Impacted tooth

What are impacted teeth?

Impacted teeth are usually wisdom teeth or third molars.  Unlike the rest of your teeth, these teeth erupt or grow out in your late teens or even into your twenties.  Many people notice that the front teeth start to get more overlapped or crowded at the same time as the third molars erupt.

The problem with the third molars is that a lot of the time, there is no room in your jaw for the tooth to erupt completely.  This means that the tooth becomes “stuck” in your jaw and sometimes just a part of it comes out of the gums.  Sometimes, the tooth can be OK for many years.  But usually, problems will arise because of several possible problems:

1.  The area is extremely difficult to clean and usually impossible to floss.  This leads to bacteria accumulating in the area and the gums becoming swollen.  Sometimes, it can lead to severe pain, biting of your cheek, swelling, and even fever and pus.

2. The tooth will eventually develop a cavity due to lack of cleaning.  Again, this will lead to infection, pain, broken teeth, or swelling.

So what do you do if you think you have an impacted tooth?

If the tooth is still asymptomatic, you can have it removed.  It is so much easier to remove the impacted tooth before any infection develops and healing is usually quicker and less complicated.  Many times, dentists will recommend you have your wisdom teeth removed before any problems arise to prevent future problems.  This is usually the best time to have the impacted tooth removed.

If you are already experiencing pain or swelling, see a dentist ASAP.  You may need some antibiotics to bring the swelling down before the impacted tooth can be removed.  If the infection is not too bad, your dentist may choose to remove the tooth in the same day, but will usually give you antibiotics after the tooth is removed.

Unfortunately, impacted teeth usually will create problems in the long term.  If you have an impacted tooth or if you think you might have one, please see a dentist ASAP.  

You can get a free consultation at our office and at the minimum we will send you home with antibiotics if you have an infection.

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