What is an impacted wisdom tooth?

An impacted wisdom tooth is a wisdom tooth that fails to fully pass through the gums because it is prevented by the overlying gum, bone or another tooth. Impacted wisdom 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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