A toothache, jaw pain, headache, throbbing gums, and even fever are good indications that you may have an oral health problem and need to see the dentist. But what does it mean when your dentist says you’ve got a dental issue that needs attention – and you haven’t felt a thing?
It’s not uncommon for patients to visit the dentist, expecting everything to be fine, only to find out there is a dental problem that requires treatment. Tooth pain, or pain in the mouth, is often delayed or is not present until issues have gotten much worse. Let’s have a look at the few reasons you may need to have a tooth extracted, even if it isn’t causing you pain.
Cavities, or tooth caries, are a hole in the tooth that is caused by plaque. When caught early, a cavity can easily be filled using a tooth-colored composite resin or filling. Cavities in the teeth that are small often cause no discomfort at all. However, when a cavity is left untreated, it will get larger. Larger cavities don’t cause pain until the decay reaches the nerves. While not all large cavities require having a tooth pulled, it’s possible you need a tooth extraction if the tooth cannot be repaired.
For a patient whose immune system has been compromised, such as patients who are receiving chemotherapy or undergoing preparation for an organ transplant, the risk of infection is problematic. In these cases, if decay exists in the mouth that has been left untreated, you may not feel any tooth pain, but it could be wise to consider removing the tooth to eliminate the infection. Again, although this may be an extreme case, it can happen and may seem counterintuitive given you are not experiencing any tooth pain.
We work with our patients to detect, remove, and treat periodontal disease (also known as gum disease). Regular brushing and flossing, along with at least twice-yearly checkups and cleanings, help to keep gum disease away. For some patients, however, periodontal disease infects the bones and tissues that support the teeth resulting in loose teeth that may need to be removed. Patients don’t necessarily feel pain from the teeth, but it becomes impossible to save them, and other treatments must be considered.
If you or your child are thinking about orthodontic treatment or braces, there are times when teeth must be extracted. As an overall strategy to get straighten teeth, the dentist or orthodontist must consider the available space in the mouth to accommodate the straightening of the teeth. In some cases, this means removing wisdom teeth, even if they haven’t yet erupted, or other teeth (usually in the back of the mouth) to make room. Patients aren’t in discomfort, but it’s important to consider this option to achieve the goal of straight teeth in a crowded mouth.
To stay on top of your oral health, make regular appointments with your dentist for checkups and cleanings. Contact North Boulder Dental today and schedule your next visit!