A tooth becomes impacted when there is a lack of space in the dental arch and its growth and eruption are prevented by overlying gum, bone or another tooth. Most of impaction of teeth are of the wisdom teeth.
How Serious is an Impacted Tooth?
Impacted and partially impacted teeth can be painful and lead to infection. They may also crowd or damage adjacent teeth or roots.
More serious problems may occur if the sac surrounding the impacted tooth becomes filled with fluid and enlarges to form a cyst. As the cyst grows it may hollow out the jaw and permanently damage adjacent teeth, the surrounding bone and nerves. Rarely, if a cyst is not treated, a tumor may develop from its walls and a more serious surgical procedure may be required to remove it.
Typical symptoms associated with impacted wisdom teeth are pain, swelling and signs of infection in the surrounding tissues. An impacted tooth has the potential to cause permanent damage to adjacent teeth, gum tissue and supporting bone structure. Impacted teeth are also associated with the development of cysts and tumors that can destroy large portions of the jaw.
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