Wisdom teeth refer to the third molar teeth. Oftentimes, they may become impacted (stuck) within the jaw bones or under the gum tissue adjacent to the second molar teeth.

In such instances, which happen commonly, such wisdom teeth can cause problems like decay of the adjacent teeth, infections, chronic inflammation and bone loss, or cysts; all of which tend to damage the supporting bone structures of, or the lower teeth themselves.

In view of the potential problems that impacted wisdom teeth may cause, it is advisable to have them checked and if they are so, to decide if you should have them removed after a discussion of the risk- benefit of removing them with your oral surgeon.

Most impacted wisdom teeth removal involves a painless minor surgery in the mouth. This can be done under local anesthesia or under sedation or general anesthesia.


An impacted tooth may cause problems such as swelling, pain and infection. It may also cause permanent damage to adjacent teeth, gums and the supporting bone structure. Rarely, an impacted tooth can lead to the formation of cysts or tumors that can destroy large portions of the jaw if left untreated.

Unfortunately, most wisdom teeth do not cause any problems initially. When symptoms like pain or swelling arise, there may already be deep tooth decay and infection. Sometimes a cyst can form around a wisdom tooth, and the cyst can grow for years without any signs or symptoms! It is prudent to have your dentist check your oral condition at least yearly.