You may have learned that your child needs to have a tooth extracted. This can make you feel some concern for a number of reasons. Before we get into the reasons, let’s take a moment to see what the experts have to say on the topic.
Research shows that first primary molars are the most common tooth type extracted in children (Alsheneifi, T., & Hughes CV, 2001). These are followed by central incisors at about 25% of cases of teeth extracted in kids (Alsheneifi, T., & Hughes CV, 2001).
There are many reasons why primary teeth need to be extracted and it is imperative that parents do not neglect to take their children for regular dental checkups. It also does not mean you have been a bad parent, as we shall soon learn.
One such reason for extraction is dental caries which are very painful. In fact, dentists agree that caries in children is the most common reason for extraction of primary teeth (Alsheneifi, T., & Hughes CV, 2001).
Although tooth extractions are never pleasant endeavors, they may be a great way for your child to have significantly less pain than the current tooth may be causing them. So while it may not be pleasant, both you and your child will feel significantly better after it has been treated.
There are a wide variety of different ailments that can cause tooth pain in children and lead to or necessitate an extraction, and this article will discuss them.
Child gum abscess
One of the most common reasons why a child may need a tooth extraction is because of an abscess. An abscess is basically just an area inside the mouth that has a buildup of pus due to an infection. These infections can happen for a wide variety of reasons such as from cavities that went untreated to gum disease, and even in some adults due to old dental work.
Fortunately for your child at least, you can forget about that last one. However, some dentists will try to alleviate them by using alternative means such as relieving the pus and by giving antibiotics or other medicines to help treat the infection causing the buildup in the first place. In some cases, however, it is better for a tooth to be removed entirely.
Abscessed tooth in children
There are many reasons why this may be the case and a couple of them can include things like the root is too rotten to be saved, it would help alleviate the pressure faster if your child is in great pain, or your dentist needs it to provide access so they can treat the issue deeper down. Regardless of what the rationale is, if your pediatric dentist recommends a tooth extraction as the best bet for ending your child’s pain, it’s a pretty good bet that they have already considered less invasive options before they brought this one to you.
Baby tooth extraction
Now that we’ve talked about abscessed teeth in children, what are some of the other reasons why your child may need a tooth extraction? One very common reason is that it may be the baby tooth is not falling out and making space for the adult teeth. Baby teeth that don’t fall out can pose issues for the adult teeth coming in and cause adult teeth to come in at bad angles. This may make them grind against each other or even cause overcrowding in the mouth which can lead to other major health problems further down the line.
Protecting against this by simply removing the tooth which was supposed to have fallen out anyway can be the best option. Sometimes baby teeth not falling out and causing this kind of crowding and congestion in the mouth can even occasionally be a cause of a tooth having an abscess in the first place. So don’t always think of extraction as meaning something bad as a baby tooth extraction can sometimes be done to simply help along a natural process that has had a minor malfunction.
Baby tooth abscess
While a baby tooth abscess may be one reason for teeth needing to be extracted, another major reason why a child’s tooth may need to be extracted is far more common and that is your child may have had a minor oral accident.
There are many different kinds of accidents that can happen but by and large, the biggest one is a child just got hurt while they were playing. Whether it’s a Frisbee to the mouth or falling off of the slide or a swing set, children are very active, and sometimes that activity can lead to damaging a tooth. In some cases, since baby teeth fall out on their own, your pediatric dentist may recommend that it is actually in your child’s best interest to simply remove the tooth because of the extensive damage and simply allow the adult tooth to come in at a later date.
Again, this can be a frightening prospect for you or your child but do remember, adult teeth do replace baby teeth so even if your child has a missing tooth because of an accident, it would not be long before they added several more gaps to their smile in the natural course of the time anyway.
Tooth abscess in kids
Let’s circle back for a moment and talk about tooth abscesses in kids or other periodontal diseases or issues that may necessitate tooth extraction. While we mentioned accidents just a moment ago, accidents are about the only dental issue that is not easily preventable. Certainly, you could try to have your child be less rambunctious but sometimes happenstance still happens.
However, things like cavities, tooth abscesses, deterioration of the roots, or oral diseases and infections are all very preventable! The easiest way to prevent these kinds of problems in the first place is to simply regularly visit your dental office. Regular dental visits on a biannual basis at least will help to make sure that your children’s teeth stay strong, healthy, and do not cause them any pain or discomfort.
While your dental office is perfectly capable of treating issues after they have arisen, it will be far cheaper for you and far less painful for your child to treat them before they happen in the first place. In the vast majority of cases, the simple truth is children were not getting proper care before the issue arose.
Child gum abscess
It is fairly rare that children who are getting regular dental care and maintaining good oral health practices end up needing tooth extractions. However, children who have been engaging in habits like eating foods that dissolve enamel such as significant numbers of sweets, not brushing their teeth adequately, or not flossing are much more likely to also become adults who engage in those same habits and while the baby teeth will grow back, the adult teeth will not. Bad habits learned in adolescence that required an exaction of the teeth are likely to be perpetuated in adulthood as well. This is why regularly meeting with your pediatric dental office and finding out the best preventative care will not only save you time, hassle, pain, frustration, and money early in life but can also save your child from child gum abscess or other dental diseases for the rest of their life.
Taking care of your child’s teeth is essential to their oral health and development and can help prevent unnecessary visits to the dentist. However, unfortunately, even at the best of times, with proper oral hygiene routines and practices, a parent may still find that their child needs their teeth extracted.
If so, it is important that parents know the signs that their child may need a tooth extraction so that they do not unintentionally cause the problem to be exacerbated. There are several reasons why a child’s tooth may need to be extracted. These can include extensive tooth decay. If a significant part of a child’s tooth is decayed, the dentist may not be able to salvage the tooth and the tooth will need to be removed.
Another reason why the child’s tooth may have to be removed is in the presence of dental abscesses. An abscess can occur if there is severe decay as mentioned above which has led to an infection in the tooth. Additionally, a further reason for tooth extraction is if the tooth has been damaged beyond repair. For example, if a child has a broken or cracked tooth that cannot be repaired, then removing it may be the only viable option.
There are many more reasons why a child’s tooth might need to be extracted, and it is important for parents to learn the signs they need to be aware of if any of these reasons come into play.
Alsheneifi, T., & Hughes, C. V. (2001).Reasons for dental extractions in children.Pediatric dentistry, 23(2), 109–112.