When Does a Tooth Become Impacted?

impacted3Our teeth first emerge (pass through the gums) when we are infants and again when our baby teeth are replaced by our permanent teeth. The last teeth to emerge are our wisdom teeth (the third set of molars) which come in usually between the ages of 17 and 21.

If a tooth fails to come in or emerges only partially, it is considered to be impacted. An impacted tooth remains stuck in gum tissue or bone for various reasons. The area may be overcrowded so there’s no room for the teeth to emerge. Teeth may also become twisted, tilted, or displaced as they try to emerge.

While quite common, impacted wisdom teeth are often painless and do not cause problems. However, sometimes an impacted tooth can push on adjacent teeth causing misalignment of the bite. Also, a partially emerged tooth can trap food, plaque, and other debris in the soft tissue around it, which can lead to inflammation and tenderness of the gums, bad breath, and eventually tooth decay.

If you suspect an impacted tooth is causing you pain, soreness, sensitivity or inflammation, call Angell’s Dentistry at (248) 362-4330 right away to schedule an appointment. Dr. Douglas Angell is committed to helping you maintain good oral health. Be sure to visit our website at: www.angellsdentistry.com.

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