Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Your third molars, better known as the wisdom teeth, are the last of your teeth to develop. They often erupt in your late teens to early 20s, which is how they received their name. For some people, the wisdom teeth erupt just like any other adult tooth. There is minor discomfort as they emerge, and that discomfort disappears once the teeth are fully through. For countless others, however, the wisdom teeth become impacted, which can cause a significant amount of pain and other issues. At Plymouth Ann Arbor Oral & Facial Surgery, we can alleviate the pain associated with wisdom teeth and restore your oral health. To achieve this, we provide wisdom tooth extractions.

Issues Caused by Impacted Wisdom Teeth

The wisdom teeth are the most common teeth to become impacted. An impacted tooth is one that does not emerge completely, or at all, through the gum tissue. Bone may block it, it may be growing sideways, or there simply may not be enough space in the jaw to accommodate these four additional teeth. Whatever the reason your wisdom teeth become impacted, they can cause some serious issues.
•  Infections. If a wisdom tooth only partially erupts through the tissue, it can make the area more difficult to keep clean. Bacteria, plaque and other debris can get stuck in the tooth leading to a localized infection known as pericoronitis.
•  Cysts. Cysts are common developments with impacted teeth, particularly in the instance of infection. A cyst is a fluid or pus-filled sac that begins to develop in the jaw around the tooth. When the impacted teeth, and the resulting cyst, go untreated, the cyst continues to grow. This can lead to damage to the jawbone.
•  Overcrowding. If there is not enough space in the jaw to accommodate the wisdom teeth, they can put pressure on your already existing teeth, shoving them out of proper alignment. This can lead to overcrowding, which can then present several other serious oral health issues.
•  Damage to adjacent teeth. If the teeth are growing sideways into the adjacent second molars, they can cause damage below the gumline, such as fractures near the root. This can lead to infections in otherwise perfectly healthy second molars that would require these teeth to be extracted as well.

Impacted wisdom teeth at Plymouth Ann Arbor Oral & Facial Surgery

Symptoms of Impacted Wisdom Teeth

There are several symptoms that accompany impacted wisdom teeth. If you notice any of these, it is important to seek treatment immediately.
•  Severe pain at the back of the mouth.
•  Difficulty opening and closing your mouth. Actions like chewing may be unbearable.
•  Red, swollen gum tissue.
•  Swelling of your jaw.
•  A foul taste in your mouth that does not go away.

Diagnosing Impacted Wisdom Teeth

If you suspect that you have impacted wisdom teeth, we will perform a thorough oral evaluation to formally diagnose the issue. Your exam consists of a visual inspection of your mouth as well as digital x-rays. With x-rays, we can see under your gums, checking the condition of your wisdom teeth, the adjacent teeth, and the jawbone. We can also diagnose any cysts or damage that might have been caused. With a diagnosis of impacted wisdom teeth, we can then move forward with an extraction.

Alleviating Pain With Tooth Extraction

There are two types of extractions used to remove teeth. The first is a simple extraction, which involves gripping the tooth and moving it gently to widen the socket. When the socket is wide enough, the tooth is lifted free. With impacted wisdom teeth, a surgical extraction is often used. This type of extraction is done under local anesthetic and sedation. We make incisions in the gums to expose the impacted wisdom teeth, their roots, and the surrounding bone. Anything that is blocking the teeth, such as bone, is removed. We then remove the tooth. In some cases, we need to break the tooth to fully remove it while causing minimal trauma to the jawbone. Once the teeth have been removed, the gums are sutured closed. There is no need to replace wisdom teeth.

By extracting your impacted wisdom teeth, we can eliminate the associated pain, restore your oral health, and improve your quality of life. If you suspect that your wisdom teeth might be impacted, call Plymouth Ann Arbor Oral & Facial Surgery today at (734) 455-0710.


9416 S. Main St. Suite 211
Plymouth, MI. 48170

Call (734) 455-0710


1303 S. Main St. Suite B
Chelsea, MI. 48118

Call (734) 475-0710

Ann Arbor

3055 Plymouth Road Suite 202
Ann Arbor, MI. 48105

Call (734) 761-5885


1900 Packard Road
Ypsilanti, MI. 48197

Call (734) 481-0010
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