Typically, a dentist won’t recommend a tooth extraction unless it is completely necessary. If you have a recurring dental problem, they may try to exhaust other options before suggesting extraction. However, in some cases, it is better to remove a tooth before it causes more severe damage. You may be wondering when an extraction is actually necessary.
One of the more common reasons for a tooth extraction is severe tooth decay. Unfortunately, it is generally an indicator that a patient waited too long to seek treatment if it needs extraction. If patients don’t seek medical attention for tooth pain, they could have dental fear or anxiety.
In addition, tooth decay begins as a small cavity in the enamel but will continue to progress without treatment. As a result, what started as a simple, painless procedure can become a more invasive process.
If the decay is severe, removing the tooth may be the only way to prevent spreading to other teeth or the gums. In fact, decay can advance to infection without treatment. Infections can be dangerous if not treated quickly.
Gum disease or periodontal disease can eventually be the cause of tooth extraction. In its early stages, gum disease presents as bleeding gums. Poor oral health is the leading factor in developing gum disease. If you do not brush or floss as recommended, removing plaque from your teeth and gums can be difficult for you. Plaque is a type of bacteria that sticks to your teeth, causing bad breath and other oral problems.
Without treatment, gum disease can severely damage the gums. When this happens, your teeth do not have the stability that they need, making it more likely that they will fall out. Additionally, the gums may become infected, making it necessary to pull a tooth.
Severely Damaged Tooth
There are times when a dentist will need to extract a tooth that has nothing to do with infection. If you experience a dental trauma, it may significantly damage the tooth. While there usually are ways that your dentist can repair a damaged tooth (dental bonding, dental veneers, etc.), a severely damaged tooth may need extraction. A dentist will pull the tooth to avoid a later infection. Additionally, it can pave the way for another dental procedure, e.g., a dental implant.
Another reason a dentist may recommend a tooth extraction is due to overcrowding. Your mouth is only so big, so you may need a tooth pulled if you have too many teeth. Overcrowding can make it difficult to keep your teeth properly cleaned.
For example, you may find it hard to reach all surfaces of your teeth while brushing. Or, you may not be able to fit floss between your teeth. Unfortunately, this can make you vulnerable to tooth decay or gum disease.
A common reason for overcrowding is because of your wisdom teeth. These are the third set of molars that erupt in your late teens and early twenties. Most people don’t have enough room in their mouths to house wisdom teeth. Therefore, a dentist needs to remove them.