What are wisdom teeth?Wisdom teeth are the upper and lower third molars, located at the very back of the mouth. They are called wisdom teeth because usually they come in when a person is between age 17 and 21 or older-old enough to have gained some "wisdom." Wisdom teeth that are healthy and properly positioned do not cause problems.
What causes problems with wisdom teeth?Wisdom teeth may break partway through your gums, causing a flap of gum tissue to grow over them where food can become trapped and a gum infection can develop. Wisdom teeth can also come in crooked or facing the wrong direction. Or, if your jaw is not large enough to give them room, wisdom teeth may become impacted and unable to break through your gums. You may have trouble properly cleaning around wisdom teeth because they are so far in the back of your mouth and may be crowded.