Ever heard that the adult mouth contains 32 teeth? Have you counted yours with your tongue and discovered you only have 28? Are you now worried? 

Don’t be! Chances are if you are a teenager or in your early 20’s, you simply haven’t developed your wisdom teeth yet! And, unfortunately, while these teeth are called wisdom teeth, they can be problematic. 

So much so that they often need removing. Luckily, if you do run into trouble with your wisdom teeth, our oral surgeon in Knoxville TN will be on hand to help!

But what are wisdom teeth, why do people have them, and what happens during the process of removing them? 

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

First things first, wisdom teeth are molar teeth. 

And as such, they will erupt at the back of your mouth behind your third molars on both the top and bottom jaw. 

As you may already know, this can be problematic depending on how small your jaws are; there simply may not be the room to accommodate them, leading to an extraction being needed.

But, unfortunately, even if there is room in your mouth for your new molars, that may not be the end of the issue.

Signs That They Need To Be Removed

Of course, as is the way with dental care, a lack of room is not the only sign that there is an issue with your wisdom teeth. 

Here, our team at Knoxville Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery highlights some other things to look out for when those wisdom teeth are erupting.


Yes, an erupting tooth is going to cause discomfort, especially to the gum and surrounding tissue.

But, many people with problematic wisdom teeth note that the discomfort they experience when these teeth are erupting is different. 

It can cause pain when they open and close their mouths, even when they chew food. If the pain is unrelenting or worsening post wisdom tooth eruption, contact us.


Dental infections are never fun and as such, it can highlight a more serious issue if that newly cut wisdom tooth keeps succumbing to them.

This is usually due to the tooth erupting at an odd angle, which allows bacteria to get underneath the tooth, causing the formation of an abscess. 

Signs of an infection include swelling, discomfort, discoloration, an offensive odor or taste, and of course, pus around the site of the erupting tooth.

If you have had an infection due to your wisdom teeth, our team may opt for extraction.


As obvious as it sounds when a tooth is erupting, the presence of blood should not simply be dismissed as part of the process. 

In instances of impacted wisdom teeth or those that have caused problems with the gums, endless bleeding or spotting can be a sign that you need to have the wisdom tooth removed.


An impacted tooth is one that is erupting at an angle and putting pressure on the nearby teeth, causing pressure in the jaw. Ouch!

If you suspect this, come in to see our team and we will confirm it with an X-Ray.

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

And finally, a common issue with wisdom teeth is temporomandibular joint disorder (or TMJ), which is typically associated with an issue in the jaw joint. 

However, with wisdom teeth and complications, it can worsen prompting our team can opt for a TMJ correction.

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder; What Is It?

In dental literature, TMJ causes aches to the jaw that can spread across the face. 

It has been linked to misaligned teeth, but many TMJ oral surgeons now believe it has a genetic element too.

An impacted wisdom tooth can worsen any underlying TMJ, prompting patients to seek the help of a maxillofacial surgeon in Knoxville TN.

Determining An Issue

When you come to our team in Knoxville, we will determine if there is an issue with your wisdom teeth via an assessment of the gum tissue and an X-Ray. 

This will give us a clearer image of what is happening under the gums and whether the tooth/teeth are infected or impacting. 

Extraction With Oral Surgeon in Knoxville TN

If it’s determined that a wisdom tooth extraction is needed, you can almost always expect that it will be performed as an outpatient procedure. This means that you go home the same day.

The thought of “surgery” may seem scary but don’t worry! You’ll receive instructions from our team on what to do before the surgery and the day of your scheduled surgery so that you’ll feel prepared every step of the way.

On the day of your tooth removal, your oral surgeon may use one of three types of anesthesia, depending on the expected complexity of the wisdom tooth extraction and your comfort level. We’ll make sure to discuss all of your options prior to your surgery. 

Post Removal And Aftercare

At home afterward, you will need to keep the stitches in your gum clean and keep an eye out for infection. 

To aid in the healing, eat soft, healthy foods until the extraction site has healed, which can take up to 2 weeks. 

If you are experiencing discomfort following the extraction, feel free to talk to our team. Depending on your needs, we may be able to suggest over-the-counter or prescribed medications to alleviate your discomfort.

Signs of Infection

Following surgery, infection is always a risk that needs to be mitigated. 

But there are some things to look out for which can indicate that one may be forming. 

These include discomfort that is worsening under the gum, pus, discoloration of the gum (bluing), or an offensive odor or taste in your mouth. 

If you notice any of these following the extraction of your wisdom teeth, contact our team!

High-Quality Care You Can Depend On!

Our team of surgeons in Knoxville is dedicated to keeping you and your teeth in good health. 

For more information about wisdom teeth or if want to visit our oral surgeon in Knoxville TN, contact us via our website or via telephone. We look forward to hearing from you!