Alcohol After a Tooth Extraction: Is It OK to Have a Drink?

Man Recovering From Tooth Extraction Surgery at Home

After tooth extraction surgery, there are certain protocols that you must follow to ensure that the procedure will be successful. That's why your dentist may restrict you from eating certain foods and drinking certain beverages — particularly, alcohol. Here's what you should know to start on the path toward a speedy recovery.

Can You Have Alcohol After a Tooth Extraction?

To avoid complications, the Mayo Clinic explains that it's best to steer clear of alcohol after an extraction for as long as your dentist or oral surgeon recommends. The American Dental Association (ADA) also points out that you should avoid drinking alcoholic beverages, as well as using any mouthrinses containing alcohol, for at least 24 hours after a tooth extraction.

Following these instructions closely will help reduce your chances of developing dry socket, which can delay the healing process. According to the Mayo Clinic, dry socket can occur if the blood clot in the socket area where the tooth was removed fails to develop or if it gets dislodged before the wound has healed. This can happen one to three days following the surgery and may cause significant discomfort. To treat dry socket, your dentist would need to flush out the bacteria from the site and possibly place a dressing over the area to help a new clot form, as the Mayo Clinic notes.

One simple thing you can do to decrease your chances of developing dry socket is avoid alcoholic beverages after an extraction. Choose to drink water instead, as the Mayo Clinic emphasizes that staying hydrated is important during the healing period.

Additional Postoperative Instructions

There are other steps you can take to make sure your recovery goes smoothly. Additional postoperative instructions outlined by the ADA include:

  • Take all medications as directed.
  • Place an ice bag near the surgical area to reduce swelling.
  • Avoid rinsing your mouth vigorously as to not dislodge the clot.
  • Do not use straws for 24 hours.
  • Do not smoke.

Following these tips will help you prevent dry socket and ensure you have a complication-free healing period. If you have any concerning symptoms after your procedure, such as vomiting, severe pain or heavy bleeding, call your dentist as soon as possible.

Foods to Eat Following Tooth Extraction

In addition to staying hydrated with water after your surgery, the ADA recommends eating nutritious, soft foods to help promote healing and a speedy recovery. Since chewing can be difficult following extraction surgery, chew on the side of your mouth opposite the surgical site. You might consider trying some of the following soft foods:

  • Scrambled eggs
  • Soup
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Yogurt
  • Applesauce
  • Pudding
  • Mashed bananas

Drinking alcohol after a tooth extraction can interfere with your mouth's healing process, so it's best to avoid alcohol until the site has fully recovered and your dentist has given you the green light. Staying hydrated with water, eating soft foods and maintaining good oral care will help you avoid any painful complications. By following these steps, as well as the aftercare instructions provided by your dentist, you'll be on your way to a fully healed and healthy mouth.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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Tips for Pain Management After TOOTH REMOVAL

Here are a few tips to help minimize your discomfort and speed recovery:

  • You can put ice packs on your face to reduce swelling. Alternate 20 minute on and 20 minutes off.

  • Eat soft and cool foods for a few days.

  • Starting 24 hours after surgery, swish with warm salt water. Use one-half teaspoon of salt in a cup of water.

  • You should not smoke, use a straw or spit after surgery. These actions can pull the blood clot out of the hole where the tooth was.