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Tooth Impaction and Extraction

Dr. Aima Khalil

4 min read

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Tooth impaction is when a tooth does not erupt through the gum. It usually happens when there is not enough space for the tooth to come out. As a result, the tooth remains in the gum longer than it should. The wisdom tooth is the most common tooth that gets impacted.

When the wisdom tooth erupts, the jaw does not grow as all the bones have completed their growth. Due to this, your wisdom tooth does not get the space to erupt.

The wisdom tooth can also get impacted if it is not erupting in the right direction at a twisted angle. Genetic predisposition and not getting orthodontic treatment increase the chances of tooth impaction.

Apart from wisdom teeth, any tooth can get affected. Tooth impaction can also occur in children. It happens when the child’s milk tooth does not fall out. Or when there is a cyst that comes in the way of the permanent tooth.

Your dentist usually diagnoses an impacted tooth by an X-ray. An impacted tooth can affect your teeth in the following ways:

  • Pushing against other teeth: The wisdom tooth is the third molar tooth. The tooth in front of it is known as the second molar. When the wisdom tooth gets impacted, it pushes against the second molar tooth, which causes damage.
  • Increased chance of infection: Impacted tooth makes it harder for you to floss and makes cleaning difficult. It creates a space for bacteria to grow. Thereby, it increases the chances of getting a tooth infection.
  • Cavities: When the impacted tooth gets infected, the infection creates a hole in the tooth, known as cavities. The tooth starts to decay. This condition is also known as dental caries. In addition, the tooth may get damaged, and the infection can spread to other structures in the mouth, like the gums (gingivitis).
  • Pericoronitis: It is a painful infection in which the gum around your wisdom tooth gets inflamed and swollen. It occurs due to infection of the impacted wisdom tooth.

Symptoms of an Impacted Tooth

The symptoms of an impacted tooth include:

  • Swelling of the gums
  • Bleeding from the gums
  • Jaw pain
  • Difficulty opening your mouth
  • Difficulty chewing food
  • Swelling around the jaw
  • A bad taste in your mouth
  • Bad breath

When your tooth is impacted, you will need to get it extracted. You might be scared by the very sound of it. Many people often delay their tooth extraction because they are scared of thinking about the pain and the procedure. However, it is not as nerve-wracking as it may sound. You do not need to get scared or nervous as it is almost a daily procedure in the dental world.

The dentists perform many tooth extraction daily, and the practice becomes quite frequent.

Tooth extraction is a procedure in which the healthcare providers pull out your teeth from the socket and the bone. You might think it will be unbearably painful. But it is not like that!

The healthcare providers perform the procedure under local anesthesia. Therefore you can not even feel the pain at the time it happens. However, sometime later, when the effect of local anesthesia wears off, you may feel the pain. But that is controllable with oral pain killer medications.

Often dental surgeons and dentists perform the procedure of tooth extraction. However, if you need it, you must visit the healthcare provider as soon as possible.

We will tell you the reasons for tooth extraction.

What Are The Reasons For Tooth Extraction?

You must be concerned about tooth extraction as permanent teeth have to remain there forever. It may seem a bit concerning to you why you need a tooth extraction

You may need to get a tooth extraction because of the following reasons:

  • If your tooth is damaged badly
  • If your tooth has decayed

The other reasons for tooth extraction are:

A Crowded Mouth

Sometimes your mouth becomes crowded because there is no more space for other teeth that have to come, or you have big teeth, compared to the size of your mouth.

To make a space in it, your dentists will extract the tooth and make the space for another tooth to accommodate.

Infection

An infection of the tooth needs to be treated as soon as possible. Your dentist will prescribe antibiotics or sometimes root canal therapy to treat it. But sometimes, the infection is so severe that you need to get your tooth removed so that it does not impact your other teeth.

Risk of Infection

If, for some reason, such as receiving chemotherapy drugs, your immunity may get lowered. Therefore your healthcare providers may remove it.

Even when the risk of infection increases, it is enough reason to remove the tooth.

Periodontal Gum Disease

Periodontal gum disease is the condition in which the infection of gums and soft tissue occurs. It can be severe. It impacts your teeth and causes them to loosen up. Therefore your healthcare providers may extract it.

What Should You Expect From Tooth Extraction?

When your healthcare provider asks you to get the tooth removed, you may have various queries and concerns in your mind.

Your dentists are trained to remove the tooth. It is their daily practice. So you do not need to worry.

Before tooth extraction, the healthcare provider will administer a local anaesthetic to numb the area so that you do not have any pain. But sometimes, they may perform the tooth extraction procedure under the effect of general anaesthesia, in which you sleep and do not have sensations in the whole body.

Usually, when the dentists extract the tooth, they place a gauze piece at the empty place to stop bleeding and ask you not to remove it before some hours. Otherwise, it may bleed. However, sometimes, when the wound is deep, they may stitch it. They are dissolvable stitches that do not need to be removed.

As the effect of anaesthesia wears off, you may need to take an oral pain reliever medication. Sometimes, your dentist also prescribes prophylaxis antibiotics to prevent infection. Make sure you take the antibiotic if your healthcare provider has prescribed it.

What Should You Tell Your Dentist Before Tooth Extraction?

Before you get your tooth extracted, you must tell your dentist about your health conditions and all the drugs you take.

Tooth extraction is a safe procedure, but sometimes it can become infectious. If you are at increased risk for infections, the healthcare providers will be more cautious and prescribe you prophylaxis antibiotics.

Moreover, if you take blood thinners, they may ask you to stop it two to three days before the procedure. Otherwise, it may become difficult for them to stop bleeding. So you must give a complete history to your dentists before tooth extraction so that they have an idea.

The Bottom Line

When your tooth is impacted, it needs to get extracted. However, your dentist will decide by looking at your tooth condition.

Keep your teeth clean by daily brushing two to three times a day. Also, make a habit of flossing daily. Your oral health matters the same as other body parts do!

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Dr. Aima Khalil - Author Dr. Aima Khalil is a highly qualified Dentist with a number of certifications including B.D.S. as well as 7 years of experience in her field.
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