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Dental Conditions

Impacted Tooth:

Teeth are impacted when they can't emerge through the gums, or emerge only partially.

Wisdom teeth (third molars) usually begin to erupt between the ages of 17 and 21. They emerge after the first and second molar. The space behind the second molar is very small. If there isn't enough room for the third molars, then they often become impacted. A wisdom tooth can also become impacted if it is turned to the side, tilted or otherwise positioned incorrectly in the jaw.

Many times you may have an impacted tooth and may not even realize it's there. Inititally it can be painless. But when an impacted wisdom tooth tries to erupt, the gum over the tooth may swell and cause pain. You may also feel discomfort in nearby teeth or the ear on that same side. A tooth that's partially erupted can trap food and other debris, which can cause the gum to swell and get infected. If not treated, the infection can spread toward the throat or into the neck. Impacted teeth can also cause problems if they develop decay or if they push on the neighboring molar, which could lead to tooth movement or decay, as well as changes in the bite (the way the teeth come together). Impacted teeth almost always require extraction.

 

To learn more about dental procedures and conditions, visit the following websites:


Disclaimer:

The information provided within this Website is intended to help you better understand dental conditions and procedures. It is not meant to serve as delivery of medical or dental care. If you have specific questions or concerns, contact your health care provider.

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