Here’s Why You May Need a Tooth Extraction

Jul 01, 2023
Here’s Why You May Need a Tooth Extraction
Dentists focus on preventive care and doing their best to help you preserve strong and beautiful teeth. But sometimes, there’s no way around a tooth extraction. Here’s the top three reasons you may need to have a tooth removed.

As a specialist in family, cosmetic, and general dentistryRoy Hudgens, DMD, has one overarching goal for every patient’s dental care: He focuses on keeping your teeth healthy and helping you retain your natural teeth.

But sometimes, removing a tooth is the best choice for your dental health. If you face that decision, you can depend on the skilled team at Hudgens Dental in Charleston, South Carolina, to explain your options, perform the extraction, and recommend a long-lasting tooth replacement.

Here, we explore the top three reasons you may need a tooth extraction.

Overcrowded teeth

Overcrowding occurs when there’s not enough space in your jaw for all the permanent teeth to stay aligned. When your teeth are too crowded, they become crooked and overlap. In severe cases, overcrowding can prevent permanent teeth from growing in.

Dental overcrowding often arises when your jaw is too small for your teeth, your teeth are too large for your jaw, or both. You could also have an extra tooth.

Crowding is often corrected with braces. However, we need to extract teeth when overcrowding blocks the growth of permanent teeth, places excessive pressure on the surrounding teeth, or you need more room to get the best results from braces.

Damaged teeth

One of the most common reasons for needing a tooth extraction is decay or damage (broken or chipped teeth) that’s too severe to repair. We can fix these problems with a filling, crown, or veneer — but only when there’s enough of the natural tooth to support the restoration.

We may consider an extraction when too much of the tooth is eroded, decay reaches the center of the tooth, or infection causes extensive bone damage. Advanced periodontal disease could also be a reason for extraction.

Impacted teeth

A tooth gets impacted when it can’t grow straight up through the gum. Instead, it gets stuck in the gum or grows sideways. Impaction most often affects wisdom teeth, which are the last teeth to emerge between 17 to 21 years.

If an impacted tooth doesn’t cause problems, you might not need to have it removed. However, impacted teeth often lead to infections or an abscess (collection of pus). After symptoms arise, an extraction is the only way to treat an impacted tooth.

Signs you may need a tooth extraction

Overcrowded teeth or losing part of your tooth are visible signs that you may need an extraction. Even if you can’t see the signs, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • Pain (ranging from a mild toothache to excruciating tooth or gum pain)
  • Bad breath
  • Red and swollen gums
  • Pain that’s worse when you chew
  • Ongoing headaches or jaw aches
  • Unpleasant taste when biting down on the area

Don’t wait to schedule a dental check-up as soon as these symptoms begin.

About tooth extractions

We begin by completing a dental exam and taking digital X-rays. With this information, we can determine the extent of the underlying problem and carefully plan your extraction (or other treatment).

For the next step, we explain your anesthesia options. It’s natural to feel nervous about having a tooth pulled, but you don’t need to worry about pain during the procedure. We specialize in sedation dentistry, ensuring you’re comfortable and relaxed.

You’ll have some swelling and discomfort after an extraction, but most people feel fine and return to school or work in a day or two. You’ll also need to eat soft foods and avoid strenuous activities for 2-3 days because it’s important not to dislodge the protective blood clot that forms in the tooth socket. 

Call Hudgens Dental or book an appointment online if you need help with any dental problem or have questions about tooth extractions.