As dentists in Bedford, TX, we are committed to helping you to retain your natural teeth for as long as possible. However, there are situations when an extraction is the only and most sensible option. Leaving severely damaged or decayed teeth in the mouth can put other teeth at risk, as well as having a detrimental effect on your overall health and affecting your quality of life.
Here are five of the most common reasons for getting a tooth extraction.
Tooth decay is the single most common reason for a tooth to be extracted, both in the United States and around the world. Decay happens when the sugars that are found the food and drinks that we consume interact with the natural bacteria on our teeth and produce acids found within a clear, sticky substance called plaque that coats the teeth. These acids start to erode our teeth, starting with the enamel that covers them. Tooth decay is progressive, and it takes a long time of not taking care of your teeth to progress to the point where there is no option but to extract a severely decayed tooth. As it progresses, patients will start to experience pain, infection, and tooth deterioration.
Gum disease is often thought of as being less serious than tooth decay, but this isn’t the case at all. Gum disease occurs when plaque that builds up on the teeth because of poor oral hygiene spreads onto the gums. Plaque contains millions of bacteria which cause infection of the gum tissue. Like decay, gum disease is progressive and unless it is treated promptly, patients will experience abscesses, gum recession and deterioration of the gum tissue and the other structures supporting the teeth. Eventually, teeth will start to fall out of their own accord if they aren’t extracted in time.
Teeth may be extremely strong and durable most of the time, but breakages can and do occur, particularly if a tooth has been weakened by decay or trauma. If a tooth breaks at or near the gum line, there may not be enough of the visible tooth structure left for a restoration such as a crown to be viable. Extraction and replacement may be the only viable option.
No two patients are the same, and for some people, they will find that they have too many teeth, leading to a problem known as overcrowding. When teeth are overcrowded, they can become twisted, crooked and overlap. This doesn’t only look unsightly but can put patients at greater risk of developing decay and gum disease since their teeth are harder to keep clean. As such, extraction may become a part of an orthodontic treatment plan designed to bring your teeth into alignment. Most orthodontic issues are addressed in adolescence meaning overcrowded teeth are usually extracted during the teenage years.
Impaction is a term used to describe teeth that haven’t full erupted. Again, this is usually a problem that occurs during adolescence because of teeth coming through at different times and without enough space. Impacted teeth can be very painful, and patients are at greater risk of infection. Wisdom teeth are the most impacted teeth because they come through last and often, there isn’t enough room to accommodate them. However, any tooth can potentially become impacted. In most instances, it’s necessary to fully remove an impacted tooth.
If you would like to find out more about tooth extraction and the reasons why it may be necessary, please call our dental office in Bedford at (817) 571-1667 to speak to the experienced dentistry team at Above and Beyond Dental today!