Do all the wisdom teeth need to be extracted? Not really. When a wisdom tooth erupts cleanly through the tissue without compromising the adjacent tooth, the wisdom tooth can be retained in the mouth with little concern as long as you are able to brush, floss, and clean it thoroughly. However, removal of the wisdom tooth is indicated if the tooth has partially erupted through the gum tissue, causing inflammation and/or infection. A soft-tissue growth over a partially erupted wisdom tooth is referred to as an operculum. If bacteria become trapped under the operculum, an infection called pericoronitis can develop.