Impacted Teeth: What to Know and What to Do

Impacted Teeth

What is an Impacted Tooth?

An impacted tooth is a tooth that is blocked from erupting by soft tissue or bone. Impacted teeth can occur in any part of the mouth, but they are typically found in the lower premolar or third molar areas. Impacted teeth may also be referred to as “wisdom teeth” since they are usually the last to emerge.

What Causes Impacted Teeth?

Impacted teeth are usually caused by poor oral hygiene, lack of space in the mouth, tooth misalignment, or genetics. Poor oral hygiene can lead to impacted teeth due to plaque buildup and bacteria around the tooth, which can cause gum disease and bone loss. Lack of space in the mouth can prevent teeth from erupting as the pressure from other teeth makes it difficult for them to come through. Tooth misalignment or genetics can also contribute to impacted teeth as the tooth is unable to fit into the proper position in the jawbone.

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How to Diagnose Impacted Teeth?

Impacted teeth can be diagnosed during a regular dental examination. During the exam, the dentist will look for signs of impacted teeth, such as pain or swelling. X-rays can also be used to diagnose impacted teeth and to determine the location and severity of the impaction.

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How Can Impacted Teeth Affect Your Health?

Impacted teeth can cause a number of oral health problems, such as pain, infection, tooth decay, and gum disease. If the impacted tooth is not treated, it can lead to further problems, such as cysts, tumors, or damage to the surrounding teeth, nerves, and jawbone.

What to Do if You Have an Impacted Tooth?

If you have an impacted tooth, it is important to seek professional treatment as soon as possible. Treatment options include removing the impacted tooth, repositioning the tooth, or filing down the tooth to make room for it to come through. Your dentist or oral surgeon will be able to advise you on the best course of treatment for your particular case.

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Key Takeaways When It Comes to Impacted Teeth:

  • Poor oral hygiene, lack of space in the mouth, tooth misalignment, or genetics can lead to impacted teeth.
  • Impacted teeth can be diagnosed through a regular dental examination and X-rays.
  • Untreated impacted teeth can cause pain, infection, tooth decay, and gum disease.
  • Treatment options include removing the impacted tooth, repositioning the tooth, or filing down the tooth to make room for it to come through.

It is important to take proper care of your teeth in order to prevent impacted teeth and the health problems that can accompany it. Make sure to brush and floss regularly and to see your dentist at least twice a year for regular dental exams and cleanings.

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