An impacted tooth is the tooth which grows in the direction of neighboring teeth. Wisdom teeth are the impacted teeth in most of the cases.
Wisdom teeth usually grow at the age of 17 to 21. These teeth are also known as third molars. The reason these teeth can be impacted is the lack of room in the mouth.
In many cases, an impacted tooth is painless. You may not even know if there is any tooth in the area. Nevertheless, when an impacted tooth tends to erupt, the cover or gum over this tooth may become swollen. This swelling can result in pain. Sometimes, an impacted tooth can result in pain in the nearby teeth and even in the ears.
In some cases, an impacted tooth might result in severe infection which is most commonly referred to as pericoronitis. If this infection is not treated on time, it can spread to the throat and into the neck. In this situation, a hospital stay and surgery become crucial.
Cavities can also occur due to impacted teeth. Since an impacted tooth can push on the neighboring teeth, it can result in cavities and gum diseases due to damaged enamel of the teeth in contact with each other. Moreover, it can also change the way your teeth might look. In rare cases, an impacted tooth can result in cysts and other abnormalities in your mouth.
A few symptoms of impacted teeth are:
- Swelling in gums or in the back of your mouth
- Trouble in mouth opening
- Bad breath
- Bad taste
- Pain while chewing or biting
Diagnosis involves dental x-rays which help your dentist to locate your wisdom tooth. This diagnosis also helps in figuring out if the wisdom tooth is impacted.
If you are having minor irritation in the wisdom tooth area, you can get relief by using warm water with salt mixed in it. You may also use over-the-counter pain relievers.
If the painful situation persists, it means that your teeth is either infected or impacted. The general treatment for this condition is the tooth removal. Tooth extraction usually takes 5 to 30 minutes, depending upon the location and complexity. If infection seems to be persistent in nature, your dentist may suggest you some antibiotics.
After the surgery is done, you may feel swelling and irritation for a few days. Moreover, it would be pretty difficult for you to have certain kinds of foods. You need to follow your dentist’s instructions in order to avoid any kind of further complications in the future. The complications after surgery are rare but they can happen.