If you have an impacted tooth, you know that the pain can be unbearable. An impacted tooth produces high levels of pain and sensitivity because it needs to be addressed. In other words, your body is telling you that something isn’t right – even if you can’t see it. At Grateful Dental, we offer extractions for impacted teeth. It is important to understand why the tooth has become impacted and why extraction is the best solution.
What is an Impacted Tooth?
An impacted tooth means that the tooth has failed to erupt properly through the gums. The tooth is blocked or trapped beneath the gum line. In some cases, an impacted tooth erupts only partially and cannot serve a functional purpose in the mouth. Instead, it can cause pain and create easy areas for bacteria to accumulate. While impacted teeth are most often seen in the wisdom teeth due to lack of jaw space, impacted teeth can also occur in the upper eyeteeth (maxillary cuspids).
Recognizing Impacted Wisdom Teeth
When we think of impacted teeth, most of us assume it is the wisdom teeth. The wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars to erupt. They typically emerge between 17 and 25 years of age. Unfortunately, many patients don’t have enough room in their jaw to accommodate these extra set of molars. Since they don’t serve a real functional role in the mouth, they can easily cause more harm than good. For this reason, the wisdom teeth are commonly extracted before they become painfully impacted or cause trouble. Wisdom teeth removal is a very popular oral surgery and even considered as a “right of passage” for young adults by some. A study in Sweden found that as many as 72% of people between the ages of 20-30 had at least one impacted wisdom tooth.
Would you know how to recognize an impacted wisdom tooth? There are a few common signs to look for, including
- Red or swollen gum tissue in the back of the mouth
- Tender or bleeding gums near the molars
- Jaw pain
- Difficulty opening your mouth completely
- Bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
If you have impacted teeth that are left untreated, you are at risk for infection, bone damage and injury to the adjacent teeth. An extraction can eliminate wisdom teeth that are stuck below the gum line or growing in sideways into the jaw.
Recognizing an Impacted Eyetooth (Maxillary Cuspid)
The eyetooth (or canine) is the pointed, large tooth that is located on either side of your front four teeth. These teeth are the “cornerstone of your smile,” but also play a critical role in creating a stable and functional bite. In nearly 2% of the population, however, these eyeteeth are impacted. It is the second most common tooth to become impacted.
The impaction of the maxillary cuspid is noticeable earlier than the wisdom teeth. In fact, you will likely see signs of an impacted eyetooth by the age of 10 or 12. Once the baby tooth is lost, the adult canine may fail to emerge from the gum tissue. While pain, tenderness and swelling typically indicate the impacted eyetooth, an x-ray can confirm the diagnosis.
Just like impacted wisdom teeth, an impacted maxillary cuspid needs prompt attention. Failure to do so can lead to oral infection, bone damage, cysts, alignment issues and more. If you are unsure as to whether or not you should keep waiting for your child’s canine to break through the gum tissue, please call our office for professional advice.
At Grateful Dental, our team will customize your treatment plan for impacted teeth based on its location and stage of development. Your treatment may involve a simple extraction or surgical removal by segmenting the tooth and removing portions at a time. When it comes to children with impacted teeth, we always follow the highest level of precision and care. You can trust that our office utilizes advanced technology and sedation dentistry for the most comfortable experience possible.
If you have symptoms or signs of an impacted wisdom tooth, canine or other tooth, please call our Marietta office as soon as possible. We offer same day dentistry and accept most major dental insurance plans for your convenience.