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Black Stuff Coming Out of My Wisdom Tooth Hole

The black stuff coming out of your wisdom tooth hole is most likely dried blood but it could also be black colored food that was stuck.


black substance inside extraction socket
black substance inside extraction socket

If it is the former, you don't need to do anything about it but if it is the latter, you may want to review how to prevent food from getting stuck in the wisdom tooth socket. We will explain everything that you need to know about what to do with all this black stuff.


Table of contents:


What the black stuff can be

The most likely thing for the black stuff coming out of the wisdom tooth hole to be would be dried blood. However, if you've been eating black colored foods, that could also be a possibility as well.


Dried blood

Immediately after your wisdom tooth extraction, you were bleeding and the color of the blood was fire truck red. However, after the blood clots and it has had time to dry out, the color of the blood will change from bright red to a dark burgundy red.


The darker shade of red coupled with the location of the wisdom tooth hole will make the dried blood look black.

  • Darker shade of red. Oxygenated fresh blood will have a vibrant red color but deoxygenated blood which has dried out will turn into a dark red color. You may notice this phenomena while donating blood and observing the color coming out!

  • Location affecting appearance. The third molar sockets are located at the farthest depth in your mouth. Light barely reaches into the socket so all colored objects will look more "black" in color. The dried blood is no exception to the rule. All of this has to do with light optics where the absence of light is black.


Black colored foods

Alternatively, the black stuff that is coming out of the wisdom tooth socket could also be black colored food.


Black colored food:

  • Squid ink pasta or rice

  • Blackberries

  • Black sesame

  • Black grapes

  • Olives that are black


Squid ink paella
Squid ink paella

Were you eating some type of black colored food? If you were, it could very well have been lodged inside of the socket but it has now come loose and is coming out.


 

What the black stuff is not

You may be relieved to hear that black stuff inside of the wisdom tooth hole is NOT the dreaded dry socket nor is it a cavity.


Two most prominent signs of a dry socket:

  • Excruciating pain. If you have a dry socket, you will know because the condition is so unbearably painful that you were probably in less pain before you had your wisdom tooth removed.

  • Exposed bone. A tell-tale sign is if you see a yellowish color inside of the socket because that is the color of bone. As the name implies, a dry socket does not have a blood clot so all that is left is exposed bone. What is the color of bone? Yellow. The color black is not an indication of this painful dental condition.


Black stuff isn't tooth decay:

  • It is impossible for the black stuff coming out of your wisdom tooth hole to be a cavity because decay requires a tooth to be present.

  • After the extraction there is no longer a tooth there, therefore it can't be tooth decay.


In summary, if the stuff that you're seeing inside of your socket is black you can at least rest assured that it's not a dry socket and it is also not a cavity.


What if it's just a black hole?

If there is nothing inside of the socket and it's just a black hole after wisdom tooth extraction, that's actually a normal part of the healing process. The socket for the third molar post-surgical extraction will go through different changes in appearance as it heals.


Normal progression of a healing tooth socket

Stages of a healing extraction socket:

  1. Blood clot

  2. Granulation tissue

  3. Black hole


wisdom tooth hole with blood clot
wisdom tooth hole with blood clot

Essentially it starts off as a red color and then morphs into a white color.


wisdom tooth socket turning white in color
wisdom tooth socket turning white in color

After that it finalizes as a black colored hole until the gums completely close over.


wisdom tooth black hole
wisdom tooth black hole

What we're trying to say is that this is a normal part of the healing process and you have nothing to worry about.


 

What do I need to do about it?

If the black stuff coming out of the third molar socket is dried blood, you don't need to do a single thing. Although if it was stuck food, we recommend utilizing our tips on how to prevent food from getting lodged into the socket after third molar removal.


No action required for dried blood:

  • The dried blood isn't supposed to remain inside of the socket.

  • Socket will eventually fill in with bone and gums.


How to prevent food from getting stuck:

  • Salt water rinse. Rinse very vigorously with salt water after each meal. The more frequently you do it the better!

  • Plastic syringe. If you received a wisdom tooth syringe from your dentist, you can use it to irrigate and flush out the socket.

  • Water flosser. A pressurized water flosser can remove all stuck food easily.

  • Cotton tip. Gently wipe away food or excess with this.

  • Brushing gently. If the food is near the surface of the socket opening, you may be able to brush it out.

  • Avoid small hard foods. These types of food are the most prone to getting stuck. Examples would be seeds, popcorn, and nuts.


Do I have to clean the wisdom tooth hole?

Yes, we recommend keeping the extraction socket as clean as possible. Leaving food in there will have adverse consequences such as delayed healing and malodor. That malodor can come in the form of bad breath or bad taste, both of which aren't the best for your oral hygiene.


Despite what we've just said, the socket will still close even if you leave food in there but you could be healing a lot quicker if you didn't have it. For most people, they can stop worrying about food getting lodged in the hole after about 1-2 weeks.


Takeaway

Dried blood and stuck black food are the two most common culprits for what the black stuff that is coming out of your wisdom tooth hole could be. None of which are even considered post-surgical complications so you can stop worrying now.


Although you should think about keeping that socket cleaner if you're getting food stuck inside of it. That can speed up your healing and you can return back to your normal activities even faster.

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About the author: Dr David Chen, DDS

Hello, I'm Dr Chen and I'm an actively practicing dentist in Long Island City, NY. I graduated from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine in 2016 but prior to going to dental school I was already working in the dental field. It's been more than a decade since I first got to know dentistry and let me tell you, time flies by quickly. Since then I've developed a fondness for writing, which is how this all got started!

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Medical Disclaimer:

This blog is purely meant for information purposes and should not be used as medical advice. Each situation in your mouth is unique and complex. It is not possible to give advice nor diagnose any oral conditions based on text nor virtual consultations. The best thing to do is to go in person to see your dentist for an examination and consultation so that you can receive the best care possible.

The purpose of all of this oral health information is to encourage you to see your dentist and to inform you of what you may expect during your visit. Due to the unfortunate nature of dentistry, there isn't really any true home remedies that will get rid of dental problems. Roughly 99.99% of them require in-person intervention by a healthcare professional.

Hint: That is the reason why you can't eliminate seeing dentists in your life!

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