I recently had a wisdom tooth removed myself, and I have to go back next week to have one more taken out. I didn't go to a surgeon though, my dentist just did it in his office and used the "freezing" technique, which I have to say I'm very glad I went this route--very little discomfort, and a heck of a lot cheaper! Anyway--I think it's probably gauze, and at this point you've probably already taken it out, but just for future reference you only need to keep it in while the removal site is heavily bleeding. On a sheet of paper I got it said to apply pressure on the area the tooth was removed to help with clot formation, and when it appears that the bleeding has slowed significantly (normally within the hour), you can take the gauze out. Sorry this post has come so late!