Many people have their wisdom teeth removed as teenagers. This is highly common, but not the rule. For some who may have neglected seeing the dentist for some time, these wisdom teeth can begin to try to break through. In some cases, they break through successfully. If there is not enough room for a tooth to break through the gums or the wisdom tooth is coming in at an angle, it could become impacted below the gum line. You will want the tooth removed as soon as possible when this happens. If you reside in the Bardstown, Kentucky, area, Dr. Michael Walton and the friendly team at Walton Family Dentistry would love to welcome you to their office.
Here are some symptoms that could mean you have an impacted wisdom tooth.
For some, wisdom teeth come in without issue. For others, a dentist will schedule to have the wisdom teeth removed due to signs of an issue with them coming in properly. Of particular concern is if a wisdom tooth becomes impacted. If a wisdom tooth becomes impacted, some of the following symptoms could present themselves as warning signs.
One sign of wisdom tooth impaction could be irritated, swollen, tender, or red gums. The gum tissues surrounding the impacted wisdom tooth will become prone to infection, leading to gum disease.
A symptom typically indicative of hard tissue impaction, jaw pain can surface when a wisdom tooth begins to exert pressure on an adjacent tooth. The discomfort can be quite acute and painful when this happens. Wisdom teeth are also susceptible to decay, which can result in decay spreading to neighboring teeth. This can lead to pulp infection, nerve and blood vessel damage, and pain that radiates from the jaw.
When a wisdom tooth becomes impacted, swelling will be a likely result. A tooth that has become impacted can develop a severe infection, resulting in a pus pocket at or near the tooth’s root called an abscess. Swelling in the cheek, jaw, or neck results from severe inflammation caused by infection and will require immediate treatment. An abscess can quickly spread to other areas of the body and even become life-threatening.
An impacted tooth is a tooth that is trapped in position and cannot erupt fully. Impacted teeth can be entirely in the bone, partially in bone but still beneath the gingiva, or even partially through the gingiva. The best way to determine if the wisdom teeth are impacted is by visiting your dentist and evaluating the development and position of the wisdom teeth with an x-ray.
Sometimes, the gums around the area may show signs of infection, such as redness, drainage, and tenderness. As gums swell over impacted wisdom teeth and then drain and tighten, it may feel like the tooth came in and then went back down again.
Wisdom teeth are not always removed. If they are healthy and cleansable, positioned correctly, not impacted, don’t cause crowding, and don’t cause pain, then your dentist may recommend leaving them be. Otherwise, it’s much better to get them out while you are young and avoid problems that could develop later.
In most cases, this happens for people between the ages of 17-25 when the upper and lower jaw bones have grown enough to make room for extra teeth. Then hormonal changes associated with puberty also cause increased blood flow to the jawbone, which helps stimulate growth and promote the development of new teeth.
According to the American Dental Association, one may need to have their wisdom teeth taken out if they have: pain in or near their wisdom teeth, repeated infection of soft tissue behind the lower last tooth, or fluid-filled sacs called cysts.
Dr. Michael Walton was born and raised in Bardstown, Kentucky. He loves offering superior dental care from his practice to members of his community. He wants to emulate his childhood dentist by making every dental appointment fun and memorable for his patients.
Dr. Walton offers modern, friendly dental care with a personable, communicative, humorous touch. He believes that everyone deserves a healthy and beautiful smile and works hard to ensure that his patients leave the practice feeling their best so that they would want to make someone else feel good.
When not working, he enjoys volunteering at The Nelson County Community Clinic.
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