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Ask a Dentist: Should I Wait to Get a Tooth Extraction?
You may be wondering if you need to get a tooth extraction, or you may be feeling apprehensive about it. Luckily, tooth extraction is a safe procedure. Often, it is imperative to remove the tooth as quickly as possible. However, as long as the damaged tooth is promptly removed, the adverse effects are mitigated. We will review common reasons to get teeth pulled and why it is important not to wait too long. It’s essential to consult with your dentist to review your options and ensure this is the best option.
Reasons to get a tooth pulled
If tooth decay or damage is so extensive that it reaches the pulp or blood-vessel-containing center of the tooth, infection is a distinct possibility. Root canals and antibiotics can potentially be used as treatments, but very severe infections require extractions. For immunocompromised individuals, infection risk is higher, and therefore damage might not need to be as extensive to merit pulling out the tooth.
Overcrowding of the mouth is another common reason to get teeth pulled. If your teeth are so crowded that new ones cannot emerge from your gums, or if your orthodontist recommends it to align your teeth properly, then it may be necessary. Overcrowded teeth may also be a precursor to infection. Wisdom teeth commonly cause this.
Sometimes periodontal disease, or gum disease, is an issue. This is an infection in the surrounding tissue and can loosen teeth, in which case they may need to be extracted.
The problems that arise with waiting
If you need a tooth extraction and you wait too long, you could experience a lot of unnecessary pain and hardship. Infections that can be fixed with extractions, such as abscessed wisdom teeth, can be excruciating and can decrease your quality of life, sometimes even leading to difficulties eating and drinking. A poor diet can result from this. Infections also have the potential to spread throughout the body and enter the bloodstream. If this happens, it can lead to fevers and headaches, and a hazardous condition called sepsis.
If your teeth are too crowded, particularly your wisdom teeth, they can trap bits of food and cause infection and gingivitis. Overcrowded teeth could also cause other teeth to shift, which could necessitate future dental work. In a worst-case scenario, teeth can break or have their pulps damaged, and a cyst can form.
If you’re dealing with gum disease, then it’s vital to get loose teeth pulled quickly. As the tissue and bone around the teeth erode and loosen, you lose the ability to properly replace the teeth with implants, as implants need strong bones to support them.
However, there is no need to panic; as long as you get your teeth pulled in a timely fashion and don’t let problems worsen, you can avoid the worst-case scenarios and keep your mouth as healthy as possible.
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