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Advanced decay or gum disease may compromise a tooth to the point that it cannot be salvaged, in which case tooth extraction is the only option. This however is a short-term fix. The tooth will then need to be replaced in order to avoid a chain reaction of further related dental problems from that missing tooth.

Missing teeth pose a variety of problems in your mouth and impact other healthy teeth. Consequences of removing a tooth include shifting teeth, loss of jawbone, difficulty chewing, grinding and clenching, painful jaw joints (TMJ), and the ability to clean your teeth properly. When a tooth is lost the biting forces change and other teeth near the area will shift. Teeth that directly oppose the missing tooth will extrude out of the socket and eventually become loose due to improper chewing forces. It is also harder to keep the surrounding areas clean and cavities are more likely to form.

Wisdom teeth are an exception to the norm, since they often times do more harm than good. Wisdom teeth are very difficult to keep clean and for that reason tend to get cavities easier. Most people’s mouths are not big enough for wisdom teeth. If your wisdom teeth are impacted, or beneath the gum, then they will likely become infected at some time. While impacted they can also push against the roots of your other teeth and cause them to get cavities or become loose. With so many working molars in the mouth wisdom teeth are not typically needed and with all of the potential problems they cause are commonly recommended to be taken out.