What is an impacted tooth?

An impacted tooth is a tooth that fails to fully break through the gums because it is prevented by the overlying gum, bone or another tooth. Impacted teeth are very common and often are painless. However, they may cause problems by altering the alignment of the teeth. Also, an impacted tooth traps food, plaque and other debris in the soft tissue around it, leading to inflammation and tenderness of the gums and unpleasant mouth odor. This is called pericoronitis.

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