Though tooth loss is one of the leading indicators of poor oral health, tooth extractions can actually improve oral and overall health. Experts approximate that over 20 million teeth are removed annually in the United States.
While the goal is to keep teeth intact, sometimes teeth must be extracted because they are severely impacted, damaged, or diseased. Oral surgeons perform dental extractions, usually as a last resort, by removing the entire tooth from the socket. Here are five reasons why a dental extraction may be necessary.
1. Remove an Impacted Wisdom Tooth
Although some people are fortunate and don’t have to worry about wisdom teeth, most people expect them to emerge at some point during their late teens or early adulthood. Wisdom teeth, or the third set of molars, are located in the back of the mouth and can cause discomfort. If the mouth does not have enough space, wisdom teeth can become impacted beneath the gum’s surface. Often, oral surgeons recommend removing wisdom teeth early in life to avoid complications later. Prolonging extraction may lead to:
- Mild to severe discomfort
- Swelling and redness
- Oral infections
- Dental decay of adjacent teeth
2. Irreparable Damage or Decay
If dentists can preserve the natural tooth, they employ conservative methods to save as much dental structure as possible. General dentists can fill or cap teeth that have minor impairments.
Nevertheless, sometimes the tooth is too damaged or decayed and must be pulled. Extraction may be the only solution for cracks and damage that extend to the tooth root and extensive decay. After oral surgeons remove the tooth, they often replace it with an implant-supported prosthesis to restore the function and aesthetic of the smile.
3. Periodontal Disease
Do your gums bleed after brushing and flossing? Do your gums look puffy or red? These are the initial signs of gingivitis (gum infection). With early intervention, gingivitis is reversible through root scaling and planing.
In contrast, neglected gingivitis evolves into periodontitis, a permanent condition that causes the teeth and gum tissue to deteriorate over time. In extreme cases of periodontitis, teeth loosen and fall out. Dentists often suggest removing the tooth before this severe disease has the opportunity to spread to the supporting bone.
4. Orthodontic Treatment
Sometimes, a person’s jaw is not large enough to fit all of his teeth. This is often what causes crooked and crowded teeth. In these cases, one or more teeth may need to be extracted before he has braces to make room for the other teeth to properly align. Extracting teeth before orthodontic treatment can also help eliminate protruding teeth or impacted teeth and improve jawbone development and stabilization.
5. After Chemotherapy
Did you know that radiation therapy can affect salivary glands? When oncologists apply chemotherapy to the head or neck, the mouth can feel dry. Saliva is essential in removing harmful bacteria from the mouth. When saliva isn’t produced, plaque accumulates and can cause widespread tooth decay and gum disease. Depending on the severity of the tissue destruction, cancer survivors may need infected teeth extracted.
Is it time to see a doctor?
If you are experiencing severe tooth pain, damage, or decay, it’s time to visit an oral surgeon. Dr. Chris L. Tye performs dental extractions to reduce the risk of infections, bone loss, and disease. Our oral surgery team carefully evaluates each case, plans treatment with care and offers sedation to increase success and safety in every stage of tooth removal.
Call 817-552-3223 or contact us online to request more information about dental extractions in Colleyville, TX.