Impacted wisdom teeth are wisdom teeth that do not have enough space to grow and develop normally. Fully impacted wisdom teeth do not break through the gum’s surface while partially impacted wisdom teeth partially break through your gums. Your dentist will be able to see part of the tooth’s crown above your gum’s surface.
Impacted wisdom teeth may try to grow in at a number of angles due to the fact that they do not have enough space to grow in normally.
- They may grow toward your second molars at an angle.
- They may grow at a right angle toward your second molars; your wisdom teeth are parallel with your jawbone.
- They may grow toward the back of your mouth at an angle.
- They may grow straight up and down like your other teeth do, but they may not break through your gumline.
You may experience several symptoms as a result of partially or fully impacted wisdom teeth. You may experience jaw stiffness or pain near an impacted tooth. You may also have pain or irritation when an impacted tooth tries to grow in at an angle and rubs against the top or bottom of your mouth, tongue, or cheek. Tooth decay or gum disease can occur if there isn’t enough space for you to properly clean your wisdom teeth or surrounding teeth as well. If your wisdom tooth only partially breaks through your gumline, a flap of gum tissue can grow over it. This flap of gum tissue may trap food particles, which can lead to a gum infection.
If partially or fully impacted wisdom teeth are ignored, they can cause a number of complications. For instance, impacted wisdom teeth can lead to damage to your second molars. Impacted teeth also raises your risk of infection in that area of your mouth. Cysts may also occur as a result of impacted wisdom teeth. Each of your wisdom teeth forms in a sac in your jawbone. The sac can fill up with fluid, forming a cyst that can damage your teeth, jawbone, or nerves. Though it is rare, a tumor (usually noncancerous in nature) can also form.
If you experience any symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth, please make an appointment to consult with your dentist. He will be able to evaluate your situation and refer you to a dental clinic that can remove your wisdom teeth, if necessary. You can learn more at the Your Smile Dental Care website.