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Adult teeth appear from around the age of six upwards. Wisdom teeth are the last to arrive, usually between the ages of 18 and 24. Sometimes, however, wisdom teeth cause problems in the mouth as they grow. When a wisdom tooth does not break through to the surface of the gum, this is called an impacted wisdom tooth. Two reasons for a wisdom tooth failing to come through are due to a lack of space for the wisdom tooth to grow, or other teeth being in the way.
For most people, an impacted wisdom tooth does not cause any problems, but some people can suffer inflammation of the surrounding gum, a higher risk of tooth decay, gum disease in other teeth and possibly problems with teeth in later life.
Your dentist or oral surgeon will be aware of the sort of disease or condition which would require you to have wisdom tooth surgery. Examples include untreatable tooth decay, abscesses, cysts or tumors, disease of the tissues around the tooth or where the tooth is in the way of other surgery.
If you, a member of your family or a person in your care are having problems with one or more wisdom teeth, it is highly recommended that you consult your dentist or dental surgeon for professional advice on what action should be taken.