The Impact Of An Impacted Tooth

A tooth is considered impacted when it only partially grows through the gums.  This can happen because another tooth blocks it or it grows in crookedly.  The wisdom tooth generally comes in from age 17-21 and is the last tooth to appear which is why it’s the most likely to become impacted- There is simply no room for it left in the mouth.

Although an impacted tooth does not always lead to pain or discomfort, the impaction can cause other problems.  A partially erupted tooth can create an opening in the gum where food and other particle an bacteria can accumulate, leading to gum infection.  Impacted teeth can also develop tooth decay and can push on adjacent teeth causing all your teeth to shift.

For these reasons, it is usually recommended to have  wisdom teeth extracted before the age of 21.  The younger you are the better (and faster) the surrounding tissue and bone will heal.  Often we can recommend that they be removed by what the full mouth x-ray tells us before any of the

 tooth tries to erupt.

No  matter what age you are, if an impacted tooth is causing you pain, soreness, sensitivity or inflammation, come in for a visit.  Better to get treatment than unnecessarily endure pain and discomfort. Persistent pain or an infection usually means the tooth will need to be removed. Sometimes this can be done right in the office.  Otherwise, we can refer you to an Oral Surgeon