Generally, by the age of 18, the average adult has 32 teeth. The teeth in the front are known as the incisors, canine, and bicuspid teeth. These teeth grasp and bite the food into smaller pieces. The teeth in the back are known as the molar teeth and they are used to grind food up for swallowing.
The average mouth holds 28 teeth comfortably. It can be painful to try to fit 32 teeth in a mouth that should hold 28 teeth. The four extra teeth are known as your third molars, or “wisdom teeth.”
When wisdom teeth have enough room to come in to align properly, they do not have to be removed. Extracting the wisdom teeth is necessary when they cannot properly erupt. Many times wisdom teeth grow in sideways, they partially erupt, or they may even remain trapped beneath the gum and bone. When they partially erupt, the opening around the teeth allows bacteria to grow and could cause an infection. The pressure from the wisdom tooth trying to find its way out could also move other teeth and cause problems with the natural alignment of teeth. Removal of the wisdom teeth usually resolves these problems.