oral health professional looking at dental x-rays, including wisdom teeth that are impacted

Often, wisdom teeth don’t grow in as they should. When this happens, wisdom teeth are impacted. Before further health issues arise, we advise setting an appointment with Dr. Chris Tye at Texas Oral Surgery Specialists. Call 817-552-3223 or message us online if you’re suffering from the discomfort that you believe derives from partially or fully impacted wisdom teeth or if you could benefit from wisdom teeth extraction.  

Because impacted wisdom teeth are so common, we’ve compiled this resource as a way to address common concerns regarding this oral health issue.

Why Wisdom Teeth Become Impacted

Some patients ask, “why do wisdom teeth become impacted?” Generally, oral surgeons blame biology. Simply, teeth need space to emerge correctly. Whenever teeth do not have adequate space to erupt, they become impacted. Also, your teeth might twist, tilt, or displace as they emerge—resulting in impacted teeth.

Partial vs. Full Impaction

Oral surgeons classify the type of impaction you have based on how much of the tooth has emerged. For instance, partial impaction happens when only part of the tooth erupts. Conversely, fully impacted wisdom teeth never break through the gum tissue and wreak havoc below the gumline.

How to Tell If Your Wisdom Teeth are Impacted

Although wisdom teeth typically emerge during late teens or early adulthood, you might not realize that your wisdom teeth are impacted without a dental exam. Dental x-rays confirm the presence of impacted teeth.

Sometimes, impacted teeth go unnoticed because they don’t cause pain or problems. Other times, impacted wisdom teeth can cause discomfort and swelling in the jaw, unpleasant mouth odor, a foul taste in the mouth, headaches, and tender or bleeding gums. While it’s true that these symptoms could be linked to other health conditions, it’s wise to speak to an oral health professional as soon as possible.

Complications You Could Face

While many oral health professionals suggest removing wisdom teeth before complications arise, you might suffer from complications if you choose to ignore impacted wisdom teeth.

At first, you might notice mild discomfort or light bleeding. Refusing to address impacted wisdom teeth can exacerbate the initial symptoms, shift teeth, and induce a vicious bacterial infection known as pericoronitis. Additionally, cysts and abscesses might emerge, leading to irreparable damage to the teeth, gums, and jaw.

How Oral Surgeons Treat Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Commonly, oral surgeons recommend surgery to remove impacted wisdom teeth. During wisdom teeth extractions, oral surgeons meticulously remove removing any bone tissue that blocks access to the tooth root and the third molars. Then, they close the opening with sutures.

Is it time to seek treatment for impacted wisdom teeth?

If you regularly visit your general dentist, your dentist will draw attention to your impacted wisdom teeth. Even if your wisdom teeth aren’t hurting or causing complications, your dentist will likely initiate a preventive treatment plan.

On the other hand, let’s say that you begin to notice misalignment, bleeding, inflammation, or severe pain in the back of your mouth. If this is the case, we strongly suggest scheduling an emergency wisdom teeth extraction before the situation worsens. With over 25 years of experience, Colleyville residents trust Dr. Tye with their oral surgery needs, including wisdom teeth extraction. Schedule an appointment at Texas Oral Surgery Specialists by calling 817-552-3223 or messaging us online.