Maintaining a healthy set of teeth is not that difficult. You just have to make sure that you brush, wash, and disinfect your teeth, gums, and mouth regularly. However, this isn’t the case with everyone else because of various reasons like genetics and age. Oral health needs more attention as you get older. Genetic, age and lifestyle changes can cause tooth decay or impaction. This means that at some point in life, you may need to undergo tooth extraction.
Tooth extraction can be necessary for excessive decay, infection, and crowding. For those who wear braces, one or two teeth may need to be removed so others can shift into the correct position. Patients going through chemotherapy or who are about to undergo an organ transplant may also need to remove compromised teeth to maintain good oral health.
Teeth are extracted by a dentist or oral surgeon under local anesthesia, general anesthesia, intravenous anesthesia, or a combination of these anesthetics. This is a rather straightforward procedure. However, extraction of teeth under the gum line or impaction requires more complicated procedures.
Pros Of Tooth Extraction
It is not uncommon for people to fear tooth extraction. However, only a very few people understand why they need this procedure. However, tooth extraction can solve a variety of oral health issues. Below are some of its advantages:
- Prevents Further Damage
Tooth extraction is the best procedure if the damage to the tooth is already very serious and irreversible. There is no other way to prevent the condition other than to remove it. This is not just a curative measure, but a preventive one as well since removing decaying or infected tooth will avoid further infection in the mouth.
- Saves Other Teeth
You may be at risk of losing your entire smile if you have a tooth infection. When an infection occurs, it will continue progressing and worsening that it may spread throughout your mouth. By opting to have a tooth extracted, you can easily protect healthy teeth and gum tissues.
It is usually the case with wisdom teeth when they are blocked from coming out, or when the gums didn’t fully erupt, preventing them from coming out. To prevent the impacted tooth from damaging adjacent teeth, your dentist may recommend that you have it extracted. Infection and overcrowding are prevented by removing the impacted tooth.
Dental practitioners make every effort to prevent cavities or infections from spreading to neighboring teeth. Sometimes, patients discover this when it is already too late, and the disease has spread to the other teeth. The patient might also suffer from the loss of more than two teeth if the treatment has been delayed. To prevent the spread of infection on the surrounding tissues and bones, the damaged tooth needs to be removed to keep the infection from spreading to other teeth.
- Relieves Pain
A broken or infected tooth can leave you with severe discomfort. It’s difficult to eat, speak, and even perform daily tasks with a throbbing pain in the mouth. A tooth extraction performed by a professional gives you the chance to directly remove the source of your pain and discomfort.
Most of the time, patients go to the dentist because they have been experiencing dental pain. Usually, the cause can be identified, such as a lodged object or tooth decay. It is easy to correct these simple issues, but there are deeper underlying causes for such discomfort. Many times, an infection in the root of the tooth may have been developing. The more it infects the patient, the more painful it is. The only way to lift the discomfort if the dental problem is to remove the tooth.
Extraction of teeth has the added benefit of preventing cavities and diseases in addition to easing simple discomfort. Pesky third molars can be removed, relieving pressure, reducing gum sensitivity, and relieving tooth sensitivity.
- Prevents Teeth Overcrowding And Shifting
To resolve teeth overcrowding, the mouth may need to be cleared of one or more teeth. In addition, when the patient was advised to undergo orthodontic treatment and his/her teeth do not have enough room to move, this procedure is recommended.
A dentist will examine your teeth to find out if they are crowded, and if there is enough room for them to be moved so they are properly aligned. An example is when wisdom teeth erupt, they can crowd out adjacent molars and cause damage. Because wisdom teeth are crowded inside the mouth, they can cause concerns with alignment over time, taking tooth space that is already occupied.
Wisdom teeth can push a tooth that’s hidden in the mouth or push a tooth in front or behind a visible tooth. This shift only gets worse without early extraction, and your dentist will probably suggest braces or some other procedure to straighten your teeth if it goes on for too long.
Hence, removing your wisdom teeth lowers your chances for incorrectly aligned teeth. This reduces the need for expensive braces and corrective surgery. You don’t need wisdom teeth removal if you already have braces or have had corrective oral surgery.
- Prevents Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease infects the gum tissue, underlying ligaments, and supporting structures that surround the teeth. Gingivitis is the earliest stage of periodontal decay, and it affects the gingiva and the alveolar bone. Advanced stages of periodontal decay affect the periodontal ligaments and jawbone.
The buildup of dental plaque on your teeth causes periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is sometimes caused by the loosening of a tooth, but this can be prevented by brushing your teeth regularly and visiting your dentist.
However, it becomes increasingly difficult to brush or floss if your teeth are always shifting in position. It can hide harmful bacteria in those irregular gaps or places of overlap. If these bacteria are left unchecked, periodontal disease, decay, and tooth loss can result.
A dentist who recommends removing wisdom teeth can help prevent creating this problem for you and reduce your likelihood of developing periodontal disease altogether.
- Gives A Clean Slate For Your Oral Health
If you have a damaged, badly infected, or failed root canal treatment, you may think that your options are limited. Furthermore, even after restorative options that prove to be unsatisfactory, a tooth extraction will still allow you a final option. You create a state of good oral health and maintain good dental hygiene by simply removing deteriorating tooth.
- Improves Your Smile
The dentist may also recommend that the tooth be removed in some cases even when there is no problem with it. Patients with crooked teeth have an overcrowding problem. This, of course, means that the patient’s mouth cannot handle the number of teeth present or that the teeth are too big for the mouth. The solution, naturally, is a molar extraction to remove one tooth and make room for the rest of the teeth to fit properly. This ultimately results in a more beautiful smile.
- Lesser Risks Of Oral Inflammation And Infections
The persistence of wisdom teeth, particularly impacted ones, makes cavities and various types of gum disease even more likely. An impacted wisdom tooth is frequently associated with gum inflammation, which is difficult to treat and can persist for a long time. Infections that occur under the gums can cause muscle pain, and may even spread into the bloodstream. This can lead to septicemia which affects the whole body. The condition of sepsis is serious and can result in death.
Your wisdom teeth can easily become infected when your neighboring teeth are pushed back. Intense pressure on the gums or supporting bones and teeth can result in irritation, and bacteria may enter the mouth, leading to tooth decay or tooth loss.
You may not realize that an infection is present right away because of the pressure in your mouth, hence making it more difficult to treat. If wisdom teeth are removed promptly, fewer chances of oral infections will exist.
- Reduces Headache And Prevents Cysts
Since wisdom teeth grow later in life, this means that other teeth have already grown in and are already stabilized. When wisdom teeth do not have enough room to grow, they will try to push other teeth out of the way. Occasionally, it is necessary to remove wisdom teeth so as to relieve the intense pressure on the gums and get rid of headaches too.
And when wisdom teeth emerge in an impacted position, they can provide a breeding place for bacteria. The growing bacteria invades the jawbone and causes severe pain in the temporomandibular joint which must be treated by a TMJ specialist.
Procedures Of A Tooth Extraction
Depending on whether your tooth is visible or impacted, the extraction will be either simple or surgical.
- Simple Extraction
In order to reduce the discomfort, you’ll only feel pressure, not pain, while you receive your local anesthesia. Next, an elevator is used by the dentist so that the tooth can be removed through the use of forceps.
- Surgical Extraction
During dental surgeries, you will be given anesthesia, so it’s important for you to understand all about them. In addition to local anesthesia, you will likely have some anesthesia ingested into the nerves, for calming and relaxing purposes.
The type of anesthesia you receive will also depend on any existing medical conditions that you have. General anesthesia causes you to become unconscious throughout the procedure.
Recovery After Tooth Extraction
After tooth extraction, you will have to recover for a few days. For an easy and fast recovery, below are a few tips to follow:
- Apply an ice pack to your cheeks right after the procedure to get rid of swelling. Once the ice pack is applied, use it for at least 10 minutes at a time.
- Any prescribed medication, including non-prescription painkillers, should be taken as prescribed.
- Once the dental professional places the gauze pad over the bleeding area, simply bite down to curtail bleeding and help in the clot formation process. Let the gauze on for a couple of hours, until the pad holds lots of blood.
- You should not start your regular routine immediately following your surgery, but rather rest and relax for the first 24 hours.
- Avoid rinsing your mouth during the first 24 hours following the tooth extraction. Spitting should be done gently as well.
- During the first 24 hours, do not use a straw.
- Don’t smoke while you’re still trying to recover.
- Pillows that prop your head up will make lying down more comfortable.
- You can still brush and floss regularly, but do not touch the extraction site.
- You may eat yogurt, pudding, and applesauce the day following the procedure as soft foods.
- After 24 hours, rinse your mouth with water and salt solution. It can be prepared by adding a half teaspoon of salt with eight ounces of water.
- Slowly reintroduce other foods into your diet as you heal over the next few days.
Most importantly, make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible if you experience pain that does not go away after a few days of the procedure. You must also look out for signs of infection like persisting fever, pain, and pus or drainage from the wound.
There are several reasons why you may be recommended to have a tooth extracted. However, your teeth should be preserved as much as possible. Speak to your dentist to figure out what other options are available for you. However, when the infection or decay is already severe, you should really consider getting your tooth extracted.
There’s nothing to be afraid of because the procedure can be made painless with local anesthesia. Aside from that, there are various benefits of tooth extraction. Typically, this includes the prevention of further damage and infection to your teeth and gums. Aside from that, extracting a decaying tooth can relieve you instantly from pain and discomfort. It also helps your teeth align correctly and avoid overcrowding.
If you do decide to undergo a tooth extraction, don’t forget to properly rest at least 24 hours after the procedure to ensure a fast recovery.