Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

What is an impacted or semi-impacted wisdom tooth?
The wisdom tooth becomes impacted due to lack of space in the dental arch and its development and growth is suppressed by the gums, the surrounding bone and neighboring teeth. The third molar is called impacted when it is completely retained in the bone under the gum, while the semi-impacted is partially impacted.

How serious is an impacted wisdom tooth?
An impacted tooth can be painful and lead to an infection. In the eruption phase, depending on the inclination, acute pain in the gum around the tooth is common. It becomes inflamed and tender to the touch and is called pericoronitis. Difficulty opening your mouth, difficulty chewing, and pus formation are some of the most common signs of pericoronitis.

How can I tell if I have wisdom teeth?
Consult with a specialist in oral and maxillofacial surgery. A request for exams will be made to assess the presence of wisdom teeth and their position in the bone arch. In many cases, a radiographic examination with a panoramic radiograph may be sufficient to determine the stage of tooth formation, its size and position, and which neighboring structures may suffer some type of interference due to the presence of third molars. In other cases, a CT scan is required.

And why do wisdom teeth cause so much pain?
There are several reasons that justify pain due to wisdom teeth. There are cases where it does not erupt, that is, it does not break the gum and does not come to light. Depending on the position the wisdom tooth is in, it will push all the other teeth out of place and this causes severe pain. In addition to the wisdom tooth not appearing, it will still remove the other teeth from their place, causing the patient to have a correction work in the future, probably with the use of dental braces. When this tooth movement occurs due to the wisdom tooth, the patient probably feels some discomfort.

Another reason for severe pain is when the wisdom tooth is pressing on the nerve. When he doesn’t break the gum, he can put pressure on the nerves of the teeth. Our teeth are full of nerve branches and are interconnected by these branches. The wisdom tooth, when pressing on this region, can cause severe pain that seems to radiate throughout the mouth.

And still, you can feel a toothache when the wisdom tooth tries to fix itself in the existing dentition. Very few people have space in their dental arch to receive and accommodate the wisdom tooth without it pushing the other teeth. When the wisdom tooth tries to find its space in the dental arch, in addition to the pain caused by pushing the other teeth, as they are all too tight, the chance of a cavity arising due to the accumulation of food scraps between the teeth is very high.

What are the risks of not having wisdom teeth removed?
If wisdom teeth are not removed, some problems may appear, such as:

lack of adequate and sufficient space can cause the impaction of the wisdom tooth, preventing it from erupting;

partially erupted wisdom teeth, which have a partial overgrowth of gums, result in a buildup of food under the gums, causing redness, swelling, pain, bad breath and abscess;

increased risk of developing caries in the back teeth due to difficulty in brushing and flossing;

orthodontic treatments, with fixed orthodontic appliances, may have limited movement due to the presence of these teeth;

impacted teeth can lead to the formation of cysts, causing permanent damage to neighboring teeth, bones and nerves.