Stitches In My Mouth Are Bothering Me - Dos & Don'ts Of Recovering From Oral Surgery - The Heart And Brain (2023)

While most stitches last up to 7 days, the specific duration might depend on factors like the type and the number of stitches you’ve got. It would be best if you took extra precautions post-surgery, as even the most insignificant things could trigger complications. Be mindful about resting and eating soft foods while strictly avoiding strenuous exercise and crunchy foods. If you risk infection, you might experience symptoms of fever, pain, and discharge of pus. Infections would need immediate administering of antibiotics, or you can resort to home remedies like flushing out your teeth for dry socket complications.

Stitches are often administered after oral procedures, such as wisdom tooth removal and extractions.

The mere positioning of your stitches bothering you is now less likely, thanks to technological advances and the use of self-dissolving sutures.

This doesn’t mean that it’s going to be a smooth recovery all the way.

The discomfort you’re feeling could be associated with various reasons, such as not maintaining oral hygiene, oral infections, and what’s known as dry socket complications.

How long do stitches last after oral surgery? What are the dos and don’ts of recovering from oral surgery? How can you know if your stitches are infected?

What are the signs that your mouth is healing after tooth extraction stitches? How can you treat dry socket complications?

Let’s find answers to all these questions!

How long do stitches last after oral surgery?

Stitches In My Mouth Are Bothering Me - Dos & Don'ts Of Recovering From Oral Surgery - The Heart And Brain (1)

Stitches can be a massive concern for us, especially when they’re in a place of inconvenience like our mouth.

We might find the stitches annoying because they irritate our gums and other areas of our mouth, and we might try to cut or remove them on our own.

However, doing so could lead to complexities in the future.

In today’s world, most stitches are usually dissolvable and often disappear or fall out by themselves within 2 to 7 days.

The exact period it takes might depend on your specific procedure and the number of stitches in your mouth.

Different types of sutures might also have different lifespans, and this is an aspect that you can clarify by asking your doctor.

If you feel like your dissolving stitches don’t seem to be dissolving on their own, you can rinse your mouth in warm salt water to help speed up the process.

Sometimes, your surgeon might not use dissolving stitches, and in that case, he’d let you know of a return date to come and get them removed.

What are the dos and don’ts of recovering from oral surgery?

Stitches in your mouth may bother you if you’re not abiding by the basic rules of recovering from oral surgery.

The things you need to watch out for are listed in the table below:

Five dos of recovering from oral surgery

Stitches In My Mouth Are Bothering Me - Dos & Don'ts Of Recovering From Oral Surgery - The Heart And Brain (2)

1. Rest up

Like any other surgery done on your body, you will need a recovery period to rest and take it easy.

It’s best to keep your head at a higher level on a stack of pillows to ease the blood flow to your head. This will minimize swelling in your mouth and face.

2. Eat soft foods

Once your mouth stops bleeding after your surgery, it’s safe and easier to eat soft foods, mostly in liquid form.

You’ll find it comforting to eat foods like yogurts, mashed potatoes, and soups during this time.

3. Cold compress

You can reduce your swelling by icing your face for about 15 minutes at a time.

4. Get your vitamin intake

Since you must resort to soft food, you must ensure you don’t cheat on your vitamin intake. You can eat healthy foods like steamed and soft-cooked vegetables or take vitamin supplements.

5. Oral hygiene

Oral hygiene is a must, especially since your mouth is vulnerable post-surgery. Your surgeon will likely ask you not to rinse your mouth for one day after surgery.

So, from day two onwards, you can rinse your mouth a few times a day with warm salt water to clean out any food debris trapped in your mouth.

Five don’ts of recovering from oral surgery

1. Don’t push yourself

Rest is a crucial step to recovery. So, now’s not the right time to use up all your energy.

Don’t engage in strenuous activities, especially until a few days pass after your surgery.

2. Dietary restrictions

There’s a big chance that your mouth might still be numb from the surgery. Make sure you don’t eat and drink hot foods.

You’ll also need to avoid crunchy, hard food that requires much chewing for a few weeks.

3. Don’t brush

It would be best if you didn’t brush or floss around your surgical area without the advice of your dentist.

Even when you do, make sure you’re gentle.

4. Don’t smoke

It’s crucial that you avoid smoking, especially within 24 hours of doing oral surgery.

A 2020 study revealed that smoking post-oral surgery could lead to a painful condition known as a dry socket.

5. Don’t drink alcohol

Staying away from alcohol for 24 hours post-surgery is essential for two reasons.

Firstly, it can interfere with your healing process; secondly, if you’re on any pain medication after surgery, alcohol may react with it and cause disastrous results.

How can you know if your stitches are infected?

Your stitches, while most of the time harmless, can still pose a risk of infection.

Infections can occur after tooth extraction surgery, and the only way to stay safe from them is by ensuring your stitches are clean and free from food particles.

If you feel like your stitches might be infected, the following are the warning signs:

  • Pain – A throbbing pain that doesn’t go away after painkillers.
  • Swelling – While slight swelling is normal after oral surgery, increased swelling can occur in different areas of your mouth, like your gums, jaw, or even the sides of your face.
  • Discharge – The oozing of pus, nasal discharge, or blood can be a warning sign of infection.
  • Itchy feeling – An uncomfortable constant itchy sensation in the extraction hole where your tooth used to be might also indicate an infection.
  • Redness – Redness in your face that gradually increases along with swelling is also a warning sign.
  • Fever – Usually, developing a fever soon after surgery is quite normal. But if the fever doesn’t go down the next day, you might need to consult your dentist.
  • Odd taste – A bad taste in your mouth that doesn’t go away after rinsing or brushing might also be a sign of infection, as per a 2017 study conducted by the US National Library of Medicine.

Signs that your mouth is healing after tooth extraction stitches

There are several stages to the healing process of the stitches in your mouth.

If the stitches seem to be bothering you within the first 24 hours, this is nothing to be worried about.

Discomfort is expected as the natural blood clotting would happen where your tooth was extracted. Minor bleeding and slight swelling can also be natural at this stage.

After this blood clot forms, it’s essential to ensure it remains attached to the extraction hole. If it dislodges, you might face a painful condition known as a dry socket.

If you’re feeling serious discomfort at this point, you face this complication. While dry socket does heal on their own gradually, if the discomfort is unbearable, you can get a prescription from your dentist to ease the pain.

Usually, after around three days post-surgery, your gums would start healing.

After roughly a week, the opening of your extracted tooth hole would also close up, and any swelling that occurred during the process would go down too.

How to treat dry socket complications?

Stitches In My Mouth Are Bothering Me - Dos & Don'ts Of Recovering From Oral Surgery - The Heart And Brain (3)

In case your discomfort arises from a dry socket complication, it’s always safer to know your options, ranging from medical treatment to home remedies.

Flushing out

By flushing out the socket with warm water, you can easily flush out any debris and food particles contributing to the pain.

A 2017 study by the US National Library of Medicine also revealed that drinking and flushing out your mouth with tap water reduces the risk of an inflammatory complication.


Your dentist might prescribe pain medication if you’re experiencing severe pain because of your dry socket.

Medicated dressings

When you need quick pain relief, your dentist might pack your empty socket with some medicated gel and dressing to minimize your pain.


Once the medicated dressing that your dentist set is removed, they might provide you with a plastic syringe with a curved tip to help you rinse the socket at home. You can rinse your mouth with salt water by using this syringe.


To avoid all possible discomfort, this step is essential as some pain medications often come with the side effect of triggering nausea.

By drinking a lot of clear liquids, you can avoid this situation.


The best thing to do if you feel like your stitches are bothering you is to consult your dentist so that he can confirm whether it’s your stitches or other complications that are causing the discomfort.

You needn’t worry too much about infection, as post-oral surgery infection is rare.

However, when your body’s immune system is generally compromised due to a chronic illness like diabetes, the potential for infection might increase.

As the risk factors may vary from person to person, the most accurate way to figure out what exactly is bothering you is by consulting your dentist or surgeon.

It’s always best to leave it to the professionals.


What to avoid with stitches in mouth? ›

Here are a few of the many foods you'd be wise to avoid:
  • Pizza, bagels or chewy bread.
  • Chips and crackers.
  • Popcorn and pretzels.
  • Crunchy fruits and vegetables.
  • Dried fruit or fruit roll-ups.
  • Citrus fruits and juices.
  • Beef jerky, steak or fibrous meats.
  • Salsa, hot sauce, hot peppers and spicy curries.

Can dental stitches cause discomfort? ›

For the first 24-48 hours, you may experience pain due to stitches. However, the pain wouldn't be very different because your mouth will be sore for 7-10 days after the surgery.

When do oral stitches stop hurting? ›

You are likely to experience pain for the first 48 hours, although your mouth may well be sore for up to a week or so after the operation.

What helps with pain from stitches in mouth? ›

If you have pain, take an over-the-counter pain medicine, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxen (Aleve). Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label. It may help to cool the inside of your mouth with a piece of ice or a flavoured ice pop.

What precautions should you take with stitches? ›

Suture care
  • It is important to keep your wound dry, especially for the first 24 hours. ...
  • After the first 24 hours you can wet the wound for a short time, for example in the shower. ...
  • Do not soak the wound or swim until the sutures have been removed.
  • Only use creams or ointments (emollients) recommended by your doctor.

Does salt water help mouth stitches? ›

We recommend a gentle salt water rinse to clean the area that is healing and prevent food from getting caught. The salt water promotes healing and reduces the risk of complications.

How do I know if something is wrong with my stitches? ›

Watch out for any signs of infection near or around the stitches, such as: swelling. increased redness around the wound. pus or bleeding from the wound.

Is it normal for stitches to be uncomfortable? ›

Most women heal quickly and there are lots of things you can do at home to ease the pain and help your recovery. Stitches and grazes can be incredibly uncomfortable and you might be worried about everyday activities like going to the toilet.

What can I eat with stitches in my mouth? ›

For 2 days after surgery, drink liquids and eat soft foods only. Such as milkshakes, eggnog, yo- gurt, cooked cereals, cottage cheese, smooth soups, mashed potatoes, refried beans, ice cream, pudding, fruit smoothies and protein shakes.

Can I eat with stitches in my mouth? ›

For the first few days, avoid eating foods that might tear or disrupt stitches. Soft foods and drinks are best.

Why do my stitches start hurting? ›

If your stitches have become infected, you may notice the following symptoms: redness or swelling around the stitches. fever. an increase in pain or tenderness at the wound.

Is it bad if my stitches hurt? ›

If you've received stitches for a cut but are still experiencing certain symptoms, you will want to contact your doctor. If the skin around your wound is red, swollen, hot, painful, or leaking blood or pus, contact your doctor right away.

What is the best painkiller for stitches pain? ›

After the operation take simple painkillers such as paracetamol, anti-inflammatory painkillers such as ibuprofen. Although these painkillers may not completely treat your pain, if you take them regularly they reduce the amount of other painkillers you might need.

How do you sleep with stitches in your mouth? ›

Following oral surgery, we recommend that you sleep with your head and shoulders propped up above your heart level. Add an extra pillow or two to your bed or to the place where you will be resting. If you have a recliner, this is also an excellent way to keep your head elevated.

How do I know if the stitches in my mouth are infected? ›

Increased swelling to the gums, jaw, or face is often indicative of infection, and it generally gets worse as the infection progresses. Seek prompt medical attention. Any oozing discharge such as pus is always indicative of an infection and requires treatment.

Do stitches hurt when healing? ›

You might feel sharp, shooting pains in your wound area. This may be a sign that you're getting sensations back in your nerves. The feeling should become less intense and happen less often over time, but check with your doctor if you're concerned.

Should you rest after getting stitches? ›

To encourage proper wound healing, patients should avoid unnecessary pressure on the area, as this can cause stitches to separate which could lead to possible infection. Focusing on rest and relaxation is typically recommended after getting stitches.

What does salt do to stitches? ›

Results: The research shows that soaking 7% of table salt concentration can significantly accelerate the wound healing process compared to the control group, with a decrease in wound diameter on the 3rd day and completely heal on the 7th day.

What does warm salt water do after oral surgery? ›

The salt water can inhibit the growth of bacteria that could cause an infection around the extraction site. In addition to that, it can help remove any debris that builds up in the mouth that can cause problems healing from the extraction. The salt also promotes healing too. Using a salt water rinse is easy.

Can you brush mouth stitches? ›

It is good to brush your teeth following surgery.

Just don't brush the surgical sites for the first week. You will use your syringe instead to irrigate the surgical sites to keep that area of the mouth clean.

What do irritated stitches look like? ›

An individual with infected stitches may have: redness or red streaks around the area. tender and swollen lymph nodes closest to the location of the stitches. pain when they touch the stitches or move the injured area.

What can go wrong taking out your own stitches? ›

If you plan to remove your own stitches, you should keep these pointers in mind: Make sure it's time: If you remove your stitches too early, your wound may reopen, you could cause an infection, or you may make scarring worse. Confirm with your doctor how many days you should wait before removing stitches.

Does it hurt when internal stitches dissolve? ›

And not just when they go in, they can hurt for a few days afterward. It's because your immune system uses an inflammatory reaction to get rid of them. Inflammatory reactions cause pain! They also lead to increased scarring.

Why are my stitches irritated? ›

Some of the healing chemicals these cells produce, such as histamine, cause itching." He adds that itchiness may also be due to damaged and irritated nerve endings. It can also be a reaction to either the material of the suture or glue if tissue adhesive was used to close the site.

What does stitching pain feel like? ›

A stitch in medical terms is known as “exercise-related transient abdominal pain”. People often describe it as a sharp or stabbing pain, or sometimes cramping, aching or pulling in the side, just below the ribs.

Why do stitches hurt after a long time? ›

This is because nerves in the area may have been destroyed along with healthy body tissues. But over time, scar tissue may become painful as nerve endings regenerate. Scar tissue can also become painful over the course of an internal disease.

What not to eat to heal stitches faster? ›

Five Food Items to Avoid‍
  • Red meat including pork, lamb, beef, mutton, and veal.
  • Cheese and dairy products.
  • Processed grains.
  • Food high in gluten‍
Jan 12, 2022

What are the best soft foods to eat after oral surgery? ›

Soft Foods for All Seasons
  • Scrambled eggs.
  • Soft-cooked pasta or risotto.
  • Juices (avoid citrus the first week)
  • Bananas.
  • Pudding or mousse.
  • Cottage cheese.
  • Chicken noodle soup.
  • Pancakes.

How long do stitches stay in mouth after oral surgery? ›

When do the stitches come out? Most sutures will dissolve or fall out on their own within 2–7 days following surgery. Some types of sutures may take 2 weeks or more to dissolve. Your surgeon or nurse will tell you which type of suture was used during your particular procedure.

What are the best soft foods? ›

Foods to Eat on the Soft Food Diet
  • Applesauce.
  • Canned fruit.
  • Steamed or soft-cooked vegetables.
  • Soft, skinless fruits, like bananas, stone fruits, and melons.
  • Baked fruits.
  • Salad greens.
Jun 22, 2021

What is the stabbing pain in a healing wound? ›

Nociceptive pain presents as sharp or stabbing in nature. This pain is the response to tissue damage, which alerts the involved nerves to send a message to the brain indicating pain.

Why do my stitches feel like they are pulling? ›

A sutured area of skin may move less easily than the surrounding skin, creating a pulling sensation. A bulging scar called a keloid may form. Keloids occasionally cause itching or discomfort, and they can cause cosmetic concerns. Internal tissues occasionally pull apart without healing well, and this can go unnoticed.

Can stitches cause sharp pain? ›

A side stitch often feels like a cramping sensation but can also present as a dull pain. Some people describe the feeling as a sharp, stabbing pain.

What are the stages of stitches healing? ›

The complicated mechanism of wound healing occurs in four phases: hemostasis, inflammation, proliferation, and remodeling.

What medications should be avoided after surgery? ›

Medications to Avoid Before and After Surgery
  • 4-Way Cold Tabs.
  • 5-Aminosalicylic Acid.
  • Acetylsalicylic Acid.
  • Adprin-B products.
  • Alka-Seltzer products.
  • Amigesic.
  • Anacin products.
  • Anexsia with Codeine.

Is Advil or Tylenol better after stitches? ›

You may have pain or discomfort after your procedure. To help with this, take acetaminophen (Tylenol ) or extra-strength acetaminophen (Extra Strength Tylenol ). Don't take aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil ) or naproxen (Aleve ).

Do they numb you to remove stitches in mouth? ›

The process of removing stitches from your gums is typically quick and relatively painless. Before the stitches are removed, your dentist or surgeon may apply a local anesthetic to numb the area.

Does sleeping help you heal faster after surgery? ›

Following a surgery, illness or other medical event, many doctors prescribe a healthy dose of sleep along with antibiotics, pain medications and therapy. Medical professionals have seen that sleep plays a significant role in helping the body heal itself and return to normal function.

Why am I so tired after oral surgery? ›

Your oral surgeon will use plenty of anesthetic and possibly sedation to keep you as comfortable as possible. These can take some time to wear off in some cases, which can cause you to feel tired for the rest of the day.

Can I get dry socket if I have stitches? ›

Unfortunately dry socket is still possible with stitches. Dry socket can happen when the stitches fall out too early, which means the wound doesn't have time to heal. Most dentists use dissolvable stitches to close the wound after a tooth removal.

Is it OK to eat with stitches in your mouth? ›

For the first few days, avoid eating foods that might tear or disrupt stitches. Soft foods and drinks are best.

Can you brush your teeth with stitches in your mouth? ›

It is good to brush your teeth following surgery.

Just don't brush the surgical sites for the first week. You will use your syringe instead to irrigate the surgical sites to keep that area of the mouth clean.

Can you eat solid food with stitches in your mouth? ›

Normally, you should avoid solid food for just 24 hours after your oral surgery, after which it may be okay to eat it again.

Can I smile with stitches in my mouth? ›

The healing process will take about two weeks, and during that time you should avoid smiling or laughing unnaturally, as this can disturb the stitches and make the healing process take longer.

Can I use a straw with stitches in my mouth? ›

You should take to not drink beverages through a straw for at least 24 hours following an oral surgery. The act of sucking and the force by which the beverage will enter the mouth can cause the clot on the wound to dislodge, which can lead to a dry socket.

How long does it take for internal stitches to heal? ›

It is normal to be able to feel internal sutures. While most dissolvable stitches do absorb within about six months, there is a wide range of normal. For example, yours may be gone quicker, or they may take far longer to dissolve completely. Feeling your stitches is not cause for alarm.

How do you clean your mouth after oral surgery? ›

DO NOT rinse your mouth for the first 24 hours after surgery. After that, rinse gently with the oral rinse, if prescribed by your doctor, or with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon salt dissolved in 8 ounces of warm water) 2-3 times a day for 1 week.

What can you eat after oral surgery with stitches? ›

For 2 days after surgery, drink liquids and eat soft foods only. Such as milkshakes, eggnog, yo- gurt, cooked cereals, cottage cheese, smooth soups, mashed potatoes, refried beans, ice cream, pudding, fruit smoothies and protein shakes.

What is the best mouthwash after oral surgery? ›

Use an antiseptic mouth rinse, like Listerine, (chlorhexidine or Peridex™, if prescribed) beginning the evening of the procedure. This will help with bad taste or odor of your healing mouth. The day after surgery you should rinse with Listerine 5 to 10 times a day especially after eating.

What can I drink with stitches in my mouth? ›

Drink water

Sip on a little more water than your normal daily amount to flush food particles away from the affected area. Drinking fluids following oral surgery will also speed up the healing process and help to prevent conditions like dry socket. However, when drinking liquids, do so by sipping on a cup or bottle.

Can food get stuck in stitches? ›

Sticky Food and Stitches

Regardless of how the stitches are taken out, it is important that they remain in place until the wound has time to start the healing process. If you eat sticky foods while the stitches are in place, the food could very easily get stuck to the stitches.

What soft foods can you eat with stitches? ›

  • Ice Cream.
  • Milkshakes (eat with spoon – do not drink with straw)
  • Pudding.
  • Mushy peas.
  • Beans.
  • Soup soaked bread.
  • Tofu.
  • Cottage cheese.

Can you kiss with stitches in your mouth? ›

For the first 24 hours following surgery avoid spitting, rinsing, kissing, drinking carbonated beverages or sucking/drinking from a straw. Avoid smoking for 72 hours after surgery.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Van Hayes

Last Updated: 10/12/2023

Views: 6222

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (66 voted)

Reviews: 89% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Van Hayes

Birthday: 1994-06-07

Address: 2004 Kling Rapid, New Destiny, MT 64658-2367

Phone: +512425013758

Job: National Farming Director

Hobby: Reading, Polo, Genealogy, amateur radio, Scouting, Stand-up comedy, Cryptography

Introduction: My name is Van Hayes, I am a thankful, friendly, smiling, calm, powerful, fine, enthusiastic person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.