I am proud to say that I have all my own teeth at the age of 65. While that may not sound unusual to some people, everyone in my family who is my age or older wears dentures. I always tell people that that flossing is the key to good dental health. I have arthritis in my hands, but I don't let it keep me from flossing every day. My trick is to use those little "flossers" you can buy at the drug store. They have plastic handles floss stretched out on top of the handle. These make flossing easier on days when my arthritis is acting up. I started this blog to let other people know that they can keep their teeth healthy into old age when they take care of them. If you have hand pain, find ways to make flossing easier, like I did.
Sometimes, it is necessary for a dentist to perform a dental extraction. Although most people would like to avoid the removal of a tooth, there may be repercussions to leaving it in the mouth. Here are a few issues that could arise when a tooth that should be removed is allowed to remain in place.
Dental Decay Can Spread
A tooth may have to be extracted because dental decay has destroyed almost all of the dental crown. If too little healthy tooth material remains for the tooth to be restored, it is often best to extract the tooth.
Still, if little pain is associated with the decayed tooth, a person may choose to leave it in place. Nevertheless, dental decay can spread from a decaying tooth to nearby healthy teeth. Thus, by leaving the decaying tooth in the oral cavity, the person may risk the health of other teeth.
A Dental Infection Can Spread to the Jawbone
When a tooth becomes infected, the pulp may die, resulting in the death of the tooth. Once the tooth is dead, the dentist may offer the patient two options. The patient can have the tooth restored through a root canal procedure, or they can have the tooth removed. If the root canal procedure is not desired, the tooth should not be left in the mouth.
A dental infection can spread to the bone of the jaw. Once the jawbone becomes infected, it may atrophy, resulting in the loosening of healthy teeth.
The Teeth May Become Misaligned
As the wisdom teeth grow in, if there is too little room in the mouth to accommodate them, the wisdom teeth may cause the other teeth to become misaligned. Even if the wisdom teeth have not broken through the gums, the restricted space of the oral cavity can cause the teeth to apply misaligning pressure to other teeth that have already presented.
To relieve the pressure and prevent the relocation of the other teeth, the wisdom teeth may have to be extracted. If a wisdom tooth has already broken through the gums, the dentist may perform a simple extraction. However, if all or a portion of the tooth's crown is still covered by the gingival tissues, a surgical extraction, which requires the cutting of the gums, is necessary.
If you have a tooth that you believe needs to be extracted, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area.