Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars in the back of your mouth (the ones closest to your throat). Most people have four of them (one on each corner of your jaw) but not everyone does. They usually tend to grow in between the ages of 17 and 25 years. If the wisdom teeth remains trapped in the bone, usually by a lack of space in the jaw, the teeth are considered to be impacted and need to be removed, otherwise they can cause swelling and infections in the jaw, along with pain.
If an x-ray shows wisdom teeth trying to find a way to develop but there is not enough space, your dentist will be able to determine when to remove them. However a lot of patients only realize they are developing wisdom teeth due to pain or swelling in gums. Age is also a consideration when deciding when to remove wisdom teeth, but your dentist can determine that based on your particular case. Sometimes they are also removed to prepare for orthodontic treatment.
Not all wisdom teeth need to be removed, it depends on the dental situation of each individual patient. Wisdom teeth typically do not need to be removed if they’re healthy, have grown in completely (meaning they’re fully erupted), are positioned correctly and bite properly with the opposing teeth on the upper or lower jaw, and are able to be be properly cleaned and flossed in a patient’s daily hygiene practices.