December 14, 2022

What Happens If an Impacted Tooth is Not Removed?

The thought of having impacted tooth removal can be scary. Many people have anxiety related to the dentist or dental procedures, and having an impacted tooth removed is no different. As such, you may find yourself wondering what can happen if an impacted tooth is not removed. Read on to learn more about what can happen if you do not have a tooth removed and the process of impacted tooth removal.

What Are the Signs You Have an Impacted Tooth?

If you have an impacted tooth, you may feel pain, tenderness or swelling around the jaw. Most people are able to feel that they have a tooth coming in, and that feeling coupled with pain and swelling is a key indicator that that tooth coming in is impacted. You may also experience trouble opening your jaw with an impacted tooth and/or you may have a headache or jaw ache.

What Causes a Tooth to Be Impacted?

The most common reason a tooth becomes impacted is because there is not enough space for the tooth to fully emerge. As such, the tooth stays stuck in the gums and cannot fully erupt. Another common reason a tooth becomes impacted is because it turns or shifts. This may happen naturally or it may happen due to trauma, such as something hitting the face. Since the tooth is turned or tilted, it cannot move upward and erupt as it should.

What Happens If an Impacted Tooth is Not Removed?

Leaving an impacted tooth in place can be painful and dangerous. The pain will continue if the tooth is not removed. Additionally, your gums can start to swell and become painful. As your gums swell and crack, bacteria and germs can be introduced into this area. This can lead to infections, including an abscess. Lastly, an impacted tooth is more likely to rot than other teeth, simply because it has not erupted from the gums, and therefore, you cannot clean it. A tooth that is rotting can give you bad breath, can leave bacteria in your mouth that can cause other teeth to rot, or can lead to an abscess. As such, it is important that all impacted teeth be removed in a timely manner.

How Is an Impacted Tooth Removed?

In order to remove an impacted tooth, an incision is made in your gums. Your gums and bone tissue that are preventing the tooth from erupting may need to be removed in order to access the tooth. Once the tooth is visible, a dentist can grasp it with a dental tool and lift it upward, extracting it out of the socket. The area is then stitched up and the procedure is complete.

How Long Does It Take to Remove an Impacted Tooth?

Each and every case is different, and as such, your procedure may be slightly shorter or slightly longer. As a general rule of thumb, it takes about 30 to 60 minutes to remove an impacted tooth, depending on how impacted it is. If there is an infection present, it may take slightly longer, as the dentist will likely want to take the time to remove infected tissue and pus pockets during the tooth impaction removal process. If you are having multiple impacted teeth removed, you should plan on about 30 to 60 minutes per tooth. Ask your dentist prior to the procedure how long your procedure should take for a more accurate timeframe.

How Long Does It Take to Heal From Impacted Tooth Removal?

It typically takes about two weeks for your gums to fully heal after having an impacted tooth removed. However, most people typically feel better and are able to start eating again after only a few days. If you already had an infection present, or if your dentist is concerned about an infection developing, they may recommend you take antibiotics. Always complete the entire dosage of antibiotics, even if you start to feel better. This is key to preventing an infection that can be painful and dangerous to your health.

While no one wants to have a tooth removed, impacted tooth removal is necessary to help prevent infections and to help keep you comfortable. Here at Taylorview Dental, we can help you with all of your dental needs, including impacted tooth removal. If you suspect you have an impacted tooth, or you know for certain you do, we can safely remove the tooth, while also doing everything we can to ensure you remain comfortable both during and after the procedure. Reach out to us today to schedule your appointment.