Dentistry - Other
pulling a tooth

Taking out a tooth yourself

pulling a tooth
Lisa Fillers's image for:
"Taking out a tooth yourself"
Caption: pulling a tooth
Location: flckr
Image by: Steven Depolo

One would assume that a person seeking information on how to pull his/her own teeth is seriously contemplating doing just that. The reason may be the patient is unwilling to spend the fees required to go to a dentist. The individual may be afraid the fees will run to more than they can cover. A toothache can drive a person to attempt their own extraction.

For whatever reason you may have that causes the desire to extract your own tooth, it certainly is not recommended. Due to many years of work in the dental field, I suggest caution must be taken by anyone thinking of attempting to pull his/her own teeth for a number of reasons listed below.

Regardless of what type pain medication you might take prior to extracting the tooth, you will still feel the pain with a home extraction.

If the tooth is abscessed, it is even less responsive to pain medication. There is also a danger that the pus pocket attached to the root of an abscessed tooth may burst and spread infection into the bloodstream and jaw. Any abscessed tooth needs to be treated with a ten day course of antibiotics prior to extraction. This reduces the likelihood of spreading infection and makes a less painful extraction for the patient.

There is the danger of cracking a tooth during home extraction or breaking it off at the gum line. If a tooth breaks at the gum line, it will need to be surgically removed. Surgical extractions are more expensive than a simple extraction and may result in multiple visits between a general dentist and an oral surgeon.

Any adult or teenager has reached an age when it is possible to have periodontal disease. If a gum disease is present, home extraction can have deadly consequences. Patients with periodontal disease and certain other medical conditions require pre-medication with an antibiotic prior to an extraction.

The periodontal disease causes pockets of plaque and tartar on the gums and bacteria can hide in these pockets. Without proper treatment with antibiotics prior and following an extraction, the bacteria can enter the bloodstream and cause a serious infection known as bacterial endocarditis, which can be fatal.

Without an x-ray, you cannot know the structure of the jaw bone and roots of the teeth beneath the gum line. If the roots of the tooth are twisted around another tooth or the jaw bone, it will require surgical extraction.

Without professional surgical extraction, damage can occur to the adjacent tooth or jaw bone. The adjacent tooth may be loosened from the socket or the roots broken or cracked. The jaw bone can be cracked or broken as well. Both can cause serious complications and require immediate treatment.

A baby tooth in an adult which has refused to come out has an underlying cause. This is usually due to a shift in the teeth which has caused the roots of the permanent tooth that should replace the baby tooth to wrap around an adjacent tooth or the jaw bone. The permanent tooth will never be able to come through the gums in this event so it has not pushed the baby tooth out. Removing the baby tooth at home will not rectify the situation.

If, however, the permanent tooth has pushed the baby tooth partially out and the tooth is loose, it can safely be pulled at home. You must be absolutely sure, though, that the patient does not have a gum disease or a medical condition which pre-disposes them to a serious infection.

Do not attempt to pull the tooth unless it is quite loose. Thoroughly wash the hands with an antibacterial soap. With clean fingers, gently wiggle the tooth back and forth in the socket. Use a piece of sterile gauze to dry the tooth. Use clean fingers to pull straight up on the tooth. It should easily slip out of the socket. If it does not, repeat the process. If it still will not slip out easily, see a dentist.

Oral health can have an impact on your overall health. Never unnecessarily put your health in danger.


More about this author: Lisa Fillers