The most common teeth to be at risk of impaction are your wisdom teeth, or third molars, which don't emerge until your late teens or early 20s. Impacted teeth can lead to serious complications.
What is an Impacted Tooth?
An impacted tooth is one that does not emerge completely through your gums. It is most often due to a lack of space in your mouth for the tooth to fit in properly.
Sometimes, the tooth can grow sideways, into an adjacent tooth, which can then lead to issues such as damage to adjacent teeth and shifting your teeth out of their natural placement. In other instances, the tooth has only partially emerged.
Signs of Impaction
For some, impacted teeth might not show any signs or symptoms. However, for most people who have impacted teeth, there are a few signs to be on the lookout for:
|•||Pain. The pain typically radiates around where the impacted tooth resides. As it affects adjacent teeth, the pain becomes worse.|
|•||Your gums may become swollen, tender and might even bleed. This can make brushing and flossing extremely painful.|
|•||Swelling around the jaw. As time goes on, swelling becomes quite noticeable, and it becomes difficult to open your mouth.|
|•||Swollen glands around the neck and shoulders.|
Untreated, impacted teeth can lead to serious issues, such as damage to the surrounding teeth, gum disease and cysts. Fortunately, impacted teeth can be treated. If your wisdom teeth are impacted, the course of action is removal, as these teeth do not serve any important purpose.
If other teeth are impacted, your oral surgeon will most likely work with an orthodontist in order to help the tooth emerge and move it into its proper place.
If you are experiencing severe pain in your mouth, do not ignore it. Pain is indicative of a problem, and that problem could be an impacted tooth. Contact our office right away.