When a tooth is stuck and unable to erupt it is considered impacted. Most impacted teeth are painless, and unless a dentist points it out, you may not realize there is an issue. Impacted teeth can get cavities leading to decay and gum disease. In some cases, they can cause tooth movement by pushing against a neighboring molar. If an impacted tooth is left untreated cysts, or other growths, in the jaw can appear.
The most common teeth to be impacted are the wisdom teeth (third molar), and it is usually recommended to extract them before allowing them to become impacted. If these are not extracted, and become impacted, a painful infection can development. The second most tooth to be impacted is the cuspid (maxillary canine). These teeth a critical in your dental arch and for your bite. Your cuspids are the first teeth to touch with closing your jaw and therefore help to guide the rest of your teeth into a proper bite. These teeth are the last front teeth to erupt and usually don’t appear until the age of 13. When these teeth are impacted we will make every effort to ensure it erupts in its proper place.
If you are experience a pain near a tooth for several days and then it disappears please let our dental staff know at your next appointment. This will allow us the chance to exam that area more carefully in case an impacted tooth is to blame. Other symptoms to be mindful of are bad breath, bad taste in your mouth, difficulty opening your jaw, pain during biting and chewing, or swollen gums near the back of your mouth. Please call our office if you are currently experience any combination of this symptoms so that we may schedule a time for your teeth to be examined.