Wisdom teeth that are healthy and properly positioned can be a valuable asset to the mouth. Unfortunately, this is often not the case and problems develop that require their removal. For example, when the jaw is not large enough to accommodate the wisdom teeth, they can become impacted-unable to erupt or move into their proper place. They may grow sideways, emerge only part way from the gum, or remain trapped beneath the gum and bone. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause discomfort, inflammation, infection, and even decay as they come into the mouth and push against other teeth. In cases like this—or in more extreme cases, where cysts develop around the wisdom teeth and jeopardize the health of the jaw bone—extraction will be the only viable option.