Dentists do everything within their power to ensure the long, healthy life of your teeth. Unfortunately, no dentist can guarantee the health of every tooth in any one patient’s mouth. Some teeth can become so severely damaged that a dentist’s only option is to remove the tooth before its problems spread to the rest of your mouth. Check your teeth for the following signs that you need a tooth pulled to catch at-risk teeth before they can wreak havoc on your oral hygiene as you know it.
You can see visible holes or pits in your teeth, or you have brown, black or white staining on the surface of any tooth.
All of these symptoms can suggest that a tooth may be decaying. Tooth decay occurs when bacteria causes the surface of your tooth, or enamel, to deteriorate. The bacteria combines with the sugar and starches from the food that you eat to produce an acid that attacks your enamel. The gradual breakdown that results from this activity can eventually lead to cavities and other kinds of tooth decay. Cavities that have been left to their own devices for too long can become so large that the affected tooth will need to be removed by a dentist.
You feel erratic pain when chewing or when your tooth is exposed to extreme temperatures.
This can be an early sign of a cracked tooth. A cracked tooth is a much more serious complication than a chipped tooth. Whereas chips can leave a tooth vulnerable to infection, cracked teeth can spread beyond the gumline. This possibility poses a risk to the structure of your entire mouth and gives dentists no choice but to extract the tooth to prevent additional damage.
That being said, a chipped tooth still warrants further inspection from your dentist. Not only can your oral health suffer some serious repercussions from any resulting infections, but your tongue is also in danger of sustaining an injury from your broken teeth.
Your tooth is loose.
A loose tooth is a necessary part of a child’s physical development. However, in adults who have not experienced recent facial trauma (such as a fall or a punch), it can be either a side effect of tooth grinding or a warning for advanced gum disease. While a loose tooth in an adult can sometimes be saved by a dentist, a loose tooth that has been neglected by a patient for too long is often beyond repair and should be removed immediately.
You have a crossbite, an overbite, or an underbite.
A normal bite occurs when your upper teeth are sitting oh-so-slightly over your lower teeth. The points of your molars should also wedge themselves neatly into the grooves of their opposite. This type of bite allows your mouth — and every body part that depends on it — to function normally.
Unfortunately, not everyone has a normal bite. Some people’s upper teeth sit further over their lower teeth than they should, while some people’s teeth experience the reverse. These types of bites are known as overbites and underbites, respectively. They are frequently (though not always) caused by the crowding of teeth. Tooth crowding refers to a situation wherein the jaws do not have enough space to fit all of the teeth in a person’s mouth.
This lack of space can lead to difficulty chewing or speaking, headaches, pain or discomfort, gum disease, and many other medical complications. The extra teeth often need to be pulled by a dentist to correct the problem. Your dentist may also suggest braces to help the teeth settle again after the additional teeth have been removed.
Having a tooth pulled is a dental procedure that few people look forward to. However, it can play an important role in keeping your teeth as long as possible. Use these four signs that you need a tooth pulled to determine whether you need to call your dentist for a consultation right away.