What Is An Impacted Tooth And How Is It Treated?

Woman in Bed

When you’re around the age of 7, your adult teeth start coming in. However, in some cases, not all the teeth erupt properly. This could be due to a genetic condition, or you might have a very small head, or something else weird could have happened. Now the tooth is either stuck entirely below the gum line or is only popping out a little bit.

Dentists argue about whether or not impacted teeth must be removed. One thing we all agree on, however, is that if your impacted tooth is causing problems, pain, or damage to the other teeth, then it must be removed to prevent further damage.

Impacted wisdom teeth

By and large, wisdom teeth are the most likely to become impacted. The canines are a close second. Wisdom teeth begin to erupt much later than the rest of your teeth, around the age of 17. This means that your head has done all the enlarging it will ever do for one lifetime. In cases where the impacted wisdom tooth does not have enough room in your mouth, the tooth will only partially erupt or not erupt at all. Sometimes, the tooth is lying sideways in your mouth underneath your fully-erupted teeth.

Complications related to impacted teeth

The tooth is not where it’s supposed to be, so it can create a chain reaction that damages your other teeth, especially when the impacted tooth intersects with other teeth in your mouth. This is almost completely an issue related to wisdom teeth. Impacted canines can look like fangs, but generally do not create serious mouth problems. Wisdom teeth are another story.

Many folks have lost molars due to impacted wisdom teeth. The impacted tooth causes damage to the molar which causes it to become infected. Eventually, it needs to be pulled. Cysts can develop in the area where the infection occurs. The cyst can damage the jaw and surrounding tissue. Teeth that are partially impacted, especially wisdom teeth, tend to decay more quickly than properly erupted teeth. Ultimately, these issues result in gum disease that advances more quickly than expected.

The question: To remove or not remove

Some dentists believe that all impacted teeth should be removed to prevent future problems. Other dentists believe that intervention is only warranted when the tooth is already displaying signs of infection or other issues. To be sure, there is no universal rule that determines when an impacted tooth should be removed. Most folks don’t even think about it until they see their weird X-ray or start showing symptoms of a toothache.

The decision to remove your impacted tooth will not rest entirely on whether or not it’s currently infected. Impacted teeth can cause damage to the surrounding teeth and often, that damage occurs prior to serious issues with the impacted tooth itself. Your X-rays will help your dentist determine whether or not excision of the impacted tooth has more benefits than disadvantages.

Talk to a Flagstaff, AZ Dentist Today

Impacted wisdom teeth can have a severe impact on your overall oral health. Your dentist can help determine whether removing the tooth is in your best interests. Call Peak Family Dental Care today to set up an appointment with an impacted tooth dentist in Cottonwood, AZ and we can begin discussing your options immediately.

Request a FREE Video Consult Today

Get answers to questions about dental work during the COVID-19 Pandemic Oral Health During COVID-19