Wisdom teeth are the last molars found in the very back of your mouth and they usually erupt in the late teens or early twenties. Sometimes they become impacted (failing to erupt) because of lack of room in the jaw. When a wisdom tooth is impacted, it may need to be removed. If it is not removed gum tenderness, swelling, or even severe pain may develop. Impacted wisdom teeth that are not fully erupted are very difficult to clean and are susceptible to recurring infections, tooth decay, and gum disease.
Wisdom teeth are typically removed in the late teens or early twenties because the teeth's roots have not fully formed and the bone surrounding the teeth is less dense. This can make extraction easier and shorten the recovery time.