Those darn wisdom teeth! Very few of us (myself included) have sufficient space for them to erupt into a healthy position. Most of us will face impacted or misaligned wisdom teeth (third molars) and need to make the decision of extracting them or leaving them in the mouth.
If the wisdom teeth remain in the mouth, too often they are crowded at the back corner of the mouth and are difficult to reach with a tooth brush or floss. In these cases, cavities result and a decision is made whether to fill the cavity or extract the tooth.
If they are impacted, often times they will push forward on the second molars and create crowding and moving of the other teeth. They also may create an open avenue for bacteria to move down the back side of the second molars and periodontal disease destroys the bone supporting that tooth or decay. Research has also shown an increased risk of jaw fracture when the impacted wisdom teeth remain.
There are no easy answers. We dentists all love it when the wisdom teeth erupt into a healthy position. We wish they all did.