Wisdom teeth also known as “third molars”, are the last permanent teeth to appear (erupt) in the mouth which usually appear between the ages of 17 and 25, although some people never develop them. For others, wisdom teeth erupt normally just like other molars did and cause no problems.

Many people may develop impacted wisdom teeth that is to say, the teeth don’t have enough room to erupt into the mouth or develop normally. Impacted wisdom teeth may erupt partially or not at all.

An impacted wisdom tooth may:

Grow at an angle toward the next tooth (second molar) as shown in the above illustration

Grow at an angle toward the back of the mouth

Grow at a right angle to the other teeth, as if the wisdom tooth is “lying down” within the jawbone

Grow straight up or down like other teeth but stay trapped within the jawbone

The above growth patterns of wisdom teeth bring about problems such as:

  • Pain
  • Trapping food and debris behind the wisdom tooth
  • Infection or gum disease (periodontal disease)
  • Tooth decay in a partially erupted wisdom tooth
  • Damage to a nearby tooth or surrounding bone
  • Development of a fluid-filled sac (cyst) around the wisdom tooth
  • Complications with orthodontic treatments to straighten other teeth
  • Preventing future dental problems

The above problems may need you to see a dental surgeon who will assess you and see whether you need dental extraction or no

Dental specialists usually don’t bother removing impacted wisdom teeth that are asymptomatic (not causing problems) but will advice you on proper hygiene and when to seek dental assessment