When you get your wisdom teeth removed, it doesn’t have to be an overly stressful experience – even though it’s painful. But it really does help to know what to expect when it comes to certain things. Wisdom teeth stitches and gauze are just one of those things.
Keep reading – we’ll go over what to expect with your stitches and gauze. What post-operative care is important to keep you from infection? Here’s how to avoid extra trips back to the doctor.
Wisdom Teeth Stitches and Gauze Procedure
Following oral surgery, you need to change your gauze every 30-60 minutes for the first couple of hours after surgery. After that point:
- Keep steady pressure on the gauze
- Keep your head elevated
- Do not sleep with gauze in your mouth
You only need gauze if the site is bleeding or oozing, and it can take up to eight hours for the blood to clot.
If bleeding continues, bite gently on a moistened tea bag for thirty minutes. The tannic acid from the tea leaves helps form a clot by contracting bleeding vessels
When it comes to stitches, most doctors will use more than are needed as a precaution. Stitches can loosen due to eating, talking, etc. There is no reason to worry if they fall out – so long as there isn’t increased bleeding. Absorbable stitches, or sutures, as they are called, vary in type. Some can dissolve in 10 days, and others can take up to six months to fully dissolve.
- Don’t pull your stitches out yourself
- Keep your mouth clean and as dry as possible around the incision area
- Don’t eat hard, chewy foods or use straws, etc.
- Be sure to let your surgeon know if you are having problems or concerns
The good thing about absorbable stitches is that they’re usually worry-free. However, it’s good to pay attention regardless. Here are a few signs to watch out for and to let your surgeon know about:
- Pain that won’t subside with painkillers
- A swollen incision area
- Fluid excretion from the incision area
- Irritation around the incision area
These can be signs that your incision is not healing properly and there may be an infection. Don’t wait! Give your surgeon a call right away to get any problems addressed.