Impacted Teeth: Seeking Solutions

McKinney TX Dentist for Impacted Teeth

Illume Dental in McKinney, TX – Expert care for impacted teeth. We address concerns and restore your oral health with precision.

Have you ever heard of impacted teeth? It’s a common dental issue that many people experience. But what exactly are impacted teeth and why should we be concerned about them?

So, whether you have impacted teeth yourself or just want to learn more about this interesting dental condition, keep reading!

What are Impacted Teeth?

Impacted teeth refer to the teeth that fail to emerge through the gums fully. This usually happens when there is not enough space in the jaw for a tooth to come out properly.

Wisdom teeth, also third molars, are often affected due to their emergence as the last set of teeth. Insufficient space may result in complications during their development.

Nevertheless, it is possible for any tooth within the oral cavity to become impacted. The second most common impacted teeth are maxillary cuspids or canines. These are the teeth located just below your eyes on both sides of your mouth.

Now that we know what impacted teeth are, let’s take a closer look at the causes and symptoms.

Causes of Impacted Teeth

A common factor leading to impacted teeth is insufficient jaw space. This can arise from various underlying factors, such as:

  1. Genetics: Some people have smaller jaws, making it more likely for them to experience impacted teeth.
  2. Crowding: Crowded teeth can lead to a lack of space in the jaw, causing some teeth to become impacted.
  3. Late Tooth Development: If your other teeth have already emerged, there may not be enough space for a late-emerging tooth to come out properly.
  4. Abnormal Positioning: Sometimes, the angle of a tooth’s emergence can be off, making it difficult for the tooth to come out.

Symptoms of Impacted Teeth

Impacted teeth don’t always show symptoms. However, if a tooth is partially impacted or grows at an angle, you may experience:

  1. Pain and Discomfort: As the tooth tries to push through the gums, it can cause pain and discomfort in your jaw and surrounding teeth.
  2. Swelling and Redness: The gum tissue around an impacted tooth may become swollen and red due to the pressure of the tooth trying to emerge.
  3. Difficulty Chewing: When a tooth is partially impacted, it can cause difficulties in chewing and result in discomfort during meals.
  4. Bad Breath: Bad breath can occur when a tooth is partially impacted due to the trapping of food particles and bacteria.
  5. Headaches: Impacted teeth can also cause headaches due to the pressure and tension in the jaw area.

Treatment for Impacted Teeth

If you suspect that you have an impacted tooth, it’s important to see your dentist for a proper diagnosis. They will likely take X-rays to determine the position of the impacted tooth and assess the severity of the situation.

In some cases, if an impacted tooth isn’t causing any symptoms or affecting nearby teeth, your dentist may recommend no treatment. However, for most cases, treatment is necessary to prevent complications.

The most common treatment for impacted teeth is extraction. Depending on the position of the tooth, your dentist may be able to remove it with a simple extraction. However, if the tooth is deep-rooted or impacted in a difficult position, surgical extraction may be necessary.

During a surgical tooth extraction, a cut is made in the gums to access the tooth that is obstructed by bone. In certain situations, the dentist may need to divide the tooth into smaller sections for easier removal.

If you have multiple impacted teeth or if they are causing significant damage to nearby teeth, your dentist may recommend orthodontic treatment. This involves using braces or other appliances to shift the impacted tooth into its proper position.

In rare cases, impacted teeth may need to be removed by an oral surgeon in a hospital setting. This is usually reserved for more complex cases where the tooth is deeply impacted and close to important nerves or structures.

Post-Extraction Care

If you undergo a tooth extraction for an impacted tooth, it’s important to follow your dentist’s post-operative instructions carefully. This will help prevent complications and promote proper healing.

Some common post-extraction care instructions may include:

  • Taking pain medication as prescribed to manage any discomfort
  • Applying ice packs in the area to reduce swelling 
  • Consuming soft foods and avoiding hard, sticky, or crunchy foods for a few days
  • Avoiding smoking or using straws to prevent dry socket (a painful condition where the blood clot at the extraction site becomes dislodged)
  • Keeping the area clean by gently rinsing with warm salt water

Your dentist may also prescribe antibiotics if there is a risk of infection. Be sure to complete the full course of antibiotics as directed.

In addition, it’s important to attend any follow-up appointments with your dentist. They will monitor your healing and make sure there are no complications.

Possible Complications

While tooth extraction for impacted teeth is generally a safe procedure, there can be potential complications. These may include:

  • Infection at the extraction site
  • Dry socket (as mentioned earlier)
  • Damage to surrounding teeth or structures, such as the sinuses or nerves
  • Excessive bleeding or a blood clot that does not form properly

If you experience any of these complications after your tooth extraction, be sure to contact your dentist immediately for further guidance.

Give us a call at Illume Dental for professional solutions and guidance for impacted teeth.