Is there anything worse than getting a tooth pulled? Well, maybe, but probably not anything you’ll encounter at our Edgewood dentist office. Pulling teeth isn’t something we like to do – in fact we make every effort to save a tooth before having to extract it.
There are a lot of reasons that teeth can be pulled and today we’re going to talk about those that can be prevented. There are always cases, like impacted wisdom teeth, that are completely beyond your control.
Our goal is to help you be informed about preventable causes of tooth extraction so that you can preserve your oral health and never have to worry about undergoing such an uncomfortable, and often easily preventable, procedure.
Severe Tooth Decay
Cavities start out simple – oral bacteria wears away the enamel on the surface of your teeth, slowly creating holes that go deeper and deeper. Eventually cavities reach the roots of your teeth and quickly overwhelm the soft dental pulp that resides there. Dental pulp is filled with blood vessels and nerves, and an infection there can really hurt.
We typically treat infected roots with a root canal, but in some extreme cases it’s not possible to save the tooth. In those cases we’re forced to extract it. These teeth are usually so far decayed that they have become weakened, cracked, or have given rise to an abscess beneath the tooth.
While cavities claim a large number of teeth they can’t hold a candle to the ability of gum disease to wipe out people’s smiles. Gum disease is the number one tooth killer in the world, causing tooth loss due to gum recession and bone damage.
Gum disease starts when oral bacteria – the same kind that causes tooth decay – gets below your gum line. Bacteria is always looking for a way to avoid your brushing and flossing, and what better place than beneath your gums? Once there it causes infection that your body reacts to with inflammation, gum recession, bleeding, and damage to teeth and bones.
Without intervention gum disease will almost always include the loss of a tooth. In severe cases it’s often easier to remove the tooth via extraction than to let it fall out. Extracting a tooth lets us treat the underlying infection and hopefully save the other teeth around it. If left in place gum disease can simply spread, becoming worse and worse and taking more teeth with it.
There are plenty of ways you can injure a tooth enough to require extraction: you could slip and fall, get in a car accident, and most common of all is playing sports. High-contact games and those that don’t directly involve slamming into other people can both be a great way to break a tooth!
We can generally restore a damaged tooth with a crown, but there are instances of severe damage that necessitate immediate extraction. When a tooth is fractured below the gumline, cracked to the root, or fractured in several pieces we probably need to pull it right away!
Avoiding Preventable Tooth Extraction
When it comes to avoiding tooth extraction due to decay or gum disease the answer is the same: take good care of your teeth! Oral hygiene isn’t something you can take it easy with and still expect a clean bill of health.
Your teeth need to be brushed twice a day, flossed nightly, and we need to see you at Edgewood Dental Care every six months for a professional check-up. You can take amazing care of your teeth but still end up with serious problems if we don’t have a chance to catch them early during an exam!
Injuries like vehicle accidents and slip-and-falls can’t be prevented, but athletic injuries definitely can. We offer custom made athletic mouthguards that are the professional quality choice for preventing dental injuries. Our mouthguards are designed to perfectly fit your teeth while maintaining a high level of comfort and breathability. You don’t want to trust your mouth to a second-rate guard!
The One Secret To Avoiding Tooth Extraction
No matter the cause of an extraction prevention comes down to one thing: planning ahead. If you are diligent in taking care of your teeth and gums, wear athletic protection, and see us twice a year you shouldn’t have any need for an extraction that could have been prevented. It doesn’t have to be difficult to prevent extractions, but it does take commitment!
Do the right thing for your teeth and schedule a dental appointment today. You can reach our Edgewood dentist office by calling 859-474-7830 or you can request an appointment online. We look forward to seeing you soon!