Dentists are dedicated to preserving your oral health. Unfortunately, sometimes the only viable solution for a dental problem is to remove a tooth. This is because leaving a tooth that is severely damaged or decayed in your mouth can put your other teeth and surrounding oral tissues a risk. It could also increase the likelihood that you will develop an infection that could damage your gums and even your general health.
Here are some of the top reasons why your dentist may recommend that you get a tooth extraction.
Decay is one of the most common dental problems and is also a leading reason for people to have a tooth extracted. Decay occurs when sugars from food and drinks come into contact with the bacteria that is naturally found in your mouth, causing a clear, sticky substance called plaque to form on your teeth. Plaque contains bacteria that produce acids and erodes the enamel of our teeth unless we brush the plaque away thoroughly and regularly. The acid eats away into the tooth and causes a hole that exposes the inner, more sensitive layers of the tooth. That’s when mouth pain, infection, and other problems set in. If you have severe tooth decay that can’t be resolved using fillings or a crown, you may be recommended to have the tooth removed.
Gum disease is just as common as tooth decay. It occurs when the plaque that forms on the tooth has the opportunity to spread ono the gum tissue. When this happens, the bacteria found in the plaque causes irritation and infection that triggers a range of unpleasant symptoms, from bleeding and redness to bad breath, gum recession, and pus-filled abscesses. Without treatment, affected teeth could fall out anyway, but some patients have them extracted before they reach this point.
Teeth are, in theory, extremely strong. However, accidents can happen, and teeth can break, particularly if they have already been weakened by decay or prior dental treatment. If you have a tooth that breaks at or near the gum line, there may not be enough of the visible tooth structure left to support a restoration like a crown. Instead, extraction and replacement with an artificial option like a bridge or dental implant may be the best course of action.
Overcrowding is a common orthodontic problem and happens when a patient has too many teeth for the size of their mouth and jaw. In this scenario, patients can find that their teeth overlap, twist, and become crooked as they all try to fit into the gums. When they aren’t properly aligned, teeth are more at risk of being affected by decay and gum disease as they are harder to clean. It can make eating more difficult, affect the position of your jaw, and also affect how you feel about your smile. If you are affected by overcrowding, you may be recommended to have an extraction. Extraction due to overcrowding usually happens during adolescence, when secondary teeth are coming through.
Impaction is a term used to describe teeth that haven’t fully erupted. Again, this is usually a problem that occurs during adolescence as a result of teeth coming through at different times and without enough space. Impacted teeth can be very painful, and patients are at greater risk of infection. Wisdom teeth are the most commonly impacted teeth because they come through last. This means that there often isn’t enough room to accommodate them. However, any tooth can potentially become impacted and require extraction.
If you are concerned that you may need a dental extraction, please contact our knowledgeable dental team at Robert L. Larison, DDS in Springfield, Illinois by calling us at (217) 203-8422.