You’ve had a raging toothache for a few days now. It only sometimes subsides when you take a pain medication like ibuprofen. Chewing on that tooth is next to impossible, as it sends a shock wave of pain through your mouth. You start Googling things like, “do I need an extraction?” You think that you should probably go to your emergency dentist for this, and you would be right. Let’s look at some common causes for toothaches, and how to know if your tooth needs to be extracted.
Why Do You Have a Toothache?
The most common cause behind toothaches is decay, also known as cavities. Once decay has reached the sensitive inner portions of the tooth, it results in extreme pain, since that is where the tooth’s nerve is located. If the nerve has been infected, your dentist may be able to save the tooth with root canal therapy. This is when your dentist accesses the inner section of the tooth, removes the infected nerve, cleans out the area, and seals it back up. Root canals are typically done as a last resort to save the tooth from needing to be extracted.
Other causes of toothaches might include:
- An object lodged in the teeth (which should be removed with dental floss)
- Fracture in the tooth
- Damaged filling or crown
- Repetitive teeth grinding
- Gum disease
Do You Need an Extraction?
As far as modern tooth replacement methods have come, nothing is as good as keeping your natural tooth for your whole lifetime. Sometimes, tooth extractions are unfortunately needed. It’s usually not a big deal in the case of wisdom teeth, as many people simply do not have enough room in their mouths for their wisdom teeth. With all other teeth, however, extraction should not be taken lightly.
As mentioned earlier, root canals may be employed to help save an aching tooth from needing to be extracted. If, however, that isn’t enough to save the tooth from decay, extraction might be necessary.
Extraction might also be required if your toothache is the result of a severe fracture. A broken tooth is more susceptible to infection anyway, so it might be best to go ahead and remove the tooth. It’s really up to your dentist.
Tooth extraction isn’t a fun procedure, but if your tooth is hurt or infected, it truly is the best option to keep your infection from spreading to other teeth or parts of your body.
About the Author
Dr. Richard A. Cea has served as a dentist in the Colorado Springs community for nearly two decades. He is a graduate of Marquette University. In addition, he is a member of the American Dental Association, the Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and the American Dental Society of Anesthesiology. He will try and make your tooth extraction as seamless as possible. To learn more, contact Dr. Cea at (719) 637-1772.