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If you’ve never had a tooth extracted before, you might think that it isn’t something that happens very often. After all, it’s perfectly normal to base our expectations on our own lived experiences. While that can sometimes serve you well, in this case you would be quite wrong. Tooth extractions are actually quite common. In fact, surgical tooth extractions are the most common surgical procedure in the U.S. But why do teeth get extracted in the first place?


There is only so much room in your mouth. If you have more teeth than your mouth has room for, you may need to have at least one of them extracted. It’s more important for your teeth to be in proper alignment and to have the right amount of space than it is for you to keep all the teeth you were born with. Concerned that pulling teeth will make you look strange? Not to worry. It will actually be easier for you to achieve a beautiful smile when each of your teeth have the space they need.

Tooth Decay or Damage

In many instances of tooth decay or damage, the tooth can be saved or repaired. That’s the point of dental procedures like fillings, after all. Still, not every tooth can be saved from either decay or damage. If the decay is severe enough that the tooth cannot be saved, it may need to be extracted instead to prevent further damage. The same goes for when a tooth is too damaged. If the tooth breaks at or near the gumline, there may not be enough tooth left to attach a crown to it. In that event, an extraction may be the best course of action.

Gum Disease

Your teeth aren’t the only place where you need to be concerned about health and cleanliness. If you develop gum disease that progresses far enough, your teeth may become loose. This is because gum disease destroys the bone, gum tissue, and ligaments that support your teeth. The condition can progress to the point where the teeth fall out on their own. Other times, they may need to be extracted so that gum disease and tooth replacement treatment can be done.

As it turns out, there are a few reasons why a tooth might be extracted. Crowding, tooth decay or damage, and gum disease are some of them. Impaction can also be a reason behind tooth extractions. You may find that some, like the wisdom teeth, are extracted as a means of preventing future problems. If you think you have a tooth that needs to be extracted, talk to Dr. Updike. He can help you determine the best course of action moving forward.

Looking at a tooth extraction because of gum disease? South Temple Dental can help you treat the root cause of the problem: your case of gum disease. Click here to learn more about this condition and how to best address it.