At first, gum disease is nothing more than a mild infection. As it progresses, however, it can become very serious. It might even reach the point where your dentist recommends that one or more of your teeth be removed. But do tooth extractions actually treat gum disease, or is there another reason why they are so often recommended for individuals with poor gum health? This blog post explains the answer.
Do Tooth Extractions Make Gum Disease Go Away?
It is important to note that gum disease attacks the gums and the underlying bone structure. It does not affect the teeth themselves. Therefore, removing the teeth is not a direct way to treat advanced gum disease.
To improve your gum health, your dentist may write you a prescription for some antibiotics, perform a deep cleaning of your mouth (a procedure known as scaling and root planing), and give you advice on how to care for your smile at home. In some cases, they may even urge you to undergo surgery to remove diseased tissue. Each person’s treatment plan is tailored to their unique circumstances.
Why Are Extractions Part of Gum Disease Treatment?
Since tooth extractions by themselves will not make gum disease go away, why are they frequently recommended for people with an advanced gum infection? There are at least two major reasons:
- Gum disease negatively affects dental function. As gum disease progresses, it can cause the gums to pull away from the teeth. It also leads to bone loss in the jaw. Eventually, these problems can become so severe that the teeth no longer have a strong base of support. They may become very loose, making it difficult for a person to speak and eat comfortably. Removing the teeth is often the best way to fix such issues.
- Extractions aid gum disease treatment. After tooth extractions, there will no longer be pockets between your teeth and gums where harmful bacteria could accumulate. It will be much easier for your dentist to rid your mouth of infections and get your oral health headed in the right direction.
Of course, if you have gum disease, that does not mean you must get your teeth removed. If your condition is caught in its early stages, it can probably be reversed without any extractions.
What Are the Options for Tooth Replacement after Gum Disease Treatment?
It can be a bit disheartening to learn that you must have one or more of your teeth removed. However, there is reason for optimism. After your mouth is free of active gum disease, you may be eligible for tooth replacement. A bridge, dental implants, or a denture may be just what you need to recomplete your smile and renew your oral function.
Tooth extractions can help you recover from gum disease. If your dentist recommends that you undergo this procedure, you can trust that they have your best interests at heart.
Meet the Practice
The experts at New Haven Dental Group are proud to provide a range of oral health services to the Branford community. If you are concerned about your gum health or have questions about tooth extractions, we would be pleased to speak with you. Contact our office at 203-439-6895.