Your wisdom teeth are the last four teeth to move into place. Often, these teeth fully develop between the ages of 17 and 25. When there is space for them, many patients and dentists make the choice to leave them in place. If there isn’t enough space in the jaw for these new teeth, there can be a number of complications. Wisdom teeth can twist, turn, and move other teeth out of alignment, leading to the need for serious dental work to fix the damage. When a wisdom tooth cannot fully emerge, it is known as being impacted.
One type of impaction is bony impaction, which occurs when your wisdom tooth does not move out of the jaw, or remains partially in the jaw. Partial bony impaction isn’t an uncommon form of impaction, and occurs when the tooth is migrating out of the jaw.
Soft Tissue Impaction
If the tooth has erupted from the jaw bone, but is still covered by the gum, it is known as soft tissue impaction. This is another common form of impaction, and is responsible for many of the symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth.
Symptoms of Impacted Wisdom Teeth
It is entirely possible that your wisdom teeth may be impacted, without showing any signs of trouble. Because impaction can happen as the tooth is moving into place naturally, many of the signs of trouble actually are cause by a more significant issue, such as an oral infection. If you notice any of the below symptoms, be sure to consult your dentist to rule out more serious oral health concerns.
Symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth include:
- Gum or tooth pain
- Swelling around the jaw or gums
- Bleeding gums
- Tenderness around the jaw
- Bad breath
- Swollen lymph nodes
Your dentist will most likely use x-rays to monitor the development of your wisdom teeth and decide if you will need to have them removed, long before you see any of the signs of impaction. However, if you do experience any of these symptoms, make an appointment with your dentist to have your mouth checked. Doing so can catch major problems before they grow worse and greatly affect your health.
In many cases, you dentist will recommend removal surgery to prevent your wisdom teeth from disrupting the rest of your mouth. Wisdom tooth extraction can help relieve the symptoms of impaction and leave the rest of your teeth safely aligned and in place. If you are concerned that your wisdom teeth are developing, schedule a check-up to review your treatment options.
At Austell Dental Associates, our team is committed to happy, healthy smiles for the whole family. We offer preventative care, dental care, and cosmetic procedures to keep your smile bright. Whether you’re the parent of a growing teen or a young adult seeking care for your wisdom teeth, our Austell dentists can help you find the best treatment options for you.
Schedule an appointment with our team by calling (770) 467-3888.