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Why Shouldn’t You Drink Alcohol After a Tooth Extraction?

April 8, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — mydaytonadentist @ 8:12 pm
Cartoon depictions of alcohol bottle and tooth

Getting a tooth extracted can do wonders for the look and function of your smile. Of course, the recovery period isn’t always a walk in the park. After all, your gums may feel especially sore, and you have to stick to a strict post-op diet for optimal healing. With this in mind, keep reading to learn all about why you shouldn’t have alcohol after a tooth extraction!

The Tooth Extraction Process

Tooth extractions might be needed for various reasons. Perhaps it’s infected or damaged from an injury, and removal is the only way to resolve the issue. On the other hand, you may need to make room in your mouth for orthodontic treatment, especially in cases of moderate to severe overcrowding.

Whatever the case may be, all tooth extractions fall into two categories: simple extractions and surgical extractions. Simple extractions are conducted when the tooth has broken through the gumline and can be gently removed with dental forceps. Surgical extractions, meanwhile, are necessary when a tooth breaks at the gumline or fails to erupt. In this scenario, a small incision needs to be made beforehand so the tooth can be accessed.

Why is Drinking Alcohol Harmful Post-Extraction?

Put simply, alcohol upsets the recovery process.

When you get your tooth pulled, a blood clot must form in the extraction area until granulation tissue emerges, which can take a week or more. Drinking alcohol, a known blood-thinner, would slow the clotting or prevent it. In the latter case, you’re likely to develop a dry socket, a painful condition that slows your recovery. As a result, you’d need more follow-up visits with your dentist and experience heightened discomfort.

It’s best, then, to avoid alcohol post-extraction. The safest option would be to wait about 7-10 days before drinking again so that the wound heals.

What You Should Try Instead

Rather than having alcohol, dentists recommend you focus on letting your gums heal from the procedure. First, leave the gauze your dentist put in your mouth during treatment for a few hours, allowing the necessary blood clot to form. From there, you might place a cold compress near the affected area to reduce swelling. As for what foods you might eat or drink, try having nutritious, soft foods that won’t aggravate the extraction site. Most importantly, rest for 24 hours after the surgery.

Be wary, though, of any problems you experience after the procedure.  If you have any concerning symptoms like vomiting, severe pain, or heavy bleeding, call your dentist as soon as possible.

After something as significant as having a tooth pulled out, it’d be normal to want to kick back, relax, and maybe have some beer or wine. However, try to stay away from alcohol for the time being — your mouth will thank you for it.

About the Practice

Indigo Dental is a dental practice based in Daytona Beach, FL. Headed by Dr. David Lloyd, a graduate of Emory University’s School of Dentistry, it believes in personalized dental care that takes patients’ goals into consideration. It also applies a ‘total health’ approach to its treatments, focusing not only on teeth and gums but the entire body. For more information on Indigo Dental, or to set an appointment, their team can be reached via website or by phone at (386)-253-3629.

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