Impacted teeth: Symptoms, Causes & Treatments

We often hear about teenagers or adults having impacted wisdom teeth, but did you know that other teeth can become impacted too?  Impaction simply means that a tooth has either not erupted above the gum line in the mouth or it has erupted in the wrong position, in the wrong direction or incompletely.  Impacted teeth are caused by a variety of factors including mouth crowding and genetics.

Growing children who are obtaining permanent teeth behind baby teeth can have impacted teeth. An adult, permanent tooth can become trapped above the gum line if a baby tooth does not  fall out or if an oral growth or other problem prevents the tooth from erupting correctly. Solutions can include removing the baby tooth to allow for tooth eruption, but in some cases jaw expansion, orthodontics or jaw surgery may be needed to correct crowding and impaction.

Regular visits to the dentist – and in some cases, an orthodontist – can detect impaction early and allow for preventative treatment.  Today, oral health care providers are experienced in early detection of all sorts of oral health concerns including abnormal tooth eruption patterns, mouth crowding, tooth impaction and more.  Early detection of these issues allows for careful management of concerns to avoid future problems.

It is possible to have impacted teeth without realizing the extent of the issues. A few things to look out for:

-Discolored, swollen or bleeding gums

-Foul-smelling breath or a bad taste in the mouth

-Pain when moving the jaw, chewing or biting

These symptoms can indicate impacted teeth or a variety of other oral health concerns.  If you experience any of the above concerns, please contact your dentist or oral health care provider as soon as possible. It is important to address any oral health issues as quickly as possible.

Don’t let fear of the dentist keep you from seeking regular oral health care.  Frequent visits to the dentist help you avoid common issues like tooth decay, but regular visits are also important to aid in early detection of mouth crowding and tooth impaction issues.   Early detection allows your oral health care team to appropriately address and effectively correct issues, helping you to avoid future damage and additional concerns.  Today’s dentists, orthodontists and oral health care providers use a variety of treatment techniquesto ensure that each dental health care visit is as comfortable as possible. To learn more about painless dental procedures, visit to find a DentalVibe dentist near you.

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