When a tooth develops, it migrates to its appropriate position in the dental arch. If there is insufficient space that doesn’t allow for the tooth’s eruption through the gum, the tooth will become partially or totally blocked (impacted).
How Serious Is An Impacted Tooth?
Infections, crowding, and decay to adjacent teeth are some of the problems that can develop with impacted teeth. More serious complications can develop when the sac that surrounds the impacted tooth fills with fluid and enlarges to form a cyst. This can cause an enlargement that hollows out the jaw and results in permanent damage to adjacent teeth, jawbone and possibly nerves. Left untreated, a tumor may develop from the walls of these cysts and more extensive surgical procedures may be required.
Impacted wisdom teeth often grow to an awkward angle. This makes their removal sometimes difficult. As a person grows older, the tooth roots become longer and the jawbone denser making removal even more difficult. Impacted wisdom teeth are more likely to pose more serious problems in mature adults. As people age, there is an increasing chance of the symptoms mentioned above to occur. For these reasons, your dentist may have recommended the removal of wisdom teeth even if they’re not yet causing obvious problems. Removing wisdom teeth in the teenage years can mean fewer problems for both the patient and the surgeon rather than waiting until they begin to hurt and cause problems. If you have any questions about your wisdom teeth, we will be glad to answer them.