Wisdom Teeth: Impaction and Management

Dentist performing tooth extraction

Dentist performing tooth extractionThe wisdom teeth are the last teeth (third molars) to erupt. Some wisdom teeth, though, become impacted. They do not come out fully or remain trapped inside the jawbone. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause intense pain and complications that most patients choose to have them removed.

What causes an impacted wisdom tooth?

The wisdom teeth start to erupt between ages 17 and 25. Some people don’t experience problems with their wisdom tooth, while others do. A wisdom tooth can become impacted when there’s not enough space for it to grow and go out. This causes other dental problems and even complications.

How can you tell if a wisdom tooth is impacted?

There are several ways to tell if there’s impaction. A wisdom tooth that did not come out of the gums fully is a partially impacted tooth. On the other hand, if it remains trapped inside the jawbone, then it’s fully impacted. Abnormalities in the angle of a wisdom tooth’s growth — like if it grows toward another tooth or toward the opposite side — also means an impaction.

Can an impacted wisdom tooth be prevented?

You cannot avoid impaction from happening, according to Mayo Clinic. However, visiting the dentist regularly can help monitor a wisdom tooth’s growth. X-rays can also indicate impaction even before its symptoms show.

What are the symptoms of impaction?

A partially erupted wisdom tooth is a sure sign of impaction. However, there are the other common symptoms of an impacted wisdom tooth, such as swollen gums, bleeding gums, difficulty in chewing, and jaw pain.

Causes of Wisdom Tooth Extraction

An impacted wisdom tooth could bring great discomfort to a patient that dentists often advise to have it removed. Another reason for extraction is because the wisdom tooth is more prone to tooth decay than the rest of the teeth with its hard-to-reach location. Having an impacted wisdom tooth also increases the risk of developing complications like gum problems, infections, and cysts.

Impacted Wisdom Tooth Management

For pain, patients can take over-the-counter pain relievers. As this will only provide temporary relief, most patients choose to undergo oral surgery in Ogden for impacted wisdom tooth extraction. The Dental Clinic of Doctor Greg Roberts explains that this process uses local anesthesia, although some patients choose to receive sedation to reduce anxiety.

The top reasons for impaction are the lack of space or an abnormal position. An impacted wisdom tooth can cause severe pain and other dental problems. The best way to manage its symptoms is by having it removed by an oral surgeon.