Most of us are born with 20 primary or baby teeth and we typically grow into adults with 32 permanent teeth. Some people may lose a tooth or two for some reason during the lifetime journey. The major reasons why teeth are lost is due to trauma and disease. People fall, get into accidents, and some injure themselves playing sports. Sometimes periodontal gum disease causes tooth loss, as can dental decay. When teeth have to be removed due to periodontal disease or decay, how the removal process is handled will determine the remaining foundation of health well into the future.
For example; if a tooth is removed using excessive force or aggressive procedures, the surrounding bone will be damaged and suffer. Very often this results in requiring a bone graft procedure. Bone grafting is the reconstruction of bone and the architecture of the bony structure. However, a bone graft is not always required when teeth are lost or removed.
After a tooth is lost, be it to accident or disease, the way the area is cleaned and treated is equally important to the overall long-term health of the mouth. Especially in the case of a tooth lost to gum disease, after the tooth is removed, the bony walls are still intact and will need to be cleansed of all debris, infected materials and remaining periodontal ligaments. This cleansing process must be done carefully and thoroughly by hand using a variety of instruments. It’s also important to finish up with antibiotics and rinses used to further wash out this tissue and cleanse the bony surface adequately.
If the removal and the important cleansing process is not completed properly, then a cavitation can form. A cavitation is a hole in the bone that has not healed in properly. It is an area of dead bone which will become infected and fester. This creates an unhealthy environment and further adds to the declining health of the mouth, teeth and gums.
If you’ve recently lost a tooth or need to have one removed, it’s important that it be done by a dental professional experienced in proper removal and the very important follow-up cleansing procedure. Your long-term oral health depends on how this procedure is done.