IMPACTED WISDOM TEETH
Wisdom teeth (third molars) are considered “impacted” when they do not have enough space to develop or erupt normally. In many cases, the mouth is too crowded for third molars to develop, and they become trapped, or impacted.
There are three types of impactions:
- Soft Tissue Impaction: This is when there is not adequate space to allow the gum tissue to retract for proper cleaning of the tooth.
- Partial Bony Impaction: This is when there is adequate space to allow partial tooth eruption, but the tooth cannot function properly during chewing and can create cleaning problems.
- Complete Bony Impaction: This is when there is no space for the tooth to erupt. It could remain embedded in the jawbone or may be partially visible. Many times, the tooth is in an unusual position and may be difficult to remove.
Whether a wisdom tooth is partially or fully impacted, the tooth might:
- Grow at an angle, toward the next tooth
- Grow at an angle, toward the back of the mouth
- Grow sideways, as if the tooth is “lying down”
- Grow straight up and down, remaining trapped in the jawbone.
An impacted wisdom tooth can cause more serious issues, such as:
- Tender or Swollen Gums
- Swelling Around the Jaw
- Food Trap
- Bad Breath
- Bad Taste in Your Mouth
- Difficulty Opening Your Mouth
- Gum Disease
- Dental Infection
- Tooth Decay
- Damage to Nearby Tooth
- Damage to Surrounding Bone
- Cyst/Fluid-Filled Sac
- Complications with Orthodontic Treatment
- Shifting Teeth
- Irritated Gums
- Bacterial Growth
- Sinus Issues
If you are experiencing one or more of the above symptoms, you should schedule a wisdom tooth consultation with your dentist as soon as possible. When left untreated, impacted wisdom teeth can continue to cause harm to your teeth, mouth, gums, and body.
We primarily serve Rockville, North Bethesda, Silver Spring, Wheaton, Potomac, Washington DC, Gaithersburg, Kensington, Germantown, Burtonsville, Laurel, Columbia and Northern Virginia (Mclean, Tysons Corner, Great Falls, Arlington ) but people travel from all over the country for our specialty and holistic dental services.