A tooth becomes impacted when it is trying to emerge from the jawbone but doesn’t have sufficient room. It can become wedged against other teeth, turn sideways, partially emerge from the gums, or not be able to emerge at all. An impacted tooth can become infected. In most cases, an impacted tooth should be removed. If it has become infected, removal is important to keep the infection from spreading. In many cases, removing impacted teeth requires oral surgery.
Wisdom teeth often become impacted because there simply isn’t enough room in the mouth for them. They try to emerge from the gums, and in the process become wedged against other teeth. They also sometimes push other teeth out of position, which can cause major problems down the road. If there isn’t enough room for wisdom teeth to emerge, it’s best to have them removed.
Symptoms of an Impacted Tooth
Impacted teeth can be very uncomfortable, especially if they become infected. Some symptoms to look for if you suspect an impaction include:
- Discomfort or achiness in the affected tooth
- Swelling in the surrounding gum tissue
- Extreme sensitivity
- Discomfort in adjacent teeth
- Shifting of adjacent teeth
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should talk to your dentist. He can determine if your teeth are impacted and whether they should be removed. Sometimes, if enough of the tooth has emerged, it can be removed in the dentist’s office. Teeth that have not completely emerged or that have not emerged at all must be removed with oral surgery. You may or may not need general anesthetic during this procedure.
If your tooth does become impacted, it’s important to talk to your dentist about having it removed. Infection in an impacted tooth can cause a variety of serious side effects, since the infection can spread throughout the mouth, face, and skull.
If you’re concerned about having an impacted tooth, call the office of Dr. Dan Bush today to schedule an appointment to have our doctor look at it.