Even though permanent teeth are meant to last for a lifetime, there are so many reasons why extraction may be required. One of the most common reasons is when a tooth is badly damaged due to decay or trauma. Apart from this, other reasons may include:
Sometimes dental experts have to extract teeth for orthodontia. The aim of orthodontia is to align the teeth properly, which may be impossible if the projections are too big for the mouth. Similarly, if the tooth cannot erupt from the gum due to lack of room in the mouth, the dentist will suggest pulling it.
If tooth damage or decay extends to the tooth pulp bacteria inside the mouth may enter the pulp, causing infection. Often times, this can be easily corrected with the help of root canal therapy, but times when infection is so acute that antibiotics are unable to cure it, extraction is needed to prevent the infection from spreading.
Risk of infection
In case the immune system is compromised, the risk of infection in a certain tooth can be the reason to pull that tooth.
What to tell your dentist before the extraction:
Although extractions are very safe, the process may allow bacteria to enter the blood. There is also a risk of infection. In case you suffer from a health condition that may put you at risk for developing infection, you should take antibiotics before the extraction. Let the dentist know about your medical history, the supplements and medicines you take, and if you suffer from any of the following:
- Congenital heart defect
- Man-made or damaged heart valves
- Weakened immune system
- Liver disease
- Artificial joint
What to do after the extraction?
Recovery from a tooth extraction normally takes a couple of days. The following tips will help reduce discomfort, and risk of infection.
- Take the prescribed painkillers.
- Bite gently but firmly on the gauze pad to reduce any bleeding. Make sure to change the gauze pads regularly.
- Apply ice pack to the area right after the extraction procedure to keep the swelling down.
- Relax for a minimum of 24 hours after the tooth extraction.
- Avoid spitting or rinsing forcefully for a day.
- Avoid drinking from a straw for a day.
- Do not smoke.
- Eat foods that are soft, such as pudding, soup, yogurt, and the like.
When should you call a dentist?
It is very normal to feel a little pain after the anesthesia starts to wear off. For a day after the extraction, expect some residual bleeding and swelling. However, if either pain or bleeding is still severe for more than a few hours after the extraction, you must call your dentist. It is also a good idea to call up the dentist if you feel any of the following:
- Symptoms of infection, such as chills and fever
- Vomiting or nausea
- Swelling, redness, or excessive discharge from the area
- Shortness in breath, cough, or chest pain
It is important to see your dentist regularly to make sure your oral health does not deteriorate. You may have to undergo a dental implant treatment if the missing teeth cause the remaining teeth to move.