3 Potential Complications With A Horizontal Impacted Wisdom Tooth

Posted on: 21 January 2016

Wisdom teeth are technically the third or rearmost molars in your mouth. The late development of these molars comes after the first and second molars are already in place so the wisdom tooth has a narrow growth area. A wisdom tooth can start to erupt while pointed in the wrong direction, which leads to a condition called an impacted wisdom tooth. The type of impaction refers to what direction the tooth is headed.

A horizontal impacted wisdom tooth is trying to grow in sideways headed towards the already present second molar. While rare, this type of impaction requires a full service, board certified impacted tooth extraction as soon as possible since there's no way the tooth will change into the proper positioning on its own. Leaving the impacted wisdom tooth untreated can lead to some major consequences.

Damaged Molar Roots

Any impacted wisdom tooth can press on the second molar and start to nudge that tooth out of place. The nudging can cause minor bite issues but aren't always a big deal when caught early. But a horizontal impacted wisdom tooth might press on the second molar's roots rather than the tooth itself.

The pressure on the molar's roots can cause pain, tooth sensitivity, and eventually cause the second molar to become loose. The molar might still shift out of place but more substantial damage is likely happening under the surface of the gums and jawbone.

If you have an impacted wisdom tooth and pain in or around your second molar, make a dentist appointment as soon as possible to have the wisdom tooth surgically removed.

Cyst or Benign Tumor

A healthy wisdom tooth grows in via a passage through the bone and then pushes aside a flap in the soft tissue to fully erupt. A horizontal impacted wisdom tooth will force its own passage as it moves sideways. And that passage can start to fill with fluid, which can create a cyst.

The cyst can cause pain, swelling, and a pussy discharge. Under the surface, the infectious materials inside the cyst can start to eat away at the jawbone. Your dentist will need to treat the cyst with antibiotics and might need to perform a graft , once the wisdom tooth is removed, to fix the cyst-related bone damage.

In rare cases, the tooth can create a hard benign tumor rather than a cyst. The symptoms will be more along the lines of discomfort, swelling, and a sense of pressure. The dentist will need to surgically remove the tumor with the tooth. If you suspect wisdom tooth troubles, contact a local dentist, like Central PA Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons LLC.