A tooth that is blocked by another tooth or dense bone and is therefore prevented from entering and assuming its normal place in the mouth is called an impaction.
What harm do impacted teeth do?
1. A cyst can form around the crown of the impacted tooth and cause destruction of surrounding bone and damage to other teeth and nerves in the area.
2. Whenever saliva can reach the impacted tooth, decay may occur and, since such cavities cannot be filled, severe toothache can result.
3. Bacteria in the saliva may cause infection around the crown of the impacted tooth. This infection may spread to the cheek, throat, or neck with pain and stiffness of the jaws.
4. A benign tumour may develop in the wall of a cyst surrounding the impacted tooth. This may require surgical treatment which is more complicated in order to correct. Unfortunately, impacted teeth can be “dormant” for years, but then cause problems and pain at an unexpected and inconvenient time. The removal of impacted teeth may therefore be a considered treatment and most surgeons recommend their removal even if they are not causing trouble now.
5. Your orthodontist may recommend preventative removal for space/crowding considerations or exposure of the tooth to bring it into the mouth.