Fix Impacted teeth

During childhood, baby teeth normally emerge, fall out, and are replaced by adult teeth. The process of teeth coming in is called eruption, and some teeth simply do not erupt as others do. When this happens, and the teeth that form in the jaw remain there rather than erupting, they are referred to impacted teeth.

Why do teeth become impacted?

Most commonly, teeth become impacted because they don’t have enough room to erupt. This could be due to crooked teeth surrounding the eruption site, or a space that is simply too small for the new tooth to emerge. In some cases, the tip of the tooth might emerge from the gumline and then fail to more fully erupt; in other cases, the eruption process never begins.

This happens most commonly with wisdom teeth or “third molars,” the four large back molars that typically appear in your late teen to early twenties. In some cases, wisdom teeth become impacted because they don’t have the space to erupt; in others, they start to erupt crooked or even sideways and present problems for the other molars at the back of the jaw.

Other teeth that are more frequently impacted than others are the upper canines. This may be an inherited trait as this form of impaction tends to run in families. The frequency of impacted upper canines in the general population could also be due to the fact that canines often erupt later than the neighboring incisors and premolars, thereby having an increased chance of a small or otherwise sub-optimal space in which to erupt.

How and why are impacted teeth treated?

The treatment for impacted teeth usually involves either extraction (removal) or oral surgery to reposition the eruption path – essentially creating a new path for the tooth to erupt as it should. Removal or repositioning depends on the kind of tooth: while wisdom teeth are often simply removed to avoid the problems that an impacted tooth can cause, more structurally important teeth such as canines are repositioned to maintain the natural shape of the mouth and the integrity of the surrounding teeth.

Impacted teeth that are not treated can cause a number of problems, including pain and discomfort, swelling, and cavities and, in more serious cases, infections, gum disease, and even nerve damage. Impacted teeth can also be a menace to the positioning of teeth in that area of the mouth, forcing them to shift in ways that they would not otherwise.

For these reasons, impacted teeth should be evaluation and treated as necessary. Symptoms of an impacted tooth may include the following: localized pain, an aching jaw, and gaps where teeth that should have erupted have failed to do so. In this case of a developing infection, which should be treated right away, you might also notice a foul taste in your mouth.

If you find yourself suffering any of the above symptoms, don’t delay a visit to your dentist’s office. An impacted tooth will virtually never fix itself, so make the call today!

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