All smiles are beautiful. Having impacted teeth can detract from your smile and even make smiling difficult. Impacted teeth are teeth that are blocked from protruding from the gums. Blockages happen for several reasons, although it is usually because the jawline is full and the teeth that are being impacted are non-essential – or the jawline is too small to accommodate all the necessary teeth. Either way, it isn’t comfortable.
Besides the negative effects that impacted teeth can have on your health, improper chewing leading to poor digestion, extra cavities from not being able to floss and so on, the aesthetics of having impacted teeth leaves many sufferers less confident. Most operations done by dentists to fix or remove impacted teeth are optional and cosmetic.
Affecting healthy teeth
Impaction causes cavities. Impacted teeth in the front of the mouth can cause the surrounding teeth to rot as well and this is visible in the smile. Rotten teeth also mean extraction.
Healthline explains that surgery is also a common option to ease discomfort. “If you’re experiencing pain and other unpleasant side effects from an impacted tooth, your dentist may recommend extraction surgery, particularly in the case of impacted wisdom teeth. Your dentist may also recommend extraction if the impacted tooth could have a negative effect on other teeth.”
Impacted teeth that line the top or bottom of the jaw can push the lips outward. When you smile, there is less space to manoeuvre your lips, causing them to stretch over the extra teeth. This can cause your smile to skew and also cause thinner lips to crack and peel.
When symptoms from impacted teeth are prevalent, the most common complaint is pain and an imperfect bite.
Impacted teeth can also cause bad breath, bleeding and swollen gums, restricting the jaw from opening fully.
An X-ray of the mouth can determine if there are any impactions in the jaw.
It can be moved too!
Impacted teeth can be coaxed into position instead of being removed. Janette Williams’s Dentistry Blog says that “to begin this process, an oral surgeon or periodontist surgically exposes the tooth crown (the normally visible portion) through the gums. They then bond a small bracket to the crown and attach a small gold chain.”
She continues that an orthodontist will attach the other end to orthodontic hardware that will exert downward pressure on the tooth to gradually bring it into a normal position.