An unerupted tooth also known as an impacted tooth is a tooth that is stuck in the gum and can’t function correctly to push itself out of the gum. The most common tooth to become impacted is the wisdom tooth. It is common for wisdom teeth to become stuck in the jaw which can cause bacteria to develop and lead to pain and infection. Wisdom teeth are not an essential tooth and usually don’t have any particular function so if they are impacted and causing infection, they will more than likely be extracted. Another tooth which can commonly not erupt is the maxillary canine tooth. This tooth is very important for your bite and is the first tooth to make contact with the lower teeth when you close your mouth. This is vital for guiding your teeth into the correct alignment. This tooth usually erupts around the age of 13 but if it doesn’t dentists will try to make it erupt. When these teeth are impacted, they are usually found on the palate or on the roots at the front of the teeth.
The older a person becomes, the higher the risk the impacted tooth will not erupt naturally. Some dentists believe that an OPG x-ray should be taken when patients are about 7 to count how many teeth there is and if there will be a problem with adult teeth erupting. If there is any noticeable reason why teeth may not erupt properly, you may be referred to an orthodontist for treatment to move the teeth and provide spacing for teeth to come down. You my also be referred to an oral surgeon who may extract baby teeth or remove blockages that are stopping the adult teeth from erupting. If there is a clear opening for eruption by the age of 11 or 12 there will usually be no problem with these erupting naturally. If a patient is older than 40 it is common for the tooth to become fused into place which could mean it needs to be extracted and an alternative replacement such as an implant or bridge must be placed.
If you would like to know any further information about unerupted teeth please contact Smile Hub Dental Clinic at 01 5253 888 or book online.