The Hazards of DIY Tooth Extraction

The Hazards of DIY Tooth Extraction

Monday, December 19th, 2011

You may be surprised to hear that a lot of people actually try to extract their own teeth.

Toothache can be very painful and very frustrating, making you desperate enough to try anything to get relief… And depending on how bad that pain is, you’ll be willing to do just about anything you can to get the pain to stop.

Before modern dentistry, people pulling out their own, and each others, teeth was fairly common. Hollywood even glamorized this image of people drinking massive amounts of alcohol to dull the pain and using pliers to pull out teeth.

In those long ago days of hard living short lives, people were more accustomed to living with pain than we are today. Consider the last time you took a tablet or syrup for a headache, hay fever or sore throat – our forefathers would be so envious.

The modern day reality is, that if you attempt to pull a tooth out yourself, you will feel the pain no matter how you go about doing it.

Now you may be tempted to say “Hang on, what about pulling out your own baby teeth? That wasn’t painful.”

It’s like so many fantastic mysteries in life, our ability to remember the exact intensity of pain is really terrible; which is a good thing. If you think back to any serious childhood injuries, chances are you can’t remember how painful they were either; although your mom probably has a clear memory of what it was like for her seeing you in pain.

When your child flinches because you’re wobbling a loss tooth, that’s pain. They’re not play acting or putting on a front; they are really feeling something awful. Fortunately, children are better at forgetting pain and getting on with playing or doing other things so it appears that it’s less painful. You may have noticed that sick children are in the most discomfort at night when they’re no longer distracted and their bodies want them to rest and get sleep.

With this in mind, if you’re inclined to encourage your child to pull out their own baby teeth or you feel compelled to do it for them you may want do a bit of research or talk to your dentist about it first.

Before you yank a tooth out though, you should at least check at what age the tooth in question is most likely to be lost naturally. Attempting to pull out a tooth that is loose because of decay rather than because it is time for the adult tooth to appear has some serious problems associated with it and you could be putting your child through unnecessary pain and suffering.

If the tooth you wiggle is one due to come out because of an adult tooth growing beneath it, then chances are good that it will come out very easily if you can get a strong enough grip on the tooth. Although a wriggling child that’s crying can make that rather difficult and remember it’s real pain they’re experiencing (just like the type you feel when you get a toothache).

Even though a tooth may feel loose when you touch it, doesn’t always mean that you can grab a pair of pliers and rip it out. Teeth are very delicate. If you try to rip a tooth out with pair of pliers and make a mistake, you should expect to end up doing more harm than good.

The types of harm you’re likely to do to yourself or others with a do-it-yourself tooth extraction –

  • Creating a fracture or crack in the tooth which will cause immediate sever pain
  • Crushing or breaking off the top of the tooth which will cause immediate sever pain
  • Chipping neighboring teeth and exposing dentine which causes pain
  • Bruising or ripping the gums so that they bleed
  • Cutting the tongue or roof of the mouth which will cause lots of bleeding
  • Splitting lips which will causing bleeding and swelling
  • Putting any non-surgically sterilized object into your mouth increases the risk of infection
  • Damaging the jaw bone which will make it ache for a long while afterwards
  • Damaging nerves which can cause facial disfigurement

Play it safe and avoid any potential problems by going to a dentist if you have a toothache. No matter how bad the pain may be, don’t attempt to pull the tooth yourself. Your dentist will numb the area before they pull out the tooth, so you’ll be pain free when it happens and they will also prescribe you some pain relief and antibiotics.

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