A tooth extraction is common dental procedure, and is not always cause for alarm. Listen closely to Dr. Joanna Valentine and Dr. Nadia Aboulhosn when they explain why you need a tooth extraction; you may need to pay better attention to your at-home dental care in between regular dental exams. Here are some common reasons for tooth extractions.

Wisdom Teeth and Crowding

Overcrowding is one of the most common reasons to pull a tooth or multiple teeth. Wisdom teeth removals are often necessary because there is either not enough room in the mouth to accommodate the wisdom teeth or the teeth are coming in crooked. Other overcrowding extractions might occur before beginning orthodontic care. If the patient has too many teeth, or they have erupted improperly, a dentist or orthodontist might pull the tooth to make room for the rest of the teeth to straighten and fill in the gap.

Serious Tooth Decay and Infection

If a tooth has decayed so much it cannot be saved, a dentist has no choice but to pull it. Sometimes, a dentist or endodontist can perform a root canal on the infected tooth. However, if the infection has spread throughout too much of the tooth, or into the gums, the tooth will have to be removed. This extraction is performed to prevent the infection from spreading into the remaining teeth, and any residual infection may need to be cleared up with antibiotics.

Gum Disease

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is an infection that has spread into the surrounding tissues and bones of the mouth. If gum disease has progressed to the point where teeth have become loose, your dentist may have to pull the affected teeth. On rare occasions, a tooth might have to be pulled so a minor infection doesn’t affect your overall immune system. This might be due to an immunodeficiency disorder or cancer treatment, in which your immune system cannot fight off even a minor infection.

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