Wisdom teeth are your third molars that typically begin to emerge between the age of 17 and 25. They can become impacted if they don’t have enough room to come in or develop normally. Neglecting to have impacted wisdom teeth removed can cause dental problems. On the other hand, some wisdom teeth are without issues, and the teeth line up with the others and don’t require removal.
What causes the tooth to become impacted?
A tooth may only partially emerge or never break through the gums. Whether the tooth is partially or fully impacted, the tooth can grow in a variety of directions: at an angle towards the second molar, an angle toward the back of the mouth, toward the other teeth, or essentially ‘lay down’ in the jawbone or even grow straight but become trapped in the jawbone.
Do I have Impacted Wisdom Teeth?
It is essential to be aware of the signs of impacted wisdom teeth. Impacted wisdom teeth don’t always present symptoms, but they can become infected and present these signs or symptoms:
- Unpleasant taste in your mouth
- Tender or bleeding gums
- Jaw pain
- Red or swollen gums
- Bad breath
- Swelling around the jaw
- Difficulty opening your mouth
Longterm Consequences & Complications
Impacted teeth can cause several issues in the mouth. Impacted teeth can invade space near the second molar, which increases the risk of infection. The pressure from the tooth can cause teeth to shift and require orthodontic treatment to realign your teeth. Because of the location of your wisdom teeth, they can be tough to clean; this can leave food trapped between the gum and the partially erupted tooth.
Because a partially impacted tooth is more difficult to clean, this increases the risk of developing a painful inflammatory gum condition called pericoronitis. Cysts can also develop within the jawbone, causing damage to nerves, teeth, and the jawbone.
Will an Impacted Tooth Fix Itself?
The short answer is no. Impacted teeth are stuck and will not resolve on their own. Without treatment, impacted teeth will continue to cause discomfort, cavities, and gum disease. If you are experiencing any symptoms of an impacted tooth, please contact Dr. Davis at Utah Oral and Facial Surgery Institute to set up a consultation.