Third molars or most commonly called wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt. They generally appear between the ages of 17 and 25. When they align properly, and gum tissue is healthy, wisdom teeth do not have to be removed. Unfortunately, in most cases this does not generally happen. When there is a lack of room to allow the teeth to erupt it results in a risk of periodontal disease and cavities in the wisdom tooth and also to the adjacent molar. The extraction of wisdom teeth is necessary when they are prevented from properly erupting. They may grow sideways, partially emerge from the gum, and even remain trapped beneath the gum and bone.
These poorly positioned impacted or semi-impacted teeth can cause many problems. When they are partially erupted, the opening around the tooth allows bacteria to grow and will eventually cause an infection. The infection usually causes swelling in the cheek and difficulty opening the jaw. The pressure from the erupting wisdom tooth may also move other teeth and disrupt the natural alignment of teeth. Removal of the impacted tooth or teeth usually resolves these problems. Early removal is recommended to avoid such future problems.