What to eat after wisdom tooth extraction
Wisdom teeth, also referred to as third molars, are the last teeth in your mouth to emerge from the gums. They typically appear at the back of the oral cavity.
Many individuals typically have four wisdom teeth, each located in the back of their mouth. Due to limited oral space, these teeth may develop at a slanted angle or only partially grow out; in such cases, they are known as impacted wisdom teeth.
Impacted wisdom teeth may result in a range of issues, including infection, damage to adjacent teeth, overcrowding, or decay due to difficulty cleansing the area.
In order to alleviate these issues, people may opt to have their wisdom teeth removed. However, this is not an absolute necessity and should only be done if they create a problem.
Following a wisdom teeth extraction, it is important to ensure that adequate nutrition is obtained. A balanced diet can help minimize the risks of post-operative complications, reduce bruising and swelling, and promote the healing of the wound. Additionally, proper nutrition will provide the body with essential nutrients for recovery.
- Blended soups
Blended soups, like tomatoes or pumpkin soup, are perfect to eat after having your wisdom teeth extracted. These soups are easy to consume and do not contain pieces that could irritate the surgical site.
Bone broth is a type of soup that originated in Asia. It’s made by simmering animal parts such as chicken feet, beef marrow, lamb necks and ox tails. This process extracts collagen from the bones, creating gelatin rich in amino acids like glycine and proline. These amino acids help repair muscle tissues, boost immunity and reduce inflammation.
- Greek yogurt
Greek yogurt is a nutritious high protein food you can enjoy after having dental work done. It has a smooth and creamier consistency than regular yogurt, and it contains a lot of protein, vitamins, and nutrients like calcium and zinc.
- Mashed potatoes
Potatoes are a versatile root vegetable that can be prepared in a variety of ways, making them an ideal option for a comforting meal. In particular, mashed potatoes may be especially soothing after having undergone wisdom teeth extraction.
- Scrambled eggs
Eggs are an excellent dietary choice following wisdom teeth extraction, as they provide a nutritious source of high quality protein, and are rich in beneficial vitamins and minerals. When purchasing eggs, it is recommended to look for pasteurized or omega-3-enriched varieties as omega-3 fatty acids may have a positive effect on wound healing.
Eating whole apples may cause discomfort and irritation after having wisdom teeth removed, but consuming applesauce is a great way to get the same nutritional benefits without the crunch. Applesauce is softer than a whole apple, making it a tooth-friendly option for people with dental surgery.
- Mashed bananas
Bananas are one of the most widely-consumed fruits in the world due to their soft texture, making them a particularly suitable option for those who have recently undergone dental surgery.
- Banana ice cream
Eating ice cream is often recommended to individuals recovering from wisdom tooth surgery, due to the coldness providing a soothing sensation. However, it should be noted that regular ice cream is usually high in sugar and fat content.
Homemade banana ice cream provides a nutritious and tasty alternative to traditional ice cream.
Avocados offer a unique nutritional profile when compared to other fruits, as they are relatively low in carbohydrates yet high in beneficial fats.
The silky, creamy texture of this food makes it the perfect option for those recovering from wisdom teeth extraction.
Smoothies are an ideal way to supplement your nutrition when you are unable to consume a full meal.
Smoothies are an easily consumable and highly versatile beverage option. One can adapt the ingredients to their individual tastes as well as reach their nutritional goals.
Hummus, a traditional dip in Middle Eastern cuisine, has gained immense popularity around the world.
Hummus is a great source of healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and protein, making it an optimal option for someone who has recently had their wisdom teeth removed.
- Cottage cheese
Cottage cheese is an excellent source of essential vitamins and minerals while also being low in calories.
Cottage cheese is a nutritious food that is also rich in protein, which may support the healing process of wounds.
- Instant oatmeal
Oats are highly nutritious with an abundance of benefits. They provide satiating qualities, contain a good amount of dietary fiber, and offer essential vitamins and minerals.
Salmon is an excellent choice for maintaining a healthy diet. It is also an ideal meal choice for those who have recently undergone dental surgery, as the texture is soft and easy to chew.
What is a Wisdom tooth extraction?
Wisdom tooth extraction is a surgical procedure to remove one or more of the four permanent adult teeth located in the back corners of the upper and lower jaws.
If a wisdom tooth does not have enough space to develop properly (known as an impacted wisdom tooth), it can lead to discomfort, infection, or other dental issues. To address these issues, the wisdom tooth may need to be extracted by either a dentist or an oral surgeon.
Some dentists and oral surgeons suggest that wisdom tooth extraction should be considered, even if impacted teeth are not currently causing any issues, in order to avoid possible future complications.
Foods to avoid after wisdom tooth removal
It is important to avoid certain foods and beverages while recovering from wisdom tooth removal, as they may impede the healing process. These include:
- Hot or fizzy drinks
- Fruit juices, due to their acidic content, may cause discomfort or irritate the removal site.
- Course remnants from spices such as seeds and peppercorns can become lodged in wounds if not properly handled.
- Spicy foods
- Hot foods
- Avoid consuming hard or sharp foods, such as chips and popcorn, to prevent oral injury.
- Hard candy
It is advised to refrain from drinking hot beverages and using straws, as the suctioning motion can cause a dislodging of the blood clot and lead to the development of dry socket. A dry socket is a painful condition that often presents with discomfort or intense throbbing in the gum or jaw.
What happens if you eat the wrong foods after wisdom teeth removal?
In order to prevent pain and bleeding as well as interrupting the healing process, you should avoid foods that are hard, hot, chewy, crunchy, or spicy. These foods may get stuck in the socket or irritate it, which can result in pain and bleeding. It is best to avoid nuts and seeds until you are fully healed since they tend to get stuck in the sockets.
Recovery and self-care
Recovery times may differ between individuals, as well as the capacity to consume food afterwards.
Following removal, individuals should initially consume only liquid and soft foods for the next few days. When they are feeling comfortable, they can then transition to eating more solid foods.
Maintaining a healthy diet is essential for proper wound healing following wisdom tooth removal. However, due to the typical post-surgical pain, inflammation, and jaw stiffness, it can be difficult to eat properly.
Patients may be provided with additional instructions and antibiotics, in addition to anti-inflammatory medications and pain medications.
A dentist or surgeon may suggest that a person use an antiseptic mouthwash every day, starting 24 hours after the completion of their surgery.
In order to support the recovery process, it is recommended to:
Take time off work: The amount of time one should take off work after surgery is dependent upon the severity of the procedure, as well as if general anesthetic was administered. The National Health Service (NHS) advises taking 1-2 days away from work for recovery.
Take pain relief medication: It is common for people to take either acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain relief following wisdom tooth removal. According to Cochrane Clinical Answers, research suggests that ibuprofen may offer more effective pain relief than acetaminophen in this regard.
Take anti-inflammatory drugs: Following wisdom tooth extraction, a dentist may recommend anti-inflammatory medications for their patient’s comfort and recovery. It is important to take these medications according to the instructions provided by the dentist.
An ice pack may be beneficial in reducing pain and swelling.
Dentists may prescribe an antibiotic called amoxicillin following a tooth extraction procedure to reduce the risk of infection. A review of multiple studies has demonstrated that the use of antibiotics may significantly reduce the risk of complications, such as infection and dry socket.