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What Are Impacted Wisdom Teeth And How Are They Treated?

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Wisdom teeth are molars located in the back of one's mouth. They may be at either the top or the bottom, or they could be in both locations. These teeth are typically not healthy and can cause damage and unnecessary decay. Wisdom teeth impaction can cause infection, pain, and can damage your surrounding teeth. If your wisdom teeth have been impacted, you need to know the following:

How Do Wisdom Teeth Become Impacted?

Most commonly, genetics plays a major role in wisdom teeth and how they erupt from the gums. Many people have wisdom teeth that come through the gum like normal. Some wisdom teeth come through the gums partially, known as partial impaction. Both of these types of wisdom teeth eruptions can be extracted in the traditional way other teeth are removed. A fully impacted wisdom tooth never comes through the gum. They must be removed surgically.

Why Do Impacted Wisdom Teeth Need to Come Out?

There are several complications that can occur when impacted teeth are left in place. First, they can be painful. Impacted wisdom teeth naturally want to erupt through the gums but cannot for various reasons. They may be pointed in an unnatural direction and cannot erupt normally. The impacted wisdom teeth are also prone to bleeding. If not removed, impacted wisdom teeth can shift the rest of your teeth and cause them to become crooked or even loose. This will require treatment from an orthodontist to repair. These teeth also form a sack in your jaw that fills with infectious fluid which can be quite painful. These sacks can cause major nerve damage to your gums and jawbone.

How Are Impacted Wisdom Teeth Removed?

To remove an impacted wisdom tooth, you have to have them surgically removed. If your teeth are easy to access and you are in good health, the surgery can be done in a dental office. In this setting, you are not necessarily put completely under anesthesia, but you will be given intravenous medication to help you avoid pain and anxiety during the procedure. For more complicated cases, you may need to go to the hospital to have them removed under general anesthesia.

The process starts with an incision in the gum. The dentist needs to see the tooth and bone. If there is any jawbone blocking the roots of the tooth, it will be removed. Once there is a clear sight to the tooth, the dentist will break the tooth into several pieces to take it out. Before your gum is stitched, the dentist will completely clean the area to make sure there is no debris is left behind.

For more information, contact a dentist in your area, such as