- Stitches after wisdom tooth extraction stop bleeding, promote healing, and hold tissues together.
- Aftercare instructions include proper oral hygiene and dietary modifications.
- Abstaining from smoking and alcohol, and avoiding excessive exercise are also important.
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Have you got stitches after your wisdom tooth extraction? Here's everything you need to know.
Why do you need stitches after wisdom tooth extraction?
Sutures have several important functions after wisdom tooth removal. They minimize bleeding and support the formation of a blood clot by holding the tissue together. Formation of a blood clot protects the surgical area from bacteria and promotes healing.
Sutures are not necessary for all patients after wisdom tooth removal. Your doctor will determine if you need stitches.
What do wisdom teeth stitches look like?
Depending on the type of sutures utilized by your dentist after wisdom teeth removal, the texture, material and color varies.
Nonabsorbable wisdom teeth stitches
Nonabsorbable wisdom teeth stitches or traditional sutures are permanent sutures that require the dentist to remove them. They are often made of nylon, polypropylene or silk.
The specialist will remove the stitches in 7-15 days after the extraction. The removal requires a simple cut and is generally painless.
Nonabsorbable wisdom stitches are very helpful for complex extractions. Dentists may place non-dissolvable sutures in a patient with a history of poor wound healing.
Absorbable wisdom teeth extraction stitches
Absorbable wisdom teeth stitches dissolve and do not require assistance for removal because enzymes naturally present in the body break down the stitches
Absorbable sutures are often made of polyglycolic acid, polyglactin and poliglecaprone. These sutures are usually made of well-tolerated, non-allergic materials.
While the absorbable sutures break down, you may experience mild discomfort or itching. Also, small parts of the sutures may detach from the surgical site.
How to take care after wisdom teeth stitches for faster healing?
There are several recommendations for aftercare. They will help you recover faster and avoid complications.
Maintain proper oral hygiene
Brushing or flossing near the surgical area is essential for your health. If you do not maintain proper oral hygiene, your wound may become infected.
Please note, do not rinse your mouth during the first 48 hours after the extraction. This helps to avoid dislodging the newly formed blood clot.
Change your diet
Switch to soft or liquid foods and avoid hard, crunchy and spicy foods to prevent irritation of the surgical area. Also, avoid hot foods and drinks that can dissolve the blood clot.Lastly, do not drink through a straw, as this creates suction that can dislodge the blood clot.
Avoid smoking and alcohol
Alcohol can dissolve the sutures and blood clot. Smoking creates suction that can dislodge both the stitches and the blood clots.
Please note that the mouthwash you use does not contain alcohol either.
Refrain from excessive physical activity
Excessive physical activity such as heavy lifting creates pressure in the body that can damage stitches or dislodge the blood clot.
Avoid touching the surgical area
Do not touch the surgical area or your sutures. You may see that the sutures are dissolving and parts are detached but avoid touching the extraction site until the area is fully healed.
Visit your doctor to remove non-dissolvable stitches
If your stitches need to be removed, please see a doctor to safely remove the stitches and do not attempt this on your own.
How long do wisdom teeth stitches take to dissolve?
Usually, sutures completely dissolve 3-15 days after placement. The duration depends on the type of sutures you receive.
If you follow the instructions above, you can avoid the stitches from dissolving too soon to avoid the wound reopening or developing a dry socket
Wisdom teeth stitches complications
Poor oral hygiene or individual intolerance can lead to the following complications.
Some people may have an allergic reaction to the materials used in the sutures. The reaction may vary from person to person.
Food debris deposited on the sutures and surrounding teeth may cause infection. Infections can be dangerous because bacteria can enter the body and bloodstream through the extraction site.
Stitches came out
If you do not follow the aftercare instructions, you risk losing the stitches prematurely which may lead to further complications not limited to infection and dry socket.
Why didn't I get stitches after wisdom teeth removal?
At the discretion of your dentist, simple wisdom teeth extractions do not require sutures.
How do you know when your wisdom teeth extraction sites are fully healed?
You will notice when you feel the new smooth tissue over the surgical area. This will happen in about 7-10 days after wisdom teeth removal if there are no complications.
Can my wisdom teeth sockets reopen after stitches removal?
This is unlikely but can happen. It is more likely to occur in patients who have had complicated cases such as impacted wisdom teeth removal.
- Renton T (June 2013). "Update on coronectomy. A safer way to remove high risk mandibular third molars". Dental Update. 40 (5): 362–368.
- Atchison KA, Black EE, Leathers R, Belin TR, Abrego M, Gironda MW, et al. (April 2005). "A qualitative report of patient problems and postoperative instructions". Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. 63 (4): 449–456.