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White material near tooth extraction site - is this plaque?

  • Thread starter TooManyFillings
  • Start date


Apr 15, 2008
I had my lower right rear molar removed 6 days ago. It's healing well and the soreness is abating. I've not closely studied the area for a few days (preferring to leave it well alone) but on looking at it today I see a noticeable amount of white material on the edge of the gum near the cheek side. This extends from the extraction site to untouched gum at the rear of my mouth. It extends back in a rough line for a little under an inch.

Naturally I haven't brushed that area for the past six days.

I just used a clean cotton bud to gently touch the white material towards the rear (therefore behind where the tooth was and not touching the extraction site) and it easily came off. A quick sniff of the cotton bud revealed no bad smell.

Am I correct in suspecting that this is plaque building up around the dissolving sutures that were placed in the gum post-extraction? The white stuff is also thinner towards the back and I assume that as it builds up around the sutures it then accumulates towards the rear.

I use Chlorhexidine mouthwash three times a day as instructed by my dentist but I just let it lie on the extraction site area, I don't want to swoosh it around too much in order to avoid disturbing the site.

I've been on a liquid diet since the extraction, mostly surviving on Ensure Plus nutritious drinks. Some ice cream at times too. :)

If this is plaque will its presence affect the healing of the gum?

Should I leave it alone? Naturally I don't want to disturb the healing of the gum or socket.

I don't think it's pus or ulceration but of course I'm not a dentist therefore it's hard to be certain. The fact that the soreness is abating lends weight to the white material merely being plaque.

The dental surgery that performed the extraction is closed today otherwise I would ask them.

I've attached a photo of the area.



  • White stuff.jpg
    White stuff.jpg
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Go ahead, brush the area, clean off the plaque. Go back to eating real food and cut back on the Chx rinse a bit, TBH, your entire regime seems completely OTT for an extraction but if it made you happy fair enough :)
Thanks very much, the white material seems to be dissipating (even without brushing the area) so as you say it must have been plaque. The sutures remain so it's sticking to them of course, hopefully they'll dissolve enough to detach soon.

As for my regime being OTT - I'm a cautious person when it comes tooth work due to having had many problems with my teeth over the years. :)
The white substance is probably Keratin.