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Tooth extractions are a dental procedure that often causes the most anxiety for patients, no matter how old or how young a patient is. But it’s also one of the most common (and most safe) reasons to be sitting in the dentist’s chair.

If you think you might need a tooth extraction, don’t put your next dental visit off for too long. There are plenty of very good reasons not to wait when you need a tooth pulled. Let’s take a look at a few causes for scheduling your extraction sooner rather than later.

1. Tooth Decay

When a tooth starts decaying, your mouth becomes vulnerable to bacteria and infections. If your blood vessels or nerves become infected, you could be at risk for an abscess—a pocket of pus that can cause a whole range of symptoms, such as:

  • Aches that radiate throughout your jawbone, ear, or neck
  • Sensitivity and pain when in contact with hot or cold temperatures
  • Facial swelling
  • Difficulties breathing and swallowing

An abscessed tooth can be mildly uncomfortable or persistent pain—but no matter what your symptoms are today, they will only get worse until the tooth is removed. In severe cases, a tooth infection can even spread to other parts of your body, highlighting the importance of removing an infected tooth as soon as possible.

2. Bone Loss

Periodontal disease is often the primary culprit around bone loss, which causes your teeth to shift and become misaligned. Not only is this uncomfortable (and, for some people, painful), but it also may make it difficult to chew and swallow properly. Over time, your teeth will continue to shift and cause damage to your jawbone. Once your teeth begin moving due to periodontal disease, the best course of action is to schedule an extraction to minimize further damage to the rest of your mouth.

3. Damaged or Cracked Teeth

Athletes know the dangers of damaged teeth all too well—it only takes one instance of forgetting to wear a mouthguard to catch an elbow to the face and end up with a broken tooth. Outside of the court or field, you could have a damaged tooth for something as small as biting down too hard on crunchy foods or as large as being in a car accident.

As with tooth decay, a damaged tooth opens the door for bacteria and infection. In some cases, a cracked or chipped tooth may even puncture your gums, lips, or the inside of your mouth, causing discomfort while eating, drinking, or talking.

4. Wisdom Teeth

No discussion on tooth extraction would be complete without mentioning wisdom teeth! If a wisdom tooth is impacted, it becomes trapped within your jaw or gums and can be extremely painful. The longer an impacted wisdom tooth is left in your mouth, the more likely you are to have jawbone damage, tooth misalignment, infections, and chronic pain. Scheduling a wisdom tooth extraction may mean taking a few days off of work to recover—but the investment in your oral health is worth it.

Tooth Extractions at Blue Island Smiles

At Blue Island Smiles, we know that a tooth extraction might cause our patients to feel nervous or anxious. We work closely and compassionately with all of our patients to ensure they have an easy, stress-free experience. If you think you might need to have a tooth removed, don’t wait—give our office a call so that we can get your tooth extraction scheduled as soon as possible.

Be proud of your smile.