As many as 50% of people have experienced halitosis, or bad breath in layman terms, at some point in their lives, according to the American Dental Association (ADA). Do you know, however, that it can be caused by a mismanaged, impacted tooth? When left untreated, it can leave pockets in your gums where food can collect. Bacteria in your mouth can feed on this food and cause bad breath.
An impacted tooth can also cause periodontal disease, which, you guessed it right, leads to halitosis.
Halitosis, unfortunately, can affect your mental health. It can make you feel constantly conscious about yourself, especially when talking to people. This can affect your confidence and lower your self-esteem.
To build your confidence, you need to get to the root cause of your halitosis — impacted teeth. This article will help you better understand what an impacted tooth is, how you can know if you have it, and the possible treatments you can consider.
What Is an Impacted Tooth?
This is a tooth that has erupted abnormally in your gum line. It could’ve grown partially or didn’t erupt at all, growing in your gums. This is why some impacted teeth are undetected until it has led to complications such as halitosis.
And while you have only one impacted tooth, it can occur in several teeth in some people. It all depends on how an individual’s teeth erupt or grow. While most cases cause no discomfort or pain, it’s still important to monitor it to prevent any serious damage to your health.
What Causes an Impacted Tooth?
There are several reasons why the eruption of teeth leads to impaction. In most cases, something is obstructing the growth of a new tooth. Often, this can be a baby tooth failing to fall out properly. In other people, it could be because there is not enough space for a new tooth in the gum line. Overcrowding and a bigger-sized tooth can be a reason for this.
If your tooth erupts at an awkward angle, it will fail to fit together with your other teeth. It will stop pushing through, and this leads to an impacted tooth. If your jaw is not big enough to accommodate all teeth — an adult normally has 32 teeth, it can also cause impaction.
In other cases, accidental damage to baby tooth cause teeth to become impacted. For some people, however, it can be genetic. According to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), if one or both of your parents had impacted teeth, you are more likely to develop it, too.
What Happens to Untreated Impacted Teeth?
Aside from periodontal disease and halitosis, untreated, impacted teeth can lead to dental cysts, abscesses from infection, and cavities. If you leave impacted teeth in their positions, it can also cause gum inflammation, headaches, and jaw pain.
An impacted tooth can also damage its neighboring teeth, harming the roots and causing crowding. This can lead to tooth decay and, eventually, tooth loss. You might also have chewing or bite problems because of impacted teeth. This can lead to cosmetic issues, affecting how you look, which harms one’s mental health.
Fortunately, there are ways to address impacted teeth problems.
How Can Impacted Teeth Be Treated?
Treatment for your impacted teeth depends on the extent of the problem. Fixing it can be either complicated or minor, invasive or simple outpatient treatment. This means that it has to be assessed by your dentist or orthodontist first. This emphasizes the need to regularly visit your dental practitioner. Dental problems can be detected and treated early before they lead to complications.
Depending on the severity of your impacted teeth and their stage of growth, they can be removed altogether or extruded.
An oral surgeon will recommend the extraction of impacted teeth if it’s causing you pain and discomfort. If the impacted teeth are still in their baby stage, extraction through surgery will also be prescribed. You don’t have to worry about missing teeth, though. They can be replaced with a dental bridge or implant.
An orthodontist will recommend extrusion or the use of eruption aids to help your teeth align into the correct position. Often, this treatment is prescribed for cosmetic reasons. If you want a healthy smile without the appearance of crooked teeth, you can choose a tooth extrusion procedure.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Now you know what to do with your impacted tooth. Impacted teeth don’t cause problems that cannot be treated, fortunately. Just make sure to visit your dentist regularly to prevent any dental issues and help maintain your teeth healthy.