An impacted wisdom tooth happens when the third molar becomes partially or fully trapped in your gums or jawbone. If you come under such a situation then it can easily land you with various oral health problems which include infection, tooth decay, and gum diseases. During such a situation surgical removal is often recommended for the treatment of wisdom teeth.
Let us now know what these impacted wisdom teeth are.
What are the impacted wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth are also known as third molars, and they are the last set of teeth that grow. These wisdom teeth usually bloom out between the ages of 17 and 25. At times, these wisdom teeth bloom in alignment with your teeth and they usually don’t cause any severe problems.
This wisdom tooth at times becomes either particularly or fully trapped in your gums or jawbone. This situation is referred to as impaction. Impacted wisdom teeth can lead to several oral health problems which include cavities, gum diseases, and infections. These wisdom teeth are extremely common and according to studies, 90% of people have at least one impacted wisdom tooth.
Now that you know what an impacted wisdom tooth is, let us discuss the difference between fully impacted wisdom teeth, partially impacted wisdom teeth, and non-impacted wisdom teeth.
Fully impacted wisdom teeth are not visible. They are not visible and are completely hidden underneath your gums. Whereas a partially impacted wisdom tooth is slightly visible because a part of it has sprouted. While non-impacted wisdom teeth have bloomed and are completely visible above the gum line. It is still important to know that these non-impacted wisdom teeth can cause several problems.
Different types of impacted wisdom teeth:
There are four different types of impacted wisdom teeth. The different types of positioning of your teeth can tell you what type of an impacted wisdom tooth it is:
- Mesial impaction: This type of impacted wisdom tooth is the most common type of impacted wisdom tooth. This type of impacted wisdom tooth occurs when your wisdom tooth gets angled towards the front of your mouth.
- Distal impaction: this type of impacted wisdom tooth, is the rarest one. It happens when the wisdom tooth is angled towards the back of your mouth.
- Vertical impaction: it is a kind of wisdom tooth that is harmless as they bloom in the correct position, but this type of impacted wisdom tooth is tapped underneath the gums.
- Horizontal impaction: this type of impacted wisdom tooth occurs when the wisdom tooth lies completely on its side and is entrapped in your gums. These horizontally impacted wisdom teeth often cause a painful situation because they create excess pressure on the teeth that are in front of them.
What are the symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth?
At times impacted wisdom teeth don’t cause many problems, and there are not many noticeable problems. At times there are impacted teeth that develop into noticeable symptoms gradually over time. While at times, several symptoms gradually get developed which can cause pain. There are a few signs of impacted wisdom teeth:
- Pain or swelling of your jaw or face.
- Red, swollen or bleeding gums.
- A bad taste in your mouth.
- Bad breath.
- Difficulty opening your mouth all the way.
What are the causes of impacted wisdom teeth?
There are several reasons why an impacted wisdom tooth is caused. One of the most common reasons why an impacted wisdom tooth occurs is because your jaw doesn’t have enough space to accommodate your teeth. At times, a tooth may bloom at the wrong angle, which can also lead to impaction.
Treatment of the impacted wisdom teeth:
Most of the time it is usually recommended to remove the wisdom teeth through surgical removal if your wisdom tooth causes pain, infection, or any other dental problems.
Many dentists recommend the surgical removal procedure of wisdom teeth to prevent and curb the risk in the future.
Is it painful to remove an impacted wisdom tooth?
While most of the time impacted wisdom teeth are painful to remove, but this process isn’t painful normally. Your dentist will give you pain relievers so that they could manage the discomfort or any other post-operative uneasiness.
Do wisdom teeth have any effect on oral health?
Impacted wisdom teeth can end up causing severe pain, and infection and can cause damage to the other teeth. Even these wisdom teeth are also difficult to clean, and because of that, these wisdom teeth are more prone to cause tooth decay and also gum diseases.
How would you know if your wisdom tooth is an impacted one?
To know if your wisdom tooth is an impacted one your dentist would suggest you perform an examination and will ask you about the symptoms which are related to an impacted wisdom tooth.
They take dental X-rays to see if the teeth are impacted and if your jawbone or any other teeth are damaged that could cause an issue.
Risks and complications related to wisdom tooth removal:
Just like any other surgical procedure, the surgery of wisdom tooth removal is related to some potential risks and complications which include:
- Dry Sockets: This occurs when the blood clot from surgery turns dislodged from your tooth socket prematurely, by exposing your bone. In the end, you can also reduce the risk of dry sockets if you avoid drinking through straws after wisdom tooth removal.
- Infection: At times some food bits or bacteria can get trapped in between the tooth socket, and that could result in an infection. During that time your dentist would prescribe antibiotics for treating an oral infection.
- Damage to nearby structures: The removal of your wisdom tooth can sometimes damage your nerves, jawbone, and sinuses. Advanced surgical techniques can reduce the risk of these types of surgeries, but they can still occur. Additionally, the procedure of oral surgery might be necessary to address this kind of damage.
Prevention of the impacted wisdom tooth:
There is no such way through which you can prevent impacted wisdom teeth. Practicing good oral hygiene and try removing the wisdom tooth at a younger age could help a lot if it is causing problems. A regular six-month dental appointment helps your dentist to analyze and monitor the growth and emergence of the wisdom tooth.
Is it important to remove impacted wisdom teeth?
If your wisdom tooth is impacted but it is not causing any major problem then there is no such requirement to remove them. However, if you are facing any major problems and start developing and kind of symptoms, then removing them could eventually result in the reduction of the risk and improve overall oral health.
Will there be any problem if you don’t remove impacted wisdom teeth?
If your impacted wisdom teeth are causing pain or any other symptom, and if you are planning to leave them in that condition then it could be bad for your health. As because these impacted wisdom teeth are more prone to cause infection and abscesses and they can even cause damage, decay, and diseases to healthy teeth.
Recovery from wisdom tooth removal:
In most cases, people fully recover from wisdom teeth removal within one or two weeks. After the recovery, you can return to your normal routine in a few days.
Is it really necessary to remove impacted wisdom teeth?
If your wisdom teeth are impacted but are not causing any major problems then there is no requirement to remove them. However, if you are facing any such issues and you develop any symptoms then for being on the safe side removing the wisdom tooth can reduce the risk factors by improving your overall health.
What happens if you don’t remove impacted wisdom teeth?
If you are suffering from any kind of pain due to the wisdom tooth or if you notice any symptoms of the wisdom tooth, then if you leave them in place it could be bad for your oral health. Hence if you notice any kind of symptom related to an impacted wisdom tooth then without any second thought try consulting your dentist for immediate treatment.
What are the complications corresponding to impacted wisdom teeth?
Various complications are related to an impacted wisdom tooth. Some of them are listed below:
- Damage to other teeth: If the wisdom tooth ends up pushing against the second molar, then it can ultimately end up damaging the second molar or can risk the infection of that area. This pressure can thus cause problems with the crowding of other teeth and this could lead to the requirement of orthodontic treatment for the alignment of other teeth.
- Cysts: A wisdom tooth develops in a sac within the jawbone. This sac is filled with fluid and forms a cyst which is damaging the jawbone, teeth, and also nerves. Rarely a tumor occurs which is benign. This complication also requires the removal of tissue and bone.
- Decay: A partially impacted wisdom teeth results in a higher risk of tooth decay than any other teeth. Due to this reason the wisdom tooth is harder to clean because food and bacteria can easily get trapped between the gums and partially erupted tooth.
- Gum disease: The difficulty of cleaning impacted teeth leads to a painful and inflammatory gum condition which is called pericoronitis.
Home remedies to get relief from wisdom teeth
Various home remedies help you to get out of the painful experience of a wisdom toothache. Just a few ingredients from your kitchen would help you to get relief from the intense pain. Some of the remedies are:
- Saltwater rinse.
- Clove oil.
- Cold and heat therapy.
- Aloe Vera
- Tea tree oil.
- Crushed garlic and ginger.
- Oregano oil.