More than half of the adult U.S. population surveyed over age 50 agree that a smile is the one physical feature that stays the most attractive as we age, according to a survey by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. But keeping your smile intact takes hard work, dedication, and regular trips to the dentist. With the growing rates of untreated cavities in the United States, it’s not surprising that tooth decay is 20 times more common than diabetes and five times more common than childhood asthma, and at its worst, can lead to the need for tooth extraction. Here are just a few other reasons you may need to undergo a tooth extraction procedure.
In some cases, teeth grow in odd positions in the mouth that warrant the need for tooth extraction. This is commonly the case when it comes to getting wisdom teeth removed. The biggest indicator of overcrowding is pain and discomfort, so if you’re experiencing these symptoms, get to an emergency dentist right away to see if it’s necessary to extract extra teeth. Although this issue is certainly frustrating when it seems to have no clear cause, it doesn’t necessarily mean your mouth or teeth are unhealthy, which is always reassuring.
Sometimes, a tooth will get infected, and when left untreated, it will cause the need for a full tooth extraction. When the level of decay or infection reaches the point where it’s irreparable and will cause severe ongoing pain, it’s best to be safe and remove it. If a full extraction isn’t needed, a root canal may be able to salvage the tooth. Typically, a tooth will need to be extracted when the damage and infection have spread to the tooth’s sensitive center, called the pulp.
Compromised Immune System
Finally, a less common scenario that may warrant the need for a tooth extraction is if the tooth has a risk of becoming infected and the person has an already compromised immune system. This is common during chemotherapy, which makes a person more likely to get an infection. This is also the reason doctors recommend chemotherapy patients visit a dentist prior to starting treatment.
Tooth extraction is a common procedure, and to fill these gaps and keep their smile intact, some patients will receive tooth replacements like dental implants or dentures. The number of partially edentulous patients will continue to increase in the next 15 years to more than 200 million individuals. Understanding these reasons for tooth extractions can help you make the best decisions regarding your dental health.