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What causes a tooth to become impacted?

dentist carrolltonAn impacted tooth is a common reason to visit the dentist. It happens most frequently with wisdom teeth, which then usually need to be removed. A tooth becomes impacted when there isn’t enough room for it to properly emerge. This can result in infection.

Side Effects of Impaction

Impaction occurs when a tooth is “trapped” and can’t emerge fully from the gums. If teeth are crowded, it’s more likely for a tooth to become impacted. Teeth can also become impacted if they emerge at an incorrect angle. Some teeth are situated improperly in the jawbone and this causes impaction as they try to emerge from the gums sideways or at an angle that is blocked by neighboring teeth.

An impacted tooth can push other teeth out of position, causing achiness, sensitivity, and misalignment. Impacted teeth are also prone to infection. Because impaction creates a situation detrimental to the health of your other teeth and to your oral health in general, your family dentist will probably recommend that your impacted tooth be removed. Depending upon the location of the tooth, how far it has emerged, and its overall positioning, this might be done in your regular dental office. In other cases, you might require oral surgery.

Impaction and Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth often become impacted. As the last molars to emerge, they often don’t have enough room to successfully join the rest of the teeth in your mouth. The result is discomfort, swelling, movement of your other teeth, and possibly infection. For this reason, your family dentist will keep track of the positioning and size of your wisdom teeth even before they begin to emerge. If your wisdom teeth are starting to come in and you notice symptoms of impaction, you should discuss this with your dentist.

Other teeth can also become impacted. If a tooth is positioned incorrectly in the jawbone, it might try to emerge from an angle where it wedges against adjacent teeth. Regular X-rays usually detect these problems before the tooth emerges, allowing your dentist to recommend appropriate treatment.

Are you concerned about your wisdom teeth coming in? Contact our office today to set up a consultation with our caring team today.