Sometimes a tooth may fail to emerge into proper alignment and remains “entrapped” in the gum tissue and jaw bone. Such tooth is referred to as impacted. Impactions may occur due to various reasons. For example, the jaw may be too small and there may be insufficient space for the teeth to erupt. Teeth may also become twisted, tilted, or displaced as they try to emerge, resulting in impacted teeth.
The most common impacted teeth are wisdom teeth or third molars. Impacted teeth may result in swelling, pain and infection of surrounding gum tissue. Also, impacted teeth may cause permanent damage to nearby teeth or lead to the formation of cysts or tumors that can destroy sections of the jaw. Therefore, it is often recommend that impacted teeth be promptly removed.