Fix Impacted Teeth

Crowding and Impacted Teeth

Impacted teeth are the result of teeth that don’t develop fully to the point of erupting through the gums. Normally as we develop, our baby teeth become loose and then fall out, making way for the development and eruption of adult teeth. For some people, these new adult teeth don’t ever erupt on their own and this is what leads to impaction. Crowding of the teeth can also contribute to impaction, and usually develops when the new adult teeth do erupt, but don’t grow in all the way straight. When this happens, orthodontic treatments such as Invisalign, or braces are often used to shift teeth into their ideal position alleviating any crowding and allowing for proper bite position.

Tooth Impaction and Why it Happens

Crowding issues are often the cause of tooth impaction. When a new tooth doesn’t have the proper space or room to come in, it can stay stuck under the gums, causing partial or full impaction. When a new tooth’s tip erupts through the gum line but doesn’t fully grow and develop this is called partial impaction. If a tooth doesn’t erupt at all it is considered a full impaction.

Teeth That are Lost In Gums

The teeth that become impacted most frequently are the wisdom teeth. The impaction is usually the result of improper space, crookedness, or complete misalignment (i.e. coming in completely sideways) which can negatively affect the roots of the second molars. The upper canine teeth are the only other teeth that can become impacted frequently. Family history of impaction of upper canines can increase your own chances of upper canine impaction. Usually only one canine becomes impacted, although sometimes both upper canines get impacted. In normal development upper canines come in after incisors and premolars. So, if these teeth don’t grow in with enough space between them the canines don’t have proper room to come in which can lead to impaction.

Complications and Symptoms of Impaction

Sometimes there are no symptoms if a tooth is impacted beyond the fact that the tooth has not erupted.
In the case of canine teeth sometimes the baby teeth don’t loosen on their own at all. But canine teeth are an important part of a smile as they provide support and essential structure. They also are responsible for taking on a lot of the pressure of chewing because of the longer roots which protect surrounding teeth.

Besides a lopsided smile, however impacted teeth can cause symptoms and complications. These include:

  • Pushing into neighboring teeth which can cause cavities, gum disease, infections, and/or never damage.
  • Bad breath
  • Tenderness around the jawline
  • Prolonged or frequent headache and/or jaw ache
  • Swollen gums
  • Swelling of lymph nodes
  • Unpleasant taste in the mouth
  • Visible gaps

Treatment for Impaction

Thought impaction cannot usually be prevented, an impacted tooth can be removed (i.e. wisdom teeth) or moved to it’s proper place (i.e. canine teeth) through orthodontic treatments and/or oral surgery. Impacted teeth are usually identified with dental X-rays, and then best treatment can be determined.

If you suspect an impaction make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.

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