After getting your wisdom teeth extracted, there might be numerous questions racing through your mind, making you wonder, “How long does the pain last?”, “When will I be able to eat solid foods again?” or if you had to get stitches, “When will these wisdom teeth stitches dissolve?”
While wisdom teeth removal is a common procedure, it is also extremely uncomfortable to deal with, especially if you have more than one tooth pulled out. Not to mention, given the size of these back molars, dentists often use stitches to keep the empty socket sewn shut. This keeps the extraction site safe and free of bacteria. However, there are quite a few aftercare tips you need to keep in mind if you don’t want to accidentally snag the stitches.
Types of Wisdom Teeth Stitches
Surprisingly, not everyone who undergoes wisdom tooth removal will get stitches. Sometimes the dentist may not deem the extraction site in need of additional sutures. In that case, only a gauze will be applied over the socket to soak up the blood and avoid further contamination.
Typically impacted wisdom teeth require stitches, as removing them can damage and irritate your gums. With simple wisdom teeth eruptions, though, stitches aren’t necessary as the socket heals on its own. Although, if you do get stitches, chances are it’s either of the following two types:
Dissolvable or absorbable stitches are made from special materials that tend to break down in your mouth over time. They do not need to be pulled out by the dentist. Instead, they gradually dissipate in your mouth as the wound slowly heals.
Non-dissolvable stitches are usually created from silk or nylon threads which makes it impossible for your body to absorb. For these stitches, you have to visit the dentist after a certain amount of time to get them manually removed.
When Do Wisdom Teeth Stitches Dissolve?
While most dentists opt for dissolvable stitches to sew together your gum flap after wisdom tooth extraction, sometimes they can also choose non-dissolvable ones. However, for dissolvable stitches, you can expect them to loosen up after around a week of the procedure.
Rather than getting absorbed whole, you will first feel the stitches come apart in your mouth. Then, slowly, the remaining part of the thread will get engulfed by your gums as your body’s enzymes help to break down the stitches entirely.
Tips to Care for Your Wisdom Teeth Stitches
If you’re tired of the post-wisdom tooth extraction pain and want to heal faster, here are some aftercare tips you need to follow:
- Avoid eating anything that can snag on the stitches. Stick to a soft-food diet.
- Do not touch or pull the stitches.
- When brushing your teeth, be extra gentle.
- Swish mouthwash or water very gently.
- Avoid smoking tobacco, vaping, and drinking alcohol.
- Use an ice compress or over-the-counter pain relievers to soothe pain.
- Do not use a toothpick or any sharp appliance in your mouth.
To put it shortly, wisdom teeth stitches dissolve on their own a week after the extraction surgery. However, it mainly depends on whether you got dissolvable stitches or non-dissolvable. Because if your stitches are made out of silk or nylon, you may have to visit the dentist to get the sutures manually removed.