Gum disease is the number one enemy of a healthy mouth. Technically, gum disease is an infection of the gums caused by plaque. Plaque makes acids and toxins that can make the gums red, puffy, and can lead to bleeding. Over time, gum disease can cause the gums to pull away from the teeth, creating pockets between the teeth and the gums. These pockets are prime spots for germs and bacteria to become trapped causing the bone around the teeth to become weak. The end of this progression is tooth loss or the need for tooth extraction.
When there are signs of gum disease, periodontal therapy is necessary. There are both surgical and non-surgical methods for addressing gum disease. Non-surgical methods can involve scaling and root planing — deep-cleaning, nonsurgical procedures done under local anesthesia where the plaque and tartar above an below the gum lines are scraped away (scaling) and rough spots on the tooth root are made smooth (planing). Surgical remedies can include flap surgery, where the gums are lifted back and the tartar is removed, and then the gums are replaced reducing the gaps between tooth and gum. Bone grafts and tissue grafts may be needed to rebuild the jawbone or gum tissue.
Tooth extraction can be necessary if a tooth is too decayed or damaged to save. This is a worst-case scenario and the extracted tooth will need to be replaced with an implant or a bridge to fill the gap. Gaps left between teeth are an invitation for the adjacent teeth to move to fill the gap, creating spacing issues in the mouth.
Here are some other reasons tooth extraction may be necessary:
- Teeth erupting atop one another
- Making room in an overcrowded mouth before the installation of braces
- Deformed or underdeveloped teeth
Let us help you repair your dental issue. Give us a call!