An impacted tooth is one that cannot erupt because it does not have room or may be coming in the wrong direction or position. They can be painful and tend to cause damage to the roots and surrounding connective tissues. Impacted wisdom teeth in older teenagers and young adults are common, but other teeth can be impacted, too. Treating an impacted tooth can be a relatively simple procedure, or it can be a complicated one—it all depends on the extent of the problem and only a dentist can help. For help finding a local dental professional, search for a dentist near you.
Common Symptoms Of An Impacted Tooth
Sometimes you may not experience any symptoms of an impacted tooth. Other times, an impacted tooth may cause:
- Tooth pain
- Pressure in the gums
- Bad breath
- Pain when chewing
- Pain when biting
- Appearance of hard growths in gums above teeth
- Bleeding gums
The only way to determine if you have an impacted tooth is by making an appointment with your dentist. They can then review your symptoms, make an accurate diagnosis and give you their recommended treatment plan, including a referral to an oral surgeon.
Common Causes Of Impacted Teeth
Generally speaking, a tooth becomes impacted when your mouth doesn’t have enough space for it to grow in. Some common reasons for this lack of room are curvature in the tooth’s natural path or blockage from baby teeth that have not yet fallen out.
Wisdom teeth, which are usually the last teeth to grow in, are the most typically impacted teeth. By the time that wisdom teeth come in, the jaw has often stopped growing and your mouth and jaw may then be too small to accommodate them.
Common Ways to Treat Impacted Teeth
Treating an impacted tooth can be a relatively simple procedure, or it can be a complicated one—it all depends on the extent of the problem. Extracting a baby tooth may be all that is needed for there to be room for the permanent tooth to erupt into the proper position. If the impacted tooth isn’t causing any symptoms, your dentist may monitor the tooth instead of removing it. Other problems might require a combination of oral surgery and orthodontic treatment.
If you have pain from an impacted tooth, your dentist may suggest over-the-counter medication to provide temporary relief.
Who Treats Impacted Teeth?
If you think you might have an impacted tooth, you should make an appointment with your dentist. As part of a comprehensive oral examination, your dentist or oral surgeon can evaluate your teeth and mouth to determine if you have impacted teeth. Dental X-rays that can reveal the presence of impacted teeth, as well as signs of damage to teeth or bone, may also be taken. To find a dental office near you, visit our locations page.