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Dr Rao
Dr Rao, Dentist (DDS or equivalent)
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 409
Experience:  General Dentist , Private practice since past 6 years.........
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My two top front teeth sometimes wiggle a bit after I eat

Customer Question

My two top front teeth sometimes wiggle a bit after I eat hard foods like carrots. It happens for a minute or two and then they tighten up again. I dont have any problems with my gums or my teeth. What is causing this to happen?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dental
Expert:  Dr Rao replied 8 years ago.

Loose teeth does indicate the presence of periodontal disease.

When was the last time you were examined by your dentist?

Did he mention about presence of gum disease/periodontal disease and periodontal pockets?

How is your general health?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Was at the dentist about 8 weeks ago. Dentist says there is no problem with my teeth and my gums are fine. It never happens when I am at the dentist, only occasionally and briefly after eating hard foods.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
They aren't really " loose" they have an almost imperceptable "wiggle" after eating hard foods. They tighten back up again after a minute or two. I can't see the movement I can just feel it with my tongue. It's funny , I have asked 5 of my coworkers and they all say they have experienced this as well.
Expert:  Dr Rao replied 8 years ago.

Thank you for the added information.

However,wiggly teeth/loose teeth suggest that the supporting structures of the tooth are weak.
The periodontal ligaments,the alveolar bone and the gums support the teeth .Periodontal disease generally affects the supporting tissues and as a result of that your teeth could become weak and could become loose.

Front teeth are generally not as strong as your back/molar teeth.

Hence ,the front teeth normally do appear more wiggly than the back teeth.Front teeth have only one root,whereas your back teeth have two or more roots.The overall periodontal support for your front teeth is generally less compared to back teeth.
Hence it is possible that there is no infection,in your case.

You can visit your dentist again,for an examination.
You can ask him to to examine if there is any signs of periodontal disease like,presence of periodontal pockets,gum recession,bleeding while probing,swollen gums,presence of calculus/tartar etc.
Xrays would reveal the present status of the underlying bone.

Please avoid biting onto hard foods with your front teeth ,till the status of these teeth is determined,as there is a possibility of further damage.

Please let me know if you have any doubts...........
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I still dont get it. I was at the dentist 2 mths ago and there was no sign of gum disease, no bleeding , no pockets and the xrays showed everything was fine. She told me not to worry about it, it was normal to have a little movement. We here at my office were just wondering WHY this happens
Expert:  Dr Rao replied 8 years ago.

Yes,it is normal to have slight wiggly feeling with your front teeth,both upper and lower .
This is due to the fact that front teeth generally have less support as compared to your back teeth.
As I have already mentioned earlier,our front teeth have only one root.Hence it is quite possible to have slight wiggly feeling with these teeth.
The front tooth is more likely to move/wiggle when subjected to pressure as compared to your back teeth.

This movement would be more evident when you feel the tooth with your fingers or tongue or anything soft for that matter.

Dentists generally use hard metal instruments to check for mobile/loose teeth.

When you feel the tooth with anything soft[like your fingers or tongue],you could feel that your tooth is wiggly or loose.However,this generally doesnot mean that your tooth is loose.

If your dentist has not found any signs of periodontal or gum problems,then it is likely that your front teeth are not damaged.

Please let me know if you have any doubts...........
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
the reason it feels wiggly after eating something hard is because of pressure? Why does it tighten right back up?
Expert:  Dr Rao replied 8 years ago.

When you mention that your tooth feels wiggly,it is not necessary that your tooth is actually loose.There is a difference between your teeth FEELING wiggly and your teeth being actually loose.
Your dentist has examined you recently and told you that your teeth are not loose .Hence you are more likely feeling the wiggly sensation,when you feel it with your tongue.

This is due to the fact that your front tooth has only one root and does not have much bone support.Unfortunately our front teeth were not designed to bite onto hard foods.

The root of the tooth and the underlying bone share a very special relationship.This attachment is formed by the periodontal ligament.

The periodontal ligament is a highly specialized tissue and serves various functions,apart from acting as a "shock absorber".This mechanism helps in absorbing a lot of force/pressure that we subject our teeth onto.
The wiggly feeling you feel for some time after biting onto hard foods could be due to the fact that these ligaments have been stretched and are sore.You would generally feel better when these highly specialized ligaments get back to their original position and shape.

You can read more about periodontal ligament here,

Please let me know if you have any doubts.................