If you are experiencing pain in your jaw, it’s possible that you have impacted wisdom teeth. Impacted wisdom teeth are teeth that have not erupted into the mouth properly and can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. In this blog post, we will discuss what are impacted wisdom teeth, why they occur, the associated complications, the symptoms to look out for, and how to treat them.
Impacted wisdom teeth usually occur in late adolescence or early adulthood. This is because the jawbone has not grown enough to accommodate the wisdom teeth, which results in the tooth becoming stuck beneath the gum line. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause a lot of problems if they are not treated properly, such as pain, infection, and damage to the nearby teeth.
If you think you might have impacted wisdom teeth, it’s important to see a dentist as soon as possible. They will be able to take x-rays and assess the situation. If the impacted wisdom teeth are causing pain or other problems, the dentist may recommend having them removed.
What is an Impacted Wisdom Tooth?
Impacted wisdom teeth come in different variations.
- The most common type is when the wisdom tooth grows at an angle towards the second molar. It can push on the second molar and cause it to shift.
- The second most common type is when the wisdom tooth grows at a right angle to the second molar, causing the wisdom tooth to come in partially and then get stuck.
- The third type is when the wisdom tooth grows straight back into the jawbone. This can cause problems because it can get infected.
There are many complications that can arise from impacted wisdom teeth.
- If the wisdom tooth is only partially erupted, food and bacteria can get trapped under the gum and cause an infection. This can lead to pain, swelling, and redness in the gum.
- If the wisdom tooth is fully erupted , but is positioned at an angle, it can crowd or damage the adjacent teeth.
- Wisdom teeth that are impacted can also cause cysts (fluid-filled sacs) to form around them.
- Nerve damage can occur if the wisdom tooth is growing into the nerve. This can result in numbness, tingling, or pain in the lips, gums, chin, and jaw.
- Pericoronitis, which is an inflammation of the tissue around the wisdom tooth, is another complication linked to impacted wisdom teeth. This can cause pain and swelling in the gum.
- In severe cases, impacted wisdom teeth can incur damage to the bones and nerves in the jaw.
Symptoms of Impacted Wisdom Teeth:
While impacted wisdom teeth don’t always cause symptoms, they can lead to a number of problems. If your wisdom teeth are impacted, you may experience:
- Throbbing Pain
- Tender gums
- Red or bleeding gums
- Infection of the gum tissue around the wisdom tooth
- Cysts or tumors that form around the impacted wisdom tooth
- Damage to nearby teeth
- Bad breath due to infection and bacteria
- (A rare symptom) Radiating pain of the temporomandibular (TMJ) joint traveling further to face and head
- Swollen glands in shoulder and neck.
- Abscess, infection, drainage of gums in gum or tooth.
Treatment for Impacted Wisdom Teeth
If you have an impacted wisdom tooth, your dentist may recommend one of the following treatments:
Tooth extraction: This is the most common treatment for impacted wisdom teeth. During this procedure, your dentist will numb your mouth and then remove the tooth.
Partial removal: However, in some cases, your dentist may only need to remove a portion of the impacted wisdom tooth, known as Coronectomy.
Root canal: If the tooth is only partially erupted, your dentist may perform a root canal. This procedure involves removing the damaged tissue and filling the tooth.
No treatment: In some cases, your dentist may recommend no treatment if the impacted wisdom tooth is not causing any problems.
There is no guaranteed way to prevent impacted wisdom teeth. However, there are some things you can do to reduce your risk:
- Visit your dentist every six months: This will allow your dentist to monitor the development of your wisdom teeth and take x-rays to check their position.
- Eat a healthy diet: Eating a healthy diet will help to ensure that your teeth and gums are strong.
- Practice good oral hygiene: This means brushing and flossing your teeth regularly.
- Do not smoke: Smoking can increase your risk of developing impacted wisdom teeth.
If you think you may have an impacted wisdom tooth, it is important to see your dentist as soon as possible. Early treatment can help to avoid complications. Schedule an appointment with the dental experts at Rodeo Dental & Orthodontics.