What can I eat after wisdom teeth removal?

After wisdom tooth extraction, it may be beneficial to eat soft foods that do not require chewing. Hard meals should be avoided.

The wisdom teeth emerge last. They commonly emerge in late adolescence or early adulthood.

Wisdom teeth are normally removed only if they cause complications including pain, swelling, inflamed gums, or tooth decay.

This article discusses things to consume and avoid following wisdom teeth removal. It also covers the procedure’s risks and complications, as well as rehabilitation and self-care.

Foods to eat

oatmeal

The NHS advises people to eat soft or watery foods for a few days after surgery.

Suitable foods include:

  • pureed seedless fruit
  • soups and broths that are not too hot
  • milkshakes and smoothies
  • oatmeal
  • applesauce
  • pudding
  • avocado
  • jelly
  • mashed banana
  • mashed beans, such as kidney beans, black beans, or butter beans
  • mashed sweet or regular potatoes
  • pureed or mashed vegetables, such as carrots, parsnips, or broccoli
  • scrambled eggs
  • soft cheeses
  • yogurt
  • ice cream and frozen yogurt

Vegetables are mashed to eliminate the need to chew them. After a liquid-only diet, the texture and substance may be welcome.

If a blender is available, smoothies and milkshakes including a range of fruits and vegetables can be made at home. These can help with wound healing by providing nutrients and vitamins, which are especially important in the early stages of recovery.

Fruits with little seeds, on the other hand, should be avoided since the seeds may get lodged in the wound.

Fruit juices should also be avoided while making milkshakes or smoothies. Fruit juices, according to a 2020 article, may impede the healing process.

Fish, spaghetti, and potatoes are among firmer meals that may be suitable.

Foods to avoid

When recovering from wisdom teeth extraction, avoid the following foods and beverages:

  • hot or fizzy drinks
  • fruit juices, as acidic substances may irritate the removal site or cause discomfort
  • seeds, peppercorns, and other spices with course remnants, which can get stuck in the wound
  • spicy foods
  • hard or sharp foods, such as chips and popcorn
  • nuts
  • alcohol

People should avoid drinking hot liquids with straws since the suction can dislodge the blood clot, resulting in dry socket. A dry socket is a condition that causes a throbbing or aching sensation in the jaw or gums.

If a person prefers a hot beverage, lukewarm chamomile tea is a good choice.

Self-care and recovery

Recovery times and the capacity to eat thereafter differ from person to person.

People should try to eat liquid and soft foods immediately after removal and during the next three days. When a person can consume more solid foods depends on their level of recovery and comfort.

A nutritious diet is important for wound healing. However, after wisdom teeth removal, discomfort, inflammation, and jaw rigidity can make eating difficult.

In addition to anti-inflammatory meds and pain relievers, people may be given particular instructions and antibiotics.

A dentist or surgeon may also recommend an antimicrobial mouthwash, which should be used on a daily basis commencing 24 hours following surgery.

People should try to do the following to aid recovery:

  • Take time off work: The amount of time off work required depends on the severity of the surgery and whether or not the patient was given a general anesthetic. Taking 1–2 days off work is recommended by the NHS.
  • Take pain relief medication: Following wisdom tooth removal, many people use acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain management. According to studies published in Cochrane Clinical Answers, ibuprofen may be more helpful than acetaminophen after this operation.
  • Take anti-inflammatory drugs: Anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed by a dentist after wisdom teeth extraction. People should follow the dentist’s instructions for using these medications.

Using an ice pack to alleviate pain and swelling is also a good idea.

After tooth extraction, doctors and dentists may prescribe an antibiotic called amoxicillin to lower the risk of infection.

According to a review of studies, using antibiotics can significantly lower the incidence of problems like infection and dry socket. They are, however, rarely required.

Complications

The removal of a wisdom teeth, like any operation, can lead to difficulties. Some of these are discussed in greater depth in the sections below.

Infection

After the procedure, infection is a possibility.

Infection symptoms can include:

  • yellow or white discharge
  • high temperature
  • worsening pain or swelling after 4–5 days
  • bad breath

Antiseptic mouthwashes may aid in infection prevention.

Delayed healing

Delay healing occurs when new bone takes longer to develop in the empty socket.

Delayed recovery does not always necessitate a second visit to the dentist or surgeon. It’s possible that it just means that healing will take longer.

Dry socket

When a blood clot does not form in the empty tooth socket, it is known as a dry socket. It could also happen if a clot breaks loose, which is a typical issue in people who drink through straws.

Additionally, a person is more likely to acquire dry socket if they:

  • smoke
  • do not follow their dentist’s instructions after surgery
  • are over 25 years of age
  • have had a complicated removal

If a person experiences a dry socket, they should schedule a follow-up consultation with the dentist or surgeon who removed the tooth.

Permanent numbing of the jaw

The wisdom teeth are close to nerves that could be harmed if they are removed. Paresthesia refers to the numbing of the lower jaw, lip, and tongue as a result of an injury.

The chance of lasting numbness is extremely low. However, for several weeks or months, a person may have transient numbness, which can make eating and drinking difficult.

It’s important to see a dentist or surgeon if the numbness lasts longer than a few months.

Outlook

After wisdom tooth removal, it’s important to ensure that people have a variety of eating options.

Before having a wisdom tooth pulled, a person may want to consider stocking their home with a range of beverages and soft foods. This can promote recuperation by allowing them to stick to a soft food diet.

The tooth socket should heal in about two weeks if no complications arise.

If difficulties emerge, the person should schedule a follow-up appointment with the doctor or dentist who did the procedure.

Conclusion

Following a wisdom tooth extraction, it is important to eat carefully to avoid substances that can impede healing or create subsequent dental problems.

Soft, healthful foods are recommended since they will not irritate the wound and because the vitamins and minerals in healthy foods may help faster healing.

Foods with seeds or small parts that could go into the wound left after a wisdom teeth extraction should be avoided.

Sources:

  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5573467/
  • https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD003811.pub3/full
  • https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/wisdom-tooth-removal/
  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321300
  • https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cca/doi/10.1002/cca.852/full
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279590/
  • https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/Vitamins-and-minerals