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Impacted Teeth

An impacted tooth is one that is unable to fully erupt in its proper location because it is blocked by tissue, bone, or another tooth. This may occur because the tooth has tilted out of its normal position, or does not have sufficient space to erupt because of surrounding teeth. Although this occurs most frequently in wisdom teeth, any tooth can be impacted.

The most frequent problem associated with impacted teeth is infection. As an impacted tooth tries to erupt, it can push up the gum, creating a place for food debris to collect and decay. Impacted teeth can also sometimes cause cysts underneath the gums, which can damage surrounding teeth. Additionally, the impacted tooth's attempt to erupt can push other surrounding teeth out of their normal position, and can therefore change the alignment and bite of the mouth. An ectopic tooth can infringe on the space of another tooth, in that way also pushing the surrounding teeth out of normal positioning.

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