Fix Impacted Teeth


For most people, their baby teeth will become loose over time, fall out, and an adult tooth will erupt in the newly formed empty space. Sometimes when the adult teeth erupt, they do not enter perfectly straight and may be twisted or crooked. When this occurs, orthodontic treatments such as braces and Invisalign are required to adjust the teeth into the optimal bite position and prevent overcrowding. The term impacted teeth is used when adult teeth are developed within the jaw bone, however fail to erupt through the gums.


Impacted Teeth

In many cases, tooth impaction occurs due to a crowding issue with the teeth. In the event the adult tooth does not have adequate room in the mouth, it may not erupt and remain below the gums. Full impaction occurs when a tooth does not erupt above the gumline. A partial impaction occurs when part of the tooth reaches the gumline, however, it does not completely grow in.


One of the most common type of tooth impaction occurs in the wisdom teeth. The wisdom teeth might be impacted from a lack of space in the jaw. They could also be crooked, or even sideways. These issues can cause problems and impact the root of the second molars.


It is also common for the upper canines to be impacted. This is especially true for patients with a family history of upper canine impaction. While it is most common for just one canine to be impacted, both canines can be impacted. The upper canines typically erupt following the eruption of the incisors and premolars. When these teeth fill in the space without leaving enough room for the canines, they do not properly erupt when it is their turn.


Complications and Symptoms

It is possible for patients with impacted teeth to not experience any symptoms other than the failure of the tooth erupting. When canines are effected, the baby tooth sometimes fails to become loose. Symptoms aside, the canine teeth play an important role in having an attractive smile as they offer important support within the mouth. The canines also absorb quite a bit of chewing pressure, due to their naturally longer roots. This ability to absorb pressure aids in helping to protect the teeth nearby.


Beyond having a misaligned smile and missing a tooth, impacted teeth create other types of complications and symptoms. They can push into the neighboring teeth below the gum line and result in serious issues including cavities, infections, gum disease, and even serious nerve damage. Symptoms of an impacted tooth often include bad breath, pain, sensitivity near the jawline, headaches, jaw aches, swollen gums or lymph nodes, bad taste in the mouth, and visible space where there should be a tooth.



While impacted teeth typically cannot be prevented, it is possible to remove the impacted tooth. The need to remove or extract a tooth is particularly common with impacted wisdom teeth. Another solution is moving the impacted teeth into their desired location. This procedure is often completed in cases of impacted upper canines. The adjustment of the canines is often completed using both oral surgery and orthodontic treatment. Impacted teeth are often identified using an x-ray. Once an impacted tooth is identified, you can work with the orthodontist to determine an effective treatment plan and discuss possible outcomes.


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