Your teeth are like any other stationary object when it comes to the accumulation of debris and other unsavoury items. If not cleaned on a daily basis, morning and night at the very least, a layer of dirt and bacteria will form on the surfaces of teeth. Initially, this layer contains good bacteria. However, in a short time, even as little as a few hours, bad bacteria begin to take over:
From Plaque to Tartar and Then Gum Disease
That's when the surfaces of your teeth start to feel rough on the tip of your tongue. This layer is known as plaque and contains food remnants as well as the bacteria that feast on them. Like any living organism, bacteria produce waste material. This waste material causes bad breath and tooth decay. If you don't remove the plaque within ten days, it hardens into calculus.
Once plaque hardens into tartar or calculus, it is then impossible to remove by brushing or flossing. This hard, chalky layer of minerals and dead bacteria is the reason that your teeth may feel loose after a dental cleaning. When tartar builds up along the gum line, it irritates the gums, causing them to become inflamed and sore. If not removed, gum disease sets in.
Tartar Actually Holds Teeth in Place
Gum disease progresses from mild (gingivitis), which causes swollen, bleeding gums, to severe (periodontitis) which is when the tissues supporting the teeth begin to deteriorate. First, the gums pull away from the teeth, forming pockets that allow even more tartar to build up. Later, the bone and the periodontal ligaments also begin to deteriorate.
Having lost the support of their gum, bone, and periodontal tissues, the teeth loosen in their sockets. However, the buildup of tartar can be so severe that it actually holds those loose teeth in place, disguising the fact that they have become loose. If, after a dental cleaning, your teeth feel loose, it is likely that you are now seeing the full extent of the damage that was done.
Your Gums and Teeth Can Heal
Although the bone and tissue that was lost as a result of the gum disease cannot regenerate on its own, it can heal and tighten up again. However, you need to practice excellent oral hygiene in order to conserve what is left. If the damage is unsightly, gum and bone grafts can be used to restore the lost tissue.
Do your teeth feel loose after your most recent dental cleaning? Then you may have gum disease and should consult with your dentist to determine a suitable cause of treatment.