Getting a tooth pulled is never fun, but there are times when it is better to extract a tooth than leave it alone. Most of these reasons have to do with supporting your oral health and indeed, your overall health. Medical professionals believe that an infected tooth can even have consequences for a patient’s cardiovascular system. For some reason, bacteria from a decayed tooth sometimes attack the arteries and valves of the heart. Here are some good reasons to get a tooth pulled:
1. Impacted Tooth
This happens when there’s no room in the jaw for the tooth to erupt normally. This is often the case with wisdom teeth, which are the molars found at the very back of the jaw. Some dentists even pull wisdom teeth that are asymptomatic to prevent problems later on.
2. Infected Tooth
Another reason to pull tooth is if it’s infected or has developed an abscess. This is a pocket of pus that’s found at the root of the tooth. Severe decay and abscesses are the reasons most teeth are pulled.
3. Too Many Teeth
Some people are born with too many teeth that aren’t wisdom teeth. These extra teeth can prevent other teeth from erupting normally.
4. Malformed Teeth
Malformed teeth are not only unsightly, but they can adversely affect the way you speak and eat. They can also interfere with regular oral hygiene.
5. Fractured Teeth
Dentists pull a tooth that’s been fractured. They may also extract teeth around the fracture line.
6. To Prepare the Patient for Braces
Some patients who want braces to correct a misaligned bite need to have a tooth or teeth pulled to make sure that the braces fit and can work properly. Teeth are also pulled to accommodate dentures.
7. For Radiation Therapy
Some patients who have to undergo radiation therapy around their head or neck may need to get their teeth pulled.
8. For Appearance
Dentists may remove some teeth because they are unattractive and can’t be restored through cosmetic dentistry for some reason.
How Teeth are Pulled
Tooth extraction is often simple, if not particularly easy. You’re given local anesthesia, and if you’re very nervous you may opt for general anesthesia. The dentist uses instruments to grip the crown of the tooth, lifts it using an elevator, grabs it with forceps and rocks it until it’s loose enough to pull out. Surgery is often necessary to pull a tooth that’s impacted, especially if it is beneath the gums. In that case, the doctor uses a scalpel to open the gums and expose the tooth before it is pulled out. Sometimes, the tooth has to be broken up and removed one piece at a time.
After your tooth is extracted, the dentist presses gauze into the space, and sometimes sutures the incision. These sutures can be absorbable, or the dentist can take them out after a few days.
Tips to Prevent Tooth Extraction
Though some extractions can’t be prevented, as with a wisdom tooth that’s causing symptoms, good dental care is vital to making sure that a tooth doesn’t need to be pulled. This not only means brushing and flossing the teeth but making at least yearly visits to the dentist for deep cleaning.
How to Know You Need Your Tooth Pulled
Unremitting pain is one sign that your dentist may need to pull tooth. Another sign is a wisdom tooth that only partially erupts and looks like it’s erupting on its side. This makes the area subject to bacterial infection. Other signs are pain when you close your jaws and severe gum disease. If you have these symptoms, call your dentist right away.
Many people who have severe tooth pain that comes with an infection find relief by pressing an ice pack against their face. The infection produces gas, which presses against the nerve in the tooth and causes the pain. The ice compresses the gas and relieves the pressure on the nerve.
Any Alternative Methods?
Some people who have tooth pain claim rubbing clove oil on the area eases the ache. But in the end, there’s nothing better than seeing a dentist. If your tooth is paining you and you need to have it pulled, don’t hesitate to call us at Dental Specialty Associates. Our number in Gilbert is (480) 633-9977 and in Phoenix (602) 795-5995.