Signs and Symptoms of an Impacted Tooth
Many people will suffer from an impacted tooth in their lifetime. An impacted tooth occurs when an ingrowing tooth clashes and presses against an already developed tooth, preventing the new tooth from fully emerging from the gums. Impacted teeth can cause the sufferer pain, as well as numerous other symptoms, but treatment offered by an affordable dentist can alleviate the issues of tooth impactions.
Tooth impactions commonly occur with the development of wisdom teeth, although other teeth can become impacted at earlier stages of a person’s life. Impacted teeth are teeth which become stuck partially or wholly within the person’s gum tissue; often as a result as an already-present tooth in the area of the tooth’s eruption.
Not every sufferer of impacted teeth will experience pain, and there are several symptoms to look out for which could point to tooth impaction. Symptoms can include:
- Bad breath
- Headaches or aching jaws
- Swelling of gum tissue around the tooth impaction area
- Pain or soreness in the gums or jaw bone
- Occasional difficulty in opening the mouth
- Unpleasant taste when biting down in the affected area
If you experience any of these symptoms, you may have an impacted tooth and so a visit to a dentist is advisable. If left, a tooth impaction can lead to a misalignment of a person’s bite as the impaction places pressure on an already-present tooth, which in turn applies pressure to subsequent teeth.
Tooth impactions that have partially erupted from the gum tissue can trap food, plaque and other debris within the soft tissue around it, which rots and decays and can affect the gum tissue and jaw bone.
When assessing a tooth impaction, a dentist will look for any swollen tissue that might exist in areas where a tooth has not, or only partially, emerged from the gum tissue. There may also be signs that the impaction is pressing on nearby teeth. Dental x-rays are often required to successfully confirm the presence of impacted teeth.
If the dentist deems that the impaction isn’t causing any problems, he may elect to leave it; otherwise the dentist will look to remove the tooth. The extraction process usually takes place in the dentist’s office, although difficult cases may require treatment by an oral surgeon.