An incision and stitches, sometimes known as sutures, are often needed when removing wisdom teeth. The sliced gum tissue flap is stitched back into position to stabilize it.
Your wound will heal more quickly and be protected from infection with stitches. The dentist or surgeon who removes your wisdom teeth will inform you of the sort of stitches they use, if any.
Continue reading to learn more about wisdom tooth stitches, including the different kinds and how to care for them.
Do wisdom teeth stitches dissolve or fall out?
Dissolving stitches fall apart by themselves. This kind is often used by oral surgeons after wisdom tooth removal.
Usually, dissolving stitches vanish after a few weeks. The full dissolution of your stitches might take up to a month. Numerous elements, such as the following, influence this:
- How far the tooth extraction went.
- Stitch pattern and size.
- Utilized stitching material.
Your oral surgeon could sometimes employ stitches that don’t naturally dissolve. If so, they will inform you of the best time to come back to have the stitches taken out.
After surgery, removable stitches are typically removed 7 to 10 days later.
Also Read: Osseous Surgery: What You Need to Know
What’s the best way to care for wisdom teeth stitches?
Your dental surgeon will provide aftercare recommendations after removing your wisdom teeth. You may follow the directions to care for your stitches and any blood clots that develop over the extraction holes.
These blood clots are advantageous because they prevent dry sockets, a possible postoperative problem.
It’s crucial to carefully follow your doctor’s directions since every circumstance is unique.
Common aftercare guidelines
After 24 hours:
- Give your skin a gentle saltwater rinse.
- Spit or swish not.
- Let the water naturally exit your mouth.
Your dentist or oral surgeon can give you a prescription for chlorhexidine solution. To lessen the chance of illness, use this antibacterial rinse. As directed, use chlorhexidine.
Your dentist or oral surgeon may sometimes recommend antibiotics. Make sure to complete the prescription in its entirety if they do.
For three to seven days, or as long as your dentist or oral surgeon advises, refrain from using floss or a toothbrush on the extraction site.
Foods to avoid following wisdom teeth extraction
Avoid certain foods after having wisdom teeth extracted.
During the first few days, it’s best to steer clear of foods that can damage or interfere with the stitches. Opt for soft foods and beverages like smoothies, yogurt, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, and soup.
It’s important to avoid foods that are sticky, difficult to chew, or may get stuck in the stitch area. These include fruits with small seeds such as strawberries and raspberries, nuts or crunchy nut butter, crunchy foods like popcorn and raw carrots, corn on the cob, chewy meats like steak, and chewing gum.
Other things to avoid following wisdom teeth extraction
To prevent the stitches from becoming loose and avoid disturbing the blood clot forming in the wisdom tooth extraction area, avoid anything that creates suction in your mouth.
Some things to avoid include using a straw for drinking, spitting, smoking, consuming hot beverages, engaging in strenuous physical activity, and drinking alcohol. Consult with your oral surgeon to determine when it is safe to resume these activities.
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What to do if you notice a stitch poking out
Sometimes you might observe a stitch loosely hanging out or falling out altogether. However, this situation is not alarming except in certain cases, such as when you notice signs of infection, the wound has opened, or bleeding. In case a loose stitch is causing discomfort to your gums or cheek, it’s important to inform your oral surgeon. Remember not to try to cut, pull, or remove the stitch without the approval of your oral surgeon. Remember that the stitch is still dissolving from the inside and will soon fall out or dissolve.
Sometimes, you may come across a stitch that appears loose or has fallen out completely. However, you need not worry about it unless you observe signs of infection, the wound has opened, or there is bleeding. Inform your oral surgeon if a loose stitch irritates your gums or cheek. Do not try to cut, pull, or remove the stitch on your own without the approval of your oral surgeon. Remember that the stitch is still dissolving from the inside and will eventually fall out or dissolve on its own.
How can you tell if your wisdom teeth stitches have an infection?
The possibility of infection is always there after tooth extraction, but you can prevent it by keeping the stitches clean and free of food particles. Signs of infection include pain, swelling, pus or another fluid oozing, pus or blood in nasal discharge, redness, a new sensation like scratching in the extraction hole, a bad taste in the mouth that can’t be removed by brushing or rinsing, and fever.
Contact your dentist or oral surgeon right away if you think you could have an infection. Most likely, they will advise you to take oral antibiotics. If they happen, complete the full prescription even after you start feeling better.
If you have any symptoms, contact your dentist or oral surgeon immediately since mouth infections may rapidly become severe.
How long does it typically take for wisdom teeth to heal fully?
You may continue eating normally after your stitches have fallen out. If using an electric toothbrush is a part of your oral hygiene regimen, you may also do that.
But it takes time to recover from a wisdom tooth removal procedure completely.
After surgery, the empty wisdom tooth hole (socket) takes three to four months to heal fully. Keep the space spotless and clear of food debris throughout this period.
The removal of wisdom teeth is a frequent procedure in oral surgery. The wisdom teeth extraction hole is often stitched up using dissolvable materials. Usually, it takes 7 to 10 days for these stitches to dissolve. It can take longer in certain cases.
If your oral surgeon hasn’t given you the all-clear, don’t try to remove the stitches yourself.
Dial your dentist or oral surgeon right away if you see any infection-related symptoms.