The primary function of our teeth is to break down food for easier consumption. Conversely, it also allows us to talk better because certain sounds require the placement of the tongue in a specific way, and this is only possible if the teeth are in the correct position. For this reason, many dental issues can cause many problems, such as impacted wisdom teeth.
As the name suggests, impacted wisdom teeth cannot fully erupt through the gum line because other teeth block them. This can cause a lot of pain, discomfort, and other problems. Wisdom teeth are also more likely to become impacted because they are the last teeth to come in. By the time they start to come in, there is often not enough room in the mouth for them, so they get stuck. For this reason, one must know the many problems impacted wisdom teeth can cause, such as:
#1 - Extensive Tooth Decay
If you have an impacted wisdom tooth, the tooth may be difficult to brush and floss, leading to tooth decay. The longer the tooth decay is left untreated, the more damage it can cause to the tooth. For this reason, it is essential to see a dentist as soon as possible, so they can treat tooth decay and prevent it from causing further damage.
#2 - Damage to Other Teeth
An impacted wisdom tooth can damage other teeth if it starts to grow at an angle. The tooth may push on other teeth, which can cause them to become misaligned. In some cases, the impacted tooth may grow into other teeth, causing damage.
#3 - Pain and Swelling
An impacted wisdom tooth can cause pain and swell the gums. The pain may be constant or only occur when the tooth is touched. The swelling may make it difficult to open your mouth. In some cases, the pain and swelling may be so severe that it is difficult to eat or drink.
#4 - Gum Infections
Gum disease is one thing, but gum infections are another. If your wisdom tooth is impacted, there is a greater chance of developing an infection. The infection can cause pain, swelling, and redness in the gums. If the infection is left untreated, it can spread to other parts of the mouth and body.
#5 - Cysts
Cysts are fluid-filled sacs that can develop around wisdom teeth. They are usually benign but can become infected and cause pain. Cysts can also damage the jawbone and nerves, and leaving them untreated can lead to severe complications, such as tooth loss, jaw fracture, and ameloblastoma, a type of benign jaw tumor.
How Are Wisdom Teeth Impacted?
Wisdom teeth can be impacted in several ways. These include:
- Vertical Impaction - Vertical impaction occurs when wisdom teeth grow in a vertical direction and cannot break through the gum line.
- Horizontal Impaction - Horizontal impaction occurs when wisdom teeth grow in a horizontal direction and cannot break through the gum line.
- Bony Impaction - Bony impaction is the most severe form, occurring when wisdom teeth grow at an angle and become trapped within the jawbone.
- Distal Impaction - Distal impaction is the least common, occurring when wisdom teeth grow at an angle and become trapped behind the second molar.
- Mesial Impaction - Mesial impaction is the most common form, and it occurs when your wisdom tooth is angled to the front of your mouth.
- Soft Tissue Impaction - Occurs when wisdom teeth grow in partially and cause damage to the gum tissue. While the damage isn't extensive, the damaged gum tissue can lead to infection.
The best way to prevent wisdom teeth problems is to have them removed before they cause any issues. This is typically done when patients are between 16 and 25. However, some people may need to have their wisdom teeth removed at an earlier or later age, depending on their situation.
If you are experiencing pain or other problems with your wisdom teeth, you must immediately see your dentist or oral surgeon. They can diagnose the problem and recommend the best treatment option.
Impacted wisdom teeth can severely hinder oral health if not removed promptly. However, by visiting your dentist or oral surgeon regularly, you can help prevent wisdom teeth problems before they start. When you do, you can keep your smile healthy and bright for years.
Dental House MI provides top-quality services for wisdom teeth removal in Ann Arbor, MI. You should never skimp on your oral health, so we provide comprehensive dental solutions to maintain it. Visit our website today to schedule an appointment!