A healthy tooth should fully emerge from your gums. The crown ( or top) of your tooth sits above your gum line, while the root secures it in your jaw below — but this process doesn’t always happen like it should.
If you have a tooth that’s partially or completely stuck under your gums, it’s called an impacted tooth. Anyone can get one, and they’re particularly common in your late teens or 20s, when your wisdom teeth come in.
Impacted teeth are often very painful, and they can change the way your mouth works. Walied Touni, DDS, MSD, and our dental team at Touni Orthodontics can help. We specialize in treating impacted teeth at our dental office in Sunnyvale, California.
Do you have an impacted tooth?
An impacted tooth is either partially or completely trapped under your gums. It’s possible to have an impacted tooth without knowing it, because they don’t always cause symptoms.
In many cases, however, impacted teeth are uncomfortable. Common signs of an impacted tooth include:
- Bleeding gums
- Swollen or tender gums
- Tooth pain
- Jaw pain
Once an impacted tooth starts causing noticeable symptoms, you’ll likely need dental treatment to relieve your pain. Untreated impacted teeth often continue to get worse, and you might notice difficulty chewing or opening your mouth. A bad taste in your mouth or bad breath can also develop.
Even if your impacted tooth isn’t causing pain, it could put your oral health at risk. Untreated impacted teeth can press against healthy teeth and cause issues like misalignments, premature wear and tear, and more.
Treatment options for impacted teeth
Dr. Touni and our team specialize in treating impacted teeth. Whether we identify your impacted tooth in a routine dental X-ray or you come into the office with symptoms of an impacted tooth, we start with a comprehensive examination.
We look inside your mouth and take X-rays to see your teeth below your gum line. Depending on the location and status of your impacted tooth, we may recommend one of two different treatment strategies:
Tooth eruption aids
Dr. Touni may use a variety of eruption aids to treat your impacted tooth. He could recommend braces, brackets, or extracting nearby teeth to encourage your impacted tooth to emerge properly.
Eruption aids are particularly effective for younger patients, because their mouths are still developing.
If your tooth is severely impacted or decayed, extracting it might be your best treatment option. Extraction surgery is a common treatment for wisdom teeth, because these teeth typically aren’t essential.
Wisdom tooth extraction is an outpatient procedure. We may administer local or sedation anesthesia to keep you comfortable while we extract your tooth or teeth. The procedure takes about one hour, and full recovery takes 7-10 days at home.
Don’t wait to get your impacted tooth taken care of. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Touni by calling our office or requesting an appointment online today.