When Does a Tooth Need to Be Extracted?

Happy patient

Tooth extraction can become necessary for children or adults in a variety of situations. In having teeth pulled, patients may avoid complications, support healthy development or save money. Here is a look at the reasons why our dentist may recommend having a tooth extracted.

When a Tooth Causes Overcrowding

Overcrowding is a common cause of bite irregularities, which require orthodontics to correct. Unfortunately, orthodontics may not initially be effective in certain cases depending on the extent of overcrowding. This means that extraction of certain teeth may be recommended so that braces will be successful. For some children, having a tooth pulled may allow the bite to develop more normally in the years that follow.

When Gum Disease Occurs

While the early stages of gum disease commonly cause gum tenderness, swelling and bleeding, the later stages of periodontitis can cause infections, tooth loosening and tooth loss. When a tooth is already loosened, it may cause discomfort if it is left in the mouth. Increasing accumulation of bacteria around a loosened tooth can also predispose to infection. In this case, removal of the tooth can support recovery from gum disease.

Existing or Possible Infection

Teeth may have to be extracted if they are infected or prone to becoming infected. Ideally, infected teeth can be saved with root canal therapy. If this possibility is prevented by budget or excessive damage, however, extraction may be warranted instead. Teeth that are broken or severely decayed are at high risk of infection and may benefit from removal as a precaution.

Extraction of teeth can cause problems involving appearance, oral health and chewing ability, but these can be prevented with tooth replacement. Dental implants offer the best results in all of these areas and will also keep the jaw bones from deteriorating. At a consultation with our Canoga Park dentist, patients can learn more about when teeth need to be extracted.

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