As our teeth begin to develop during our infancy and early childhood, they must pass through our gums. Some molars, cuspids and bicuspids may fail to fully emerge due to overcrowding, remaining embedded in the surrounding gum tissue or bone. Commonly called impacted teeth, they can gradually push neighboring teeth out of alignment, making it difficult for you to bite or chew properly. Because impacted teeth are harder to clean, they are more vulnerable to plaque buildup. This can lead to a condition known as pericoronitis, which is characterized by bad breath; inflamed or swollen gums; and an unpleasant taste in your mouth.
If an impacted tooth becomes decayed or infected, our oral surgeon can extract it and replace it with a bridge, denture or implant. Removing the tooth can prevent the infection from spreading to the rest of your mouth.