If you ever undergo wisdom teeth extraction, expect incision and stitches. Stitches are also known as sutures, and they attach back the cut gum tissue layer to preserve it.
Stitches assist in the healthy recovery of incision and also keep the surgery area safe from infections. After the wisdom teeth removal, you can ask your dentist the type of stitches they used.
Keep reading to find more about wisdom teeth stitches, their types, and aftercare tips.
How long do wisdom teeth stitches take to dissolve or fall out?
The types of stitches oral surgeons use for wisdom teeth extractions are dissolvable stitches. The reason is that these stitches break down on their own.
Wisdom teeth stitches take around a few weeks to fall out, or sometimes they may take around a month to dissolve entirely. The falling out of wisdom teeth stitches depends on many factors such as:
- the material of stitch used
- type and size of stitch
- the severity of tooth removal surgery
For some surgeries, the dentists may not use dissolvable stitches. In such a case, they will tell when to come back for the removal of stitches.
The stitches that don’t dissolve on their own are called removable stitches, and they are taken out around a week or 1 or 2 days more after the procedure.
Do wisdom teeth stitches hurt?
For the first 24-48 hours, you may experience pain due to stitches. However, the pain wouldn’t be very different because your mouth will be sore for 7-10 days after the surgery.
How to take care of wisdom teeth stitches?
Following the wisdom tooth extraction, your oral surgeon will explain how to take care of the blood clots and keep your stitches free from infections.
Caring for the stitches and blood clots is necessary to avoid dry socket, which is a painful condition.
Every patient is different, and so is their surgery site; therefore, it’s important to listen to your doctor’s instructions.
Typical aftercare instructions
24 hours after the extraction, gently rinse your mouth with salty water. But please remember not to spit or swish, or it might dislodge the blood clot. Open your mouth and let the water fall out.
Sometimes dentists prescribe chlorhexidine solution, an antibacterial rinse, and it minimizes the risk of oral infection.
If your dentist prescribes you antibiotics, please make sure to complete the prescription for the best results.
For the first 5-7 days after removal, avoid using a toothbrush or flossing on the surgery site or what your dentist recommends.
Foods to avoid after wisdom teeth removal
For the first few days, only go with soft foods and drinks and avoid anything that might cause the stitches to come out. Here are a few things good for your mouth.
- mashed potatoes
- scrambled eggs
Stay away from sticky, crunchy, and chewy foods, including:
- fruits with tiny seeds such as raspberries, strawberries
- raw carrots
- corn on the cob
- chewing gum
What else to avoid?
Avoid anything that might cause suction movement in the mouth as it can disrupt the stitches. Suction can also be damaging for a blood clot that is beginning to form over the extraction site.
Things to avoid are:
- drinking alcohol
- rigorous exercise
- drinking hot liquids
- drinking from a straw
Your oral surgeon can guide you on when you can get back to these activities.
My wisdom teeth stitches came out. What to do?
Sometimes you may notice that your loose stitch is coming out, or it may fall out completely. You shouldn’t worry too much until you have symptoms of infection or your wound has opened or is bleeding.
If your loose stitch is a source of irritation to the gums of cheeks, consult your dentist and let him know about your situation. Please don’t think about cutting, pulling, or removing a loose stitch without asking your dentist or oral surgeon.
Your wisdom teeth stitches should remain at their place until the wound closes. If you pull them out before the right time, it can deteriorate the healing process. Early pulling can also lead to infection due to the introduction of germs and bacteria into the extraction site.
How long does it take for wisdom teeth holes to heal completely?
After the stitches dissolve, you can go back to your regular menu. You’ll also be able to return to your flossing and brushing routine. But do keep in mind that recovering from a wisdom teeth extraction procedure is a time taking process. The empty tooth socket will take around 3 to 4 months to heal entirely.
How can you tell if your wisdom teeth stitches have an infection?
Infection after a tooth extraction is not very uncommon, but you can prevent that from happening by keeping your stitches free from germs.
Signs of infection include:
- oozing of pus
- pus or blood in nasal discharge
- bad taste in the mouth
- Itching in the extraction hole
If you have a feeling that an infection might be lingering, immediately see your oral surgeon. Your doctor will most probably prescribe you some antibiotics. Since oral infections are really good at worsening quickly, don’t take too long to visit your oral surgeon and explain the symptoms you are experiencing.