Pulling a tooth is always the last resort for dentists, who are fully committed to your oral health and preserving your natural teeth for as long as possible. However, sometimes there are situations where removing a tooth is not only the most viable option but also the best way to protect the health and appearance of your smile.
Here are five of the most common reasons why your dentist may recommend that you have a dental extraction.
Decay is the most common dental problem in the world. It occurs when the sugars that we eat interact with the natural bacteria found in our mouths and produce plaque. This is the thin, sticky, and transparent substance that coats our teeth when we fail to brush them properly. Although it doesn’t look harmful, the bacteria in plaque produce acid as a by-product, and this can eat through the layers of the teeth, causing areas of decay. When the softer, more sensitive inner layers of the teeth are exposed, contact with food and drink can be extremely painful. Eventually, decay can become so severe that the root of the tooth is affected and dies, or the tooth is weakened beyond repair. In this instance, extraction is usually the best option to ensure that the decay doesn’t spread to surrounding teeth.
Our wisdom teeth are the very last teeth to come through, often not erupting until we are in our late teens or early twenties. Unfortunately, by this time all of our other teeth will already be firmly in place and this can mean that there isn’t space to accommodate the four wisdom teeth. If this is the case, it can cause problems with the eruption process. The teeth may get stuck partway through, the gums may become inflamed and infected and your other teeth could be damaged. Since we don’t need our wisdom teeth and can cope perfectly well without them, extraction is by far the best option. The wisdom teeth are the most commonly extracted of all teeth.
Gum disease, which also goes by other names including dental disease, oral disease, periodontal disease, and periodontitis, is the second most common condition affecting our oral health. It is caused by the plaque on teeth spreading onto the gum tissue, where it causes inflammation, bleeding, and even infection. Since it is a progressive disease, the symptoms will continue to get worse and left untreated, patients could experience gum recession, deterioration of the jawbone, and death of the tooth amongst other problems. If your gum disease reaches an advanced stage, extraction may be the only viable option.
In an ideal world, each of our teeth would come through perfectly in line with the one before it. However, this is almost never the case. Every patient is different, as is the size of their jaw and the number of teeth that it can accommodate. Although most adults have 32 teeth by the time their second set have fully erupted, some patients are found to have more. Undersized jaws and an excessive number of teeth are two of the most common reasons for patients to suffer from overcrowding. When overcrowding occurs, teeth no longer sit properly against one another but instead become twisted and overlapped. Not only does this look unsightly, but it also makes decay and gum disease much more likely. If you have superfluous teeth, your dentist may recommend extraction in order to bring the remainder into better alignment and reduce your risk of experiencing dental problems.
Accidents and injuries can occur at any time, and in some cases, a tooth is so badly affected that traditional restorations such as a filling or crown will not be sufficient to repair it. In the event that this happens to you, you will almost certainly be offered a dental extraction.
Dental extractions are fairly commonplace and always performed using an anesthetic, with sedation a viable addition in many instances. Your dentist will also be able to talk to you about your options for replacing your missing tooth if you should wish to, which could include a bridge or dental implant.
For more information about dental extractions, get in touch with our reassuring and knowledgeable dentistry team in Lake Charles, LA today.