Impacted teeth are a common occurrence. In fact, nearly everyone has the potential to be affected by them. Left untreated, impacted teeth can cause damage, pain, swelling, and even infection. Fortunately, the general dentists and hygienists at Lovett Dental Gulfgate are experienced and familiar with treating impacted teeth.

What Are Impacted Teeth?

Impacted teeth are those that do not come through the gum line as expected. They then become trapped or “impacted” between the gum tissue and your jawbone.

There are two primary causes of impacted teeth. They can occur because the tooth is not properly aligned and cannot emerge through the gum line. In other cases, the tooth might not push all the way through the gum tissue.

Side Effects Of Impacted Teeth

dentist and patient discussing impacted teethWhen you have an impacted tooth, there are typically side effects. The most common of these involve the impacted tooth itself. In some cases, however, even those teeth nearby can also be affected.

The impacted teeth can experience pain when chewing, biting, or opening your mouth and swelling of the gum tissue surrounding the affected tooth. The infection of this gum tissue is also common if impacted teeth are not treated. Bad breath, difficulty opening your mouth, and a bad taste in your mouth can occur.

The gums, teeth, and bones near the impacted teeth can also be negatively affected by their presence. If impacted teeth are not treated, permanent damage could result. Also, tumors or cysts can destroy parts of your jaw form because of an impacted tooth. Other side effects of impacted teeth can include:

  • Decay
  • Crowding of other teeth
  • Cavities
  • Gum disease
  • Absorption of adjacent teeth and/or bone

Which Teeth Can Become Impacted?

When impacted teeth are discussed, the wisdom teeth are often those that are affected. This is often because wisdom teeth, which might also be called third molars, are typically the last set of teeth to develop and push through the gum line.

There is sufficient room in their jaw in some people to allow their wisdom teeth to emerge smoothly, like their other teeth. The alignment of the emerging wisdom teeth is also key. However, there is not enough room in their jaw for many more people to allow for a third set of molars to emerge unscathed, or the alignment of their wisdom teeth does not allow it.

While wisdom teeth are the ones that are most often impacted, they are not the only type of teeth that can be affected. Bicuspids, otherwise known as premolar tooth, and cuspids, sometimes called canine teeth, can also become impacted.

How Are Impacted Teeth Identified?

The most common way of identifying impacted teeth is during a routine dental exam. During this procedure, your dentist keeps close tabs on the development of your teeth. If there is the potential for any issues with your wisdom teeth or other teeth, your dentist will explain the possibility of you having impacted teeth. Dental extractions might be necessary depending on what issues are occurring due to the impacted teeth.

Of course, many people have pain or swelling, which brings them to the dentist. In some cases, there are no symptoms at all of the impacted teeth. Their presence is only discovered through routine x-rays.

How To Treat Impacted Teeth

If your dentist discovers that you have impacted teeth, the most common action course is to have them surgically removed. When you address the problem early, having oral surgery to remove impacted teeth reduces the chances of pain, swelling, infection, and the permanent damage that this condition can cause.

If you are concerned that you could have an impacted tooth, contact Lovett Dental Gulfgate today at 713-847-8822. Our kind and compassionate professional team are here to provide you with the best dental care for you and your family.