Foods to Avoid After Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars, located at the very back of the mouth. When a mouth is not large enough to accommodate the wisdom teeth, they may only partially erupt, come in poorly aligned or damage the surrounding teeth and roots. For these reasons, your dentist may recommend removal of your wisdom teeth. If you have them removed, you'll need to modify your diet following the surgery to prevent secondary side effects, such as dry socket, which occurs when a blood clot does not fully form or breaks off, exposing the underlying bone to air and food. It requires immediate attention from your oral surgeon to reduce the pain and prevent any infection of the bone.

Hot and Spicy Food

A close-up of spicy buffalo wings. (Image: bhofack2/iStock/Getty Images)

In the first several days after surgery you should avoid hot food and drinks, according to the Seaforth Oral Surgery website. The hot temperatures promote the breakdown of the blood clot in the socket and can lead to dry socket or infection. Follow the directions of your oral surgeon as to when you can start eating hot foods. You can eat room-temperature soft foods such as vegetable soup, mashed potatoes or soft pasta. Other soft foods, such a yogurt, milk shakes and smoothies, can help you maintain a nutritious diet while waiting for your incision sites to heal. You should also avoid spicy foods as they can irritate the extraction sites.

Fluid and Pressure

A glass of soda. (Image: bhofack2/iStock/Getty Images)

Your oral surgeon will recommend that you remain well hydrated during your recovery process to keep your oral mucosa moist and the clots in place. However, you should avoid soda and carbonated drinks as they can weaken blood clot and increase the risk that it will dislodge in your mouth, according to the Dental Fear Central website. You should also not use a straw to drink any fluids because the sucking motion and negative pressure in the mouth can cause the clot to dislodge or break off.

Alcohol

A patron sits next to a pint of beer. (Image: Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

You should also avoid alcohol for the first 24 hours because it can delay the healing process, according to the Dental Fear Central website. This means that you may experience more pain and swelling if you consume alcohol immediately following surgery. Also check with your pharmacist and oral surgeon to determine if alcohol will interfere with any pain medication you are taking after the surgery.

Small Foods

Assorted bagels for sale. (Image: JPLDesigns/iStock/Getty Images)

You should also avoid foods that have small seeds, such as sesame seeds or poppy seeds, and foods that are small, such as rice, according to the Center for Young Women's Health website. These small grains and seeds can get lodged in the tooth sockets, requiring removal by your oral surgeon to prevent infection.

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