After a tiring tooth extraction, the idea of relaxing with a hot drink is no doubt appealing. But if you're wondering, "Can I drink coffee after a tooth extraction?" sadly, the answer is no — at least for a few days while your mouth is healing. If you're due to have this dental surgery, follow your dentist's instructions for aftercare. You can enjoy a fresh cup of coffee when your mouth has begun to recover and it's safe to drink hot beverages.
Reducing Risk of Complications
Dentists give strict guidelines on what to eat and drink after a tooth extraction for good reason. According to the Mayo Clinic, when a tooth is pulled out of the gums, a blood clot forms in the hole. Dentists call this hole a tooth socket. The blood clot is a natural part of the healing process and nothing to worry about. In fact, the blood clot protects the exposed nerves and bone inside the socket.
If the clot is accidentally dislodged out of the hole, a condition called dry socket develops. You might feel intense pain radiating from the site of the extraction or experience an unpleasant taste in your mouth. Dentists recommend avoiding hot beverages like coffee after a tooth extraction to decrease the risk of dry socket.
What to Eat and Drink After Tooth Removal
After a tooth extraction, following your dentist's dietary recommendations will help you have a safe healing process. The University of Utah advises patients to drink two or three glasses of water and eat a small meal when they return home from the dentist's office. Soft, bland foods are safe to eat. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends eating foods such as eggs, mashed potatoes, refried beans and cottage cheese. The ADA also advises patients to drink plenty of liquids during the recovery, but to avoid hot drinks like coffee.
When Is It Safe to Drink Coffee?
Provided you're healing normally following your extraction, you can return to your regular diet after approximately five days, explains the University of Utah. If you aren't experiencing any significant pain or other signs of complications, your dentist may allow you to carefully sip a cup of your favorite coffee. By this time, the swelling should have begun to go down significantly, and your mouth should be fully back to normal within two weeks. If you have any severe symptoms or have any questions about what to eat or drink, contact your dentist.
How to Promote Healing
Following a safe, nutritious diet is an important step to promote fast healing after dental surgery, and there's plenty more you can do to reduce your risk of complications, according to the ADA:
- Don't perform any vigorous exercise for the first 24 hours after a tooth removal.
- Resist the urge to rinse out your mouth for 24 hours after your surgery. On the following day, gently rinse with warm salt water.
- Avoid drinking through a straw for 24 hours.
- Do not smoke or drink alcohol for at least 24 hours.
- Take the medications your dentist has prescribed and let them know if you're experiencing any severe symptoms.
If you love coffee, you probably plan to ask your dentist, "Can I drink coffee after a tooth extraction?" The good news is, you can, but only after a few days when your mouth has begun to heal and your dentist has given you the green light. Missing out on your cup of joe for a short time is a small price to pay to avoid painful complications.