If you're about to have a tooth removed, you'll be OK, but it helps to know about some aftereffects that may need extra care or monitoring. These are common issues, so if they happen to you, there are solutions. If you have concerns about these, talk to your dentist before the appointment.

Your Other Teeth Can Start Moving -- and Growing -- Again

Your teeth all work together to stay in one place and not grow too long. When you bite down, for example, your molars bump into each other, keeping them at a certain length. If you remove a tooth from that equation, the matching tooth on the other jaw (so if you remove a tooth on the bottom jaw, the matching tooth is on the upper jaw) can begin to grow out (technically move out of the gum and jaw) because there is nothing to stop it (this is called supraeruption). The solution is to get something to fill that gap once the wound from the extraction has healed, so you'll have to discuss dentures or an implant with your dentist.

Oral Care Will Be Even More Important

That sizable gap in your mouth looks like it will be easy to keep clean, but it actually needs more care. One reason is that it's so easy to think that you don't have to do much, resulting in poorer care of that section in your mouth. The other reason is that you aren't used to brushing the sides of the teeth that surround the gap. Ask your dentist to show you how to angle the brush so that you can clean those spots comfortably.

Watch for Tooth Shards

Sometimes when a tooth is extracted, not all of the tooth comes out. It's common for little bits of the roots to remain in the gums. Another name for these is a spicule. Usually these work their way out, look a bit freaky for a short time, and then fall out. Other times they don't do anything. If you happen to notice pain, redness, or any other sign of potential infection, especially around a tooth shard, see your dentist immediately.

Healing from the tooth extraction won't take that long, and dealing with these issues should be a problem if you work with your dentist to monitor your teeth and gums. Stay in contact with the office and let them know if the wound site doesn't appear to be healing well, or if it heals and then starts to hurt again.