What is an impacted tooth?
An impacted tooth is a tooth that does not break through the gum.
Teeth start to pass through the gums (emerge) during infancy. This happens again when permanent teeth replace the primary (baby) teeth. If a tooth does not come in or emerges only partially, it is considered to be impacted.
An impacted tooth remains stuck in gum tissue or bone for various reasons. The area may be overcrowded, leaving no room for the teeth to emerge.
What causes an impacted tooth may not be known, for some people, it just happens. Genetics can play a role, so if a parent had an impacted tooth, their child may experience the same problem.
You may not experience any symptoms in some cases. In other cases, an impacted tooth may cause:
– red, swollen, or bleeding gums
– bad breath
– a bad taste in your mouth
– difficulty opening your mouth
– pain when opening your mouth, or when chewing and biting
Impacted wisdom teeth are very common. They are often painless and do not cause problems. However, some professionals believe an impacted tooth pushes on the next tooth, which pushes the next tooth. Eventually, this can cause a misaligned bite.
Children who are getting their permanent teeth can have impacted teeth. A permanent tooth can be trapped in the gums if a baby tooth does not fall out on time or if something blocks the permanent tooth’s path, such as a cyst. A permanent tooth may not erupt at all, or if it does, the tooth may appear in the wrong place.
The second most common teeth to be impacted are the maxillary canines, also referred to as the cuspid or upper eyeteeth. Because these teeth play a more important role in your mouth, your doctor is more likely to recommend treatments that encourage these teeth to erupt instead of removing them.
Fixing an impacted tooth can range from relatively simple to complicated. It all depends on the extent of the problem. Extracting a baby tooth may be all that is needed to make room for the permanent tooth to erupt into the proper position. But if an upper jaw is too narrow, it may be necessary to expand the jaw, which creates more room for permanent teeth to come in. Other problems might require a combination of oral surgery and orthodontic treatment to place an attachment on the impacted tooth and the orthodontist then guides the tooth into the proper position.!
When the canine teeth are impacted, eruption aids may be used to get the tooth to erupt properly. Eruption aids may include braces, or by extracting baby or adult teeth that may be blocking the canines. These methods are most effective when performed on younger people. If eruption can’t be achieved, then the impacted tooth will need to be removed.