The Anatomy of Tooth Extractions

“It’s like pulling teeth!” We’ve all heard that phrase used to describe an unpleasant situation. Though many of these situations are hyperbolic, the origin of the phrase holds true.

Getting a tooth pulled, or extracted, is not fun. I say that as if there is a type of medical operation that is enjoyable. Getting a tooth removed is going to be very unpleasant and you should do everything you can to avoid it. Let’s break the process down.

What is a Tooth Extraction?

As noted, and hopefully easily guessed from the name, a tooth extraction is an operation done to remove an infected or rotten tooth, though there can be other reasons too. Tooth extractions are generally done to solve a problem and prevent further complication as a result of said problem.

Reasons for Tooth Extraction

There are many reasons to pull a tooth. Infection is a very common reason that teeth are pulled. Sometimes it could be that a certain tooth is infected, and your dentist wants to prevent the infection from spreading. Other times the risk of infection is enough to pull a tooth, though this would happen mostly with those with weak or damaged immune systems.

The way your teeth have or have not come in is another reason that certain teeth make good nominees for extraction. If your teeth are too close together, also known as crowding, then you may need one removed to give proper space for your teeth to be correctly aligned.

When I was 16 I had my two baby canine teeth pulled. The reason I even still had those teeth is that the permanent teeth were sideways, therefore not coming down properly. I had a brief operation that involved pulling the two teeth, cutting my gums, and attaching a chain between my adult teeth and braces to pull them into the correct spots. It sucked, but the amount of ice cream my mom let me eat during that time was unheard of.

Ways to Prevent Tooth Extraction

This section will not be mind-blowing. These are mostly very basic things that will keep your mouth healthy.

Brush your teeth twice every day. *gasp* I know, not groundbreaking. The number of people who struggle to brush their teeth, floss, and gargle mouthwash is astounding though. It should be a daily, vigilant habit.

What you are putting into your mouth is very important. For example, toothpaste with fluoride is ideal as that will help strengthen your teeth and prevent infection. Foods and drinks that are high in sugar soda, candy, the ice cream I ate after surgery, should be limited in consumption as they are very bad for your teeth.

Good foods like fruits, vegetables, water, and cheese are great things that will help strengthen your teeth and clean bacteria out of your mouth. These are all easy things to snack on and add to a variety of meals.


Having a tooth pulled is very unpleasant, and in many cases very preventable. Make sure you do your part by eating good things, avoiding bad things, and practicing good oral health. By doing so you can maintain good oral health, hopefully not get chastized next time you go to the dentist, and keep all your pearly whites nice, healthy, and as part of your smile where they belong.

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