Growing Wisdom Toothache On X-Ray

An impacted tooth refers to a tooth that fails to fully erupt through the gum into its expected position in the dental arch. This condition commonly affects wisdom teeth and can also occur with other teeth, such as canines or premolars. This blog explores the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for impacted teeth, with a focus on impacted wisdom teeth.

What is an Impacted Tooth?

An impacted tooth is one that remains stuck below the gum line or only partially erupts, unable to align properly with adjacent teeth. This condition can occur due to various factors, including overcrowding of teeth, abnormal tooth growth direction, or obstacles blocking the tooth’s path to eruption.

Types of Impacted Teeth

1. Impacted Wisdom Tooth:

Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, commonly become impacted due to their late eruption and limited space in the jaw. Types of impacted wisdom teeth include:

– Vertical Impaction: The tooth is trapped within the jawbone, typically due to lack of space for eruption.

– Horizontal Impaction: The tooth grows horizontally against the adjacent tooth or jawbone.

– Mesial Impaction: The tooth is tilted forward, towards the front of the mouth.

– Distal Impaction: The tooth is tilted backward, towards the rear of the mouth.

2. Impacted Canine Tooth:

Canine teeth (cuspids) can also become impacted, often due to crowding or obstruction in the tooth’s path. Treatment may involve orthodontic intervention to create space or surgical exposure and traction to guide the tooth into its proper position.

Symptoms of an Impacted Tooth

Common signs and symptoms of an impacted tooth may include:

– Pain or Discomfort: Persistent pain in the jaw, gums, or adjacent teeth.

– Swelling: Swollen gums or jaw in the affected area.

– Redness and Tenderness: Inflammation and sensitivity around the impacted tooth.

– Difficulty Opening Mouth: Limited jaw movement or difficulty fully opening the mouth.

– Bad Breath: Halitosis (bad breath) due to trapped food particles and bacteria around the impacted tooth.

Diagnosis and Treatment Options

1. Dental Examination:

Your dentist will perform a thorough examination, which may include dental X-rays to assess the position and condition of the impacted tooth.

2. Treatment Options:

Treatment for impacted teeth depends on the tooth’s position, symptoms, and potential complications. Common treatment options include:

– Monitoring: Some impacted teeth may not require immediate treatment if they are asymptomatic and not causing problems.

– Extraction: Surgical removal of the impacted tooth may be recommended, especially if it causes pain, infection, or potential damage to adjacent teeth.

– Orthodontic Treatment: Orthodontic procedures such as braces or aligners may be used to create space and guide impacted teeth into their proper position.

– Surgical Exposure and Bonding: For impacted canines or other teeth, a surgical procedure may be performed to expose the tooth and attach an orthodontic bracket to facilitate eruption.

Impacted Wisdom Tooth Removal

1. Surgical Extraction: If a wisdom tooth is impacted or causing problems such as infection or crowding, surgical extraction may be recommended. This procedure is typically performed under local anesthesia or sedation to ensure patient comfort.

2. Post-Operative Care: After wisdom tooth removal, patients are advised to follow post-operative instructions provided by their dentist or oral surgeon. This may include taking prescribed medications, applying ice packs to reduce swelling, and sticking to a soft diet during the initial recovery period.


Understanding the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for impacted teeth, particularly impacted wisdom teeth, is essential for maintaining oral health and preventing complications. Regular dental check-ups and X-rays can help detect impacted teeth early, allowing for timely intervention and treatment. If you experience symptoms of an impacted tooth, consult with your dentist or oral surgeon to discuss appropriate treatment options tailored to your specific condition and oral health needs. Early diagnosis and treatment can help alleviate pain, prevent infection, and preserve overall dental health.

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