Why Does My Tooth Need to Be Extracted?

September 13, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — moultondentistry @ 10:40 pm
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People are understandably squeamish about having a tooth extraction, but it can be necessary for the health of the mouth and the rest of the body. This may be because the tooth is damaged or decayed beyond repair or the mouth simply doesn’t have enough room to accommodate all its teeth. Read on to learn more about why you might need your tooth extracted and what to expect during the procedure.

Tooth Decay and Other Damage

Tooth decay is a dental infection that can spread from one tooth to another, and it begins when bacteria start eating their way through the tooth’s enamel, forming a cavity. If this cavity is allowed to advance until it reaches the soft underlayer of pulp within a tooth, the blood vessels within can allow these bacteria to spread to other tissues in the body, leading to secondary infections like sepsis. These bacteria can also increase the risks of heart disease or diabetes. In many cases, extraction is the safest way to prevent the infection from spreading.


People commonly have their wisdom teeth removed in their late teens or early twenties because their mouths do not have enough space to fit more teeth. If the wisdom teeth were allowed to stay in these cases, they could cause constant aching pain or force the other teeth into misalignment due to the pressure they exert, potentially undoing years of orthodontic work.

On the other hand, some people need to have teeth extracted to make other dental treatments possible. In some cases, obstructive teeth must be extracted for orthodontic work to take place. Sometimes remaining healthy teeth are extracted to make room for dentures.

Impacted Teeth

If a tooth fails to properly erupt from the gums, it becomes impacted. An impacted tooth might be partially or fully buried under the gums, or it might emerge sideways. Teeth in these positions can be difficult to clean, easy to damage, and prone to infection that can lead to gum disease or bone loss in the jaw. Impacted teeth require extraction by an oral surgeon.

What to Expect During Extraction

A dental extraction is performed by a dentist or an oral surgeon. You will receive a local anesthetic to numb the area or a general anesthetic that will render you unconscious throughout the procedure. The tooth will be grasped with forceps and gently worked out of its socket. If the tooth is impacted, the gum and bone tissue covering it will be cut away and it may have to be broken and removed in pieces.

Tooth extractions are common procedures and you can rest assured that your dentist has both extensive training and experience for it. Even though they can hopefully be avoided, getting a tooth extraction when you need it can relieve your pain and put you on the path to better oral health.

About the Author

Dr. Marc Moulton earned his Doctor of Dental Medicine from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry before completing a one-year residency program with the Veterans Administration Hospital. He has over three decades of experience in the dental field and is a proud member of the American Dental Association, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and the Alabama Dental Association. For more information about tooth extractions, contact his office online or dial (205) 988-3360.

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