Impacted wisdom teeth


Wisdom teeth, also known as the third molars located at the rear of the mouth, typically emerge last among adult teeth. Most individuals have four wisdom teeth—two on the upper jaw and two on the lower. However, when these teeth become impacted, they encounter insufficient space to grow or develop normally.

Impacted wisdom teeth can result in discomfort, damage neighboring teeth, and contribute to various dental issues. While some impacted teeth remain asymptomatic, their positioning makes them challenging to clean, rendering them more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease compared to other teeth.

When impacted wisdom teeth lead to pain or dental complications, they are often recommended for removal. Additionally, some dental professionals advise extracting asymptomatic impacted wisdom teeth as a preventive measure against future complications.


Symptoms may not always manifest with impacted wisdom teeth, but when infection occurs, adjacent teeth are damaged, or other dental issues arise, you may experience some of the following indicators:

  • Gums appearing red or swollen.
  • Gums feeling tender or prone to bleeding.
  • Jaw pain.
  • Swelling around the jaw.
  • Presence of bad breath.
  • An unpleasant taste in the mouth.
  • Difficulty in opening the mouth.


Wisdom teeth become impacted when there isn’t enough space for them to develop normally. Typically emerging between ages 17 and 26, these teeth may pose no issues for some individuals, aligning properly with the rest of their teeth. However, for many, the mouth is too crowded for the proper development of these third molars, leading to impaction.

Impacted wisdom teeth can present in different ways:

  • Partial impaction: The tooth partially emerges, with only some of the crown visible.
  • Full impaction: The tooth remains completely submerged beneath the gum line.

Impacted teeth may:

  • Grow angled toward the adjacent second molar.
  • Angle toward the rear of the mouth.
  • Develop horizontally within the jawbone.
  • Grow vertically like other teeth but remain trapped within the jawbone.

Risk factors

Factors increasing the risk of impacted wisdom teeth encompass insufficient space or an obstruction hindering their proper emergence.