Patients who are considering having their wisdom teeth removed may understand the idea of impacted teeth but not realize that there are a number of scenarios for this condition. One of these is a soft tissue impacted tooth, in which there is enough room in the jaw for the teeth to erupt, but not enough space for the gum tissue to move upward so that the tooth can be adequately cleaned.
As is the case with the removal of any impacted wisdom teeth, a soft tissue impacted tooth is typically removed by an oral surgeon because the procedure necessitates the removal of the tissue that is covering up the tooth and this cannot be accomplished via simple tooth extraction.
Soft tissue impacted wisdom teeth can be associated with a number of negative consequences, just like those that are lodged in the bone. These include an increased risk of infection and abscesses, particularly in light of the challenges involved in keeping those teeth clean, as well as cysts, tumors and discomfort for the patient.
To minimize their chances of such consequences, many patients will opt to have an oral surgeon remove their impacted wisdom teeth before they become symptomatic. There is also an age-related argument in favor of intervening relatively early, as it is easier to remove the wisdom teeth in younger patients. As the patient gets older, the roots of the wisdom teeth get longer and become more entrenched in the bone. It is more challenging to remove those teeth, and older patients are also at greater risk for certain complications after the procedure. It is recommended that patients pursue wisdom tooth extraction by age 25.
Wisdom tooth extraction typically takes place in an outpatient setting, and most patients can resume normal activity within a few days. Your surgeon will give you guidance on any specific restrictions after the procedure.
A soft tissue impacted wisdom tooth can cause similar problems to one that is impacted in the jaw. If you are experiencing this condition, contact our office to schedule an evaluation and learn more about the tooth extraction procedure.