Reasons for Tooth Extraction and 8 Tips for Recovery

Many times the issues that lead to teeth extractions aren't caught because the patient doesn't visit the dentist regularly.  (Photo by Brandon Smith)

Many times the issues that lead to teeth extractions aren't caught because the patient doesn't visit the dentist regularly. (Photo by Brandon Smith)

Although dentists prefer to save a tooth, sometimes it can’t be saved or restored and extraction becomes necessary.

Severe cavities are the most common reason teeth are removed. Other reasons include tooth infections, cracked teeth, impacted teeth or malformed teeth the dentist can't reposition. A dentist or oral surgeon may also pull teeth become loose from severe periodontal (gum) disease that leads to bone loss.

Related: 4 Symptoms of Gum Disease You Shouldn't Ignore

Often, removing some teeth is the only way an orthodontist can ready the mouth for braces. However, many tooth extractions occur because the patient doesn't have the money for dental restoration.

Many times the issues that lead to teeth extractions aren't caught because the patient doesn't visit the dentist regularly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 40 percent of adults aged 18 and older have not seen a dentist in the last year. 

Once you and your dentist agree to remove a tooth, the procedure is routine. However, teeth removal is oral surgery. It’s important to take aftercare seriously to prevent any complications that might arise.

Follow these dental care tips after you have any teeth removed:

  • Read and follow the care instructions the dentist gives you. These directives can prevent infection and other problems that may cause pain and delay your recovery.

  • Bite down on the gauze the dentist puts over the extraction site. This helps stop the bleeding and aids in the formation of a blood clot. Keep the gauze in place for at least one hour.

  • Rest after you get home. Avoid exercise for one day.

  • Apply ice packs immediately to reduce any swelling. Swelling rarely occurs after removing just one tooth. If the dentist removes more than one tooth, swelling usually occurs one to two days after the surgery. Applying ice to the area on the day of the surgery will help lessen swelling. Don't eat food or drink liquids for two hours after the surgery. When you start eating again, eat only soft foods.

  • Wait until the anesthetic wears off completely before eating solid food.

  • If you smoke, now is a good time to quit. At the very least, avoid cigarettes for a minimum of 48 hours following surgery.

  • Rinse out your mouth with warm saltwater 12 hours after the extraction. Rinsing cleanses the mouth and promotes healing. Repeat two to three times a day.

    Related:  Before and After Your Wisdom Tooth Removal


Editor's note: This is an updated version of an article originally posted on August 23, 2012.


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Dr. Christy Cranfill of Marketplace Dental Care in Indianapolis reviews a dental procedure with a patient. (Photo by Katie Jacewicz)

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Comments

I had my back left molar pulled out it was not a easy job as the tooth had root canal done about a year ago my dentist had a lot of problems anyway she ended up having to drill some if my jaw bone away so she could remove the tooth I was wondering how long will it take to heal.

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