Wisdom teeth are the last set of molars to erupt at back of our mouth which usually takes place during late teens and early adulthood. Wisdom teeth were of a valuable asset to our ancestors, giving more chewing power as they used to eat rough and raw food. As a result of evolution, our eating habits have changed leading to a much narrow and smaller jaws. This lack of space gives wisdom teeth no room to erupt hence making them trapped inside the gums and jawbone. Such trapped wisdom teeth are known as impacted wisdom teeth.
Wisdom teeth are sometimes partially impacted meaning some part of the tooth breaks through the gums and the remaining part of the teeth being inside the gums or completely impacted where the tooth does not break through the gums and is completely inside the gums. These wisdom teeth get impacted in different angles; let’s know more about the different types of impactions.
Types of impacted wisdom teeth:
Mesial impactions are the most commonly occurring impactions; they usually occur as partial impactions. The tooth erupts at an angle towards the tooth present in front. They are angled from 1 to 90 degrees; the teeth with smaller angle are monitored closely, while the ones with angle closer to 90 are likely to be extracted as they might cause damage to the adjacent tooth and the surrounding. They are commonly known as angular impactions.
Distal impactions are the rarest form of impactions. The tooth erupts at an angle towards the back of the mouth. They can be partially or completely impacted. Like mesial impacted teeth, distal impactions are also known as angular impactions. The need for extraction depends upon the degree of the tooth angle.
Horizontal impaction occurs when the tooth is completely impacted horizontally inside the gums. They cause a lot of trouble as grow at the right angle to the front tooth, in spite there being no space, they tend to pressure the adjacent tooth. They are the most painful type of impaction. To reduce the pain and control the damage to the adjacent tooth, they must be extracted.
Vertical impaction is when the tooth is in correct position to erupt, parallel to the adjacent tooth, but is underneath the gums. There is a high chance that it will erupt into normal position without causing any problem but sometimes there is a need for extraction when the tooth exerts pressure on the root of the adjacent tooth or when the erupted tooth is expected to cause overcrowding.
These are the most common types of impaction of wisdom teeth. Sometimes these impacted teeth cause trouble and sometimes they don’t show any symptoms.
The most common symptoms to look out for are:
- Swollen and painful gums behind the last molar
- Pain at the back of mouth.
- Pain radiating from corner of jaw towards the ear.
- Bleeding gums behind last molar.
- Unable to open mouth.
If you are facing any of these symptoms related to wisdom teeth, we strongly recommend you to visit a dentist who will give you exact idea about what are the problem and its solution.
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