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5 reasons why your tooth may need to be removed

There are a few conditions that warrant tooth removal.

Written by Dr Anitha Anchan |Updated : September 4, 2017 8:53 PM IST

Not long ago, the only solution for a tooth problem was extraction. But now with advances in dentistry the main aim of dental treatment has shifted to saving the tooth and rarely does one resort to a dental extraction. But there are a few conditions that warrant tooth removal. Here are five of them:

Tooth beyond repair

When a tooth is destroyed to such an extent due to extensive decay, fracture, advanced gum disease with significant bone loss, they are generally beyond repair and warrant extraction.

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Tooth that is mal-positioned or non-functional

More often than not, the wisdom teeth are misaligned or fail to erupt completely through the gum line. It becomes difficult to clean them leading to frequent infections (pericoronitis). They can rub against your tongue or cheek causing ulcer and pain. There is also a potential for development of cyst or tumour around an impacted tooth. These conditions influence preventive removal of the wisdom teeth.

At times, when there is not enough room on the jaw or in the mouth, wisdom teeth can cause displacement or crowding of the remaining teeth. They can impinge on a nerve or damage the root of adjacent tooth. And also, teeth adjacent to the wisdom teeth are more prone to developing gum problems.

In some instances a wisdom tooth, though fully erupted, may be non-functional if the opposing tooth is absent. Such tooth might supra erupt with time and impinge on the opposing jaw.

All the above reasons could require the wisdom tooth/teeth in question to be extracted.

For orthodontic reasons

Orthodontic treatment realigns and straightens teeth. To achieve this, space needs to be created and hence tooth/teeth extractions may be involved.

Supernumerary or extra teeth

If you have extra teeth which cause cheek or tongue bites very often, are difficult to clean and/or block other teeth from erupting, it is wise to get them removed.

Before receiving radiation to the head and neck

Radiation to the head and neck region increases the risk of jawbone destruction (osteoradionecrosis). Hence, teeth in the field of radiation that are decayed and/or have weak gums may require extraction prior to the therapy in order to reduce the risk.

If the reason for your tooth/teeth being extracted isn't any of the above, do take a second opinion if your dentist has asked you to get it removed.

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