An impacted tooth is a tooth that was, at one point, on track for erupting through the jaw and gums. Unfortunately, an impacted tooth will ultimately become stuck so that it cannot erupt properly. This leaves the tooth “stuck” or impacted in the gums and/or jaw. Wisdom teeth are commonly associated with becoming impacted. This is because wisdom teeth erupt much later in life and therefore have very little room to become established.
An impacted tooth can produce discomfort – especially if a particular tooth’s arrival crowds existing teeth. This crowding will generate pressure, which could move teeth to unhealthy positions over time. This is why a dentist or oral surgeon will recommend the removal of wisdom teeth to preserve oral health and prevent potential complications. In dentistry, impacted teeth tend to have a very high risk for developing oral disease.
Another sign that a tooth might be impacted is the development of an abscess. An abscess is a painful dental infection that forms at the base of a tooth, near its root. This type of infection can kill a tooth along with causing bone deterioration and infected periodontal tissue. Abscessed teeth must be treated as quickly as possible to minimize this condition’s impact on neighboring oral structures.
Why do wisdom teeth become impacted?
Wisdom teeth become impacted mostly because these teeth do not have enough room to come through the gums upright. The late arrival of wisdom teeth (between the ages of 17 and 25) could lead oral health problems that might require restorative dentistry and endodontic care.
Will removing my wisdom teeth prevent problems?
If your dentist has recommended that you have your wisdom teeth removed, it is for good reason. Keeping your wisdom teeth increases your risks for developing conditions like gum disease and tooth decay along with developing issues with tooth placement, jaw alignment, and tissue deterioration.
Dental professionals look at wisdom tooth removal as a method of preventing disease and unwanted tooth movement. If wisdom teeth have already contributed to problems, their removal can help increase oral health.
Modern dentistry affords people state-of-the-art care in comfortable settings. If you have questions about your treatment, contact our office today to speak with a member of our team.