Impacted teeth are your last molars if they have not emerged in time. Usually, people should have fully formed their ‘wisdom’ tooth by the age of 30. However, sometimes they remain hidden completely or partially under the jaw tissue (gingiva). These impacted teeth can cause extreme pain, or deform your other molars.
Impacted Teeth and Healthy Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars. They are the last molars on the upper and lower jaws, and the last teeth to show up. Usually, this growth happens after 25, which is beyond the normal dental developmental window. Hence, they are called ‘wisdom teeth’ since age brings with wisdom.
However, some wisdom teeth grow crooked or don’t develop completely. Thus, they remain under the gum tissue, gradually causing pain, and in some cases infections.
In other cases, they grow sideways and push against other teeth, tilting them against the jaw. This is because when they show up, there is little or no room for them.
Sometimes, impacted teeth may develop painlessly. More often however, it causes the gum to swell or get infected. This brings the notorious pain.
Impacted teeth are also tough to clean, and hence susceptible to tooth decay more than your other teeth. This is the basic information one should know about impacted teeth.
What is the best way to deal with impacted teeth?
Take no action if your wisdom tooth doesn’t bother you, and treat it the same way as your regular teeth. Maintain your regular oral hygiene, and avoid putting too much stress on your molars.
However, if the impacted tooth causes pain, it is a good idea to have your dentist examine it immediately. An early decision to remove your wisdom tooth will give you great relief. This is of utmost importance. Keeping an infected or sore impacted tooth may lead to several types of complications.
Its growth alone may lead to gum infection if the direction it is moving tear through your gums in an abnormal way. Its growth may also cause damage to your other teeth, or spread the infection to areas where it pushes against other teeth. It may even set the alignment of the rest of your teeth wrong! It would require additional procedures to correct or straighten the rest of the teeth.
In worse cases, the impacted tooth develops a fluid filled sac in the jawbone that fills. This necessitates an immediate surgical procedure. Hence, early diagnosis of impacted teeth helps avoid these complications. Since there is no way to prevent the growth of impacted teeth, beat it before it becomes a bother.