Impacted wisdom teeth are very common and in many cases never pose a problem. In other instances, however, they can have a detrimental effect on your health if not treated. If you have an impacted wisdom tooth, visit a family dentist who will evaluate your situation and recommend the appropriate treatment. Here are some potential negative health effects that can occur if impacted wisdom teeth are not recognized and appropriately treated.
Because impacted wisdom teeth cannot be cleaned properly, food particles can get trapped inside the nooks and crannies of the partially emerged tooth and under the gum flap that covers the tooth. Over time, these food particles can cause a bacterial infection that can produce an unpleasant pus-containing discharge. This may lead to a bad taste in your mouth, bad breath, and even local and systemic infections.
Swallowing pus from infected impacted wisdom can infect your pharynx and tonsils and may even lead to a severe body-wide infection that has the potential to attack your heart valves. Cardiologists often see patients with valvular damage that was caused by a dental infection. If your impacted wisdom tooth is infected, see your family dentist right away. This is extremely important especially if you are a heart patient. If your wisdom tooth is draining pus, your dentist will prescribe oral antibiotics and may recommend an extraction.
A malocclusion is also called an abnormal bite. It happens when your teeth are not aligned properly. If you have impacted wisdom teeth, especially if the impacted teeth are coming in sideways, it can push your other teeth out of their proper alignments, causing bite problems. Malocclusions can affect the way you chew and speak, and they may also lead to severe headaches, jaw pain, and pains in your neck.
If your family dentist believes that you may be at risk for malocclusion because of your impacted wisdom teeth, they may refer you to an oral surgeon for additional evaluation and treatment.
If you have impacted wisdom teeth, visit a family dentist as soon as possible. When impactions are treated at the first sign of eruption, they may be less challenging to treat. Furthermore, early dental intervention may help prevent the complications and harmful health effects that are stated above. Early treatment may also decrease the need for braces. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause overcrowding of your teeth, causing them to sit too close to one another or even cause overlapping teeth.