Wisdom teeth are the last teeth at each end of the upper and lower gums at the very back of the mouth. They usually erupt through the gums during your late teens or early adulthood. There are normally up to four wisdom teeth. Often, there is not enough room in the mouth for the wisdom teeth to grow in a straight line, so they emerge at an angle to fill the available space. Wisdom teeth that grow through in this way are known as “impacted”.
Wisdom teeth often cause no problems. They are described as impacted when there is not enough space for them at the back of the mouth. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause pain, swelling, infection or damage to the teeth next to them. If the gum around the wisdom tooth is swollen the jaw may become stiff and sore. Partially erupted wisdom teeth are breeding grounds for bacteria and germs and may lead to infection. Antibiotics only sooth infected wisdom teeth for a short time.