In a perfect world, your natural teeth would last a lifetime. Unfortunately, our world isn’t perfect, and tooth loss happens. Sometimes tooth loss occurs because of a car accident or sports injury, but other times a necessary tooth extraction is the cause.
Dentists typically recommend extractions as a last resort to help patients avoid additional health issues. You may benefit from a tooth extraction if you have any of the following oral health problems:
- Dental decay
- Gum disease
- Crowded teeth
- Lingering baby teeth
- Impacted wisdom teeth
Continue reading to learn more about these issues and how tooth extraction can help. If any of these problems ring true for you, contact a trusted local dentist to discuss your treatment options.
Sometimes, a tooth cannot be repaired because of severe trauma. Common dental traumas include sports injuries, such as taking a ball to the face, car accidents, and biting into hard or crunchy foods.
These traumas can lead to chipped, cracked, or knocked-out teeth that cannot be repaired by a dental restoration. If not removed, the damaged tooth may become infected. In this case, a dental extraction is necessary to reduce pain, infection, and the need to remove more teeth in the future.
Teeth become severely decayed when tartar and plaque build-up on the tooth and eat away at the enamel. Over time, the buildup weakens the tooth, creating a cavity. Cavities should be treated right away. In the early stages, a fluoride varnish can restore the enamel, but as time goes on, fillings, crowns, and root canal therapy may be needed.
However, if the cavity is left untreated, infection is likely to develop. Symptoms of a severely decayed tooth include intense pain, swelling, and redness. At this point, tooth extraction is often necessary to stop the infection from spreading.
A buildup of plaque and tartar along the gum line can also lead to gum disease, also called periodontal disease. This infection of the gums has three main stages:
- Advanced Periodontitis
Gingivitis only affects the gums, making them red, swollen, and sensitive. Periodontitis is the inflammation of the bones and tissues around the teeth. During the advanced stage, the bone and gum around the teeth begin to deteriorate, loosening the tooth.
To preserve the surrounding teeth, the tooth may need to be extracted and replaced with a dental implant. Then, the dentist will create a treatment plan to keep the disease from causing more damage.
If you have crowded teeth, it may be because your jaw is too small to fit all of your teeth. In this case, removing a tooth can provide the space your other teeth need to move into their proper positions, with the help of braces of course! This is an example of removing a healthy tooth to benefit the rest of your smile.
Straight teeth aren’t just for looks. They make cleaning your teeth and gums easier, reducing your risk of cavities and gum disease.
Lingering Baby Teeth
By the age of 12, most people have lost all of their baby teeth. However, if a tooth shows no signs of falling out by the time the tooth below it is ready to erupt, tooth extraction is necessary.
Extracting the tooth can help the child avoid pain, swelling, and infection. Without an extraction, the permanent tooth may be negatively impacted, resulting in changes in contour and color.
Impacted Wisdom Teeth
An impacted wisdom tooth occurs when the teeth grow crooked because of a lack of room in the jaw. The tooth pushes on the neighboring molar, often leading to red, swollen, tender, and bleeding gums. The person may also experience jaw pain and difficulty opening their mouth.
In this case, wisdom tooth extraction is necessary to avoid dental damage and infection.
Learn If a Tooth Extraction Is the Best Option For You
When it comes to your oral health, take no chances. A tooth extraction can help you avoid infection, dental pain, and various oral and overall health problems. If the thought of dental surgery makes you fearful, discuss your concerns with your dentist and ask about sedation dentistry.
Contact our friendly dental team today to schedule an appointment and discuss your treatment options.