Wisdom teeth or third molars are the last permanent teeth to form and move into the mouth. Wisdom teeth will usually emerge at around 16 to 18 years of age and be fully developed by the age of 22 or 23. This was assumed to be the “age of wisdom”, which is where the term “wisdom” teeth originated.
In most cases, the jaws are not large enough to accommodate these teeth and therefore they remain under the gum tissue and bone. The term “impacted” describes a tooth that is not fully exposed in the mouth. This is due to an evolutionary trend towards a larger cranial size and smaller jaw limiting the space to accommodate the wisdom teeth.