What Color Are Dissolvable Stitches In The Mouth?

Written & Reviewed by Dr David Chen

The color of dissolvable stitches in the mouth can be yellow, purple, green, or white because those are all of the colors it can come in. There are no restrictions as to which type or color can be used orally so your dentist can use whichever color they like.

3 different dissolvable stitches
yellow, purple, white dissolvable sutures

However, the most commonly used absorbable suture color for the mouth would be yellow. That is because chromic gut stitches which are yellow, are extremely popular with dentists.

All colors of dissolvable stitches can be used orally

All types of dissolvable stitches can be used in the mouth so all colors of absorbable sutures are fair game. That means you shouldn’t be surprised if you see yellow, purple, green, or even white stitches in your mouth.

Most manufacturers dye their stitches to be a specific color. Below is a table with the color of each type of dissolvable suture material.

Suture TypeColor
Polyglycolic acid (Polysyn)Violet
Polyglactin 910 (Vicryl)Violet or White
Polydioxanone (PDS)Violet
Polytrimethylene carbonate (Maxon)Green or White
Glycomer 631 (Biosyn)Violet
Polyglytone 6211 (Caprosyn)Violet or White
Poliglecaprone (Monocryl)Violet or White
Color chart for self-dissolving stitches

Basically what we’re trying to say is that your dentist can pretty much use any type of material so any of the colors above could be in your mouth. Although if you see a color in your mouth that is not one of the listed colors, it could very well be a non-absorbable suture color.

Most popular color suture used by dentist

Despite the wide range of available suture color, the most popular one used by dentist in the mouth would be chromic gut which comes in a yellow color.

Why it’s preferred by dentists:

  • It is all natural since it’s made of the intestinal linings of cows and sheeps.
  • Very cost effective when compared to the synthetic absorbable materials.
Stitches on stone tooth model
Chromic gut sutures on demonstration model

Overall, you can pretty much find this suture at every dentist office that you walk into.

How to tell if they’re dissolvable

There are two ways to tell if they’re dissolvable.

  • Ask your dentist. The person who placed them in your mouth will definitely know what type they are. Your answer could be just a phone call away.
  • Identify them by color. Some colors are only used for the non-dissolving variety so as long as it’s not one of those colors it’s ok. These colors may include black, blue, or metal.

Giving your dentist a call would be the most accurate way to find out. The color method can work but the difficulty lies in that there are colors for both dissolvable and non-dissolvable stitches that overlap. Most notably the green and white ones can be either or.

What this means for you

You’re probably wondering what color they are because you want to know if they’ll fall out on their own. If they are indeed able to dissolve on their own, you won’t need a suture removal appointment. You can expect them to fall out within 2 weeks or so.

How they dissolve:

  • The gut sutures dissolve via proteolytic enzymatic degradation.
  • The synthetic ones will dissolve via hydrolysis.

However, if you have non-dissolving ones in your mouth, you will need a stitches removal appointment. The only downside is that you need to make one extra trip to your dentist. THe entire procedure shouldn’t be painful since it’ll be quick!


The color of absorbable sutures in the mouth can be yellow, purple, green or white because they can come in any of those colors. All types of self-dissolving material can be used in the mouth so what color you get would depend on your dentist’s preference.

However, based on what we know of most dentists, the most likely color to be used would be yellow since that’s what chromic gut sutures come in. That is essentially the most widely used by dentists in the US.


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