Monitoring your teeth for potential issues is an important part of maintaining oral health. Should something happen, your dentist will be able to recognize any signs of danger and fix the problem before it gets worse.
From the time your first tooth erupts as a child, your teeth are constantly moving and developing depending on how well you take care of them. When tooth decay becomes present in your mouth, there is a chance that some of these teeth will develop irreversible damage or infections. Prepare yourself for potential extractions by staying aware of the common signs that a tooth needs to be pulled.
What Are the Signs that a Tooth Needs to Be Pulled?
Generally, the average patient knows how to take good care of their teeth. They brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, and they regularly use dental floss. In addition, most people visit their dentists every six months to monitor for any oral health issues and participate in preventative dental care. It is during these appointments that your dentist may recommend having one or several teeth pulled if they become impacted, overcrowded, cracked, broken or infected.
Impaction or Overcrowding
Impacted teeth are those that have grown or shifted into the wrong position, rendering them useless. If the teeth are too large to comfortably fit within the mouth, dentists call this condition “overcrowded.” Overcrowded teeth can prevent other teeth from erupting, so your dentist will remove them to give the remaining teeth more space. In some cases, dentists may perform a few extractions before fitting braces on a patient’s teeth to make sure that there is enough room for the essential teeth to move into place.
A tooth that has begun to decay can be treated in several ways, but sometimes, the decay is so extensive that these procedures cannot be done as the teeth have been unsalvageable. Teeth that have been severely broken or cracked are known as “damaged teeth,” and the dentist will opt to extract them.
If a decaying tooth is not treated, the decay can spread to the tooth’s pulp. This can be very dangerous because if the pulp becomes infected, the infection can spread from one tooth to another. Your dentist will usually recommend root canal therapy to treat the infection, but in some cases, the damage is so extensive that root canal treatments will not prove effective. For that reason, dentists suggest extracting the tooth.
Some patients may also be candidates for a tooth extraction if there is any potential risk of infection. Those undergoing chemotherapy, for example, will have weaker immune systems and be less able to fight dental infections if they have a cracked or broken tooth. Dentists are particularly concerned about patients such as the ones described above, so they will recommend pulling a tooth to avoid risking the patient’s oral health.
What to Expect Before a Tooth Extraction
Your dentist will need to perform a thorough examination with X-rays before the extraction procedure can begin. In the case of an impacted tooth, your dentist may need to cut your gum tissue in order to fully expose the tooth or cut the tooth into sections to make it easier to remove. Then, she will use forceps to gently coax the tooth out of the gum. After the extraction, she will either place a pad of gauze in the hole or apply a few stitches. Follow-up appointments will be required in order to keep the gum tissue healthy post-procedure.
Reach Out to Arkansas Family Dental
If you, your spouse, or your children are experiencing gum pain, it may be because of impacted or infected wisdom teeth that need to be removed. Contact Arkansas Family Dental to learn if your symptoms match the signs that you have a tooth that needs to be pulled or make an appointment to see a dentist today.