What Does Having Impacted Teeth Mean?

What Does Having Impacted Teeth Mean?

Medical fields have an abundance of difficult to pronounce and difficult to understand terminology. Whether it’s for the name of a procedure or the scientific term of a disease, doctors seems to default to choosing long and complex words that sound more like a foreign language than a straightforward answer. Given the complexity of the medical field, this is understandable, but it can be quite frustrating if you’re a first-time patient.

utah impacted wisdom teeth
With dentistry, this predisposition toward sophisticated terminology is less common but still prevalent enough. For example, a phrase that the dentists at Wisdom Teeth Guys in Utah have noticed patients confused about is this: impacted teeth. You’re probably familiar with the definitions of both “impacted” and “teeth,” but what does the phrase as a whole mean?

Impacted Teeth: the Context

To understand what it means to have impacted teeth, you first have to know the context within which the term is most commonly found. Impacted teeth are a problem related to wisdom teeth growth and development, so knowing not only what wisdom teeth are but what they do for the mouth can help you understand why impacted wisdom teeth might be an issue.

What we colloquially call wisdom teeth are actually what dentists know as the “third molars.” The molars are the back teeth (top and bottom) that do the heavy lifting for chewing you use your front teeth to bite off pieces of food and your molars to actually break it down. Given the importance of chewing, it makes quite a lot of sense for your body to maximize efficiency by growing a third set of molars stationed to aid with the task of chewing.

Impacted Teeth: What They Are

However, not everyone’s wisdom teeth erupt from the gums and develop smoothly, and that’s where impacted teeth come in. For some patients, particularly those with a smaller jaw, there’s not enough room in the mouth for the third molars to fit. As a result, they can grow in sideways, tilt in various directions, or even become stuck in the gums. Much of the time, these patients might not even notice the issue because impacted teeth, as dangerous as they may be, can be entirely painless.

This oblivion can only last so long though because impacted teeth can lead into a host of oral health issues of virtually every variety. For example, impacted wisdom teeth can develop cavities that unlike normal cavities are incredibly difficult to patch (given how deeply the wisdom teeth are located). More seriously, in cases where the teeth aren’t able to erupt from the gums completely, painful infections that start at the gums and spread outward can develop as well.

Because of how problematic impacted teeth can be, most dentists recommend the wisdom teeth extraction procedure for their patients. Wisdom Teeth Guys provides wisdom teeth diagnostic and extraction services for patients in Bountiful, Provo and Sandy all in one day. Just contact the office at (801) 406-8670 or via the website to set up an appointment!

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