Reasons for Tooth Extraction
Most people prefer to avoid tooth extraction, and dentists usually advise saving their patients’ natural teeth whenever possible. But, removal of a tooth from its socket may be the best solution sometimes. Facing this procedure can be somewhat daunting. There are various reasons for tooth extraction. Read on to find out why tooth-pulling may be necessary in some cases.
Irreparable Tooth Decay
Tooth decay, which refers to damage to a tooth’s surface, is the most common cause of tooth extraction worldwide. This occurs when bacteria in your mouth make acids that attack your enamel, which is the visible, outermost layer that covers your tooth. If your tooth decay becomes so severe that your tooth can no longer be saved, dental surgeons may recommend removing it. It often takes years for tooth decay to progress to the point of tooth loss. Tooth extraction due to tooth decay can be avoided if you visit your dentist regularly for cleaning and examination.
Severe Gum Disease
Gum disease is often sneaky. In fact, you may not even know you have this dental problem until it’s already advanced. Gum disease generally starts as gingivitis. This is when bacteria infect your gums, thus causing redness, inflammation, and minor bleeding. As it progresses, gingivitis turns into periodontitis. At this stage, bacteria fall below your gum line and start to attack your teeth and jawbone. In severe cases, your tooth can become loose as your gum tissue and ligaments degenerate, and the bone that supports your teeth deteriorate. When left untreated, gum disease can be just as harmful to your teeth as tooth decay.
Tooth Fracture or Breakage
Physical assault, sports injury, or vehicular accident can cause fractures to a person’s tooth or tooth root. If external trauma causes your tooth to break, there may no longer be sufficient dental structure to which a dental crown or other tooth restoration options can be attached. If the damage is irreparable, tooth extraction may be necessary.
If you have impacted teeth, meaning your teeth have not or only partially erupted beyond the gum line, tooth extraction may be included in your dental surgeon’s treatment plan. There are many causes of impacted teeth. These include overcrowding, twisted or oddly tilted teeth, and displaced teeth. By removing your permanent tooth that has not developed normally, you can create space to pull the remaining teeth into proper alignment.
How to Prevent Tooth Extraction
The key to avoiding tooth extraction is taking good care of your teeth. You cannot possibly expect a clean bill of health if you are not diligent with your oral hygiene. While you can’t prevent car accidents, you can definitely reduce your risk of sports injuries by wearing athletic mouthguards. You also have to see your dentist at least twice a year. Early detection is crucial so that you can avoid any potential dental problems before they even get worse.
Do you want to keep your perfect, amazing teeth? Schedule your dental checkup today with Dr. Amy Guthrie, DDS. Call our clinic in Los Altos, California, at (650) 323-2138 to make an appointment.