What are impacted (stuck) teeth?
An impacted (“stuck”) tooth is one which has been blocked from breaking through the gum (“erupting”) and into the mouth. Sometimes, a tooth may partially come through into the mouth and become impacted on its way through the gum. Typically, wisdom teeth (“third molars”) are affected by impaction as they develop at the back of the mouth once the jaw has matured. However, any tooth can become impacted, often asymptomatically, diagnosed only through X-ray.
What causes it?
Impacted teeth may be hereditary, and are often the result of insufficient space in the mouth.
What impact does it have?
Fully impacted teeth may sit, unnoticed, in their position and cause little to no problems aside from their absence – which can, itself, have a cosmetic and functional impact (see Missing teeth).
However, other impacted teeth can be detrimental to the sufferer, particularly those which have partially erupted. Impacted wisdom teeth may develop sideways and grow into the roots of their neighbour, while partially impacted teeth may lead to infection, decay, gum disease, bone resorption and more.
How is it treated?
Impacted teeth can be treated in several ways based on their position and condition. Wisdom teeth are often viewed as extra and unnecessary teeth and may be removed (“extracted”) if they are impacted. Adult teeth which have become impacted in the upper or lower jaw may be removed or encouraged, with orthodontic treatment, to move into their correct space in the mouth.
To find out more about impacted (stuck) teeth, and your treatment options, contact us today to organise a free consultation with Specialist Orthodontist, Dr David Austin.