Drinking alcohol for many is a natural pass time. You join your friends after work, drink, and discuss your day. For some, the worst thing is to have that time interrupted for any reason, but there is a natural reason to have stopped drinking alcohol, especially after an operation. But after that operation and seeing your friends go out and have a good time without you, the first thing you want to ask yourself is, when can I join them again?
Tooth extraction is not an incredibly serious procedure, but it does mean you can not drink alcohol for a sustained amount of time. It is highly recommended that you avoid alcohol consumption for 7-10 days. It’s always best to air on the side of caution, so staying away for ten days would be the preferred route, but it is unsafe to drink alcohol the same day or the next couple of days.
Below we will discuss alcohol consumption after tooth extractions and everything you need to know.
What exactly is a tooth extraction?
A dentist typically performs a tooth extraction, trying to remove a tooth from its socket within the bone. This procedure could occur for many reasons, including if you were to get an infection or suffer an injury to your tooth. A wisdom tooth removal falls into the category of a tooth extraction, and the same rules of alcohol consumption must also be applied after this procedure. You should be aware of two types of tooth extraction: simple and surgical.
- Simple extraction is when the doctor attempts to remove a tooth clearly seen in your mouth. The doctor will numb the tooth and surrounding gum tissue before they try to loosen it, allowing them to remove the tooth appropriately.
- Surgical extraction is a more invasive procedure usually called upon when a tooth has broken at the jawline. A wisdom tooth extraction falls into this category. The doctor will perform this extraction by making an incision into your gum and attempting to remove the tooth in this way.
Both require healing, and some of the same tactics mentioned later to speed up the healing process can occur for both. However, as mentioned before, it requires the same 7-10 days of no alcohol use.
Why should you not drink alcohol so soon after a tooth extraction?
After your tooth gets extracted, your body immediately begins healing. The healing phase for a tooth extraction requires a blood clot to form where the extraction occurred. This blood clot allows granulation tissue to come from around the extraction site, taking up to one week. To be cautious again, there is the recommendation you take an additional couple of days.
If the blood clot is not allowed to form, you will develop a dry socket, which slows the healing process and is a lot of pain. Where alcohol comes into play is alcohol slows the healing process of the body and could cause an infection. So if alcohol slows the healing process, the blood clot is not forming at the rate it is supposed to, opening the door for the dry socket to form before the blood clot can come into place. Then add on top of that the chemicals associated with alcohol now washing across an open wound; this opens the door for complications.
It’s important to keep your mouth clean and free of any unnecessary foreign, toxic liquids, as this will lead to even worse pain than you had after the initial procedure. In addition, if an infection occurs, it may lead to further procedures along the line, which will not be enjoyable either, so staying away from alcohol is crucial for the healing process.
What other drinks should be avoided after a tooth extraction?
When you look at alcohol, the main culprit that will cause issues to the tooth’s extraction area will be the acid within the alcohol. So any type of acidic drink will need to be avoided simultaneously, including but not limited to soda or energy drinks. Staying away from these drinks or anything similar to these drinks would be the best way to have a smooth recovery and be back at the bar with your friends.
What should you drink after a tooth extraction?
Water is recommended after tooth extraction because keeping your body hydrated will heal faster. Other things like apple juice, Gatorade, or milkshakes, you can even drink cold coffee, not hot coffee. These drinks will keep your body hydrated and go down easily or slide across the open wound without causing any problems.
What else can be done to help with the healing process?
If you are looking to help the healing process of your mouth and are committed to avoiding alcohol there, here are a few things to keep in mind
- Don’t drink through a straw for 24 hours
- Place a cold pack where the tooth was pulled
- Biting on gauze will allow for the clot to form
- Do not spit for at least 24 hours
Essentially keep good oral hygiene for the immediate future because not only do you not want to prevent the clot from forming, but you also do not want to dislodge it after it has formed. So, for example, if you drink through a straw or spit in those first hours, it could remove the already-formed clot, which will also lead to a dry socket.
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