Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, often need to be extracted due to a variety of reasons:
Crowding: Most people do not have enough space in their mouth for the wisdom teeth to erupt properly. When there is not enough room, the teeth may grow at an angle, causing them to push against adjacent teeth, which can lead to pain and discomfort.
Impaction: When a wisdom tooth does not fully emerge from the gum line, it is referred to as an impacted tooth. Impacted teeth can cause a host of problems, including infection, swelling, and damage to surrounding teeth and gums.
Decay: Wisdom teeth are located at the back of the mouth, making them more difficult to clean. This can increase the likelihood of decay, which can lead to infection and pain.
Gum disease: Because wisdom teeth are located at the back of the mouth, they can be harder to clean, making them more susceptible to gum disease. Gum disease can cause pain, swelling, and even bone loss in severe cases.
Cysts or tumors: In rare cases, wisdom teeth can form cysts or tumors, which can damage nearby teeth and bone if left untreated.
For these reasons, dentists often recommend extracting wisdom teeth before they cause problems.