What Is An Impacted Tooth?

An impacted tooth is a tooth that is impeded or blocked as it pushes through the gums to erupt into the mouth. The teeth that are most often impacted are the wisdom teeth. However, any tooth in the mouth can become impacted.

Complications Of An Impacted Tooth

When an impacted tooth is left untreated, a variety of issues can arise.


The first symptom that most people notice is pain in the area of the impacted tooth. When pain occurs, it may be severe, or it may start as a mild pain that increases in severity. Pain occurs as a result of infection in the affected area. Pain can also occur upon opening of the mouth and when eating. For some patients, there may be no pain present.

Pericoronitis is a dental infection that occurs due to impacted teeth as well. This type of infection can spread into the throat and neck if the infection is not remedied.

Swelling in the area of impaction is another common symptom. Swelling is usually accompanied with pain and a result of infection in the area.


Another symptom is bad breath or an unpleasant taste in the mouth accompanied by bad breath.

Treatment Of An Impacted Tooth

Before treatment begins, your dentist will need to confirm that the there is an impacted tooth. One or more dental x-rays will be needed to confirm the diagnosis of an impaction.

The next step involves removal of the tooth or teeth causing the issue. Wisdom teeth extraction is a standard dental procedure that can be completed in just one visit. Healing times vary depending on each patient, but it should not take longer than a week.

If you notice swelling, pain, bad breath or pain while eating or opening your mouth, see your dentist right away.

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