An impacted tooth can be incredibly uncomfortable. And in some cases, it can also lead to additional (and serious) oral health complications, including tooth decay and infection, cavities, cysts, and gum disease. For this reason, it’s important that we identify impacted teeth as quickly as possible—and treat them rapidly to prevent symptoms from manifesting.
Impacted canine teeth in adults can occur when a tooth is prevented from breaking through the gum line. They may be fully impacted, meaning the whole tooth is located beneath the gum line, or they may be only partially impacted, with some of the tooth visibly poking through.
Both fully impacted and partially impacted teeth may pose no outward symptoms. Often, a patient won’t even know that an impacted tooth is present until it is found on a routine X-ray. That being said, in more serious cases—and especially those where the impacted tooth is causing other difficulties—symptoms may be present, and they may warrant surgical intervention.
Here’s what you should know about impacted teeth and some of the signs that it might be time for a checkup.
Symptoms of an Impacted Tooth
Some of the most common symptoms of an impacted tooth include:
- Inflamed and/or bleeding gums
- Pain when chewing or biting
- Pain and/or difficulties when opening the mouth
- Bad breath
- Bad taste in the mouth
All of these symptoms could suggest that there is an impacted tooth somewhere in the mouth. They could also be signs of other dental problems too, so you should always make sure to visit with your dentist sooner rather than later if you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms.
When is an Impacted Tooth Extraction Necessary?
A surgical impacted tooth extraction is one way to take care of the issue, and is a recommended course of action in cases where the impacted tooth is causing—or may soon cause—issues to other teeth and the gums. The most well-known example of this is with wisdom teeth, which are often fully or partially impacted and must be extracted so that other teeth will have enough room in the mouth.
Tooth extraction surgery is an outpatient procedure done under general anesthesia that usually takes less than an hour to complete. Recovery is quick, with most patients feeling completely better within a week or so. Depending on the placement of the impacted tooth, a follow up procedure such as a dental implant or bridge may be recommended, however this is not always the case.
For cases of impacted teeth where there is no current risk to the patient and no symptoms are present, the best course of action is often just to monitor the tooth over time. Some impacted teeth never cause any issues and can be left alone, however it does become extremely important to maintain regular dental visits so that the tooth can be properly examined on a routine schedule.
Don’t Live With Dental Pain
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, make an appointment today to ensure that we can get to the root of the problem and have you feeling better quickly and efficiently. If we do find an impacted tooth, we’ll be able to decide the best course of action from there and minimize the risk of complications.
We offer four convenient locations in the Lehigh Valley and are available 24/7 for dental emergencies. Contact our team today to schedule an appointment and get on the road to a healthier, pain-free mouth.