The first goal of a dentist is to save teeth, but there are certain situations when tooth extractions become necessary. When teeth can no longer be rehabilitated back to health or in the case of problematic wisdom teeth Gordon, a dentist may decide that the best course of action is to have those teeth removed. While many dental treatments are the least favoured on a to-do list, dental extractions certainly rank the lowest.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare1 says that, on average, adults in Australia have about 4.5 permanent teeth missing, with more teeth missing the older the age group. Society may have accepted tooth loss as part of growing older but this need not be the case.
There is less need for dental treatments say the Australian Dental Association (ADA) as long as great care is taken to protect dental health. The good news for anyone wanting to avoid invasive dental treatments like tooth extractions and root canal therapy, is that dental diseases are largely preventable.
Maintaining good dental health is a balancing act
Dental diseases like tooth decay and gum disease occur when there is an imbalance in the mouth. There are certain dental behaviours that dentists recommend to prevent poor oral health issues and there are harmful behaviours that put oral health at risk.
Pro-dental health behaviours that lower the risk of dental diseases include:
- Twice-daily brushing
- Teeth-friendly diet
- In-chair fluoride treatments
- Over-the-counter fluoride-enriched dental products
- Biannual tooth and gum oral checks
Factors that have an adverse effect on dental health include:
- Poor oral hygiene control
- Sugar-heavy diet
- Tobacco use
- Frequent snacking
- Reduced saliva
The dangers of poor oral hygiene control
One of the great benefits of biannual tooth and gum checks at the dentist is checking on how well oral hygiene is managed. Poor oral hygiene is the leading cause of many dreaded dental diseases like gum disease and tooth decay.
Poor oral hygiene control allows bad bacteria in the mouth to gain an upper hand. This undesirable situation happens when you neglect to brush and floss your teeth. The goal behind brushing and flossing is to limit the growth of plaque on enamel by washing away bad bacteria that feed off sugars and acids from foods consumed.
The only way to get rid of plaque once these stubborn deposits form on teeth is through a deep dental clean. Deep dental cleaning procedures are another valued benefit of visiting the dentist every six months.
Bad oral bacteria are not only villains to dental health, but to the wider physical body too. Studies have found these harmful pathogens as far away from the mouth as in the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. It may seem far fetched, but there has been evidence of bad oral bacteria lining the cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
Patients unfortunate enough to suffer from advanced gum disease are also at increased risk of life-threatening heart attacks, strokes and inflammatory lung illnesses like pneumonia.
Dental research shows that more than ever, paying attention to mouth health has undeniable repercussions for the rest of the body.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.