March 29, 2023
Medically Reviewed By Matthew T. Streelman, DDS, MD

blogimagesdentalimplants | mercer island oral & maxillofacial surgerySometimes, despite your best efforts to take care of your teeth, you may encounter a situation requiring your teeth to be extracted (or pulled).

Tooth extraction is a serious procedure that is not taken lightly by oral surgeons. Dr. Streelman would only recommend extracting a tooth for specific medical reasons.

Severe Decay

Severe tooth decay occurs when acid and plaque build up on your teeth. Some symptoms of tooth decay include:

  • Toothaches
  • Bad breath
  • Sensitivity
  • Spots on your teeth that are either black, brown, or gray
  • Unpleasant tastes in your mouth

It is important to note that you may not experience any discomfort with tooth decay, which is why you should see your dentist regularly to help monitor any early signs of decay. If the tooth is decayed beyond the point of saving, then it will need to be extracted.

Severe Impaction

When you are an infant, your teeth begin to emerge from your gums. If a tooth does not come in, or is only partially emerged, it is considered an impacted tooth.

Impacted teeth remain stuck in your gums or bone for various reasons, such as the area of the mouth being overcrowded, leaving no room for the impacted teeth to break through the gums properly. Wisdom teeth are notorious for becoming impacted, but any tooth in the smile can become trapped this way. The symptoms of an impacted tooth are somewhat similar to tooth decay symptoms but usually involve more discomfort:

  • Bad breath
  • Tenderness or discomfort in the jaw bone or the gums
  • Headaches and jaw aches
  • Swollen gums
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Difficulty opening mouth

If you have an impacted tooth, you might be able to tell based on a visible gap in your teeth where your tooth never emerged properly. Usually, though, your dentist diagnoses you.

Impacted teeth often push into neighboring teeth, creating a domino effect. Impacted teeth also trap debris like food and plaque. If the impacted tooth is severely impacted and causing problems, it will likely need to be extracted.

Misalignment of the Smile

Sometimes, there is insufficient space in your mouth for all of your teeth to be properly aligned, which causes your teeth to push against each other and shift around. This results in the misalignment of your smile.

If an aligned smile is your goal, but overcrowding in your mouth prevents your teeth from aligning properly, then tooth extraction may become part of a larger orthodontic treatment plan to realign the smile. Dr. Streelman will work with you and your orthodontist to perform the extraction. Then, your orthodontist will recommend an alignment method like braces to straighten out your smile.

Learn More About Teeth Extraction

Dr. Streelman at Mercer Island Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery provides essential oral surgery procedures, like teeth extraction, to the community of Mercer Island. To learn more about teeth extraction, visit our website.