Why Might I Need a Tooth Extraction?
The job of a dentist is to keep your mouth healthy and to preserve your natural teeth for as long as possible. Nevertheless, sometimes the extent or severity of damage or decay that a patient has can mean that the best solution is to remove the tooth altogether. This is known as an extraction. It is performed because it is the most effective way of relieving the symptoms that you are experiencing and preventing dental problems from spreading to healthy neighboring teeth and tissues.
A tooth extraction is usually a very straightforward procedure, and whenever possible, your dentist will try to remove the tooth whole. However, in some cases, it is necessary to perform a surgical extraction. This is where the gum and/or bone need to be cut to release all parts of the damaged or decayed tooth. Extraction can be performed using a combination of local anesthetic and sedation, although, in rare instances, patients may be able to have a general anesthetic.
Before you can have a tooth removed, you’ll first need to have a consultation with your dentist to check if extraction is the right treatment for you. Here are some of the most common reasons why you might need a tooth extraction.
You Have Severe Dental Decay
Decay is easily one of the most common issues affecting our teeth and oral health. Decay forms when the bacteria that is normally within our mouths comes into contact with sugars in the food and drink we consume. This causes a thin, sticky biofilm called plaque to form on your teeth. Plaque contains acids and these slowly eat away at the enamel of the teeth, causing erosion. These first appear as little dark spots on the teeth. As the decay progresses, it makes its way into the inner, sensitive layers of the teeth, causing toothache and infection. Ideally, the decayed area will be drilled away, and the area covered with a filling or crown. But when decay is extensive, this isn’t always possible and extraction is the best course of action.
You Have Advanced Gum Disease
Gum disease is another by-product of dental decay and occurs when plaque and acids spread onto the soft tissue of the gums. Here, the plaque causes redness, inflammation, and bleeding, and can even lead to infection and root canal infection. Gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss, and because it is a progressive condition, it will inevitably get worse unless you seek treatment promptly. Advanced gum disease has even been linked to general health problems, including an increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and more. If you have advanced gum disease, also called periodontitis, your dentist may recommend extraction for a tooth that is beyond saving.
Your Tooth is Badly Broken
Although teeth are one of the hardest substances in the body, they aren’t completely unbreakable. Not to mention that any previous problems with a tooth, including decay or previous dental treatment, can weaken the tooth and make it more vulnerable to damage. If your dentist believes that your tooth is broken too badly to be repaired using a filling or crown, you may be recommended to have an extraction. You can always then replace the missing tooth with a dental implant or bridge at a later point.
Your Teeth are Overcrowded, or You Have an Impacted Tooth
One of the biggest challenges of teeth is that they all erupt at different times. The number of teeth that someone has can vary too, and many people suffer from overcrowding. This is when there are too many teeth to fit into the amount of space you have in your jaw to accommodate them. Overcrowding particularly affects people who have a small face/jaw. Sometimes overcrowding can also cause impaction. This is where a tooth becomes stuck in the jaw/gum because there isn’t enough room for it to erupt. If you have too many teeth, or you experience an impacted tooth, extraction may be the best course of treatment.
If you are concerned that you may need a dental extraction, or to ask any questions that you have about what’s involved in the process, call Town and Country Dental in Jackson, Wyoming at (262) 677-2224.