What signs and symptoms are associated with an impacted tooth?
Sometimes, a patient may have a tooth that never comes through the gumline. When a permanent tooth fails to erupt or only comes in partially, it becomes impacted.
Over time, the human jaw has become narrower, leading teeth to become impacted because there is not sufficient room in the jaw to accommodate them. Most often, an impacted tooth is one of the third molars, more commonly known as the wisdom teeth, which are of particular concern to dentists.
The impacted teeth can have a variety of effects, although they may not necessarily result in pain or discomfort for the patient. Indeed, dentists treat patients with impacted teeth for a number of different problems. The best dentists in Colleyville will often recommend an extraction in the case of an impacted tooth.
You may first notice swelling and redness in the vicinity of the impacted tooth. If so, mention this symptom to your dentist to alert them to a potential problem. A partially emerged tooth may collect food particles and plaque, making it more susceptible to infection—another sign of an impacted tooth. If the impacted tooth is located in a highly visible area, there will be a noticeable gap in the smile where the tooth should have come in.
If your dentist suspects that you have an impacted tooth based on the above symptoms, you will undergo an x-ray to confirm the diagnosis. For wisdom teeth in particularly, patients are strongly encouraged to have extractions in their late teens or early twenties when the procedure is more straightforward and there is a lower risk of complications.
Even when impacted teeth cause no discomfort, they can still have adverse effects. Although those teeth do not emerge through the gums, they can still exert pressure on neighboring teeth and knock them out of alignment. If you’ve had orthodontic treatment, then you’ll undoubtedly want to have impacted teeth removed to protect that investment and ensure that you don’t have to undergo a second round of treatment.