Whether it’s your wisdom teeth getting in the way of your other teeth and causing problems, or another tooth that has rotted beyond repair, here are five things you need to look out for when it comes to indications you might need to have a tooth pulled.
Teeth Are Impacted or Crowded
One of the most common causes for extracting a tooth is when it becomes impacted (meaning it’s jammed against another tooth) or if it’s trying to squeeze into a space where it just doesn’t fit. This can put that tooth and all the teeth around it at risk for cavities and infection because it makes it hard to get those teeth clean when there’s no space between them, which is why orthodontists will sometimes recommend patients get one or more teeth pulled in order to give them enough room to straighten out the other teeth.
A chipped tooth is one thing, but if a tooth becomes severely cracked or broken, it might not be salvageable, in which case your dentist will probably want to extract it.
Like any other kind of infection, an oral infection can spread from one tooth to another. If one tooth becomes infected and nothing is done to treat or contain the infection, then the infection could get into the pulp of the tooth, and from there it can spread to the surrounding teeth. If the infection is caught early enough, your dentist might be able to treat it with root canal therapy, but if the infection has already become extensive, it might be time for that tooth to go.
Sometimes it’s not even the tooth itself that’s causing the problem. If you’ve noticed your gums are red, swelling, and/or bleeding in a certain area, then you might have gum disease, and depending on the type and extent of the infection, one or more teeth in that area might need to go.
In some cases, a dentist might want to pull a patient’s tooth before it gets infected if the patient’s immune system is compromised. For example, if a patient is getting chemotherapy, their ability to fight infections is compromised, so their dentist might recommend pulling teeth that have become chipped or cracked, even if they are not yet showing signs of infection.
Symptoms to Look Out For
It’s one thing to know in which situations your dentist might recommend pulling one or more of your teeth, but what if you start noticing some unpleasant symptoms and you still have months to go before your next dentist appointment? Here are some of the symptoms that might indicate you need to have a tooth pulled:
- Gums are red, swollen, and/or bleeding in that area
- Pain when you bite down on that tooth
- Pain even when you’re not biting down on that tooth
- Teeth are overlapping and/or misaligned
- Pain and/or stiffness in the jaw
If you notice one or more of these symptoms, and it doesn’t go away on its own after a short while, it’s time to see your dentist.
If you want to keep your teeth healthy and strong, you must take care of them. At Simply Smiles Dentistry, we can show you how to properly care for your teeth. You will have a great smile that lasts a lifetime.
Until next time…Keep on Smiling!