Wisdom teeth are the last molars (third molars) found in the back of your mouth. They usually begin to erupt through the gum tissue in the late teens or early twenties but many will be blocked by bone or gingiva and fail to erupt into their proper place. In some cases the jaw bone may be too restricted to allow proper eruption of wisdom teeth and they may come out sideways causing pain and discomfort.
When a wisdom tooth fails to erupt in its proper space and develops problems, it will have be removed. The difficulties caused by wisdom teeth can range from pain in the jaws and facial muscles, tenderness in the gums surrounding or on top of the wisdom tooth, swelling, inflammation and abbess, trismus which is the inability to open the mouth normally, development of cystic tissue and other pathologies associates with wisdom teeth. Improperly erupted wisdom teeth are difficult to clean properly and will develop cavities and decay acting as source for spreading bacteria throughout the mouth. If not removed, they will lead to recurring infections and periodontal disease.
Not all wisdom teeth need to be extracted. In many cases the wisdom teeth erupt properly and can be easily cleaned and never cause any problems. In other cases, the wisdom teeth may remain embedded in the bone and never erupt and not be exposed to the tooth decaying bacteria. In all these cases their removal is contraindicated.
In addition to wisdom teeth, teeth that are significantly damaged, decayed or abscessed should be also be removed.