What are the common reasons for tooth extraction?
- Severe tooth decay
- Periodontal disease
- Overcrowded teeth
- Impacted tooth
- Trauma to the teeth
Tooth extraction refers to the dental procedure wherein your tooth is removed from your mouth. There are several reasons for tooth extraction, some of which are preventable by having a consistent oral hygiene routine. But other reasons are purely accidental or cannot be avoided.
There are two main types of tooth extraction procedures. The first one is a simple extraction which is performed on teeth that are visible in the mouth. This is typically done under local anesthesia, which numbs the tooth and the area around it.
The other procedure is a surgical extraction, which is performed on a tooth that cannot be easily accessed. In this case, you may receive local anesthesia or through sedation. Sedation will make you unconscious during the procedure.
Tooth extraction is often the last resort because dentists will do their best to preserve your natural teeth. If you want to know the different reasons for tooth extraction, keep reading to learn more.
Severe Tooth Decay
Cavities or tooth decay is one of the most common health problems in the world. These permanently damaged areas on the hard surface of your teeth can develop into tiny openings and holes. If you don’t get them treated by a dentist on time, they can get larger and cause severe toothache, infection — and worse, tooth loss.
When a cavity is still small, you might not notice any symptoms. You may not be aware that it is forming, which is why it is important to have regular checkups and cleanings. Tooth decay happens when plaque, or the clear sticky film that coats your teeth, forms and hardens. The plaque has acids that remove the minerals in your tooth, causing tiny openings where bacteria and acid can penetrate.
As the decay reaches the center or the pulp of the tooth, it causes an infection. Once the decay has become so severe, the tooth can’t be saved and extraction will be recommended.
Periodontal disease refers to the infection of the tissues that hold your teeth. In the early stage of the disease, your gums will become swollen and red. Sometimes, they can bleed too. This stage is called gingivitis. When the condition worsens, the gums can also pull away from the teeth, and your teeth may loosen or fall out. This is called periodontitis.
Periodontal disease happens when plaque hardens to tartar. Eventually, this tartar can spread below the gum line. When this happens, only a dentist can remove it and stop the progress of the disease. When neglected, the disease will eventually cause the teeth to fall out on their own, or require extraction.
Crowded teeth occur when there is not enough space in the mouth for teeth to grow properly. When this happens, some teeth overlap in the mouth. The main causes of crowded teeth are the following:
- Having teeth that are larger than the jaw
- Having a smaller jaw
- Losing primary teeth early causes other teeth to move into the empty space
- Having over-retained baby teeth, which causes the permanent teeth to not erupt properly
If your teeth are severely overcrowded, a dentist may recommend removing some of your permanent teeth to create more space for the remaining teeth to move into alignment. This is when tooth extraction might be needed.
An impacted tooth is a tooth that grows by pushing directly against another tooth. Impacted teeth are vulnerable to infection and can cause swollen and bleeding gums. This can be painful too.
Wisdom teeth are the most common cause of tooth impaction. This is when your third set of molars, or the last adult teeth to come into the mouth, don’t have enough room to grow upright. In most cases, the wisdom teeth will grow inward toward the rest of your teeth. To prevent damage to the other teeth, your dentist will recommend the removal of your wisdom teeth.
Trauma To The Teeth
Sometimes, tooth extraction might also be needed when your teeth suffer a trauma. This can happen when you’re involved in a car crash, or have a stray baseball coming at you at full speed.
If the accident causes your tooth to become too damaged beyond saving, your dentist will recommend tooth extraction as a part of your recovery. If neglected, your damaged tooth could become infected and require root canal treatment.
Sometimes, tooth extraction is needed because of uncontrollable reasons. For example, you’re born with a smaller jaw that can’t accommodate all your teeth. Or maybe your wisdom tooth becomes impacted because your mouth doesn’t have enough space for it. Or maybe you get involved in an accident that causes damage to your teeth.
The good news is that some reasons for tooth extraction can be prevented by having a consistent oral hygiene regime and going for professional dental checkups and cleaning. If you’re interested in setting an appointment for a dental cleaning, you can send us a message here at Elevate Dental. We will do our best to make you comfortable throughout the process.