Last week we emphasized the importance of taking a toothache seriously, because oral infection can be life threatening. This week we want to go over what you can do if you do indeed have an abscessed AKA infected tooth.
So what are your options?
1. Do Nothing. If you leave the rotting tooth in your mouth, you are literally risking death. Nearly 1 Million Americans visit the E.R. each year due to dental issues. Even in this day of advanced oral care, way too many people are losing their lives to oral infection.
2. Pulling / Extraction. Having the tooth pulled comes with multiple risks. The first and most serious issue that can result from pulling a tooth is infection. The big hole left from the vacant tooth can breed a nasty bit of infection. The bone below can get infected and die which is called a cavitation. This dead bone tissue festering in the body can lead to many problems. Additional issues with extraction are that your other teeth will migrate to one degree or another. It is difficult to chew with a missing tooth and it throws off your bite. The last major concern is that you have one less anchor to stabilize your other teeth.
3. Root Canal. Many dentists say to never have a root canal because they feel the tooth cannot be cleaned well enough to avoid infection from the anaerobic bacteria festering in the catacombs of your teeth roots. Researchers are finding all kinds of diseases living in teeth roots, like Tuberculous for example. Some dentists, who use substances like laser and ozone, are more confident about their ability to minimize the harmful bacteria. The good thing about root canals is that your tooth remains in place and helps the stability of the mouth, your teeth remain aligned, and you can still chew with it! There is a lot more to be said on root canals, and there ARE more and less enlightened ways to do them, so stay tuned for our upcoming blog on root canals.
4. Bridge. Using the teeth on either side of an extracted dead tooth, an artificial tooth “bridge” can fill the gap. You can avoid migrating teeth, and can still chew with a bridge. This option becomes tricky when you lose multiple teeth and don’t have support for the bridge.
5. Pop-In. Similar to a bridge, a pop-in is a removable artificial tooth made to fit in the space where the extracted tooth once was. The main issue with these are, they can pop-in, but also pop-out!
6. Tooth Removal + Implant. An implant is a matter of having an artificial tooth screwed into your bone. This option depends on having or creating adequate bone structure. Some people are good candidates for bone implants which creates an anchor space for the tooth implant. The process can take many months just to prepare the mouth for a dental implant. Some will not have adequate bone to be candidates for implants. If you have your supportive bone issue worked out, then you have to decide what type of implant to go for. Most dentists use titanium implants that are composed of metal. There are quite a number of problematic issues surrounding metal implants. For one, having more than one type of metal in your mouth can create a battery reaction in your mouth and mess with your electrical system among other things. Dr. Hal Huggins, one of the foremost researchers on oral procedures, felt that all metal implants will inevitably lead to autoimmune disease. More progressive dentists prefer Zirconium implants that are made of ceramic. These are more expensive, but are generally regarded as a healthier option. If price is a pressing concern, you can consider getting the work done at a dental school or out of the country in a place like Mexico for instance.
Every person and every mouth are different, so make sure to weigh your options and choose what you and your dentist believe is right for your situation. Consult a holistic or biological dentist to hear the full range of healthier options. Most importantly, keep your living teeth ALIVE and healthy by swishing with our Organic Brushing Rinse regularly to maintain a healthy oral ecosystem!