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So You Can Feel The Stitches From Your Wisdom Teeth

Updated: Feb 1

If you can feel the stitches from your wisdom teeth, they may be too long but it also means that you did not sustain any nerve injuries during the extraction.


dissolvable chromic gut stitches over extraction socket
dissolvable chromic gut stitches over extraction socket

Being able to feel the sutures is normal and is an indication that you're on the road to recovery. As long as they're not bothering you, you can simply let them dissolve on their own if they're absorbable. If they're non-absorbable, you will need to return to your dentist to have them removed.


Table of Contents:


Feeling stitches is normal

It is perfectly normal to feel the stitches from your wisdom teeth because it is an indication that your nerves are working properly. It's also impossible for you to NOT feel them because they are a foreign body and your tongue will get curious.


Undamaged nerves

Being able to feel the sutures in the wisdom tooth hole is great news because it means your surgery went without a hitch. One of the complications for taking out these teeth is potential nerve damage.


distribution schemes of the trigeminal nerve
Credit: Credit: Grant, John Charles Boileu

If your nerve gets injured during the extraction, you will lose all sensation on that side of your face. In other words, you wouldn't be able to feel the stitches at all. The fact that you can feel them means that your nerves were undamaged and fully intact.


Impossible to not feel them

Stitches will be stitches and it is impossible not to feel them if you have them in your mouth. As a matter of fact, you'll feel them if you had them anywhere else on your body too!


silk stitches over extraction site
silk stitches over extraction site

The image above shows a typical suture knot. It literally looks like sewing knot with threads sticking out. We would be amazed if you weren't aware of these threads in your mouth.


 

Leave them alone to maximize healing

The purpose of the sutures is to assist with the socket closure and reduce secondary intention healing. In other words, leaving them in place will maximize your healing.

  • Assist with socket closure. The stitches approximates the wound so the body doesn't have to work as hard to close up the hole. Therefore, having stitches can reduce healing time while not having them would increase healing time.

  • Reduce secondary intention healing. Having the wound edges closely approximated will encourage primary intention healing rather than secondary. In layman's terms, there will be less scar tissue formation.


Primary Vs Secondary intention healing
Credit: teachmesurgery

When do they come out?

Regardless of whether your wisdom teeth stitches are dissolvable or non-dissolvable, they should come out after 14 days.

  • Non-absorbable sutures should be removed after 14 days.

  • Absorbable sutures should fall out within 10-14 days on average.


Therefore, you should expect them to stay in your mouth for about 2 weeks on average. Although if they come out earlier than that, you may have a complication.


What to do if they're bothering you

The most common reason for the stitches to be bothering you is if they're too long. If they're excessively long, they can irritate your cheeks by poking into them or even poking into your tongue. While it may not be painful, it can drive you nuts.


Excessively long stitches
Excessively long stitches

How to fix irritating stitches

  • Cut them shorter. Not you but you can return to your dentist and have them cut the sutures shorter. It's a quick procedure that takes less than 5 minutes.

  • Redo the stitches. If the sutures can't be trimmed shorter, your dentist can try removing it and placing a new one in a different spot. That may help reduce the irritation.

  • Wait for them to dissolve. Most of the time, the wisdom teeth sutures are dissolvable, which means that they will resorb on their own. If you have the self-dissolving ones you could just wait and let them disappear all on their own after 10-14 days.



Takeaway

Overall, it isn't a problem for you to feel the stitches in your wisdom tooth socket because it means that your nerves were undamaged from the extraction. As long as it's not bothering you and driving you insane from poking your cheeks, you can leave them alone.


As per our dentists in Long island city, leaving them in place will allow your body to maximize the healing. Typically the sutures can be removed or fall out in about 2 weeks.

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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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