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Most people don’t want hear about tooth extraction. There are so many myths people have attached to tooth extraction: painful, removal of more teeth, death etc. You can add to the list of the myths. There are several treatment options for a bad tooth; however, there are peculiar circumstances that necessitate removing a tooth. So what do you do when the only option you have is extraction of that bad tooth?

Some ‘good-hearted’ people will even advice you to add ‘battery water’ to a bad tooth or that you should apply aspirin directly to the tooth. All these things can aggravate an already bad situation

Refusing to remove a bad tooth can result in life-threatening infections. I have witnessed some patients lost their lives as a result of bad tooth.

The following are the common reasons why your dentist may suggest a tooth should be extracted:

1. Impaction

Tooth impaction occurs when the growth of one tooth pushes directly against another. The tooth is susceptible to infection, causing red, swollen, tender, or bleeding gums. People who experience this condition often report pain and swelling around the jaw and difficulty opening their mouths

An impacted wisdom tooth

Typically, the culprit for this condition is the wisdom teeth, the third set of molars that don’t have enough room in the mouth to grow upright, so they instead grow inward toward the rest of the teeth. In these cases, it is best to have the wisdom teeth removed as soon as possible to prevent further damage to the other teeth.

2. Trauma

Teeth are often some of the first casualties in an accident. Whether it has to do with a hard blow due to assault or being involved in a road traffic accident, they can wreak havoc on the teeth.

Sometimes, an accident causes a tooth to become too damaged to save, the tooth may be badly broken or completely removed from the bone. When these are the case, tooth extraction is a necessary part of the recovery process. Otherwise, a damaged tooth could become severely infected and eventually require a procedure like a root canal that can be just as painful.

3. Severe Decay

When bacteria in the mouth bands together and forms a biofilm that attaches to the tooth known as plaque. If plaque isn’t removed by brushing, flossing, and regular dental checkups, it can lead to tooth decay. As tooth decay progresses, the bacteria dissolves all the way down to the soft nerve center of the tooth, causing toothaches and increased sensitivity. Often, a root canal and crown can save the damaged tooth. But if the decay is too severe, your dentist may recommend extraction.

Tooth Decay
Massive Jaw Swelling due to Severe Tooth Decay

Rather than risk tooth decay and possible extraction, stay up to date on your oral hygiene. Regular brushing, flossing, and dental checkups go a long way toward keeping severe tooth decay at bay.

4. Periodontal or Gum Disease

Similar to tooth decay, periodontal and gum disease is often caused by the build-up of plaque and tartar on the teeth. While there are many different conditions that people can develop in the gums and the bone surrounding the teeth, the two most common are gingivitis and periodontitis.

Illustration of the stages of gum disease

Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums surrounding the teeth, while periodontitis is the inflammation of the bones and tissues surrounding the teeth.

Severe Gum Disease

If the integrity of the bone or gum around the tooth deteriorates too much, then it may be necessary to remove the tooth in favor of a dental bridge or dental crown to preserve the surrounding teeth.

5. Overcrowding

Aside from pain, tooth impaction can also cause overcrowding of the teeth, which can further cause otherwise straight and well-aligned smiles to become crooked. Removing the problematic teeth in the back of the mouth can open up free space for the rest of the teeth to spread out as needed, preserving your straight smile without the need for braces.


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