Cleaning the house is rarely something you really look forward to. You might not dread it, but you don’t get excited about it either. Yet it needs to be done. When finished, you usually feel good about yourself. You did what need to be done, and now you have a great-looking home again.
The same can be true with tooth extractions. No one looks forward to having a tooth removed, but when it’s done, you can feel good about yourself. Your smile can look better, and your mouth can be healthier, too. Here are five reasons why you might need a dental extraction.
1. You have too many teeth. Believe it or not, you can have too many teeth in your smile. Some people are born with too many adult teeth ready to come in. When they do arrive, the result can be a bit of a mess. Most people only have room in their jaw for the usual number of teeth. Add in some more, and you’ve got an overcrowded smile. Many times, the teeth can make it easier for food to get stuck there. Other times, this makes your smile crooked.
Given that you have too many teeth, the only solution is a tooth extraction. By carefully removing the excess teeth, you can have a normal smile again.
2. Gum disease is about to make you lose a tooth anyway. One of the reasons it’s so important to keep your mouth clean is to keep harmful bacteria under control. These feed off food particles in your mouth. When these bacteria are on your teeth, you can get cavities. When they are on your gums, you can get gum disease. Left untreated, gum disease can weaken your jawbone and cause your gums to recede. This weakens your teeth, and they can easily fall out.
In these cases, it’s usually best to have a tooth extraction. You never know when a tooth loosened by gum disease will come out, so it’s a good idea to take control over when that happens.
3. A cavity grew way too big, and neither fillings or dental crowns can repair the damage. Gum disease isn’t the only problem caused by bacteria. They secrete an acid that corrodes your enamel. These corroded holes are called cavities. What happens if you leave them alone? They keep growing. The cavity only gets worse. Since there are no nerves in your enamel, you might not even know that’s happening.
When a cavity is small, you can repair the damage with a composite dental filling. When it gets too big for a filling, you can do the same with a dental crown. But when it gets too big for a dental crown, there just isn’t enough healthy enamel left to work with. The only way to keep your smile healthy and pain-free is through a tooth extraction.
4. An infection in your dental pulp went untreated for too long, and a root canal won’t help. Again, those bacteria can do a number on your teeth. Sometimes, a cavity grows deep enough to break through to your dental pulp. When this happens, an infection grows that threatens to destroy your tooth from within. Root canals are a restorative dentistry treatment that can remove the infection and save the tooth.
That is, if it can be done in time. If a root canal is skipped or postponed for too long, the infection could spread too far. There’s not enough healthy dental pulp left to keep the tooth itself healthy. At this point, a tooth extraction is usually the only option left.
5. One or more baby teeth won’t come out on its own. In a perfect world, all of your baby teeth will come out as soon as your adult teeth are ready. In fact, adult teeth more-or-less use your baby teeth as guidelines for how to come in. Unfortunately, life is rarely perfect. For some people, either the adult tooth comes in wrong or the baby tooth is stuck. Either way, you end up still having a baby tooth in your mouth. Not only does this make your smile look odd, it can be a health problem because your baby teeth are supposed to fall out.
In these cases, a tooth extraction will help. Our dentists can carefully remove any baby teeth so your smile is healthy and normal.
If you think you might need a tooth extraction, call us today at 603-546-7460. There are many restorative treatments that can save your teeth, such as root canals and dental crowns.