Dec 3, 2013
After a wisdom tooth extractions, some patients believe that the surgeon sewed their cheek to the extraction site. Some surgeons claim that it's just a perceptual illusion due to all the swelling squishing everything together. Others claim that sewing the cheek to the gum sometimes happens by accident. Still others say it's an accepted procedure, motivated by a lack of attached gingiva around the wisdom teeth.

The idea that the tongue and brain could be fooled so thoroughly by some swelling is very interesting to me. I wonder how often it happens. I'd like to hear from some people who've had some experience with it (either in their clinical studies or from having their own wisdom teeth removed).

Does a patient sometimes *mistakenly* perceive their cheek sewn to their gums following a wisdom tooth extraction? Do dentists or oral surgeons sometimes *accidentally* sew a patient's cheek to their gums? Do they sometimes sew it *on purpose*? What do you think the relative prevalence is for each?


5+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2012
I work for an oral surgeon and have never seen sewing of the cheeks. Oral surgeons do not cut into the cheek, but the nerve in the bottom jaw is very delicate and surgeons do not want to hit the nerve. That being said, when making an incision on the mandible wisdom tooth the surgeon points towards the cheek in a diagonal fashion to avoid severing the nerve. Maybe the patient feels it's their cheek since the incision is very close to the check but not exactly the cheek, it is literally super close to the cheek. Also, if that nerve is touched lose of sensation happens. I have asked why he cuts towards the cheek before and he told me that and I have seen that procedure many many times!
Feb 3, 2014
Maryville, Tennessee
I was just Googling "how dental surgeons sew wisdom tooth surgery" because I had my wisdom teeth removed the 27th of Jan 2014, last week, and my swelling has gone down but I still feel like there are "knots" in my both sides of my jaw and also have noticed the way my extraction areas feel in my mouth.
  • I wondered if my cheeks were sewn to my incision spots because I can't open my mouth as wide as I normally would before without tension on my cheek/jaw muscles, like for example, when I take a large bite of food from a burrito. It was difficult.
  • Also using my tongue to just feel around, I notice the fold from the cheek to the gums, wondering if it will stay like this forever.
  • And also sometimes food is getting stuck in the folds ABOVE the absent wisdom tooth location...
My stitches have fallen out just the other day, but I do not like the way this feels: it's like I have extra buildup at the edges of my jaw with a "muscle" feeling.. Like I thought my surgeon could have sewn too far downward into my cheek, caught some extra "stuff" and then back up into my gum. Not sure what procedure calls for, haven't began studying dental yet... The mobility of my mouth's jaw is not normal for me and I fear atrophy in the future if nothing is done about it in the next few days at my follow up appointment.

Just wondering about that and these "knots"! Any info would be great. Thanks! Hope I could provide some feedback.


Extremely Full of It
7+ Year Member
Aug 2, 2010
Buccal fat pad.
Loss of vestibule.
Feb 18, 2014
I found these posts and thought maybe someone could help me! as it all sounds so similar....

Post-implant my dentist found a hole in my gum. After 6 surgeries (skin grafts/tissue grafts, etc.) my periodontist was not able to fix it. It didn't heal thoroughly the way it was supposed to. The last surgery (before the implant finally lost integration with the bone), my periodontist opened a flap in my gum (last upper molar on left) and something emerged from the gum that he never seen before. He thought at first it was a saliva gland or another type of glandular tissue so he didn't want to disturb it. He consulted his oral surgeon with a picture and according to the oral surgeon it was a 'buccal fat pad' that reared its ugly head. My periodontist proceeded to push the fat pad underneath the gum (took him an hour) and then resuture. I had a lot of problems after this surgery with swelling, pain, and what I felt was like a bump in my cheek that was very uncomfortable. A week later, the implant failed and had to be removed. It was removed successfully and is now healing, however, I still have all this tissue in my cheek that is very tender and feels much larger than it is. I can't get used to it.

My periodontist suspects it's scar tissue as a result from all the trauma the area received over the last year. I, myself, keep on wondering what happened to the buccal fat pad. Where did it go? Anyway, the point is that I find the sensation to be intolerable and just like some of the above posts as is my cheek was attached to my upper gum in some way. Whatever it is, I'd like to get rid of it. My periodontist was going to try and do this, but he got paranoid about the buccal fat pad showing up again so he told me he would send me to his oral surgeon OR to try and get used to it. It's often tender and I have a burning sensation occasionally as well. It feels abnormal and I'm having a hard time with it. It wasn't there prior to all the surgeries to fix the implant. How can I get my cheek to feel 'normal' again????

Thank you.

Here is a pic of my buccal fat pad that showed up underneath the gum.BuccalFatPad.jpg
Mar 13, 2016
I got my wisdom tooth extracted yesterday and after the bleeding wore off, I got curious about the hole and sent my tongue to check it first I thought my cheek was just too swollen, but it didn't take long for me to figure out that the inside of my cheek was flapped over the hole and sewn to my gums! Man is it irritating, I was thinking maybe it was an accident but I can just feel how it's carefully stitched together, and after looking on google a few people had this problem but noone had answers. These are the dissolvable stitches, so I've been told it's going to be less than a week before I feel free again. Soon as he was done stitching me up, he said it was "gonna be tight" I just said okay not sure what he meant until I discovered this damn irritating pinching feeling to my inside cheek. If it wasn't for the vicidon I would be very annoyed, but I just want to know exactly why this happened, because noone I've talked to got stitched up like that.

Is it because my gum was retracted to remove an infected tooth and they use the side of my mouth as a protective layer flap so it heals? That's the only explanation that I came up with, I just wanted to see if there's anyone out there to confirm it? It would definitely help me settle. See more at this link.
Jun 4, 2012
Dental Student
arent you guys dental students?
when you remove a mandible 3rd molar most of the time you have to come up with a flap design which goes disto-buccal
and you remove the buccinator insertion

at the end when you suture it kinda looks like the cheek is sutured to the gums
I had mine removed 2 years ago and I felt like my cheek was sutured to my gums
its because of the buccal incision

google: 3rd molar flap design
and you will see plenty of pictures with the flaps, now think about how you would suture, voila!
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