As prosthodontic specialists, we at Oyster Bay Family Dentistry regularly help patients who have suffered trauma to their teeth. When permanent teeth come loose slowly over time, it is usually due to periodontal disease, which we classify as secondary occlusal trauma (primary occlusal trauma is damage without infection). Fixing weak teeth requires a combination of periodontal and reconstructive therapy.
Periodontal disease doesn’t just destroy gum ligaments. It also causes the jaw bone to erode. When patients lose their back teeth, they sometimes try to compensate by chewing with their incisors. But the front teeth are not suited for that task and the bite forces they are subjected to further loosen them, and can also cause them to be pushed outwards, forming an open bite.
Antibacterial treatments and removal of dead tissue are necessary to prevent periodontal decay from getting any worse, and splints are commonly used during the reconstructive process. Whether the splint is permanent depends on the individual case. Teeth that have migrated may require orthodontic correction. Lost jaw tissue can be replaced with a bone graft, which can then be used as the basis for implants to replace any teeth that have been lost. But it’s much better for a patient to maintain their oral hygiene and come in at the first sign of trouble.
Drs. Denise VeyVoda and Robert G. West operate The Oyster Bay Family Dentists at 123 South Street, Oyster Bay, New York, 11771. To schedule an appointment, call 516-922-5730 or visit OysterBayDentists.com and fill out a contact sheet.