Having a tooth fall out or pulled when you are a child is an exciting event that the tooth fairy usually brings you money for. As an adult, this experience is not quite as fun. However, having a tooth pulled may be the best option for your oral health. There are a number of reasons why you might need a tooth extraction, such as a tooth that is too damaged to be repaired, other reasons include:
- An overcrowded mouth. Your dentist may have to pull teeth if you are preparing for orthodontia and your teeth are too big for your mouth. The goal of an orthodontist is to help straighten your teeth, and this won’t be possible if your mouth is overcrowded. Your dentist may also need to remove a tooth if it hasn’t erupted from your gums due to overcrowding of teeth.
- An infection. If tooth decay reaches the pulp of a tooth, harmful bacteria can enter the pulp and cause an infection. Often times, this can be corrected by a root canal, however, sometimes the infection is so severe that the only option is tooth extraction. This is the best way to prevent the infection from spreading.
- Risk of an infection. If your immune system is compromised, this may be reason enough to remove a tooth.
- Periodontal Disease. Also known as gum disease, causes an infection in the gums and surrounding tissues that support your teeth. If this causes loose teeth, they may have to be removed.
When you go in for a tooth extraction, your dentist will first inject a local anesthetic to numb the affected area. This will prevent you from feeling any pain whatsoever and allow you to sleep through the whole procedure. Once a tooth has been pulled, a blood clot usually forms in the socket, which will be padded with gauze to stop the bleeding.
Occasionally, the blood clot will be loosened from the socket, causing you pain. This is called a dry socket and when this happens, your dentist will place a sedative dressing over the socket to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
What To Expect After The Procedure
For most people, recovery only lasts a few days. Some tips to help the healing process include:
- Take pain medication and ice the outside of your cheek on whichever side the tooth was extracted.
- 24 hours after the procedure, gently rinse your mouth out with warm salt water a few times each day. This will reduce pain and swelling.
- Regularly change your gauze pads.
- Avoid any physical activity after the procedure, it may cause bleeding.
- Eat soft foods such as mashed potatoes, pudding, ice cream, soup, or gelatin.
- Prop your head up on a few pillows. Laying flat will prolong the bleeding.
- Continue regular oral hygiene.
If you are concerned about a tooth and think it may need to be removed, contact Greenspoint Dental and schedule an appointment with Dr. Bosse today.