January 7, 2020

Impacted Wisdom Teeth: Symptoms, types and removal

By Akeem Ajayi D.D.S

Table of Contents

When is a wisdom teeth impacted ?

Most times the teeth happen to grow into a jaw which is large enough for them to fit into, but some people do not have sufficient space for their wisdom teeth, hence causing them to have impacted wisdom teeth. The third molars, mostly referred to as the wisdom teeth, are the last set to grow in arriving between the age of 16 and 21. What seldom happens is that the wisdom teeth either do not grow into proper position inside the mouth or they are buried under the gum line. When buried under the gum, it could be that they are covered only with gum or covered with partly or wholly.

Common Symptoms of Impacted Wisdom Teeth

The wisdom teeth are of no real importance in our lives today since our diet now contains more of softer food and we are now able to cut chunks of food into smaller pieces that we can chew at once. Therefore it is easy for you not to care about keeping your wisdom tooth. Most of the time, impacted wisdom teeth don’t cause problems but sometimes they do. Visit our Office (keem Smile Dentistry) on HWY 6 N Houston TX- 77084 to have your radiograph taken and a Doctor to check it and advise you as to what to do and the condition of the wisdom teeth. Common symptoms that can be experienced are as follows:

Infection and swelling
  • Infection and Swelling also known as pericorinitis. There is often a noticeable level of swelling, infection and pain that accompanies impacted wisdom teeth and the circumstance should not be neglected. Considering the fact that the impacted wisdom teeth can cause harm to other teeth and bone around it, professional advice is strongly recommended because infected impacted wisdom teeth can affect your general health if left untreated.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth pain and Difficulty opening
  • Impacted Wisdom Tooth Pain. If you feel pain in your impacted wisdom teeth, you need to get it removed especially when it’s been a recurrent thing.

Cyst Formation
  • Cyst is a fluid-filled sac in your bone that erode/eat your bone away and it is almost always an incidental finding because you won’t have any expansion of your bone. Paresthesia around your lip could be the only thing that you will first notice before you seek a professional.

Other symptoms inlcude Jaw Tenderness, redness of the gum around it and Swelling
  • Other symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth are jaw tenderness, redness of the gum around/over it, bad breath and bad taste. Jaw expansion is another sign/symptom that you can notice. Your bone will expand if you develop tumor from the impacted tooth. Weak bone that can fracture easily if a cyst should develop from the impacted tooth.

wisdom teeth symptoms

Impacted Wisdom Teeth Types

Traditionally, professional dentists will take x-rays before the removal of your wisdom tooth to get the exact location of the tooth or teeth that will be removed. Impacted wisdom tooth can be one of four categories depending on how they are aligned in the mouth. They can also be categorized by the direction in which the problematic wisdom teeth is pointing for example horizontal, disto-angular (“disto” – backward; “angular” – forming an angle; together they describe a tooth growing in a backwards direction), or mesio-angular (“mesio” – forward; a tooth angled forward)

Impacted Wisdom Teeth Types by Overlying tissues

These categorizes impacted wisdom teeth by the type of tissue that lies over the tooth (just gum tissue or gum and bone tissue)

Impacted Wisdom Teeth Full Bony
  • Completely Bony / Full-Bony Impacted. This is the most difficult of all wisdom tooth removal and that is because the wisdom tooth is wholly caught in the jaw.

impacted wisdom teeth complete bony
impacted wisdom teeth partial bony
Impacted Wisdom Teeth Partial Bony
  • Partial-Bony Impacted. As the name implies, this type of wisdom tooth is partly stuck in jaw bone. It is easier to remove compared to full-bony.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth Soft Tissue
  • Soft-Tissue Impacted. The type of removal is not as complex as the ones listed above because the tooth is just stuck beneath the gum.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth Types by direction of problematic tooth

These are the categories of wisdom teeth by the orientation of the impacted wisdom teeth.

  • Vertical Impaction: Wisdom teeth is growing Straight upward (vertical position), but without room to erupt into a healthy position.
  • Distal Impaction: Wisdom teeth is growing angled away from the other teeth (distoangular position).
  • Horizontal Impaction: Wisdom teeth is growing Parallel to the gumline (horizontal position).
  • Mesial Impaction: Wisdom teeth is growing Angled in toward the other teeth (mesioangular position).
impacted wisdom teeth types by direction of tooth

Though the word “surgery” might sound a bit scary, it is still less painful as well as common compared to the all the pain that comes with impacted wisdom teeth. It is usually advised to get your impacted wisdom teeth removed as a precaution. You do not wish to wait till it damages the tooth in front of it at which point you would have to loose not just one tooth the wisdom tooth, but also the tooth next to it. This is because of the challenges of cleaning the far corner of the mouth where the wisdom teeth is which would in turn cause decay.

You may have it removed under local anesthesia only or sedation with local anesthesia. Talking about sedation, it could be nitrous sedation (Laughing gas), oral sedation (sedative pills that patients take before the appointment) or IV sedation (intravenous injection given in the office before the procedure)

Once the anesthesia has been administered and you are numb, depending on the type that is been removed, the dentist/surgeon will cut your gum open, remove some bone, section the wisdom tooth and remove it. Sometimes we don’t need to cut your gum open if the wisdom tooth is already showing the mouth. Curette and irrigate the site and place stitches. Post op instruction will be given and a follow up visit scheduled. It is important to follow the post op instruction. Wisdom teeth removal cost

Horizontal semi-impacted wisdom tooth (sonic vs piezosurgery) - Dr. Fabio Cozzolino | Zerodonto
lady experiencing wisdom tooth pain on jaw
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