Impacted wisdom teeth are third molars that are trapped partially erupted or completely beneath the gums. Symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth are pain, swelling, bleeding, or bad breath. If any of these occur it may be time to go to the dentist to evaluated them. To properly evaluate wisdom teeth your dentist will need to take a panorex x-ray to evaluate the number and placement of the third molars, and then refer you to an oral surgeon for the extraction surgery. If wisdom teeth are not removed there are a number of possible dental complications that may occur. First, is the risk of developing a periodontal infection if a tooth is only partially erupted. Food debris and plaque will still be able to migrate below the gum, but will be trapped and cause bacterial infection to occur. This can result in expensive periodontal therapy. Secondly, is the risk of damage to the second molar if the top of a third molar is trapped against it. Finally, there is the risk that the erupting third molars will cause the shifting of teeth and ruin the occlusion. The oral surgeon will first review your x-rays and give you the recommended treatment plan. You will then return to have the teeth extracted under sedation. A few days of recovery and a later appointment to remove your stitches and then everything is back to normal.