What causes an impacted tooth?

If there is not enough room for a tooth to erupt into the mouth it will become impacted. This is a very common problem with wisdom teeth, since mouths are getting smaller and there is not enough room for the wisdom teeth(the last teeth to erupt into the mouth) to move into the mouth. When a tooth is impacted, you may not be aware that there is a problem. But when the tooth finally tries to break through the gum, it can become swollen, infected, and extremely painful. If a wisdom tooth is impacted, you may have referred pain in other teeth or in your jaw or ear. Occasionally an impacted tooth can cause a serious infection that spreads to your throat. The impacted tooth/teeth may have to be removed surgically.
Where there is not enough room in your jaw for the tooth to come in, it becomes impacted. In some cases, these teeth can be left alone as long as they are not causing any discomfort or x-rays show that they are not causing any damage. Some reasons to remove an impacted tooth would be pain, swelling, disease in the jaw, and if it is damaging other teeth. An impacted tooth can also be guided into the mouth with braces in some cases.
Teeth that do not have enough room to come in normally or are in the wrong position so come in crooked are referred to as impacted teeth. A common example is wisdom teeth, or third molars. Commonly impacted teeth need to be removed in order to allow room for the other teeth to remain straight and healthy.

Your dentist will advise you if you have this problem and if treatment, such as removal, is necessary. A visual examination or x-rays can help in determining this. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.