An impacted tooth can be very uncomfortable and should be evaluated by a dentist to determine the appropriate treatment. If not properly and promptly treated, an impacted tooth can lead to infection elsewhere in the mouth or even in the jawbone or sinuses.
Symptoms of an Impacted Tooth
If a tooth is impacted, it means it has not emerged properly and is stuck beneath the gums. Sometimes an impacted tooth causes no major problems, but other times it can be very uncomfortable, particularly if it becomes infected. This often occurs with wisdom teeth because there isn’t enough room for the teeth to come in. They can become wedged against the adjacent teeth or even attempt to come in sideways.
Some symptoms that can indicate the presence of an impacted tooth include:
- Aching or movement in adjacent teeth
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should see your dentist as soon as possible. In most cases, an impacted tooth should be removed. This generally requires oral surgery, particularly if the tooth has not emerged from the gum at all.
Why Treat an Impacted Tooth?
If an impacted tooth isn’t causing any discomfort, you might choose not to have it treated. However, even without noticeable symptoms, the tooth could push against the rest of your teeth, causing eventual misalignment. You and your dentist should discuss the best course of action in this case.
Unfortunately, impacted teeth are very susceptible to infection, especially if they have partially emerged. Food particles and bacteria can collect around the exposed tooth and the gum tissues, causing infection. If the tooth becomes infected, treatment is important. Otherwise, the infection could spread elsewhere in your mouth, or to your jawbone or sinuses. If infection has set in, your dentist might recommend antibiotics before removing the tooth. Any symptoms of infection in an impacted tooth should be brought to your dentist’s attention as soon as possible.
If you have questions about your own impacted tooth, call Kemp & Borovac Dentistry to schedule your first appointment!