happen in our adult life. It is usually a problem that can be avoided though and we will take a look at this, and potential restoration options, in today’s blog.


As we mentioned earlier, wobbly teeth are normal in young children and should happen as their secondary teeth are pushing through, dislodging their ‘baby’ teeth. Even though it is normal, care should be taken in removing these teeth. Ideally they should be allowed to come out naturally, perhaps encouraged by eating foods that may help this along the way.

We don’t recommend twisting the tooth too much and certainly advise parents not to use methods such as tying a piece of string between tooth and door and slamming it shut, ‘yanking’ the tooth from the mouth. There does seem to be an unfortunate trend to find modern and ‘amusing’ ways of updating this and promoting it on social media, such as using drones attached to string to pull them out. Any forceful removal of a wobbly tooth though could result not only in pain for the child, but could also tear and damage the gum.

If your child has a problematic wobbly tooth that is refusing to come out, please call the Clock Tower Dental Clinic for an appointment so that we can remove it safely.

Adult loose teeth

If you have a loose tooth as an adult, there are two likely ways that this might have happened. The most dramatic of these is if you have had an accident that caused a blow to the tooth. This may have damaged the underlying bone structure, causing the tooth to become loose. In the majority of cases, the problem is likely to have occurred over a longer period of time and has ultimately been caused by gum disease. Although the ‘gums’ are the focus of this issue, the fact is that, if not treated early enough, it can also damage the bone that supports our teeth. At this stage, the disease is known as periodontitis.

There really is no reason why gum disease should get to this stage. Good home care and regular cleaning by our dental hygienists should help to ensure that your gums and underlying bone remain healthy. Even those at a greater risk of gum diseases, such as diabetics, should hopefully be able to manage the problem with the correct care.

Treating wobbly teeth

Where a loose tooth is the result of periodontitis, the usual treatment option is a sequence of ‘deep cleans’, sometimes also known as ‘root scaling’. This is an invasive treatment that will need to be performed using a local anaesthetic by a suitably qualified dentist. Whereas a scale and polish, carried out by the hygienist, removes bacteria from the teeth and gum line, a deep clean goes deep below the gum line and cleans not only the roots of the teeth but the surrounding bone tissue as well.

It should be said that whilst this is the usual treatment for the problem, it is not guaranteed to succeed and tooth loss is still a realistic possibility. A far better option is to take action to prevent it from occurring in the first place with improved preventative care.

Replacing teeth

If, despite all efforts, your tooth falls out, our Epsom dentists are available to help you find the best method of replacing it.  Those options include dentures, a bridge or dental implants. Although the latter option is more complex and does require minor surgery, it is an option that we are more than happy to recommend. With good care, dental implants can last many years and usually require less maintenance (other than good quality cleaning) than the other options, making them more cost effective than many people realise.

Whether you are concerned about a loose tooth, or teeth, or you have lost teeth that you would like replacing, we can help. The Clock Tower Dental Clinic has extensive experience in this area and will offer our unbiased advice so that you can make an informed choice, should you need to replace a tooth.

If you would like to make an appointment to see one of our Epsom dental team, we invite you to call us on 01372 720136.