Teeth are valuable tools that are essential to leading a healthy and fulfilling life. Unfortunately, they don’t always emerge from the gums correctly. Thus, one of the problems that many people face is tooth impaction. This can lead to wisdom tooth pain and other issues. As you continue reading, a local dentist lists 3 warning signs that you have an impacted tooth.
What is an Impacted Tooth?
The teeth that are most likely to be impacted are the wisdom teeth (the third molars). An impacted tooth is one that is being blocked from fully emerging. The condition is usually caused by a lack of room for the tooth to develop normally.
The 3 Warning Signs of an Impacted Tooth
If you have an impacted tooth, it’s important to visit a dentist to have it extracted before it leads to a painful infection. So you can take swift action, here are the 3 primary warning signs to be on the lookout for:
The pain from an impacted wisdom tooth may not always come from the tooth and jaw. It can place stress on the temporomandibular (TMJ) joint, which is the hinge that opens and closes the mouth. This can lead to sinus pain that can be mistaken for allergies or an infection.
While it’s typically expected for there to be gum swelling when teeth are erupting, an impacted tooth can cause swelling in the jaw area as well. Additionally, it can contribute to inflammation in the glands between the neck and shoulders, sinuses and face.
Bitter Taste or Bad Breath
Because impacted teeth don’t fully emerge, they can create tiny fissures between the tissue that allow oral bacteria to accumulate. Over time, this can cause a foul taste in the mouth and offensive breath.
What to Do About an Impacted Tooth
Once you experience any of the above warning signs, you should immediately reach out to a local dentist to schedule an appointment. The typical remedy is for the tooth to be extracted. Thankfully, the process is rather expedient and painless. In most cases, you’ll be referred to an oral surgeon who specializes in performing such procedures.
Using special tools, the surgeon will remove the tooth, clean the treatment site and stitch the wound closed to promote healing. You can expect some slight discomfort after the numbing medication wears off, but this can typically be addressed with an over-the-counter pain reliever.
By taking the appropriate steps when you discover any indicators of an impacted tooth, you can eliminate your discomfort and ensure a healthier future.
About the Author
Dr. Jane Reeves earned her dental degree from the University of Texas Dental Branch at Houston. With over 25 years of experience practicing dentistry, she demonstrates her commitment to excellence by taking several hours of continuing education annually. If you think you have an impacted tooth, Dr. Reeves can help you determine what’s causing it at Deer Park Family Dentistry, and she can be reached for more information or to schedule a visit through her website.