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How To Know If Wisdom Teeth Stitches Came Out

Updated: Feb 1

There are many ways to tell if your wisdom teeth stitches came out because when they do, they leave behind signs of it happening. We will go over what these five signs of the third molar sutures coming out are.


stitches over extraction socket
stitches over extraction socket

Table of contents:


Signs & Symptoms

You'd be hard pressed to not know that your stitches placed after wisdom teeth removal came out. The reason is because they leave behind multiple signs to let you know that they are no longer working hard at holding the gums together over the tooth socket.


Signs that wisdom teeth stitches came out:

  • You don't see them anymore when you look in the mirror.

  • You don't feel them with your tongue anymore.

  • You notice pieces of stitches coming out.

  • The stitches look shorter than the first day you had them.

  • Stitches feel loose.


The above five signs are how you can tell if the third molar stitches have indeed come out.


Don't see it

The most obvious sign of wisdom teeth stitches that have come out is if you no longer see them in your mouth.


no stitches over wisdom tooth socket
no stitches over wisdom tooth socket

It's not as if they are invisible or that they blend in with the surrounding structures of your mouth. Most of the sutures often come in very vibrant colors whether they are dissolvable or non-dissolvable. The coloring of the threads make them stick out visually like a sore thumb.


Did you use to see them but no longer do? That could very well be a sign.


Can't feel it

The next most obvious sign of wisdom teeth sutures that may have come out is if you no longer feel them in your mouth.


no more stitches over wisdom tooth hole
no more stitches over wisdom tooth hole

You were numb when the wisdom teeth were removed but once the numbness wears off, one of the first things that you feel are the stitches. The ends of the sutures often stick out and your tongue and cheek can't help but feel them.


very long stitches
very long stitches

Sometimes their length can be long enough to even irritate and bother you. Some patients can't stand them poking their tongue or cheek so they return to their dentist sooner than expected and have them trimmed shorter.


Pieces falling out

A tell-tale sign of third molar stitches that have come out is if you find small pieces of it in your mouth such as while you're eating.


Small pieces of various colored stitches
Small pieces of various colored stitches

What it looks like:

  • Very small pieces of a thread like material.

  • Pieces may be in various colors but the color should match the ones that you have in your wisdom tooth hole.

  • May feel hard or stringy depending on the material that it is made of.


Stitches look shorter

Another way to tell if your third molar sutures have come out is if they look shorter than they use to.


Initial length of stitches
Initial length of stitches

On the day that they were put in after your extraction, they may have been very long. However, after a week or two you've begun to notice them starting to bother you less. It's almost as if they were getting shorter so they weren't poking your cheeks anymore.


Stitches that got shorter
Stitches that got shorter

Loose sutures

The fifth and last sign of the stitches having come out or about to come out would be loose stitches.


secure dissolvable stitch
secure dissolvable stitch

Initially when they were put in, the suture knot was probably very tight and secure feeling. However, after some time you've noticed that the knot seems like it is loosening up. That is a tell-tale sign that these sutures are about to come out!


Loose dissolvable stitch
Loose dissolvable stitch

 

What to do

You may or may not need to do anything for the fallen off wisdom teeth stitches. It all comes down to a combination of two factors.

  • Can they dissolve?

  • How long have they been in the mouth?


What to do for wisdom teeth stitches that came out
Decision Tree

Dissolvability

Stitches come in two types, dissolvable ones and non-dissolvable ones.

  • Absorbable stitches. They are meant to dissolve and they will come out on their own.

  • Non-absorbable stitches. They aren't supposed to come out. They're meant to be taken out by your dentist or oral surgeon.


What it means for you:

  • If yours are dissolvable then you don't need to do anything because they're supposed to come out once they've dissolved enough.

  • If they're not dissolvable you should contact your dentist right away because they're not meant to fall out.


We would like to stress that for non-absorbable stitches, dentists use them because they don't want them to come out prematurely. They're meant to stay in for as long as possible but do you know if they've been in the mouth long enough?


Well, that brings us to our next point.


Duration in mouth

The length of time that the wisdom teeth stitches have stayed in the mouth have a huge effect on whether or not it's okay for them to come out.


For dissolvable stitches:

  • These sutures are meant to stay in the mouth for an average of 10-14 days. If they come out during that time, it is considered normal and you don't have to do anything.

  • However, if the stitches come out within the first three days or so it may be too soon for them to come out. You should call your dentist because you may need new ones put in.


For non-dissolvable stitches:

  • These stitches aren't meant to come out at all.

  • However, if they somehow fall out after a month or so it may still be okay. The reason is that they've been in there for a very long time as it is.


An interesting point that we want to bring up is the possibility of suture rejection by your body. Sometimes during the healing process your body may push the stitches out on their own. If this happens, it is okay and you don't need to do anything.


Takeaway

If the stitches for your wisdom teeth have come out you will know because there are many signs which will notify you of it happening. Although what occurs after that is even more important because you may or may not need to do something about it.


If you're nearby in Long Island City, our dentists do provide consultations.

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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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