Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that most people get in their late teens or early twenties. Most often they are misaligned and require removal. Wisdom teeth present potential problems when they are misaligned. Poor alignment of wisdom teeth can crowd or damage adjacent teeth, the jawbone, or nerves. Wisdom teeth can only partially break through the gum.

Wisdom teeth that only partially erupt allows for an opening for bacteria to enter around the tooth and cause an infection, which results in pain, swelling, jaw stiffness, and general illness. Partially erupted teeth are also more prone to tooth decay and gum disease because their hard-to-reach location and awkward positioning makes brushing and flossing difficult.