Most people have their teeth lined up perfectly on their gums and jaws. However, there are others with disrupted alignment where some teeth may grow towards the back or on the outer part of the jawbone. The tooth can be positioned against soft tissue, another tooth, or a bone. This is known as an impacted tooth. Read on to learn about the impacted teeth and how to treat them.
In most cases, the impacted tooth is entrenched on the bone or soft tissues. The tooth may cause the surrounding teeth to tilt, twist, or get displaced when the tooth is emerging. Mostly, impaction happens with the wisdom teeth. This is because they are normally the last ones to come out. When the mouth does not have ample space to accommodate all the teeth, impaction occurs.
Mostly, impaction is a result of a lack of orthodontic treatment or genetic factors.
Symptoms of Impacted Teeth
Some people do not experience any symptoms with impacted teeth. However, sometimes the teeth may cause the following symptoms:
- Swollen, bleeding, and red gums
- Tenderness of the jaw bone or gum within the area
- Bad breath
- Problem opening the mouth
- Bad taste in the mouth
- Pain when biting or chewing
Most of these symptoms disappear after some time. If the impacted teeth are not treated, they may cause complications like:
- Tooth decay
- Infections like gingivitis
- Cyst on the gum
- Poor teeth alignment
Before treatment is administered, a dentist will ask about the medical history of the patient and the symptoms they may be experiencing. Then an x-ray will be administered to confirm the impaction. Some of the options for treatment include:
If the impaction is causing severe complications and other unpleasant issues, the dentist may recommend you to have an extraction surgery. An oral and maxillofacial surgeon is assigned to remove the nuisance teeth to eliminate the complications. It is not a long procedure and you can go home once the surgery is complete. This is a short and non-complicated surgical procedure that ensures you get better within a few days after the surgery. However, before the scheduling of the surgery, the dentist may advise you to buy pain killers to reduce the pain and gargle salty water to soothe your gums.
Although surgery may be scheduled, the doctor may first suggest waiting and monitor the progress. You may be asked to go for regular check-ups for the dentist to regularly monitor the impaction. During this period, you will be taking painkillers that you can easily buy over the counter.
- Manual Eruption
When impaction takes place, eruption aids can be used to ensure the tooth erupts properly. Some of the aids include brackets or braces. It may also result in extracting the tooth, especially for babies if it is blocking other teeth from growing properly. This is an effective method. However, if this is not possible, the tooth will be extracted and substituted with an implant.
In many cases, impacted teeth are not an issue and do not require any treatment. However, there are severe cases where they cause various complications. Therefore, there is a need to deal with them. They need to be removed to prevent damaging the other teeth, preventing infections, and other issues. Treatment can be through surgery or eruption aids.