A common occurrence in the early development of oral health is a situation where a molar tooth fails to emerge into the normal position in the dental arch. Commonly categorized as an impacted molar, this can occur due to many reasons including lack of space in the mouth, misalignment of teeth, or even oral obstructions. It’s important to identify the problem early. This guide will provide perspective on symptoms, causes, and treatment.


Impacted molars are not always noticeable. Common signs include pain and discomfort in the affected area, swelling, and inflammation of the gums particularly in opening the mouth. Ordinary tasks such as chewing can cause difficulty or pain. Bad breath and unpleasant taste can also occur due to food or bacterial growth.

Common Types of Impacted Molars.

While any molars can be subject to impaction,  the most common is considered the third molar, also known as the wisdom tooth. Wisdom teeth usually emerge in the late teens or early 20s of adolescence. They can be identified by developing routine dental screenings and cleanings. Other molars can be impacted but wisdom teeth are the most common. A diagram can be viewed here.

Risks of Avoiding Treatment.

Impacted molars can lead to complications. They increased the risk of infection including gum disease and tooth decay. Due to difficulty in cleaning and maintenance, poor oral hygiene does not provoke causation but can often lead to further complications. In addition, impacted molars can cause crowding and misalignment of other teeth or contribute to the development of cysts within the mouth period.

Treatment Options.

Diagnosis of an impacted molar involves a dental examination followed by a series of X-rays or possible panoramic radiographs to diagnose the position and condition of the impacted tooth. Treatment will depend on the severity and symptoms. If the molar is causing problems and is at risk of future complications, the tooth will have to be extracted. However, in the event that the tooth poses no immediate threat to oral hygiene or functionality, a dentist can make a recommendation as to the best course of action for your ultimate health and well-being. As always, it’s important to develop good oral hygiene and schedule regular checkups with your dentist.